Eritrea 7 days
Eritrea is an extraordinary country we can multi-ethnic and multi-religious society. Moreover A trip to this country is also an exceptional opportunity to visit archaeological sites evidencing the long history of civilisation and past glory of towns at the shores of the Red Sea.
Eritrea is an extraordinary country located at the shores of the Red Sea, one of the youngest countries in Africa that declared independence in 1993. Despite its difficult journey to independence and an unstable political situation, Eritrea is gradually becoming an example of peaceful existence of a multi-ethnic and multi-religious society. A trip to this country is also an exceptional opportunity to visit archaeological sites evidencing the long history of civilisation and past glory of towns and harbours in this part of Africa.
Flights to Asmara usually take place in the afternoon and evening. After arrival, visa formalities. Transfer to the hotel and, after a short rest, an organisational meeting and dinner. D.
In the morning, after the night’s rest and breakfast, we will hold an organisational meeting. Then we will start to visit the capital of Eritrea. Eritrea is one of the youngest African countries that declared independence in 1993. The capital, Asmara, is located at 2350 m above sea level. It was founded in the 19th century by Italian colonists. The colonial buildings from that time (more than 400) are quite well preserved. Asmara inhabitants are a good representation of the ethnic and religious mixture of Eritrea. During our visit, we will see a catholic cathedral, orthodox Ethiopian churches and Sunni mosques. We will have a walk in the housing district and go to the local market. Dinner in one of local restaurants. Night rest at the hotel.
B. L. D.
In the morning, we will set off for Keren (95 km), the second largest town of Eritrea located at 1390 m above sea level and surrounded by granite mountains. One of its most important attractions is the traditional market that is held only on Mondays. During our stay in this town, we will see one of the most important pilgrimage sites for catholics in Eritrea and mementos of battles between the British and Italian colonists in 1941. Overnight rest in Keren.
In the morning, we will set off towards the Red Sea, to the harbour town of Massawa. In the beginning, we will drive towards Asmara. Before reaching the capital, we will turn east and drive through Filfil where we will see what is left of the forests that used to cover the mountain regions of Eritrea. After arrival in Massawa, we will have be a quick visit around the town and dinner.
In the morning, we will fly to Adulis (60 km), one of the most important and also most interesting archaeological sites at the Red Sea. Adulis was the most important harbour of the Kingdom of Aksum – it was founded around 700 B.C. It was also a known harbour in the Roman Empire times, especially in the 2nd and 3rd centuries A.D. The current ruins are a proof o the power and cosmopolitan nature of the town. In the afternoon, return to Asmara.
Early in the morning, after breakfast, we will go on a one-day trip to the south of Eritrea (150 km), to archaeological sites of Dekemhare, Segeneiti and Adikeih. The visited places were one of the most important towns on the trade route from the territories of the Kingdom of Axum to Red Sea harbours. However, the history of those places is much longer than the times of Axum’s glory. During our drive, we will also see geological formations that are created along with the processes increasing the Great African Rift. We will go to Adikeih for dinner and accommodation.
In the morning, a drive to Qohaito – ruins of a town whose origins are buried in the dark depths of the past. According to archaeological studies, it was a major urban centre before even the Kingdom of Axum was created. The town was abandoned in 9th century. After lunch, we will set off for our return journey to Asmara. En route we will stop in Segheneiti where we will see a nature monument – a huge tree proving that this area used to look completely different than nowadays. Arrival in Asmara, dinner and transfer to the airport. Flight home in the evening or on the next day – in the latter case, one more overnights stay in the Eritrea capital will be necessary.
- the length of the tour : 7 days in Africa;
- start of the trip: Asmara;
- end of the trip: Asmara;
- the highlights of this expedition: During our stay in Eritrea we will see the amazing religious and cultural mixture of this small but very interesting country, which is the youngest independent state of Africa
No special fitness is required – the travellers should be able to visit the city on foot. No long hikes or activities that require strenuous physical effort are envisaged. Accommodation will be provided in hotels whose standard does not differ from similar facilities in the Middle East or Europe – equivalent to 3 stars. During the tour, we will travel in passenger cars. The itinerary was designed to enable best possible viewing of the places away from mass tourism routes, while meeting basic safety standards and ensuring comfort to the travellers. Bear in mind that the visited region of Africa is mostly inhabited by Sunni Muslims and Orthodox Ethiopian Church followers, which means the need to respect cultural differences and to adhere to the appropriate dress code.
