Excursion Tour – Debre Libanos

Duration: Full Day

Transportation: Drive

Itinerary Code: WETT0006

Type of Tour: Excursion Tour

Debre Libanos Monastry, Portuges bridge and Blue Nile Gorge

After breakfast drive 110 kms north from Addis over the Entoto Mountains passing through the Sululta Plains to the Monastery of Debre Libanos founded in the 13th century by Abune Tekle Haymanot and it is an important monastic centre for Ethiopian Orthodox Christianity. Overlooking Jemma River Gorge, a tributary of the Blue Nile, the Monastery owns ecclesiastical, cultural and historical relics, and boasts a rare grove of trees that have disappeared from elsewhere in the region. The modern church built by Haile Selassie in 1950s. There is also a 16th Century Bridge still in use today and said to have been built by Portuguese near to Debre Libanos.

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).

North of Fiche, around 200km from Addis Ababa, begins one of Ethiopia’s most dramatic stretches of road. It serpentines to the bottom of the Blue Nile Gorge, 1000m below. Nile River separated the historical provinces of Shoa and Gojam. This truly magnificent gorge, which follows the course of the Blue Nile as it arcs south of the Lake Tana towards the Sudanese border, is often claimed to be the largest canyon in Africa.

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