Semein Mountain Trekking And Lalibela Tour 9 days

 
  • Private tour
  • Solo friendly
  • Family friendly
  • Eco Responsible

On this 9 days private tour you will have a chance to see the unique parts of the planet: Lalibela rock-hewn churches and the Simien Mountains known for many endemic species and one of the major highlands of Africa, with its top peak - Ras Dejen (4620m) being the fourth highest peak in the continent.


Day 1 Addis Ababa

Meet at the group hotel in Addis Ababa. A one-way transfer is provided. Our services begin with lunch and afterwards, we set off on a city tour which includes its museums, churches and the 'Mercato'. Addis’ central produce market is the largest in East Africa and has an array of fascinating goods and colourful people. It is a perfect place for exploration and people watching.

At an altitude of over 2200 meters, in the foothills of Mount Entoto, Addis Ababa is one of the highest capital cities in the world. On account of the need to acclimatise, we will take it easy on our first day in the country.

Overnight at the group hotel.

We will drive 80km for pick up and city tour.

Transportation: Minibus

Accommodation: Monarch Hotel or similar

Day 2 Debark (2700m) - Senkaber

In the morning we will take a domestic flight to Gondar and make the scenic 2 to 3-hour drive from Gondar to Debark. Debark is a small market town at an altitude of 2700 meters close to the boundary of the Simien Mountains National Park. It's a colourful and busy market area surrounded by corrugated-iron-roofed buildings and an odd, small lighthouse-like structure, the minaret of the local mosque.

Before entering the park, we have to register at the park headquarters just outside the town. Here we will be joined by our park guide and armed scouts - one of the park regulations. We have time for some last-minute buying of provisions and then complete our drive to Senkaber where we camp for the night. En route, we pass through pretty country, the foothills of the Simien Mountains, with carefully tended fields, open pasture with grazing horses, stands of trees and distant rocky peaks. At the high-point of the road, there are superb views across the weirdly eroded foothills of the range and we may also be lucky enough to spot our first lammergeiers and gelada baboons of the trip.

The Simien Mountains Massif is one of the major highlands of Africa, a broad plateau, cut off to the north and west by an enormous single crag over 60 kilometres long. To the south, the tableland slopes gently down to 2,200 meters, divided by gorges 1,000 meters deep which can take more than two days to cross. Insufficient geological time has elapsed to smooth the contours of the crags and buttresses of hardened basalt, rising to the highest point in Ethiopia, Ras Dejen (4620m), which is the fourth highest peak in the continent.

We will drive 120km.

Transportation: Minibus

Accommodation: Camping

Day 3 Michwahtis Valley - Jinbar River - Geech Camp (3600m) - Kadadit Viewpoint

Our first day of trekking. We meet our muleteers and the trekking equipment is loaded onto their mules. Starting out, we descend into the Michwahtis Valley and begin the climb up the other side, making a short diversion to see one of the most impressive sights in the Simien Mountains, where the Jinbar River plummets into the Geech Abyss.

On our left-hand side, the land rises up steeply to a high plateau, where there are eroded pinnacles and steep cliffs, the home of gelada baboons, ibex and Egyptian vultures. There is, however, a good trail which we are likely to be sharing with groups of local people travelling between their villages.

After a couple of kilometres, we have to ford the chilly Jinbar River and then climb through fields of barley to reach Geech Village (3600m), a cluster of thatched-roofed huts and thorny enclosures, situated on an open hillside with scattered groups of giant lobelias. There may be time to stop off at one of the village houses to enjoy the traditional Ethiopian serving of coffee, known as the 'Coffee Ceremony'.

The campsite is above the village and close to the stone hut of the park scouts. As an optional afternoon stroll, the viewpoint at Kadadit (hole in the rock) is 20 minutes away to the north. We can expect to be visited at our camp by curious bands of children.

Ascent 900m; Distance 11km; Descent 500m; Time 7 - 8 Hours Trekking

Transportation: Trekking

Accommodation: Camping

Day 4 Geech Camp - Imetgogo Peak (3925m) - Geech Camp

We will leave our camp set up at Geech and make a day hike to one of the finest viewpoints in the area, the promontory and small peak known as Imetgogo (3925m). This is actually a spur protruding from the escarpment and is reached after a couple of hours’ pleasant walking. The last part of the ridge is quite airy and leads by way of an easy scramble to the summit. Here, the views are spectacular indeed, stretching across to the lowlands and including the jagged summits of the escarpment edge.