Depending on the political situation, the length of the tour and the order of visited places may change. In a situation of a serious threat to travellers’ safety, the tour may be cancelled. We will keep you updated as to whether the expedition is possible.
- Your passport must be valid for at least 6 months after the planned end of the tour.
- Before departure, you must obtain the tourist visas at one of your nearest embassies of Eritrea. Having booked the tour, the travellers will receive a letter of invitation necessary for obtaining the visa. The completed visa application and two current colour photographs will also be necessary.
- To obtain a visa, you may use the services of visa agents or the help of BTP Adventure.
- You should take with you for the tour a photocopy of your passport (the photo page) and an additional ID document.
- Before departure, we recommend a consultation with a family physician and a tropical medicine specialist.
- You must take the yellow vaccination booklet with you for the tour.
- Malaria prophylaxis is recommended but an infection is unlikely because of the climate, the trip dates and the itinerary of the planned tour.
- Vaccination against tetanus, diphtheria, viral hepatitis A and B and typhus is recommended.
- There is a risk of tuberculosis.
- We recommend visiting https://travelhealthpro.org.uk/countries.
- During our expedition, we will drink only bottled water. You should avoid ice in your beverages and eating raw or undercooked foods.
- At the visited places, only private healthcare exists (a visit cost is approximately USD 100).
- Because of difficult travelling and accommodation conditions and particularities of the country, good general health and physical fitness are necessary.
- Please take with you a first aid kit and a sufficient supply of your regular (prescription) medicines, if any. Some useful contents of the first aid kit:
o high sun protection cream (recommended SPF 50)
o disinfectants, wound dressing materials
o analgesics and antipyretics
o anti-diarrhoeals, electrolytes and vitamins
Eritrea is currently a moderately stable and relatively safe country. The actual terrorist threat or armed conflict risk is nowadays relatively low. We design our itineraries so as to avoid places that are potentially dangerous (border regions with Ethiopia and Djibouti).
Owing to the good relations we have with local contractors, we keep following the news to be aware of any potential threats and safety risks. We also recommend you to read the latest news on the Foreign & Commonwealth Office website: https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice.
During the tour, please take seriously the instructions of our contractors, guides and tour leader.
It is very important to respect local customs and abide by local laws and regulations. You will receive the necessary information on an on-going-basis from your local guides and the tour leader.
It is strictly prohibited to take photos and make video recordings at military and police installations and at airports. You are also not allowed to take photos where people in military/police uniforms are present!!!
Photographing people is possible only when they expressly agree to it. Taking pictures when the subjects have not allowed it often ends up with escalating aggressive behaviours.
The legal tender in Eritrea is nakfa. Currency exchange is possible in the largest towns – at the airport and in hotels. It is very difficult elsewhere. Using payment cards is practically impossible outside the capital. The best foreign exchange rate is for euros and US dollars. UK pounds are not generally exchangeable.
For current foreign exchange rates see www.xe.com or install xe.com on your phone.
The languages most commonly used in Eritrea are Arabic and Tigrinya. In the case of a group tour, the tour leader will speak English. For self-guided tours, you must speak English or hire a local guide with a command of English.
Eritrea is a country with great ethnic and religious diversity. A half of its inhabitants are Sunni Muslims and the other half are Christian faith followers who belong to the Orthodox Ethiopian Church and Catholic Church. Because of cultural considerations and for safety reasons, it is advisable to learn about the recommended dress code. Clothes that reveal too much flesh are frowned upon – both in men and women.
It is very important to respect local customs and abide by local laws. You will receive the relevant information from your local guide or the tour leader.
The tour dates are proposed in periods of the best possible weather conditions at the sites included in the itinerary. The best time for expeditions to Eritrea is the period between November and the end of February. Temperatures exceed +25°C during the day and +15°C at night. Occasional rainfalls are possible. High density of dust particles is a major issue, and also sandstorms may appear.
For detailed information about the weather, see https://www.meteoblue.com/en.
Mobile network coverage is available in most towns and villages. Purchase of a local SIM-card is possible but complicated. Before the trip, please enquire with your mobile network operator whether they have a contract signed with operators in Eritrea and what the prices of call and SMS roaming are. To avoid a nasty surprise, we recommend disabling mobile data usage.
- Power sockets of type C, E and F. Voltage 230 V, frequency 50 Hz.
- Wi-Fi is available at most hotels and restaurants.
- Additionally, we recommend taking a capacious power bank.
