Trekking in Ethiopia, nr Lalibela

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Departure information

This itinerary can be arranged throughout the season from 1 Oct - end June
Holiday type

Travelling with a local operator

This holiday is operated by a company based in the holiday destination and they will be able to provide expert local knowledge. They will be able to tailor make your holiday to suit your requirements not only concerning the dates of travel but also typically the standard of accommodation, and thus price. It is rare for local operators to be able to help with the booking of your flights.

Responsible tourism

Trekking in Ethiopia, nr Lalibela

Carbon reduction

Your holiday will help support local people and conservation. We must also reduce CO2. Learn about the CO2 emissions of this holiday and how to reduce them.


The sites are part of wholly community owned enterprises, run for and by the local community in which they are situated. Environmental considerations are an integral part of the enterprises.

Ecotourism is a fundamental part of the project, and we limit the amount of tourists per site to 6-8 to minimise the pressure we put on the land, communities and resources available. Eco-toilets (dry composting urine separating toilet) are used, and with the water supplied we remind guests to view this as the limited resource in this area that it is. The showers are sun-heated, and water is diverted to promote tree growth to ensure none is wasted (please note not all sites have shower facilities-we are working on this).

We plant indigenous trees to increase the vegetation in the area, and increase habitat for the local wildlife. In some areas where cliff erosion has proven to become a real issue we have built terraces, to help protect and minimise erosion on the faces. We also encourage the local community to see flora and fauna as a resource to protect, so that they will appreciate it by themselves.

We have been supporting this community tourism initiative and are helping the communities realise how important it is to conserve and improve their environment and are planting indigenous trees and the like.


These community tourism guest houses are owned and run by the communities themselves, with our support, the local guides and relevant government agencies.

The tourism generates incomes for some community members and the profit goes in to a fund for the whole community. The communities have received training on management and running of a business as part of the setting up process. They also gain confidence from running the community tourism to work together for joint benefit.

The communities are your hosts. Fifty-five percent of your payment goes directly to them(48% to the hosting communities and 7% to the community that provides lunch), twenty five percent goes to the guides and their business (which supports the community run trekking sites) and twenty percent goes to cover marketing costs and coordinate the bookings. This fund will be held by the community to be used as they decide. One community is saving for a grinding mill (they currently hand grind corn or have to travel a long distance to a mill).

Every drink you have puts more money into the local communities, and as much of the produce as possible is sourced by the communities from themselves and their neighbours.

1 Reviews of Trekking in Ethiopia, nr Lalibela

4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed on 09 Dec 2008 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

Arrving at the first village on day one of the trek - incredible setting and the most spectacular place to have a cup of tea anywhere in Ethiopia!

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Take some alternative nibbles for when you tire of injera. Wear high factor sunscreen - it's high up so it might not feel hot but you burn quicker. Drink lots of water.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?

Yes, we were told 60% of the money goes to the community. Our trekking had minimal impact on the local environment, though of course we did use fire wood each night and I wasn't comfortable with young women carrying 20litre jerry cans of water up the hill so we could have a shower.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

This was an excellent experience. The walking wasn't too strenuous, the guide was very good, there was plenty of cultural interaction, the scenery was spectacular, and we felt welcome at all times.

Read the operator's response here:

Thanks for the positive feedback. We are very pleased to hear that you had such a special trip. Just a noteto say that we also feel uncomfortable about the women carrying water to the sites on their backs, and are encouraging the communities to use their donkeys instead. Your feedback will help us to demonstrate that guests do not feel comfortable about the current situation, however it is the communities that manage their own business.

Also, just to point out that evening meals and breakfast are not enjara - in the evening rice, spagetti, potatoes etc are served with more familiar meals, which generaly go down extremely well. However we are creating more interesting 'cultural' lunches with enjara. I suspect Joe had picnic lunches which are often a bowl of enjara (local pancake like bread) spread with chickpea sauce that does not look that appetising. This was our culinary low point, but we are working on it!

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