Ark of the Covenant Expedition with Bob Cornuke | January 2018
An expedition to a mysterious land, a quest for a lost relic, and a renowned archaeologist to lead the way! This is your chance take the adventure of a lifetime. International explorer Bob Cornuke is leading a Christian tour to Ethiopia on the trail of the Ark of the Covenant!
What could be better than combining the adventure of an expedition to follow the route of the Ark of the Covenant with fellowship, hippos, alligators, monkeys, the stirring worship of Timket festival, the mystery of hidden ancient Biblical manuscripts, the leadership of Bob Cornuke and more! We will stay in lovely lodges in various places, including on Lake Tana, Lalibela and Axum – plus the optional mountains of Gheralta. See why the TV series, Expedition Unknown found these sites to be worthy of highlighting in their show that was aired in March 2017. You will be amazed at the First Temple traditions that are being played out even today. On your visit to Ethiopia, you will learn of how this country is tied into the Israel of today and its promise of the future hope. Tour dates are January 15 – 25, 2018 with an optional pre-trip extension to Gheralta from January 12 – 17. Book now to join a journey that will be unlike any other!
Space is limited! Reserve your space now, just $2,980 plus airfare. There is an extension to Gheralta before the tour and that pre-trip extension adds $1,369 to the trip.
Itinerary at a Glance
|Jan 16||Depart Washington, DC, Dulles at 10:30AM|
|Jan 17||Axum, ancient Lion of Judah etching|
|Jan 18||Axum, Timket festival, Stele Square, Saint Mary of Zion (Ark of the Covenant)|
|Jan 19||Axum, Timket festival, Queen of Sheba Palace, tomb of one of the Kings|
|Jan 20||Lalibela, Pilgrimage places for “Jerusalem of Africa”, visit UNESCO protected rock hewn churches.|
|Jan 21||Yemrehanna Kristos|
|Jan 22||Bahir Dar, Blue Nile Falls|
|Jan 23||Tana Kirkos Island|
|Jan 24||Nile fishing trip, depart this evening|
|Jan 25||Arrival back in Washington, DC, Dulles 7:30AM|
|Jan 12||Depart Washington, DC, Dulles at 10:30AM|
|Jan 13||Arrive Mek’ele|
|Jan 14||Salt and camel markets, Adigrat (similar to Grand Canyon)|
|Jan 15||Rock churches Gheralta, Queen of Sheba mines|
|Jan 16||“Sleeping Beauty” discovery, Daniel Korkor|
|Jan 17||Wukro, Abraha Atsbeha monastery, Yeha Temple, Garima, Debre Damo|
— Travel Channel (@travelchannel) March 8, 2017
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Robert Cornuke – a former police investigator and SWAT team member – is a biblical investigator, international explorer, lecturer and author of nine books.He has participated in over fifty expeditions around the world searching for lost locations described in the Bible. These journeys include searching for the real Mount Sinai in Egypt and Saudi Arabia, looking for the remains of Noah’s ark in Turkey with astronaut Jim Irwin (Eighth man to walk on the moon) and researching ancient Assyrian and Babylonian flood accounts in Iran. He has followed ancient accounts of the Ark of the Covenant from Israel to Egypt and across Ethiopian highlands.
Bob has appeared on National Geographic Channel, CBS, NBC’s Dateline, Good Morning America, CNN, MSNBC, Fox, ABC, History Channel and Ripley’s Believe It or Not. He has traveled across Afghanistan during US bombing strikes on a video/photographic assignment and was invited by the President’s staff to conduct a Bible study for White House personnel.
Bob is currently president of the Bible Archaeology Search and Exploration (BASE) Institute located in Colorado Springs, CO. He also serves as special adviser for the National Council on Bible Curriculum in Public Schools.
