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.
Entrance to Mikael & Golgotta in Lalibela
On 19th June Lalibela celebrates a big double festival, as it is both an annual day for St Mikael (Senay Mikael) and the anniversary of the death of the Saint-King Lalibela. This is the biggest celebration in Lalibela after Gena (Christmas) and attracts many Ethiopian pilgrims from the surrounding area to see the festival … but few tourists.
On the eve of the day itself, there will be singing and chanting around Bete Mikael & Golgotta (where the Saint-King is buried), and in the morning the two Tabots (Mikael and Lalibela) will be paraded out to a nearby tent with great pomp and celebration, and an hour or so after will return to the church.
Later on you should see the market – although it is a Friday there will be an especially big market that day in town, full of livestock and other local produce.
This is a day you should not miss!
Tesfa Tours are offering an all inclusive 4 day package for $700 USD per person (minimum group 2 people) including local flights (based on having local resident cards or national ID), transport, accommodation at the best hotel in town, entry fees & guides, AND two nights trekking in Meket with the local communities as your hosts. (Only excludes meals and drink in Lalibela, bottled drinks on the trek and personal expenses and gratuities etc). Please email email@example.com for more details.
Chris and Katie (December 18, 2011)
We did the “rugged trek”, starting in Yadukulay and finishing in Geneta Mariam, over 4 nights/5 days. We would highly recommend this tour to anyone who is interested in seeing great landscapes, life in rural Ethiopia and staying in accommodation with breathtaking scenery…….
Fiona and Brian (November 28, 2011)
Just back from a 3 week trip to Ethiopia. The highlight of the trip was our Tesfa 4 day walk. We stayed at Mequat Miriam, Wajela and Aterow. It was a fantastic experience and we loved every bit of it. The scenery was breathtaking, the people welcoming and friendly and our guide was excellent……
Prudence Chaiban & family (October 27, 2011 with her husband and two children)
Since our trek in April 2011, I have been recommending TESFA tours to all my friends and anyone that cares for transformational travel experience. Words are not enough to describe our TESFA trek in Tigray, northern Ethiopia…….
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