Rating in Ethiopia
$ 1642

Lalibela & Gheralta Mountains Adventure, Ethiopia

Trekking  +  walking
Trekking + walking
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Route complexity
min $ 1642
Per person
Tour details
Destinations: Addis Ababa, Tigray
Guide language: English
Price: min $ 1642 — max $ 1832
Group size: min 4 — max 12
Duration: 9 days
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  • Description
  • Itinerary
  • What's included

Description

On this stunning adventure we will explore beautiful ancient rock-hewn churches carved high up into the mountainsides of the mind-blowing formations of Gheralta Mountains. We will camp in beautifully situated campsites such as under a giant sycamore tree and in a huge natural cave; meeting local villages along the way and learning about their culture as our unique route takes us through many villages and farmsteads, very rarely visited by foreigners.

We will regularly meet with local villagers and learn how they perform activities such as the famous coffee ceremony and the making of their staple food; injera. Our stay in a beautiful mountain lodge overlooking the ‘Spaghetti-Western’-like silhouettes of the Gheralta Mountains at sunset precedes our completely unique five-day trek, taking us through these remote mountains and friendly local villages.

The tour includes a tour around Addis Ababa, and also the historic town of Lalibela, where a local guide will take us around the UNESCO World Heritage Site’s ancient 13th Century rock-hewn churches, commonly referred to as ‘The Eighth Wonder of the World’.

Itinerary

Day 1: Journey begins in Addis Ababa 

Our adventure begins with a tour of this liveliest of cities including its Cathedral, National Museum and Merkato. In the evening we will watch traditional musicians and dancers performing different tribal dances in a culture house before dinner at a restaurant and a jazz club or two for any interested parties.

Day 2: Addis Ababa to Lalibela

We hop on our short one-hour national flight to the historic town of Lalibela where we will begin our guided tour of the ancient 13th Century rock-hewn churches, easily the most famous of all the monuments across this enormous country. Our professional local guide will lead us through the intricate system of underground passages that link the incredibly beautiful eleven churches in the UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Day 3: Lalibela to Gheralta Mountains

We catch the morning flight to Makale (an entire day's drive away) to explore this interesting city and learn about the Italian occupation there. We will drive for two hours north to the Gheralta Mountain range where our first night will be spent in a lodge with fantastic vistas of its formations. We can explore the surrounding area and town before settling in to a fantastic dinner prepared by the lodge.

Day 4: Begin Gheralta Mountains Trek

After being dropped off closer to the range, we will immediately ascend to take in the magnificence of the area. We will visit Yohannes Makudi rock church, which we will view inside along with all the other churches high up in the mountains, before descending down to our campsite, situated in the beautiful Debre Zion valley with cactus, olive, sycamore and eucalyptus trees.

Day 5: Debre Zion to giant sycamore tree camp

We will view the delightful Abuna Abraham rock church, which again requires a good climb in order to reach it; the views both inside and out always making the excursion worth it however. Tonight we will camp under the biggest sycamore tree in the region, a wonderful spot where many of the local exotic birds flock to nest in its branches.

Day 6: Sycamore tree to Agoza camp

On the way we can climb Mt. Kemmer, the highest mountain in the Gheralta range affording 360° views of the surrounding mountains and desert plateau of Tigray. We will also pass by a tiny rock hermitage carved into the mountainside before reaching our camp in Agoza village, where we will camp in the grounds of the local school, chatting with the villagers that often congregate there.

Day 7: Agoza to Koraro camp

Our hike takes us up to beautiful Abuna Gebre Michael rock church carved deep into the mountainside and adorned with magnificent frescos. We then follow the priest down a narrow natural defile cut through the rock of the mountain which leads to our campsite. This is situated in the lee of an enormous natural cave with a sandy floor for our tents. We celebrate with a barbecue of fresh meat and beer brought up from the nearest village, a campfire and dancing!

Day 8: Journey ends in Addis Ababa

We will drive from Koraro to visit either the world-renowned Abuna Yemata or the beautiful Mariam Koko rock churches; depending on your preferences as the climb to Abuna Yemata is rather steep, requiring simple ropes and a harness for one particular spot as you ascend the giant stalagmite. This being said, for those who brave the climb it is one of the most incredible things you will ever see! We then drive to Mekele Airport for our flight back to Addis Ababa for our final group dinner at one of the best restaurants in town.

Day 9: Fly out from Addis Ababa

What's included

  • 8 nights based on twin sharing
  • 8 Breakfasts, 8 Lunches, 8 Dinners
  • Includes all transfers, guides and porters
All tour descriptions and conditions are given in accordance with the information of YellowWood Adventures
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