ADDIS ABABA ARRIVAL
Welcome in Addis Ababa! Your guide picks you up and escorts you to your hotel. The rest of the day is free of leisure.
ADDIS ABABA: CITYTOUR (B)
Today explore Addis, the lively capital of your holidays! In the National Museum, one of the most important sub- Saharan museums of Africa, you have the chance to meet ‘Lucy’ - your very famous ancestor. The Ethnological Museum set within Haile Selassie's former palace shows superb artefacts and handicrafts from Ethiopia’s people and gives you the possibility to explore Haile Selassie’s preserved private rooms. The Holy Trinity Cathedral is the second-most important place of worship in Ethiopia, also displays the final resting place of Emperor Haile Selassie and his wife Empress Menen Asfaw. Plan to be overwhelmed by having a little insight in Africa’s biggest open air market with approximately 13.000 people being employed there – The MERCATO.
ADDIS ABABA – LALIBELA (B)
An early flight brings you to the legendary Lalibela, one of Ethiopia’s most holy and important places, where you find eleven below ground level rock-cut churches underneath your feet. After arrival, check into your hotel and enjoy some free time for relaxation and acclimatization to the height. Go for a stroll or check out the churches on your own. Since honey from Lalibela is holy, it is highly recommended to enjoy the evening in a traditional honey-wine-house (a TEJ-house) where they serve this very special drink, traditional food which will get you into dancing mood with ESKISTA - the mesmerizing traditional dance and songs of this region.
LALIBELA: WORLD HERITAGE CHURCHES TOUR (B)
After breakfast till mid-day you head out with your guide for the north-western cluster of churches: Bet Medhane Alem, Bet Maryam, Bet Meskel, Bet Danaghel, Bet Mikael & Bet Golgotha. Churches are during lunch time, so that you continue with the south- eastern cluster of churches: Bet Gabriel Rafael, Bet Merkorios, Bet Emanuel, and Bet Abba Libanos in the afternoon. At the end of the day visit the most famous of all: Bet Giyorgis.
Ad Medhane Alem
LALIBELA – AD MEDHANE ALEM (B, L D)
Say goodbye to the ‘normal life’ and start right away from your hotel door your Ethiopian trekking adventure! A short walk out of the city and you are in the beautiful Lasta Mountains. Pass the still working mountain monastery, Asheten Maryam, during your hike. Here, you also have a break with some snacks, the view is beautiful, you will love it. Continue then towards the plateau Merababu. From the plateau, you walk to the escarpment of Ad Medhane Alem and the view over the land is (apart from climbing up there anyway) breathtaking. Last part of this days trek is the hike to the village Ad Medhane Alem. You will be introduced to a farmer’s family, enjoy the traditional Ethiopian coffee ceremony and hopefully still have a bit of time left before it gets dark, so you can walk around and have your first impression of an Ethiopian farmers life.
Walking Distance: 3,6km; Duration: 6-8 Hours
Overnight: Ad Medhane Alem
AD MEDHANE ALEM – WODEBYE ABO (B, L, D)
After breakfast, start a shorter trek this day passing by tiny Ethiopian farmers huts, many happy and curious children, farmers working on their fields, cows and sheep’s crazing freely – to our Abune Yosef Eco Lodge on Wedebye Abo, close to the village called Tigu Kebele. The Tukuls (the traditional Ethiopian round stone/mud huts) are a 15 – 20 minutes’ walk away from Tigu Kebele, situated on approx. 4000m. You will have lunch and later on the possibility to walk over to Tigu Kebele, having a coffee, checking out the village, see how the locals work, taking part on their daily things to do. It's a very tiny village. There are only a few traditional huts in which the people live as farmers with their families: no electricity, no machines, all done by hand. You will find yourself taken back in times you might not be able to imagine that it's still existing in this world. It's really something touching and strong seeing this.
Walking Distance: 3,8km; Duration: 3-4hours
Overnight: Wodebye Abo
WODEBYE ABO: RIM GEDELAND ZIGIT PEAKS/ RIMGEDEL (B, L, D)
You will have an early breakfast at the lodge/with the locals and off you go! To see the famous Gelada Baboons, which live in huge hordes there. And: if you get up really early you will go and search the places where the Ethiopian Wolf is still to be seen. There are around 80 animals of this absolutely rare species living up on Abune Yoseph, apart from leopards and hyenas, birds... but, no worries, they are shy and won't hurt you! Then walk to the other side of the mountains, where you have the most impressive view over mountains, mountains and mountains... it feels like being on top of the world. You also wander to the small and big Ziggits, beautiful peaks of the area. If you want to, you can climb to the very top of the highest mountain here, called Rim Gedel (4284mtr, 5-6 hours). If you don't feel like hiking that day, you are very welcome to join the daily activities of the locals in Tigu Kebele: they will show you how to milk a cow, how to prepare and bake Injera (the famous and very original Ethiopian bread), you can help the farmers harvesting, visit the local mountain school – you even can teach here – or you run out with the youngsters, helping them to herd the animals.
Walking Distance: 4,284 km; Duration: 5-6hours
Overnight: Wodebye Abo
Area of Yimrehane Kristos
WODEBYE ABO – YIMREHANKE KRISTOS (B, L, D)
Start your hike from the lodge/village to the also famous and truly beautiful church of Yimrehane Kristos, which is even older than the Lalibelas churches. The scenery of today’s hike is different from what you have seen in the days before, the hike is not steep and mainly goes downhill till the church, you will even walk in a green, thousand years old holy forest of huge Juniper trees. A visit to this very atmospheric church and a round tour in the small cave with it’s thousands of openly seen skeletons will impress you.
Walking Distance: 2,4km
Overnight: Area of Yimrehane Kristos
YIMREHANKE KRISTOS – LALIBELA (B, L, D)
Cross the plateau Dagosach in the morning, where you can find many small villages. From there, go down to the valley Medage, the fruit and vegetable supplier of Lalibela, of course it shows a rich vegetation. A last uphill trek brings you back into town and 'civilization'. You also can choose to drive back from Yemrehane with a 4WD (this we need to know BEFORE you start the trek in Lalibela)
Walking Distance: 2,6km; Duration: 8hours
LALIBELA – ADDIS ABABA (B, D)
After arrival in Addis Ababa, the afternoon is free for last minute shopping (for instance Merkato) or resting before meeting with everybody for a nice, last dinner together, sharing hopefully nice memories and stories of your travel in Ethiopia.
Overnight: Addis Ababa
ADDIS ABABA DEPARTURE (B)
Depending on your flight time, you are transferred to the airport for your flight back home or onward journey.