How about a weekend spending time hiking up to see the Mountain Gorillas on the slopes of volcanos in the Virunga National Park?
Virunga National Park is home to more than 1/4 of the world’s critically endangered Mountain Gorillas.
Of the few remaining places left in the world to see the mountain gorillas, Virunga National Park stands alone as the most exotic. Mountain gorillas are highly intelligent, good natured, and fascinating to observe.
Whether you’re admiring one of majestic silverbacks or enjoying seeing the younger members of the family, we guarantee the experience will leave you awestruck and forever changed.
All treks are led by Virunga park rangers and depart from Bukima patrol post. Treks usually require 1 – 2 hours of hiking in each direction, depending where the gorillas spent the previous night and the difficulty of the terrain.
Long Weekend in Virunga – Suggested Itinerary:
Friday – Arrive at Goma (there are direct flights from Addis to Goma!) and you will be transported to Kibumba Camp. Overnight Kibumba Camp.
Saturday – After an early breakfast, you will leave for your gorilla trek. The trek will take between 3 to 6 hours depending where the gorillas are. After the trek – return back to camp and spend the rest of the afternoon relaxing or going for a small evening walk to see the lake that is in a crater. Overnight Kibumba Camp.
Sunday – After Breakfast, leave for Kibati which is the start of the trek up Nyiragongo. Nyiragongo is the world’s largest lava lake. The trek takes between 4 – 6 hours. Overnighting in the shelters on the summit, one can watch the lava lake for hours.
Monday – Trek down the volcano, which takes approx 4 hours. Transfer from Kibati to Goma.
High Season Rate (Mid May to Mid October and Mid December to Mid March): Double/Twin: $1,100 per person /Single: $1200
Low Season Rate (Mid March to Mid May and Mid October to Mid December): Double/Twin: $900 per person / Single: $1000
Kibumba Camp will open mid July 2017. It is the most affordable camp in Virunga. It is a traditional tented camp with ensuite facilities. Offering easy access to the gorillas and Nyiragongo.
- Directly East of Kibumba Village on the edge of the National Park
- Access by road
- 18 tents, two dining room and a lounge
- Run entirely by a dedicated staff of Congolese
- Views of Mt Mikeno, Karasimbi, Nyiragongo, Nyamulagira and some days the Albertine Rift.
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org for more information or to make a booking.
To safeguard the health of Virunga’s gorillas, visitors will be provided with surgical masks to wear when in the presence of the gorillas.
As moutain gorillas are extremely susceptible to human illness, we do ask that if guests are feeling unwell at the time of the scheduled trek that they please cancel.
photo of Ras Dashen while on a Tesfa Trek in Simiens, curtesy of Kevin Rushby
We have one male American client flying into Ethiopia in mid May who would like to do a trek at the new Simien village guesthouses (but would also be happy to trek on other routes). He is looking for someone to team up with.
If you would also like to do some trekking in stunning scenery please contact us to arrange your trip.
photo of Ras Dashen while on a Tesfa Trek in Simiens, by permission of Kevin Rushby (posted on Instagram)
If you have been on a Tesfa trek before then why not try something new?
We have opened new guesthouses in the Simien Mountains. They are situated to the south of the National Park, in a woreda called Janamora. To access this area, until the new service roads are built you drive through the National park past Sankober and Geech, and over the back of Bwahit mountain, then down to Mekhane Berhan. There are 3 guesthouses, Taga Mariam, Khalid Abo, and Timbala, and we suggest a minimum of 4 nights, including a visit to the market at Wossen on Thursdays and Saturdays. On the final day we would suggest trekking back up towards the park and getting picked up just south of Bwahit to
Khalid Abo guesthouses
either camp at Chenek or stay in one of the lodges in the park – Simien Mountain Lodge or Limalimo Lodge.
View of Seheta Guesthouse
We have also opened a new guesthouse in Tigray in the midst of the trekking we offer in the Agame Massif. The new guesthouse at Seheta, is set just above several farms on the edge of the village and is a great base to use to explore the valleys and local churches. Again we would recommend spending several days at Seheta. At this time of year there are feasts held daily in the villages and you would be most welcome to join in. You can also link staying here with a stay in one of the other longer established guesthouses in the area.
Tigray offers great walking with wonderful views
What are your plans for the school break at the end of May? How about a few days walking as a guest of the communities in Wollo or Tigray.
