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Take on a unique adventure and witness the elaborate and highly stylised rituals and parades alongside the thousands of pilgrims who flock to the 13th Century rock-hewn churches in Lalibela.
Once the celebration is over, you'll hike into the picturesque Gheralta mountains visiting rock churches carved into the mountainside amidst the beautiful natural landscape and wildlife.
“What a wild adventure with YellowWood in Ethiopia! I have no words to describe the beauty of this country and the experience of walking through it. This was my first ever hiking holiday and I would recommend it to anyone.” Jessica Henrich
Our adventure begins with a tour of this liveliest of cities including its Cathedral, National Museum and Merkato. Tonight, we will watch traditional musicians and dancers performing different tribal dances in a culture house before dinner at a restaurant and visits to a jazz club or two.
A short flight takes us to the historic town of Lalibela where we will begin our guided tour of the most famous of all the monuments in Ethiopia, the ancient 13th Century rock-hewn churches. Our local professional guide will lead us through the intricate system of underground passages that link the incredibly beautiful eleven churches at this UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Today, we'll get the opportunity to experience the rituals, music, food and dancing of the Genna Festival. We will share food with the local people and perhaps even partake in some of their delicious honey wine, ‘tej’, which is always drank throughout the festival.
The views are incredible as we drive from Lalibela to the Gheralta Mountains until we reach our overnight lodge with fantastic vistas of the area. We can explore the surrounding area and town before settling into a fabulous dinner prepared by the lodge.
We'll hike up to view inside the delightful Abuna Abraham rock church; the views both inside and out are breathtaking. Tonight we'll camp under the biggest sycamore tree in the region, a beautiful spot where many of the local exotic birds flock to nest in its branches.
We'll climb Mt. Kemmer, the highest mountain in the Gheralta range, affording panoramic views of the surrounding mountains and desert plateau of Tigray. We'll also pass by a tiny rock hermitage carved into the mountainside before reaching our camp in Agoza village.
We'll reach the 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. We'll celebrate with a barbecue of fresh meat and beer brought up from the nearest village, a campfire and dancing!
Today we'll visit either the world-renowned Abuna Yemata or the beautiful Mariam Koko rock churches; depending on your preferences. For those who brave the climb, it is one of the most incredible things you will ever see! We'll then catch our flight back to Addis Ababa for our celebratory group dinner at one of the best restaurants in town.
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