Closing date: 04 Feb 2020
In Ethiopia, the extraordinary is everywhere. This is a land of gorge-gouged mountains where golden eagles soar; of ancient cities where the Queen of Sheba reigned; of the 4,000m Sanetti plateau – the highest in Africa – where red wolves and goat herders have waged turf wars for centuries.
It was one of the first Christian civilisations, with a spirituality that stretches back almost two millennia: you’ll find it in the rock-cut churches of Lalibela, the cliff-carved ‘sky monasteries’, and Axum’s St Mary of Zion church – believed to hold the Ark of the Covenant. Anywhere else, sights like these would be clogged with crowds, but (for now at least) you’ll have them virtually all to yourself.
Such an untamed destination requires a truly expert tour company, such as YellowWood Adventures – whose itineraries delve into the landscapes, traditions and wildlife of Ethiopia. It offers varying activity levels to suit travellers of every style, and group sizes of no more than twelve. And now, YellowWood is giving Wanderlust readers the opportunity to win two places on a trip of their choice – plus flights from Manchester or London with Ethiopian Airlines, one of Africa’s leading carriers.
On YellowWood’s Cultural Adventure, you’ll explore the canyons and chasms of the Simien Mountains, and visit the Queen of Sheba’s palace in the ancient capital of Axum. Then you’ll brave the daredevil climb to Abuna Yemata Guh, a 5th-century church tucked away in the clifftops of Tigray.
For edge-of-the-world hiking on the Sanetti plateau, book the Bale Mountains itinerary: you’ll hoof through the lush tangle of Harenna cloud forest, over lunar-like plains, and up to the summit of Mt. Tuludimtu.
After four nights camping on this wild expanse, it’s a treat to check into Bale Mountain Lodge: a luxurious base for exploring the waterfalls and wildlife of the national park.
Or, opt for the Lalibela and Gheralta Mountains trip, and you’ll visit villages rarely reached by travellers – as well as the cultural highlights of Addis Ababa, the famous churches of Lalibela, and the mighty Gheralta Mountains.
It is rare to witness such powerful landscapes and richly-storied culture in one place. Rarer still, to have it almost to yourself - for if there’s one thing that Ethiopia does lack, it’s crowds. Wherever you travel, prepare for an adventure of biblical proportions.
YellowWood Adventures & Ethiopian Airlines are offering one lucky reader – and a companion – the chance to win a YellowWood holiday to Ethiopia, including flights from the UK. Take your pick from the Ethiopia Cultural Adventure, Bale Mountains, or Lalibela & Gheralta Mountains itineraries.
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