Tesfa Walking Tours

I have just returned from a 1 week walking trip with Tesfa Tours in the highlands around Lalibela. It was an absolutely stunning week. We walked 150km in total and reached the top of Abuna Yosef on the 4th day (over 4200m). The route took us from the valley floor up to the spectacular escarpments. Aside from the breathtaking scenery (I can only compare it to the Grand Canyon, but on a much bigger scale) the real highlight was the welcome we were afforded by the local communities with whom we stayed. Each evening we arrived at a set of Tukuls (local stone made huts) and were greeted by villagers bearing tea, soft drinks and food. We ate round a fire and had the benefit of an ample supply of beer and local spirits! Our guides were fountains of knowledge and we could learn a huge amount about Ethiopia just by asking questions as we walked. The trip was masterminded by Mark Chapman who has lived in Ethiopia for over 10 years and found a superb balance between providing the sort of walking challenge we were looking for and making sure we enjoyed creature comforts (such as 3 meals a day, superb local food and proper beds!). One of the nicest things about the trip was that we knew that a high proportion of the (extremely modest) cost of the holiday was going to help the local communities. I have been on trips in Africa that cost 10 times what this holiday did and they have got nowhere near the experience.

David Collinson

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