For climatic and cultural reasons, loose garments will be most appropriate: long trousers, long skirts, long-sleeved shirts, which can be easily washed and will quickly dry. The most comfortable footwear for the tour will be lightweight boots. Palladium brand boots are recommended. Wearing open sandals is possible. Hiking boots are not necessary. The following are worth taking:
- sachet for documents and money
- wet wipes for body cleaning and antibacterial gels
- polar fleece jacket or warmer blouse which may prove useful at evening and night times
- head cover and sunglasses – mandatory, the sun is no joke!
- comfortable summer clothes, useful during practically the whole trip
- light T-shirts/shirts
- useful odds and ends: torch, Swiss Army knife, sewing kit (usually is not needed but is not heavy and does not take much place), chargers, mug (for special occasions); inflatable neck pillow, useful on the plane and during car rides; small wallet for the local currency; books to pass the time on flights and car rides
Price depends on number of participants. Please refer to list below:
- £ 3590 p/p – group of 2
- £ 2490 p/p – group of 3
- £ 2390 p/p – group of 4
- £ 2190 p/p – group of 5
- £ 1990 p/p – group of 6
- £ 1890 p/p – group of 7
- £ 1790 p/p – group of 8
During the expedition, we will travel by passenger cars adapted to the conditions existing in Eritrea, in accordance with the the itinerary and depending on the current situation. The speed and transfer times depend on the road surface conditions, terrain characteristics and number and length of stops.
We are not able to guarantee a uniform accommodation standard at each of the planned sites during the stay in Eritrea. Our priorities are your comfort, safety and appropriate location. We always place emphasis on the support of local community when selecting the sites for our accommodation. In general, rooms will be assigned on the assumption of two people sharing a twin room (rooms with individual bathrooms). The surcharges for single rooms are quoted in the “Price” section.
Two overnight stays in a hotel approximately corresponding to the 3-star standard are planned during the tour.
Meals according to the schedule B – breakfast, L – lunch, D – dinner and mineral water. Apart from the capital and larger towns, only very basic foods can be bought. For information about the local costs of living see https://www.numbeo.com/cost-of-living/.
Services of a tour guide and local guide throughout the tour
Admission tickets for the visited sites and national parks
The price includes the cost of tips and porters’ fees.
Trip preparation, visa mediation, the invitation necessary to obtain a visa
Costs of the main flight to and from Asmara.
Costs of flight tickets are not covered by the tour price. BTP Adventure does not directly arrange and buy tickets for international flights. However, we may suggest the best connections and airlines. For this purpose, contact us by e-mail or call us.
Visa costs and visa services.
Insurance is not covered by the tour price. Having valid insurance is a condition for taking part in the trip. We recommend taking out insurance that will be appropriate for the planned itinerary and for your individual state of health and needs. Please send us the proof of your insurance contract.
You can purchase insurance on your own on the website of Axa or any other insurance company: https://www.axa.co.uk/travel-insurance.
BTP Adventure may help you obtain adequate insurance cover. If you want our help, please contact us.
Meals other than those listed in the final itinerary.
Surcharge for a single room: 150 £
supplementary payment for the additional accommodation In the case of arrival or departure on a different date,
Personal expenses and souvenirs.
Because of the particularities of the country and its political instability, the itinerary of the tour may change.
In view of the weekly market that is held in Kerem each Monday, the trip should start on Saturday or Sunday.
We can arrange a self-guided tour – if your are interested, please contact the office.
We will keep updating the detailed information on the safety and final itinerary of the tour. Before you decide to submit the booking form, please learn about the current political and sanitary situation in Eritrea.
The planned expedition is an exclusive proposal prepared on the basis of our experience and knowledge of the local peculiarities and major sightseeing attractions of Eritrea.
We are committed to ensure the best possible and safe and, as far as feasible, comfortable travelling through these little-frequented and extremely interesting places with a fascinating history.
In view of the nature of this tour, its optimum dates are periods from the period between October and the end of February
For those interested and willing, it is possible to combine tour may be combined with trips to South Sudan, Sudan, Chad, Djibouti and Somaliland, Somalia, for this purpose, please contact the office.
You are welcome to take part! BTP Adventure.
1790 £ Per Person for 8 person group
In view of the weekly market that is held in Kerem each Monday, the trip should start on Saturday or Sunday.
We can arrange a self-guided tour – if you are interested, please contact the office.
For those interested and willing, it is possible to combine tour may be combined with trips to South Sudan, Sudan, Chad, Djibouti and Somaliland, Somalia, for this purpose, please contact BTP Adventure