Ethiopia cultural tour, 14 days
Description of Ethiopia cultural tour, 14 days
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As the pioneers of responsible tourism, we've screened this (and every) holiday so that you can travel knowing it will help support the places and people that you visit, and the planet. Read how below.
PlanetOur clients are fully briefed in the best environmental practises before travelling to Ethiopia. This cultural adventure involves some sections of gentle walking in the Bale & Simien Mountains, as well as in the Rift Valley. Here, and at attractions or sites in villages, towns and cities, we work with the policy of ‘Take nothing but memories, Leave nothing but footprints’.
This means that we do not leave any foreign materials or waste in these environments, nor do we take any objects from the environment nor disturb its equilibrium by our presence or actions.
Water is a precious commodity in Ethiopia and our local guides actively advise travellers on initiatives to manage water consumption during the History & Landscapes Adventure. They are are committed to encouraging you to treat this scarce resource with the utmost respect. We are very proud to be working with Pure Hydration, specialists in personal and expedition water purification, instantly, and on-demand.
We recognise that the ability to produce safe drinking water from sources off the beaten track, of sometimes dubious quality, offers incredible benefits to our adventure travellers and so are excited to be subsidising this product to make it more accessible to you. Having a re-usable filtration bottle avoids single use plastic, with each bottle purifying 350L of water. RRP is £39 but our clients are able to purchase a bottle for £20.00.
We do not approach wild animals that we see in abundance on this adventure as they may then be forced to fight or flee, which can cause them or you injury.
Throughout this adventure you will get the chance to spot Mountain Nyalas, huge warthogs and Redback and Bushback Deer who often drop past to say hello, as well as an abundance of local birdlife and the cheeky Columbus monkey! Ethiopian Red Wolf can be seen either as solitary hunters or in small packs with their young.
We spend 2 nights of the adventure in the Bale Mountains Eco Lodge, located in the forest wilderness lodge, deep within the Bale Mountain National Park (BMNP) of south central Ethiopia. The lodge supports strong sustainable policies around power, water and waste. Efficient appliances, such as heat-pump hot water heaters act as a reverse refrigeration, ensuring that the lodge minimises its power draw to ease power management issues. They also takes water from the river and subjects it to slow sand filtration and purification so that clients are able to drink water straight from the tap. Bale Mountain lodge is also committed to minimising non-biodegradable waste through various methods.
PeopleWe use our popular and charming local guide from Ethiopia on this adventure and he will help to explain the cultural necessities throughout in order not to offend, confuse or endanger the local villages and communities we meet en route.
On this adventure we use local hotels in Addis Ababa and then a mixture of smaller hotels and locally owned lodges for the rest of the tour.
Many of our adventurers have talked to us about how best to support those experiencing poverty or with very little access to equipment and services. They ask what they can bring to donate or leave in country after their trip. Our response has been to develop links with well established local projects and charitable organisations that are sustainably benefitting the regions and communities that we visit. We include in this itinerary, an opportunity to learn about Hamlin Fistula Ethiopia. Set within the bustling capital city of Ethiopia is an unexpected haven of tranquillity: the Addis Ababa Hamlin Fistula hospital. Funded and directed by the charity Hamlin Fistula Ethiopia, established in 1974 by Drs Reginald and Catherine Hamlin, the hospital is a world-class centre of excellence for treating obstetric fistula patients, and training obstetricians to specialise in this surgery. Rehabilitation programs assist former patients to reintegrate to village life. The organisation also has a preventative strategy that aims to eradicate obstetric fistula from Ethiopia, by providing trained midwives in the rural regions of the country. In taking you off the beaten track, your adventure is taking you into remoter corners of Ethiopia. Here, in the small villages, there is often little or no midwifery support for women in labour. Girls and women may experience prolonged and difficult labour, leading to still births, and obstetric complications such as fistulas, which goes hand in hand with urinary incontinence. Ashamed of their symptoms, they may either isolate themselves, or be spurned by their husbands, leading to utter loneliness and sorrow.
Hamlin Fistula Ethiopia provides stable employment for many local Ethiopians while also providing much-needed health services for the women and girls. Their work on the ground is sustainable and enriching – run by Ethiopians, for Ethiopians.
They are proud of their facilities and welcome visitors to their hospital, to teach them about the obstacles faced by some women in more remote areas, and the progress they have made towards eradicating obstetric fistulas. We are invited as a group to learn about their work, and see first-hand the facilities at their Addis hospital, either during our first day Tour of Addis Ababa, or on the penultimate day of your adventure, when you travel back to the capital to ready for your homeward flight. The visit is entirely optional, but offers a unique opportunity to understand more about life off the beaten track in Ethiopia, and a chance for us to reflect on what we can offer, be it a greater level of understanding, empathy and compassion, informing others of the realities that face these women, or making a donation of time or money to the Hamlin Fistula cause.
In addition to this worthy cause, the local guide we use to accompany our group in the Bale Mountain area, has long worked to support the protection of the Ethiopian wolf. He is knowledgeable about the problems faced in the conservation of this wonderful canid and there is also the opportunity to learn more about the Ethiopian wolf conservation projects in the area.
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