Spending a bit more time and doing some trekking in and around Lalibela gives you the opportunity to explore Ethiopia in a closer way:
In Lalibela town you can visit the churches, go for a nice stroll around the hills to check out the incredible sunsets, visit the local bars and TEJ-houses (Amharic for honey wine) enjoying the unique dancing style of this region.
On Saturdays you’ll have the chance to attend the big, lively local market, where hundreds of people gather to sell food and animals.
We also can bring you to small, hidden places, so you can have a taste of the true Ethiopian dishes or take a rest watching the traditional coffee ceremony, having a nice BUNA (Amharic for coffee).
Around Lalibela there are two mountain monasteries, which you can reach on a half day trekking.
In one you will be able to see and hear the students read out loud Ge'ez (the ancient language of Ethiopia).
When you do the trekking to Abune Yosef there is - apart from standing mouth-opened because of the truly breathtaking views of the mountain scenery - lots to do:
* Get up early, hike to the Big Zigit (4080m) to get hopefully the chance to catch a glimpse of the Ethiopian Wolf (around 80 animals of this rare and threatened species still live on Abune Yoseph). Also leopards and hyenas inhabit the area, but are rarely to be seen.
* See hordes of Gelada Baboons running and making their way through the shrubs, followed by shepherds who chase them away from their animals.
* Take our binoculars and watch the more than 80 bird species enjoying their life up there.
* Bake INJERA (the famous Ethiopian bread) with the farmer’s wife, prepare TELLA (the local, home-brewed beer); if they make yoghurt or cheese: watch how they do it and give a hand.
* Go out with the farmers or the shepherds to participate their daily work, help harvesting in the old-fashioned way.
* Check out the local school and be the teacher of the little ones.
* Build new traditional houses.
* Climb up RIM GEDEL - the highest mountain in the area.
* and last but not least sit peacefully underneath the stars and the clearly visible milky way around a bonfire and philosophize about life.