This is a great place for watching lammergeiers (Bearded vultures) and we may even be lucky enough to see them going about their business (dropping bones amongst the rocks to break them and so reveal the marrow - their preferred food). Today is a good day to take things steadily, which will help the acclimatisation process, whilst enjoying one of the most dramatic trekking days imaginable, as we return to camp by following the edge of the escarpment. We will also see gelada baboons today. These remarkable creatures, with their lion-like manes, can be quite approachable.

Ascent 500m; Distance 11km; Descent 500m; Time 8 Hours Trekking

Transportation: Trekking

Accommodation: Camping

Day 5 Inayte Viewpoint (4070m) - Chenek (3600m)

Our route today takes us along the edge of the escarpment, descending at one point into an open, grassy valley absolutely filled with 3 and 4-metre tall giant lobelias. At all times, the cliff edge is close on our left-hand side and there are ever-changing views and glimpses of the valley below, often through narrow clefts between spurs. The high point of our walk is at Inatye (4070m) and we continue across tussocky moorland to the camping place at Chenek, which is bounded by a semicircular ring of cliffs. The Chenek campsite offers superb views across to the opposite escarpment.

Ascent 750m; Distance 13km; Descent 700m; Time 6 - 7 Hours Trekking

Transportation: Trekking

Accommodation: Camping

Day 6 Amba Bhawit (4477m) - Ambiquo Village (3200m).

To reach the village of Ambiquo at the foot of Ras Deshen, we must initially climb up above our camp towards Amba Bwahit (4477m), the second-highest mountain in the range. The route follows a pleasant valley with a clear stream and lots of lobelias which provides us with great views back to our camp of the night before.

After 1½ hours we reach a rocky ridge and a viewpoint which looks across the vast valley of the Meshawa River. We may be lucky enough to spot the Walia Ibex here. We then have our first sighting of Ras Deshen, the highest point in a wall of cliffs and peaks on the skyline at the far side of the valley. We then take a well-trodden path down into this intensively farmed valley, where oxen are still used to draw the plough.

After passing through the village of Chiro Leba and crossing the Meshawa River we climb steeply to the village of Ambiquo (3200m) where we will camp for the night. With over 1000 metres of descent, followed by another 500 metres of ascent to Ambiquo, today will be a long day.

Ascent 1100m; Distance 16km; Descent 1600m; Time 8 Hours Trekking

Transportation: Trekking

Accommodation: Camping

Day 7 Lalibela via Woreta

In the morning, we will drive to Lalibela via Woreta, passing through Amhara state. You will have stunning views of the Guna Mountains as you travel through this dramatic landscape.

On the way; we visit Awra Amba village. Awra Amba community are famous in their work system. The share and distribution of work among its members are equal, no matter the type of task or knowledge they perform. They believe any member of the community should be treated fairly (denying the difference of knowledge, skill & task hardship) & get their support until death. When a member dies, only two people bury the dead body. No one cries for the dead but keep working!! The founder of the community is called Zumra, an old man who is still alive!!

Continue to Debre Tabor - Gashena - Lalibela.

We will cover approximately 440km and 6 hours’ drive

Transportation: Land Cruiser 4X4

Accommodation: Goha Hotel or Similar

Day 8 Lalibela

In the morning after breakfast, transfer to the airport to fly to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Lalibela - the Jerusalem of Ethiopia.

To finish your Ethiopian adventure, explore the first group of the monolithic Red-Tuff churches incredibly carved into the rock. We will spend today exploring one of the world's most remarkable historic sites and it's 11 rock-carved churches.

Although churches carved in rock are not found in other parts of the world, those found in Ethiopia are particularly interesting. Generally, they were excavated on all sides of a rectangle, leaving a large block of stone isolated in the centre. This rock was then shaped and formed both inside and out and the carvings show extremely skilful workmanship.

Lalibela, the 'New Jerusalem', is thought to have been constructed some 800 years ago by King Lalibela. Once his capital city, this former bustling city is today a small village, virtually cut off from the outside world.

You will start by visiting the rock-hewn churches of Lalibela, the Northwestern Cluster of churches - Bet Medhane Alem, Bet Maryam, Bet Meskel, Bet Danaghel, Bet Mikael & Bet Golgotha (entry not permitted for women). After lunch, continue with the Southeastern Cluster of churches - Bet Gabriel-Rufael, Bet Merkorios, Bet Amanual, and Bet Abba Libanos. Finally, you will visit the most famous of all the churches - Bet Giyorgis, constructed in honour of the patron saint of Ethiopia - Saint George.

