Ethiopia: Simina & Gheralta Mountains

Sold by: Yellow Wood Adventures

Our journey takes us across two of the finest mountain ranges that Ethiopia has to offer: the Simien Mountains with unparalleled views of the great natural amba towers of stone, and the Gheralta Mountains, where pious monks carved churches way up high into its mountainsides. We will also visit the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Lalibela, known as the ‘New Jerusalem’ due to the stunning eleven 13th Century rock-hewn churches that still stand there to this day.

Itinerary:

  1. Journey begins in Addis Ababa.
  2. Fly to Gondar.
  3. Begin Simien Mountains Trek.
  4. Sankober to Gich Camp.
  5. Gich to Chennek Camp.
  6. Chennek to Gondar.
  7. Gondar to Lalibela.
  8. Guided tour of Rock Churches.
  9. Fly from Lalibela to Gheralta Mountains.
  10. Begin Gheralta Mountains Trek.
  11. Debre Zion to giant sycamore tree camp.
  12. Sycamore tree to Agoza camp.
  13. Agoza to Koraro camp.
  14. Journey ends in Addis Ababa.
  15. Fly out of Addis Ababa.

Overview:

  1. Fourteen nights based on twin sharing.
  2. Fourteen breakfasts, lunches and dinners included with all transfers, guides and porters.
  3. Airport taxes, tips, souvenirs are excluded in overall price.

DAY 1 – Journey begins in Addis Ababa: 

The group meets for lunch and a tour of the city including the Cathedral, National Museum and Merkato. Experience the lively culture of the city in the evening watching traditional tribal dances in a Culture House, accompanied by a band using traditional instruments. Enjoy your evening with dinner in a restaurant and even explore a jazz club or two.

Note : Lunch and dinner is included. Alongside an overnight stay at a hotel.

DAY 2 – Fly to Gondar:

Upon arrival in the mountain town, visit the impressive castle grounds in the center of the town, as well as the Light of the Trinity church. Dinner can be followed by a trip to the Dashen brewery’s excellent outside bar which is a short drive down the hill via tuk tuk. The hotel is situated on a hilltop with beautiful sunset views for you to enjoy.

Note : Breakfast lunch and dinner is included. Alongside an overnight stay at a hotel.

DAY 3 – Begin Simien Mountains trek:

Your transport will drop you off in the park for a short first-day trek to ease you in to the altitude and mountain terrain. The route passing along the edge of a great chasm that overlooks the incredible vista of the Simiens: a patchwork of fields of teff and other crops between the swirling peaks. See troops of Ghelada baboons reclining in this area until you reach Sankober camp from where you can enjoy our dinner at sunset.

Note : Breakfast, lunch and dinner is included. Alongside hiking and overnight camping.

DAY 4 – Sankober to Gich camp:

The trek begins today in earnest with incredible views of a giant waterfall from a bulwark of stone that stretches out into an immense valley. Pass through a local village and cross the river that feeds the waterfall where shepherds will often bring their flocks to drink, before we reach your remote highland camp of Gich.

Note : Breakfast, lunch and dinner is included. Alongside hiking and overnight camping.

DAY 5 – Gich to Chennek camp:

Today there is the opportunity to walk to the top of a small peak just off from the trail with its summit affording 360° views of the Simien Mountains’ most spectacular mountainscape. A stunning ridgeline decent leads you to your final campsite at Chennek, where you can often see the majestic Walia Ibex crazing close to the camp.

Note : Breakfast, lunch and dinner is included. Alongside hiking and overnight camping.

DAY 6 – Chennek to Gondar:

From Chennek you can climb the third highest mountain in the country Mt. Bwahit (4437m), with views across a single valley to Mt. Ras Dashen (4550m), the highest mountain in Ethiopia. After descending, return by bus to Gondar for a night in the hotel. The last climb is optional but most certainly recommended as the views are fantastic, being right in the very heart of the mountain range.

Note : Breakfast, lunch and dinner is included. Alongside hiking and an overnight stay at the hotel.

DAY 7 – Gondar to Lalibela:

After a full day’s drive, a good opportunity to get some rest, but also to take in the true scale and beauty of the diverse landscape of the country, arrive in the historic town of Lalibela. Stay in a Mountain View lodge with wonderful views with a group dinner in its excellent restaurant.