The rains are far less as you travel north and in Tigray the soil is sandy so there is no mud. Most rain happens in the evening if at all. But the little that has fallen has greened up the landscape a bit. In Tigray it is also the start of the Prickly Pear season.
Tehlo ceremony in Tigray, a common celebration meal at the priest parties
So why not come along and let the villagers show you how life is in the countryside and blow the Addis cobwebs out of the system. You will return with batteries fully recharged!
A 3 night walking holiday for a family of 4 people (2 adults, 1 teenager and 1 child under 12) will cost $635.00 USD including meal, guide and local drinks.
Transport in Tigray in a good condition 4WD from airport (Axum or Mekele) to trek and back to airport will cost $225 USD. On the way in and out why not take in a rock church- one of the
Kids enjoy riding (& feeding) horses on the trek
many in Tigray.
In Wollo transport from and back to Lalibela airport or town will cost up to $150USD depending on the trekking route (using a minibus).
While up in Lalibela or Tigray why not add a day to see the sites. We can make arrangements for hotels, lodges and guides.
Mequat Mariam Scones for breakfast
Ertale caldera – feel the heat of a live volcano
Why not come and se the spectacular Ertale Volcano, and the Dalol salt flats with their mineral deposits? Its like no place on earth!
We have two clients looking to make a trip to the Danakil within the period 17th November -28th November.
An ideal group size is 4-6 people. We do not like sending large groups.
Spectacular mineral deposits at Dalol
We have expert guides and drivers and the best rugged Toyota Hardtops (landcruisers) with A/C electric windows etc, to make sure your trip is safe and comfortable.
We take a good cook and equipment from Mekele including a camping shower and toilet.
We take jerrycans of good drinking water from the highlands to save the environmental cost of taking too many plastic bottles although we do take some plastic water bottles. All along the route local people – police, local guards and guides etc – demand water.
Tesfa Tours own well-maintained 4WDs
Prices vary upon the final numbers. If you are interested email email@example.com for more details, or call Tigi on 011 126 0303 or 011 124 5178, or alternatively pop in to our office on Kebena roundabout in Addis.
Caravans carry the salt from the Danakil
Salt and other mineral deposits take strange shapes and interesting colours
Salt is still cut and taken from Danakil
Mineral springs – very colourful
Rainbow comes out over the mountains in Tigray
The Kremt rains (as the season is called) officially begins on Senay 26 ( 3rd July) according to the old church calendar and runs till Meskerem 25 (this year that will be 6th October). For those new to Addis it does not rain all day every day, but by mid August it will begin to feel like it has! For those hankering for a bit of sun, it does not rain all over the country, and certainly other parts of Ethiopia are not as wet as Addis. The Rift valley gets more frequent showers and some sweeping rain, but when the sun comes out its a good deal warmer, but up north in Tigray it stays bright. Most mornings dawn with a blue sky and cloud does not roll in till later on in the afternoon. With the sandy soil keeping the paths more dry, we keep the community treks open all through the Kremt.
Prickly Pear – the Beles fruit, from the Cactus
So why not make a long weekend trip and come on up to Tigray? The Prickly Pears (Cactus fruit called ‘Beles’) ripen and can be eaten along the way, the mountains green up and it is very beautiful. If you would like to end with a night at Gheralta Lodge, there are special low season prices to make it more attractive.
A 3 night trip, with 2 nights at the community guest houses and one night at Gheralta Lodge will cost $645 per person including local flights (with Ethiopian ID or resident card), and 4 WD transport. Excludes church entry. For full details see Journey in the mountains of Tigray
Visit Gondar, spend 2 nights on a Tesfa Trek & see Lalibela for just $1,400USD per person for 4 nights and 5 days including local flights, hotels, entry fees, transfers, guides etc.
Mequat Mariam, perched on the edge of the Meket Escarpment
This short trip out of Addis enables you to see the two old capitals of Ethiopia that have shaped its history over the last eight hundred years, and in the process visit some of its most beautiful churches. In between these visits take a few days walking in stunning countryside with local communities hosting your stay. Travel through an Ethiopia few get to see, still steeped in its ancient past. It is a country and a people with a fierce pride in their own special history and culture.
On the walk you will also get a chance to see some of its extraordinary wildlife and birds. You will see much in 5 days, an unforgettable taste of this remarkable country.
Giyorgis Church in Lalibela,