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.
St Gabriel’s day in Addis Ababa
Yesterday’s St. Gabriel’s day is one of the biggest saint’s days in the Ethiopian Calendar. The holy Tabot is paraded around the church as thousands of worshipers attend services at the Gabriel church in the city centre (behind the palace above Cassanchis).The roads leading to the church are closed to traffic.
Most women will wear traditional white cotton dresses and shawls and men will where a Gabi – a white cotton blanket – over their clothes. Back at home grass will be laid out over the floor for a coffee ceremony, incense will be burned and special home baked traditional bread will be shared out.
Addis Ababa might be modernising at a fast and furious rate, but the old traditions remain in place.
PS – note the leaning building in the photo. If you look closely you will see that they could not decide whether the windows should conform to the lean or be horizontal! Its a strange one for sure…
To facilitate easier payment we now take major credit cards in payment for our holidays. If you bring the credit card to our office we have a terminal and you will be asked to enter your PIN number. If we take your details remotely we need an email or text authorising this along with a photocopy of your passport and front and back of the credit card.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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
The Cover of Tesfa Calendar, Photo by Tash McCarroll
The new calendar which starts on 1st September 2015 and runs till August 2016, is just being finalised. Copies should be available from Monday 17th August.For those that have not seen this before, it combines the western and Ethiopian calendars, showing both sets of dates and the main saints days, fasts and festivals.
It is a must have for foreigners living in Ethiopia and a vital tools for anyone planning trips, reconciling documents with Ethiopian dates on, understanding the saints days etc.
The pages for each month – showing all the holidays and both dates
It is also illustrated with beautiful photographs from the Tesfa community treks in Wollo and Tigray. Many of the photos of Tigray this year are taken by Tash McCarroll.
We are asking for 200 birr per Calendar, proceeds will go to support the community tourism and the communities themselves. We can post them abroad and will need to charge for the postage.
If you would like a calendar please email us on email@example.com.
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