|Jan 16||If you have accepted our air inclusive package, you will need to be in Washington, DC, at the Dulles airport to board our flight, which departs at 10:30AM. Most cities have late night flights that arrive in Dulles in the morning or there are plenty of airport hotels to spend the night prior. Please arrive at the airport no later than 8:00AM. We fly nonstop to Addis on a new Boeing 777 owned by top rated Ethiopian Airlines.|
|Jan 17||Arrive in Addis in the early morning and transfer to our domestic flight to Axum. We will arrive in Axum today at 4:00PM. We will be met and transferred to our strategically located hotel for lunch and short rest before the adventure begins. The legends narrated in the Kebra Nagast “Book of Kings” recount how the city of Axum, as early as the 10th century B.C., was the city in which the Queen of Sheba resided. It is recounted that the son of the Queen of Sheba and King Solomon brought the Ark of the Covenant to Axum and it remains there to this day, preserved in a sanctuary. Famous long before the time of Christ, Axum was the capital of the long Axumite reign, one of the oldest African empires, and represented a crucial connecting-point between Africa and Asia for almost a thousand years. A visit is organized to the steles, granite monoliths dating from pre-Christian times and decorated with symbolic engravings, and to the church of Mary of Zion, which contains many implements used in service to the Ark and many other treasures. Bob has prepared for you an experience like no other. You will be treated as family by the community, due to their love for Bob and his various friends’ ministry work in their small loving town. Tonight after dinner, we will sit around a fire overlooking the ceremonial grounds that are being prepared below. You will feel that something is about to happen to you spiritually in the coming days. (BLD) (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner)|
|Jan 18||In the morning, you will attend the Timket festival. We will also visit the tomb of Bazen – a new discovery known now as the tomb of one of the three wise men. We will visit the frankincense trees, the rock inscription of the Lion of Judah, various tombs and witness mass colorful baptisms taking place in the Queen of Sheba pool, while hundreds of participants cover the hills draped in white gauze dresses, singing the Psalms of David. Your spirit will be lifted by the sweetness of it all! We break for lunch together on the terrace of our hotel. Late afternoon, we will arrange for you to visit the church of St. Mary (said to house the Ark of the Covenant) and see the grounds where their kings (in the lineage of David) were all crowned and have time for a visit to the spice and antiques markets. Return to our hotel terrace, above the ceremonial grounds, to listen to the sweet voices below while we enjoy our dinner. (BLD)|
|Jan 19||Waking this morning we will hear the precious singing from the churches below. Grab a hot cup of coffee and sit and admire stele fields and beautiful vistas from our deck. Today, we are going to visit the camel market, the spice markets and more. We will engage in the community and have an opportunity to visit a mysterious mountain top rock hewn church that holds many ancient Biblical manuscripts. We will also be able to ride a camel and visit some of the schools that were created by our friends. Dinner again overlooking the stele field. (BLD)|
|Jan 20||We fly late morning to Lalibela. This city of Christian pilgrimage, for our African based brothers and sisters, is located at an altitude of 2,600 meters above sea level. In this ancient city, there are 11 monolithic churches that were built in the twelfth century and are carved out of pink granite rock; they have been classified as one of the wonders of the world. Each church has a unique architectural style; all are superbly carved and most of them are decorated with well-preserved paintings. The entire city may be described as a sculpture, dedicated to the glory of God. The day is devoted to visiting both groups of churches and the city itself. We have an overnight stay in Mountain View Hotel. (BLD)|
|Jan 21||After breakfast we will drive through the beautiful countryside to a precious, hidden monastery and church called Yemrehanna Kristos. The church is built inside a cave, deep inside a rock wall. The local dead have been brought to this place for centuries and it is considered one of their most Holy sites. You will be able to see their Biblical manuscript treasury and learn of the worship that was learned from King David’s time and passed on to the children of the Book. You will hear the lovely singing and chanting that is directly taken from our precious Psalms. Tonight, we return the Mountain View Hotel, where the view is indescribable. We will have a fantastic dinner prepared by our Jamaican chef. (BLD)|
|Jan 22||Board our flight to Bahir Dar, the jewel resort city on Lake Tana, source of the Nile. Bahir Dar is known as the wedding capital of Africa. There are more honeymoons and weddings here in this setting than any other place in Africa. On arrival, we visit the waterfalls of the Blue Nile: 100 meters wide, the water plunges 45 meters, giving rise to steam clouds and rainbows. Those who wish, may descend to the base of the falls, climb back up the other side and cross the Nile in a papyrus boat (traditionally known as a “Tankwas”) in order to return to the point of departure (about an hour’s walk). You will enjoy the monkey’s jumping from tree to tree overhead joining us on our walk. Overnight stay at Kuriftu Resort. This hotel has a spa and fantastic lakeside restaurant that will be our home away from home. (BLD)|
|Jan 23||Today we have a full day boat trip across the lake. This island was most recently highlighted on the TV series “Expedition Unknown” and featured our own Bob Cornuke. Our destiny (as was theirs) is mysterious Tana Kirkos. It is here that you will see the treasury of implements that were used when the Ark of the Covenant was brought to Ethiopia for safe keeping. The men will have a unique experience with Bob, where he will take them to the place where the Tabernacle poles fit into the rock and you will receive a teaching from Bob that will melt your heart. Ladies will be a part of the treasures hidden in the treasury and will be able to visit the monastery where these precious keepers farm for their existence. We will have lunch and plenty of story time! (BLD)|
