Join us on a fantastic journey where you will discover the beautiful mountains and landscapes and people of Ethiopia. You will get close to the culture and experience the daily life of Ethiopia by staying together with villagers in the mountains and by visiting a young medical student in the big city Addis Abeba.
On this trip we learn about the Ethiopian culture and their proud history without any colonization. It was in Ethiopia our first ancestor, Lucy, was discovered and we will see her at the museum. Ethiopia is also one of the world’s oldest Christian countries. There is a strong Orthodox Church, origin from the Coptic Church, that you will learn all about. The country has nine UNESCO World Heritage sites, which is the most in Africa. We will visit the eleven churches built by King Lalibela in the 1200 Century, after God talked to him to construct the copy of Jerusalem. In 30 years King Lalibela constructed one of the wonders of UNESCO’s World Heritage. During the tour you will see best of Ethiopia and spend five days trekking in the mountains with local people. This year we also have a special pilgrimage tour during the Ethiopian Christmas (January 6-7). We will spend the Ethiopian Christmas in Lalibela together with 100 000 other pilgrimages. Download the information program in the right sidebar for more information about our organized trips.
Discovering Addis Ababa
After breakfast we check out the closest surroundings and retrieve money in the Ethiopian currency BIRR. We enjoy a freshly squeezed orange juice or a nice macchiato. After lunch we meet Shewangzaw Eyasu (medicine student and Baye’s brother). He will take us on a sightseeing tour in Addis. We will go by minibus. Read more about Addis Ababa.
We spend the whole day getting to know the history and culture of Ethiopia. We will visit:
- The Trinity Church Here we well get a thorough introduction of the Ethiopian orthodox church which will be a great help for us further along our journey.
- The National Museum Exposition of Ethiopia’s history and archaeology. Among many interesting things we will see Lucy.
- The Ethnographical Museum A very nice museum that shows all Ethiopia’s 85 tribes and how they live.
- Mount Entoto We end the day by going up to Mount Entoto. From there we will have a fantastic panorama of Addis Abeba. We will also take part in the Ethiopian coffee ceremony.
We will rise early and go to the airport in our minibus. At arrival of Axum airport, we drive half an hour to the hotel and you will have time to relax and to take a shower. We eat lunch at the hotel and after that you will start to get know the historical sites of Axum the Stelae filed, the Cathedral Tsion Mariam church, the new and impressive Archeological museum. We stay overnight at a nice hotel in Axum. Read more about Axum.
History of Axum – part 2
After breakfast we start the second tour of Axum, by trekking outside of the town and visiting the following places:
- the Tombs of King Kalbe and Gebermeskel (a torch is required)
- Queen of Shebas Palace
- Ad Hankara and the Gobedra Liones
- the place where the Steale comes from
We stay overnight at the same hotel.
Journey to Lalibela
We will rise early and go to the airport in our minibus. From the airport of Lalibela we go by minibus to Lalibela (approximately 30 min). We check in, get our rooms and then we will start visit the eleven churches with our own guide. The churches in Lalibela are from the 12th century. They are cut in a mountain and built from there and are on UNESCOâ€™s list of World Heritages. We eat dinner together at a nice restaurant. Read more about Lalibela
Yimerhane Cristos – a cave monastery
The morning will be free. You can sleep late and visit the churches by your own. Lunch at the hotel. A minibus pick us up and we travel 42 km to Yimerhane Cristos, a cave monastery built in 1126. During the journey to the monastery we will pass villages and valleys and it is a very beautiful nature experience. We eat dinner at Lalibela’s most famous restaurant, Ben Abeb. The building is inspired of Salvador Dali and situated far out on a cliff. After dinner we will visit a traditional “tetj house” where we can taste honey spirits and enjoy music and the traditional “shoulder dance”.
Trek day 1
The morning will be free. You can sleep late, take a walk in Lalibela or just enjoy yourself at a café. We have lunch together at the hotel. After lunch we will be picked up by a minibus. We will go for 92 km to the place where the trekking starts. We will pass by the house where we end the trek and if you want to you can leave your luggage there and bring a smaller backpack with spare clothes. Read more about the trek. We start with a light trek for 7 km along the mountain plateau Waddela, 2800 m above sea level. We will have an amazing view over a big valley. We will sleep at the house Ayenew Yargal in the village Kura Anbessa. When we arrive in Kura Anbessa we will be offered a snack (Ethiopian pizza) and tea or coffee. There will be time for visiting the cliffs with a panorama view as well as the church that is surrounded of olive trees and junipers. We will dine together with the villagers and we get the chance to socialize and get to know them. We will live under simple conditions which means that we have to adapt to the villagers daily life. The food will be vegetarian. We will start with a soup and then dishes of vegetables will be served, accompanied by rice or pasta.
