Debre Libanos & the Jemma River Gorge

Duration : 3 days
Transportation : Surface
Destination : Debre Libanos & the Jemma River Gorge

Debre Libanos is an important monastic centre for Ethiopian Orthodox Christianity, the monastery there was founded by the renowned 13th century mystic, Saint Teklehaimanot and there is a small cave near the church (which is of recent construction) where he is said to have stood for seven years on one leg, until the other wasted away and dropped off.

On this tour visitors can combine history and culture with some good bird watching, as we pass through the Sululta Plain we can see Black-winged plovers, Wattled Ibis, Blue-winged geese, Common Cranes and Wheat ears. We will also see one of Ethiopia’s endemic mammals, the Gelada or bleeding heart baboon. (In the gorge we will see a variety of vultures – Lammergeyer, Ruppell and Lappet faced vultures.)

Leaving the Gorge we proceed to the church. After the church visit we can make the climb to the cave of St Teklehaimanot. Near the cave monks may show visitors the remains of some 300 monks, slaughtered in 1936 by the Italian invaders. If you continue up the hill from the cave from the top there is a great view of the surrounding countryside. We will have picnic at Gorge or from Ethio- German Lodge. Walk to Portuguese Bridge of the 16thc during the war between Lowland Muslim and Highland Christian, built to connect Shewa and Gojam then retrace to Addis.

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