Tesfa Tours was set up in 2010 to take on the mantle of promoting the community tourism that has been developed in Ethiopia under Mark Chapman's guidance since 1999.
We believe community tourism means holidays that support local communities, but we also believe that holidays must give our guests a wonderful time.
We work closely with the communities, the guides and other stakeholders to ensure the success of this special ‘project’, which now involves over 20 communities serving food and hosting guests in both the Wollo (Lalibela) and Tigray areas.
Our holidays all include a key element of this community tourism.
We believe that true community tourism is a partnership between philanthropic businesses and community run enterprises. This partnership should enable local communities to generate sustainable improvements in their livelihood through the development of their own tourism related enterprises, while also contributing to the protection of their physical and cultural environments.
"Let us develop a personal itinerary with you so that you can see the best of this wonderful country."Mark Chapman, Founder
Each hosting community is based around sub groups of a local parish church.
They are registered as cooperatives and are run for the benefit of all their members.
There may be as many at 300 households in one such community, probably around 1,500 people.
So the income a community makes from hosting you really does go to the community level!
My 19 year old son and I did a three day trek west of Lalibela and absolutely loved it. The walking wasn’t too challenging which was a good thing as we are not used to the altitude. The scenery is stunning, the communities we lodged with welcoming, the food was varied and always delicious. We were really well cared for and deeply touched to be allowed to visit peoples homes, to see how they live, cook and care for their animals. I particularly loved watching the chickens climb up to roost on a purpose built mud shelf above the cooking area! We were delighted to find a family of Gelada baboons digging for breakfast beside us as we set off one morning. I would recommend this tour to anyone wanting to see the pastural face of Africa and come up close to its wonderfully rich wild life. Thank you Tesfa.