Note : Breakfast, lunch and dinner is included. Alongside a joy-ride and an overnight stay at the lodge.

DAY 8 – Guided tour of rock churches:

Today the professional local guide who will take you around the eleven 13th Century rock-hewn churches of the UNESCO World Heritage Site. All the churches are connected by passages and tunnels cut into the rocks, exploring these masterpieces of architecture in what is known as Ethiopia’s ‘New Jerusalem’. Its monks, nuns and pilgrims worshipping, singing and praying amid the incense and candlelight.

Note : Breakfast, lunch and dinner is included. Alongside hiking and an overnight stay at the hotel.

DAY 9 -Fly from Lalibela to Gheralta Mountains:

Take the short flight from Lalibela’s airport to the city of Makale, then drive for two hours to the mountain lodge with fantastic vistas of the range from a rocky outcrop within the enclosure. The Gheralta Mountains range is reminiscent of a hollywood ‘Spaghetti Western’ filmset – it is a real treat.

Note : Breakfast lunch and dinner is included. Alongside an overnight stay at the lodge.

DAY 10 – Begin Gheralta Mountains Trek:

Your second trek begins! Start by ascending to take in the magnificence of the area. Visit Yohannes    Makudi rock church, which you will view inside alongside all the other churches high up in the mountains, before descending down to the campsite, situated in the beautiful Debre Zion valley with cactus, olive, sycamore and eucalyptus trees.

Note : Breakfast, lunch and dinner is included. Alongside hiking and overnight camping.

DAY  11 – Debre Zion to giant sycamore tree camp:

View the delightful Abuna Abraham rock church, which again requires a good climb in order to reach it; the views both inside and out always making the excursion worth it however. Tonight, camp under the biggest sycamore tree in the region, a wonderful spot where many of the local exotic birds flock to nest in its branches.

Note : Breakfast, lunch and dinner is included. Alongside hiking and overnight camping.

DAY 12 – Sycamore tree to Agoza camp:

On the way you can climb Mt. Kemmer, the highest mountain in the Gheralta range affording 360° views of the surrounding mountains and desert plateau of Tigray. Pass by a tiny rock hermitage carved into the mountainside before reaching your camp in Agoza village, where you will camp in the grounds of the local school, chatting with the villagers that often congregate there.

Note : Breakfast, lunch and dinner is included. Alongside hiking and overnight camping.

DAY  13 – Agoza to Koraro camp:

This hike takes you up to beautiful Abuna Gebre Michael rock church carved deep into the mountainside and adorned with magnificent frescos. Continue to follow the priest down a narrow natural defile cut through the rock of the mountain which leads to your campsite. This is situated in the lee of an enormous natural cave with a sandy floor for our tents. Celebrate with a barbecue of fresh meat and beer brought up from the nearest village, a campfire and dancing!

Note : Breakfast, lunch and dinner is included. Alongside hiking and overnight camping.

DAY  14 Journey ends in Addis Ababa:

Drive from Koraro to visit either the world-renowned Abuna Yemata or the beautiful Mariam Koko rock churches. Depending on your preferences as the climb to Abuna Yemata is rather steep, requiring simple ropes and a harness for one particular spot as you ascend the giant stalagmite. For those who brave the climb it is one of the most incredible things you will ever see! Continue to drive to Mekele Airport for your flight back to Addis Ababa for your final group dinner at one of the best restaurants in town.

Note : Breakfast, lunch and dinner is included. Alongside hiking and overnight camping.

DAY  15 Fly out of Addis Ababa:

After breakfast you will be escorted to the airport for your departure back home.

 

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Ethiopia: Simina & Gheralta Mountains

From: £2,000.00

International and national flights are not included in the adventure price. Clients will need to purchase three national flights for this adventure; Addis Ababa to Gondar, Lalibela to Makale & Makale to Addis Ababa costing approximately GBP£345*

*Up to a 50% discount is available if clients’ international carrier is Ethiopian Airlines

Visa fees are excluded.

Insurance is not included yet is mandatory for this excursion

Beginner – intermediate max. 5 hours hiking in a day

Available between 10th – Sat 24th of November 2018

Optional extras: Horse riding, single accommodation.

14 Nights / 15 Days

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