Martina Kosmina and Roberto Lombardo were:
We are respectively graduates in sustainable tourism and anthropology at Milano University and Bologna University. We just came back from Ethiopia, where we spent 5 months analysing the development of several sustainable tourism projects in the Tigray region. As a result, we would like to draw attention a new touristic initiative to promote a destination that is largely unknown yet very interesting. We are talking about the Irob land east of Adigrat and in particular the remote Orthodox monastery of Gunda Gundo, which ranks among the oldest and most revered in Ethiopia, but is also very little visited, since it is reachable only after a long walk of 6 or more hours. The hike passes through the territory of the Irob, a small ethnic group that lives in the northern part of Tigray and has its own unique culture and traditions, The area is also characterised by stunning views with high mountain ranges, and deep ravines and rivers that soak orange groves and banana plantations.
As of this year it is possible to get into this area on a new 3 days/2 night trekking expedition organized by us in collaboration with Gheralta Lodge in Hawzen. Conceived in a “sustainable” spirit, the trekking is supposed to improve and develop the area, involving as much as possible the local people and giving some relief to their local
economy, that is traditionally completely reliant to agriculture. In order to emphasise the meeting with the local people the trip is organised in such a way that it will give the chance to the traveller to explore not only nature, but also the culture and the religiousness of the area, with a camping by the monastery, an overnight accomodation at a local family place, a lunch by an orange grove, participation to some coffee ceremonies and much more.
We are sure that sharing this experience with your travellers community could help develop the trekking and give the hospitable and friendly Irob people a chance to benefit, at least a little bit, from the increasing touristic industry in Ethiopia.
Interested travellers can visit https://gheraltalodgetigrai.com/activities/3_eng.html for more information or contact Gheralta Lodge firstname.lastname@example.org.