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Visit Ethiopia

When you visit Ethiopia with us you will see this beautiful country and the work that Meketa is doing there. A part of the proceeds of the tour goes directly to help Meketa’s work supporting the Jews of Gondar. (We also welcome volunteers).  

Learn the unique story of the Ethiopian Jews and their long and tragic history.  From the  Queen of Sheba to the Jewish exodus in Operation Solomon, the Beta Israel have been sovereigns and slaves, commanded vast areas and suffered exile because of their faith.   

 

Addis Abeba & Southern Ethiopia Tour: 9th to 20th November 2023                       

Take a journey into the spectacular Rift Valley. After spending a long weekend with the vibrant Jewish community in Gondar, this tour takes us into rich tribal lands with a whole range of new cultures, contrasting markets and fascinating foods. Wildlife is an important feature with hippos, crocodiles and zebra sharing our interest with a vast panoply of spectacular birdlife. And with the addition of prehistoric relics, extraordinary natural sights, and blissful countryside, this is an alluring adventure.

Introduction
 
We are offering this trip to both first time visitors and those who have been to Ethiopia before on our other tours and would like to see more of a very different side of Ethiopia. After spending a truly immersive long weekend within the Jewish community in Gondar, we will go south to visit some of the most isolated communities in the country – and some of the rarest wildlife. This tour takes us into rich tribal lands with a whole range of new cultures, contrasting markets and fascinating foods and traditions.

 

Itinerary
Addis Abeba (Day 1 to 2)
 
Arrive in Addis Ababa from your international flight. We will spend the weekend here, visiting museums and cultural sites in the capital of Ethiopia, and depart on Sunday for the South.


 

Southern Ethiopia (Day 2 to 9)
 
We will take flights to the south to see a very different side of Ethiopia with incredible views, wildlife and local culture.
 
High up in the Gughe Mountains we will meet the people of Chencha Dorzé to see their traditional Dorzé beehive-shaped huts recognized for their visually attractive structures by UNESCO. Just one of the incredible communities we encounter along with the Bana, whose men often have their hair dressed up with a colourful clay cap that is decorated with feathers. Some of the best coffee in the country is said to come from Konso, a village also with UNESCO recognition for its terracing, of course we will get to partake.
 
No visit is complete without reaching Omorate to visit the Dassanech people - ‘people of the Delta’ - who live on the northern shore of Lake Turkana. In neighouring Jinka we visit the colourful Keyi Afer market and an Ari Ethnic Village where we will learn how to bake ‘enjera’ the national pancake-like bread of Ethiopia.
 
Turmi is home to the Hamer people and offers a chance to browse Alduba market, just one of the vibrant markets we get to experience. We also visit Lake Chamo, and its curiously-named Crocodile Market - where the crocs leave the water and hang out, not where they are bought and sold!

Mago National Park features a visit to the Mursi village, one of the most exotic ethnic groups in Ethiopia who live in very low huts made of straw leaves, where the women like to wear terracotta on their enormously stretched lower lips and ear lobes.
 
Awasa is the lakeside capital of the Sidama ethnic community, by the lake is the fish market where many people come to buy fresh fish from the fishermen. There are small local road side restaurants which serve raw and roasted fish with a hot spice called Data.
 
We make the return journey to Addis Ababa by road passing through Welayta and stopping at Tiya, classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site where we see the northernmost example of a peculiar type of engraved standing stele unique to Southern Ethiopia.

Addis Abeba (Day 9 to 11)

We will have our own Shabbat in Addis, participating in services at the synagogue with the Ethiopian Jewish community. Situation permitting, staff from Meketa's partner charity in Gondar (Shutafut) will join us for the weekend to discuss Meketa's projects and share updates from Gondar.
 

Tour details
 
This tour will be a small, intimate group and will travel in 4x4s or a small minibus as the roads are often poor, and we will always be accompanied by a local tour organiser and have local guides at each of the parks and villages.
 
This tour is organised by Meketa taking place 9th - 20th November 2023 (11 nights, 12 days). Flights from and to London are overnight on the days before/after the tour. We will stay in modest but comfortable hotels in en-suite rooms. The cost is approximately £2,250  per person (£450 single room supplement) excluding flights.

Contact visits@meketa.org.uk  for further details and to register your interest.

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