Trek day 2
We will start early in the morning to avoid trekking during the day’s warmest hours. We will walk a distance of 14 km, losing and gaining altitude. For a good part of today’s trek the path will be stony. We will pass by the source Atse Wuha (The clever man’s water) and continue further along the plateau. We will have lunch in front of a grand panorama and there will be time to study the wildlife. We will sleep in the village Terf Amba St. Giberiale (St. Gabriel’s top flat plateau). When arriving in the village we will be offered a snack with tea or coffee. Afterwards there will be time to spend together with the villagers. Dinner will be served later in the evening.
Trek day 3
We continue along the plateau and walk past the local church. The view is fantastic and there will be opportunities to see the wild Gelda baboons that live all over the mountains, as well as rock hyrax (a sort of lemming) and a rich birdlife. You will get many good pictures during the day. We cross the dried up river Aguat wouha (milk of water). We eat lunch with a nice view over the valley and in the afternoon we will arrive to the third village, Quana Kidane Meheret. When arriving in the village we will be offered a snack with tea or coffee. Afterwards there will be time to spend together with the villagers. Dinner will be served later in the evening.
Trek day 4
We will cover a distance of 15 km today. We will pass meadows where we will see children guarding the stock and where men plough the stony fields. We walk at an altitude of 2820 m above sea level and we will meet Gelda baboons again and see a rich birdlife. As usual we have a break for lunch and in the evening we can marvel over a fantastic sunset in the mountains. We will sleep in the village Getoach Terara (Getoach mountain). Here we will experience the feeling of sharing our room with the animals, as people did in Sweden 100 years ago. During the late afternoon you can visit the village’s school and talk to the teachers and the children. As usual, there is time to socialize with the villagers and we will have dinner together in the evening.
Trek day 5
Today we will walk 20 km to the village Akat, 2900 m above sea level, where we spend the last night at Baye’s mother. Some of our guests have said that the landscape is similar to Grand Canyon (USA). Later the landscape transform to beautiful meadows where animals graze and children gather horse manure to dry and later use for fire. The landscape is green and we will pass some wetlands with a rich birdlife. The village Akat is located by the road that takes us to Barhis Dar and there is electricity in the village. On our arrival in the village we will get a snack and then we can visit the school where Baye’s sister works as a teacher. In the evening we will get dinner with the family.
Journey to Bahir Dar
We have breakfast together with Baye’s family. Then we are picked up by a minibus that will take us the 240 km to Bahir Dar. The road is smooth and the landscape we travel through is beautiful. On arriving in Bahir Dar we check in at the hotel and have lunch together. After lunch we discover Bahir Dar (300 000 inhabitants). Linnea will show where to find an ATM, the best walks along the lake and the nicest cafés and fruit juice bars. After the sightseeing there will be free time. You can go shopping, enjoy the beautiful view of the lake and just relax. We have dinner together at Desset Island, a restaurant by the lake that serves delicious fish dishes. Read more about Bahir Dar.
Day trip by boat on Lake Tana
After breakfast, our boat trip on Lake Tana starts. The lake is approximately the same size as the Swedish lake ”Vänern”. It is the source of the Nile that runs all the way to Egypt. In the lake there are 37 islands where monasteries for both monks and nuns are located. The oldest monasteries are from the 12th century. The islands have a rich fauna and we will be able to see how coffee, mango, avocado and papaya grow in the trees. During the trip you will also meet flamingos and hippopotamuses and small boats made of papyrus that the local fishermen use in the same way as 1000 years ago. Read more about Lake Tana
Back to Addis Abeba
In the early morning we fly back to Addis Abeba (a journey of 1.5 hours). We are picked up at the airport and transported to the same hotel where we stayed at during our last visit to Addis. We spend the day together with Shewangzaw Eyasu (Baye’s brother). He will show us Hayat Medical College where he studies medicine and invite us for a coffee ceremony in his house.
The day is free to spend how we want. We will have access to a minibus and can make smaller trips after your wishes. We can go to areas with nice shopping, such as Piazza, where Ethiopia’s best jewellery stores are situated. We can visit Markato, Africa’s largest market for fabrics and crafts. We can go to Ethiopias biggest textil market.