|Jan 24||Today is a day that we will relax and enjoy a fishing trip on the Nile. Bring your pole, or enjoy one of ours. We will also have a crocodile and hippopotamus safari. Not only will you be able to see these amazing animals in the wild, but you will see plenty of the world’s most exotic birds and monkeys and a couple wild boar! What a precious day of rest. We depart the hotel at around 6:00PM tonight, for our overnight flight back to the US. (BL)|
|Jan 25||Arrive back at Washington, DC, Dulles airport today at 7:30AM.|
|Pre-Trip Extension (Jan 12 – 17)|
|Jan 12||Guests should be at the Dulles airport by 8:00AM if taking our international air. If not taking our air, please be in Addis Ababa on January 13 for our domestic flight that departs Addis at 12:20PM on January 13.|
|Jan 13||Arrive in Addis in the early morning and transfer to our domestic flight to Mek’ele. We arrive at the Jupiter Hotel in Mek’ele and have a nice dinner out on the patio. The weather will be a beautiful 78 to 85 degrees during our stay and the hotel is air conditioned. (BLD)|
|Jan 14||After breakfast this morning we will load up on our 4WD and visit the camera worthy, titillating markets for the camel caravans of Danakil. You will be moved by the colorful scenes in this marketplace. This is the place where the Afar people come to trade salt for goods. Some of these caravans only come into the trading center once a year. You will be so blessed to see this trade in action! We drive out of the city and visit the mysterious monastery at Wukro. The Christian and Jewish faith of these people has been practiced for thousands of years. The monastery is a training center for youth who are committed to God from birth. We will drive the majestic road into Adigrat and beyond into the mysterious, conical shaped rock formations. Our luxury lodge is hidden inside those mountains. This is known as the “Grand Canyon” of the African continent. Along the way, we will also stop at the monastery of Abraha Atsbeha, where they have had church services since the 16th century. Arrive at our hotel for the next two nights, Gheralta Lodge. Dinner on the patio amidst the stunning rock formations. (BLD)|
|Jan 15||Today will be a day we will treasure for a lifetime.We will climb to the ancient rock churches of Tigray. These churches are known to have hidden many of our most treasured Biblical manuscripts and history. We will see ancient paintings of Christ, the angels Gabriel and Michael, Melchizedek, Abraham, Isaac and the Apostles. While there, we will meet with monks who have been isolated all of their lives to worship in this remote place. We will have much to discuss as to why God would choose to hide the Book of Enoch and other books in this place. Tonight, a sumptuous Italian dinner to discuss our huge day! (BLD)|
|Jan 16||Leisurely breakfast for those wanting to rest and have some quiet time. For those with the energy, there is time this morning to see a church said to be built by the hands of angels. The colorful gospel message was painted on the walls and is given to the worshippers, on an almost daily basis, by the priest of the church. This precious man has lived in this church on the mountain all his adult life. The mountain top church has 20 to 50 elderly worshippers who visit it daily. What an amazing site to see their small bare feet walk the heavily trodden rock path. Once inside the church you will see a thousand year-old, 25-foot painting of the archangel Gabriel. We take a rest at our luxury lodge and then head out in our 4WD vehicles to see the mines of the Queen of Sheba and to see a new discovery called “Sleeping Beauty”. This is an ancient burial site that will knock your socks off. Dinner tonight with the lodge owner on the terrace. (BLD)|
|Jan 17||Later in the morning, we retrace our steps over the spectacular scenery! We make a stop of Debre Damo, one of Bob’s favorite places. You will be one of only a few guests that have visited this treasure. The top of this mysterious monastery is accessible only by leather ropes. Women are not allowed at the top, but we will have plenty of opportunities while we wait. Bob will share the reason for the male only segregation, as it is also iconic. Time permitting, both men and women, or women only, if the men are still entering Debre Damo, we will visit the world re-known, small church of Garima. Garima came into the world’s limelight 7 years ago when the world’s oldest Biblical manuscript with paintings was discovered in their treasury. The monastery also has the Book of Enoch and other treasures. Next, while we are near Garima, we will visit the Temple at Yeha. Yeha is thought to be a Jewish building from the time of the Queen of Sheba – it has a mikveh and incense burners with many Sabean writings from the time of King Solomon and Sheba. The Temple is one of Ethiopia’s greatest treasures. We arrive back into Axum tonight with dinner at our favorite hotel, overlooking the ceremonial grounds. You will be met by the group who did not take the extension to Gheralta today at the hotel. (BLD)|
Bob Cornuke on The Search for the Ark of the Covenant
Bob, Rhonda, & Misgana make a perfect trio. This has been the most meaningful trip of my life – don’t change much, especially Axum and Tana Kirkos!
— Robert L.
Very personal service whenever I had questions!
The superior attitudes of the staff (patient, adjustable, humorous) made the trip A++! Thanks!
— Carol B.
I have very fond memories of this trip!
I learned a lot, experienced a lot, and created great memories. Great overall experience. Local guides were mostly excellent….knowledgeable and friendly. Rhonda is very helpful and professionally competent in all she does.
— Richard and Bobby
Couldn’t have been better! Loved Tim’s piano playing and singing in the lounge. Everything was great!
Everything ran smoothly. What a lot of logistical planning went into this trip. Greatly appreciated! We will see you again!
— Bob and Ginny S.
It was my first trip of this kind and I enjoyed every minute of it! Nancy, with whom I talked a lot, was most kind, helping me with everything.
— Janny V.
Hopefully the economy will pull out of this so that next summer’s Christian Mediterranean cruise will be as big a hit.
I loved it! It truly was the adventure of a lifetime. My son had a wonderful experience, too. Thank you for making the trip kid-friendly!
— Lorretta & Jacob S.
To book this 2018 Ethiopia tour with Bob Cornuke, click the “Book Tour Now” button to be transferred to our secure, electronic booking documents. This is the preferred booking method.