Happy tourists on Mnt Abuna Yoseph
The British FCO has now removed the travel advise against non essential travel to Eastern Amhara, (including Lalibela and the Meket & Lasta Community Treks). [See here] This means UK insurance companies policies will be valid for visits to these areas.
This change in advise has also been taken by many other western governments, all of whom have realised travel in Northern Ethiopia is safe for tourists (and has been for some time now!)
What about Gondar, Bahir Dar and the Simiens?
Giyorgis festival in Meket, villagers ready to welcome tourists
Well the British still advise against non-essential travel to these areas. We sincerely hope this will be lifted in the coming weeks too. Other western countries no longer give advise against travel even in the western parts of Amhara and Tourists are traveling though these places in quite large numbers with no problem. I myself will be traveling to the Simiens, Gondar and Bahir Dar next week and will report on my trip with photos.
If you are visiting to places where the FCO advises
Lalibela – a subterranean labyrinth of passageways
against non-essential travel, then do check with your insurance company to see if your insurance will still be valid. Some companies will provide cover for medi-vac, and other services (but not political evacuation) for areas to which the FCO advises against. Examples are TAG and BUPA Global.
So how about you plan your trip for Christmas and New Year now before all the good slots get taken! We can arrange wonderful treks on the Meket plateau or climbing mount Abuna Yoseph (4,300 m peak and home to a pack of Wolves), and give you time to make a visit to Lalibela with its labyrinth of subterranean rock hewn churches.
Tash McCarroll photo – Cloud gathering around the mountains near Erar
“A few friends and I spent a four day weekend at the end of May trekking in Tigray organised by Tesfa Tours. It was a few days that felt like weeks away from the bustle of Addis and work and we were treated to hiking in some of the most stunning landscape I have ever seen.” Tash McCarroll. Read this account of a trek in Tigray, illustrated with some of the most fabulous photos. (You will see some in the up coming Tesfa Calendar)
Curtesy of Tash McCarroll, portrait of a girl in Shimbrety.
Curtesy of Tash McCarroll, Low cloud around Erar, on a Tesfa Trek
The new Tesfa calendar is ready now. It runs from 1Sep 2012 – 31 Aug 2013.
Below is an example of one of the months pages showing common monthly Saints’ days and other holidays
This is one of other monthly photographs featured- a shot taken from one of the Tigray community guest houses
Copies available from our office. We do ask for a donation towards the community tourism. We can post abroad.
Congratulations to Simon Nazer for his great shot of tea at Mequat Mariam. Have a look at the photo in the Guardian competition
Tesfa Tours, in a meeting with representative for all the Meket communities, the local management of TESFA CbT, representatives from the Guides, and the head of Meket Woreda, agreed new prices for the new season to start from 01 August 2011. These prices take into account the devaluations in the birr over the last 12 months and the increase in costs in Ethiopia.
The basic price will now be 800 birr + VAT per night, with the communities still keeping the same percentages: –
Hosting Community – 380 birr (47.5%)
Community providing Lunch – 55 birr (6.9%)
Guiding Enterprise – 205 birr (25.6%)
Marketing & booking contribution – 160 birr (20%)
These new prices will be likely adopted by all TESFA Communities.
Our intention is to keep the prices at around $45USD per night. If there is any major devaluation we may need to change the prices before the end of the 2011/12 season.