Duration: 9 Days
Minimum number of participants: 10
Valid from: 29 July 2016
Valid until: 05 August 2016
The Eritrean National Festival highlights various cultural activities by Eritrean artist from both home and abroad, coupled with the staging of cultural performances by Eritrea’s nine colorful tribes, traditional musical shows, dramas, a display of regional artifacts, historical relics and cultural heritage, bazaar, sporting competitions and other creative works.
You will also encounter a nice opportunity of tasting Eritrea’s traditional cuisines such as Zigni (spiced meat stew), Tsebhi Derho (traditional chicken stew), Kilwa (minced and roasted meat), Dilot (minced and fried entrails), Tibsi (beef or lamb cut into small pieces), and Kitfo (ground beef served cooked or raw) – all served with the local pancake called Injera.
By being there, you can literally experience Wonderful Eritrea!!!
1 Free Ticket: A lot will be thrown among the 10 travelers and the lucky one will get a free ride for the whole trip. This does not include the exclusives (international e-ticket fares, entry visa fees, insurance and other expenses not included with this program).
Friday – July 29, 2016: Arrival to Asmara. Transfer to hotel (Overnight Asmara)
Upon arrival at Asmara International Airport, you will be met, assisted and transferred to your hotel.
Saturday – July 30, 2016: Sightseeing of Asmara (Overnight Asmara)
Discover Asmara, Africa’s best and world’s 4th best attraction city. Explore the city called as “Piccola Roma” (Little Rome) and observe its most shining collection of Art Deco (A style of design, marked by stylized forms and geometric designs, which was popular in the 1920s and 1930s) architectural wonders portrayed in many of its buildings such as:
The Roman Catholic cathedral, St Mary Coptic church, Al Khulafa al Rashedin, Market [vegetable, spices, souvenir, Medeber (recycling depot)], National Museum, Fiat Tagliero building, Tank graveyard etc.
In the evening, partake in the opening of the national festival at Cinema Roma (or the preferred venue for that occasion), and observe the musical, dramatic and other artistic performances.
*Sunday – July 31, 2016: Asmara (Overnight Asmara)
Partake in the actual opening of the National Festival at the famous Expo grounds in Asmara. Visit the pavilions of Eritrea’s nine ethnic groups, their traditional housing, costumes, and livelihood.
+Monday – August 1, 2016: Keren (Overnight Keren)
Drive downhill from Asmara to Keren. Explore Keren – the cultural capital of Eritrea. Visit Keren’s colorful market and the Bilen and Tigre tribes.
The Tigre Tribes are known for their rich oral tradition and their flair for poetry and singing. The Bilen Tribes speak ancient Cushitic language- Beja language- and whose women are known for their brightly colored clothes, nose rings and henna tattoos.
Tuesday – August 2, 2016: Filfil Forest (Overnight camping)
Drive from Keren on the Keren-Asmara highway. Stop at village of Weki Visit the Tigrinya tribe at, Hidmo (their traditional house), traditional earth wares, cupboard made into the wall and more. The Tigrinya tribes, which make up about half of the population of Eritrea, speak a Semitic language called Tigrinya, one of the country’s official languages. They are mostly agriculturalists. The Tigrinya women wear a very unique plaited hair-style.
Drive further and explore the evergreen Filfil Forest – the ‘Green Belt’ region lies to the northeast of Asmara, part of the Semenawai Bahri or ‘Green Belt’ area. It is covered with lush forests and vegetation and home to an impressive array of birds and mammals such as vervet monkeys and hamadryas baboons.
Wednesday – August 3, 2016: Massawa – Pearl of the Red Sea (overnight Massawa)
Sightseeing of the port city of Massawa. Visit the old Turkish-Egyptian-Italian buildings, shopping arcades and ancient beautiful mosques.
Visit the Rashaida tribes– the last Semetic people to arrive in Eritrea. The magnificent Rashaida women are known for their black and red geometrically patterned dresses, their long and heavy veil – burga – elaborately embroiled with silver threads, beads and sometimes seed peals.
Late in the afternoon, drive back to Asmara while enjoying the spectacular views towering mountains, valleys and plains.
Thursday – August 4, 2016: Adikeih (Overnight Adikeih)
Drive from Asmara to Adikeih. Visit the Saho tribes in the environs of Adikeyh. The Saho tribes are mostly farmers. They were reputed as warriors, and were often enlisted to escort trade caravans to the port city of Massawa. They are also known for their penchant for honey and skill for beekeeping.
Explore ancient town of Qohaito (Kohaito), some 15 km off-road from Adikeyh, among the country’s famous historical site that features a superb array of archaeological sites that recount volumes of history.
Friday – August 4, 2016: Adikeyh- Senafe – Matara – Segeneiti – Asmara (Overnight Asmara)
Travel from Adikeyh to Senafe. Stroll among ancient ruins of Matara, equivalent to an important ancient town named Koleo from 2nd century AD, situated 20km south of Qohaito, house some of Eritrea’s most important historical sites.
Drive uphill while enjoying the magnificent scenery and lush vegetation all the way to Asmara.
En route visit the town of Segeneiti- a lush fertile area. Visit the huge Sycamore tree locally known as Daaro revered by the locals –for its beauty, for its generous shade, for its fruitful home for beehives and for providing important social purpose– as it form a place where the community can assemble for discussions and debates. The tree has been immortalized on the five-nakfa note.
Saturday – August 5, 2016: Free to discover Asmara in your leisure time. Transfer to airport for departure.
Today is the closing of the National Festival. As a finale to your fascinating trip, once again walk around the compound and grab some souvenirs- reminders of this beautiful country.
1. *The opening and closing days of the National Festival might change. Hence, the dates will be adjusted as such.
2. +Keren Market is every Mondays.