We'll be joined by a guide both in the morning and the afternoon to learn about the area's fascinating history. Exploring will include a certain amount of scrambling between rocks and through tunnels. The churches stand in two main groups on either side of a stream, known locally as 'The River Jordan' and between them are considered to be one of the great wonders of the world. Most of the churches now have a permanent roof built over them to preserve them and are listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site.

We will cover approximately 60km and 1 hours’ drive.

Transportation: High Roof Mid-Van

Accommodation: Panoramic View Hotel or Similar

Day 9 Lalibela - Yemrehana Kiristos - Addis Ababa

Early in the morning after breakfast, we take a morning excursion to Yemrehana Kristos, a beautiful church situated in a shallow cave that actually predates the churches of Lalibela. The drive to Yemrehana will also give you the opportunity to view the rural countryside and villages of the Ethiopian highlands.

Following lunch, continue your tour of the Lalibela churches. Overlooking the mountain of Abune Yosef, the tallest mountain in Lasta, we drive towards one of Ethiopia's best-preserved late Axumite churches. Named after the 12th-century Zagwe priest-king and saint, the church of Yemrehana Kristos is built of stone and wood inside a cave. We'll take a ten-minute walk uphill through a forest of juniper trees to the entrance. As well as it's wondrous setting, behind the church lies a pile of mummified bodies said to be that of pilgrims and holy men. Legend has it that a door found inside this church was given as a gift by the Caliph Saladin himself during the time of the crusaders.

In the afternoon, we will fly back to Addis Ababa and have the opportunity to attend a coffee ceremony which is very much part of the social and cultural life of many Ethiopians.

We will cover approximately 50km and 2 hours’ drive.

Transportation: High Roof Mid-Van, domestic flight

Accommodation: -

* Please check prices for full list of inclusions and exclusions


Inclusions and exclusions

  • Accommodation (hotel or camping) described in the itinerary
  • Cold drinks
  • Guiding in selected language
  • Meals (full board: breakfast, lunch, dinner)
  • Pick up and drop off
  • Transportation described in the itinerary (trekking, Midi bus or Land cruiser)
  • Park/ museum entrance fees
  • Taxes
  • Domestic flights mentioned in the itinerary
  • Visas
  • Tips and price personal in nature
  • Drone Camera
  • Anything not mentioned in the inclusions

Available in

English, French, German
(Amharic)


Available for

Infants, Children, Students, Adults, Seniors



Departure & Return

Start city: Addis Abba , Ethiopia

Pick up times available: 08:00

Pick up location: Bole International Airport

Ends at: Bole International Airport

Nearest airport: Addis Ababa Bole International Airport (ADD)



We are Eco Responsible:

  • Contributing to nature conservation or indigenous project(s)
    Contributing to nature conservation or indigenous project(s)
    A percentage of product income is contributing to local nature conservation or indigenous project(s)
  • Eco-friendly accommodation
    Eco-friendly accommodation
    Most of accommodation is provided in indigenous or local community or eco-lodge
  • Eco-friendly transportation
    Eco-friendly transportation
    The product principal transportation is low noise & low emmission such as walking, trekking, cycling, padle boat etc.
  • Education & exploration
    Education & exploration
    The product is educational rather than entertainment focused - it respects and gives insight into local traditions and/or environment
  • Interaction with locals or nature
    Interaction with locals or nature
    The major part of the tour is spent on interacting with local communities, their representative(s) (other than guides) or observing the nature or animals without disturbing their natural habitat and environment
  • Licensed tour guide
  • Local or indigenous tour guide(s)

Cancellation policy

0% cancellation fee - 7 days or more before the travel date
50% cancellation fee - between 3-6 days before the travel date
100% cancellation fee - between 0-2 days before the travel date

Question and answer

There are no questions about the product. Be the first to ask a question.


from $1955 per person

* Minimum of 1 adults are required on this tour

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* Free cancellation until 7 days before departure


  • Trekking
  • Hiking
  • Simien Mountains
  • Lalibela
  • Ras Dejen
  • Mercato
  • Senkaber
  • Michwahtis Valley
  • Jinbar River
  • Geech Camp
  • Geech Village
  • Coffee Ceremony
  • Kadadit Viewpoint
  • Inayte Viewpoint
  • Imetgogo Peak
  • Chenek
  • Ambiquo Village
  • Amba Bhawit
  • Awra Amba
  • Yemrehana Kiristos
  • Bet Giyorgis
  • St. George Church
  • Eco Tour
  • Ecotourism