Easter festivals photography tour, Ethiopia

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Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Easter festivals photography tour, Ethiopia


This is a low-impact cultural tour designed to accommodate small groups and private travelers, not a seat-in-bus tour. Your itinerary will see you visit protected areas such as the Simien Mountains, Lalibela, Gondar, and the monasteries of Lake Tana, as well as remote and rarely visited sites of interest such as the rock churches of Tigray; an area removed from the main tourist trail. Such regions of historical interest and natural beauty are largely dependent on the revenues generated by tourism, meaning your visit will play a small but real role in helping to sustain these areas.

Of special note is the Simien Mountains, a designated National Park and World Heritage Site. The funds generated by visits for purposes of tourism help protect this area of stunning natural beauty, with the national park fees included as part of your tour contributing directly to conservation efforts. Your local guide will ensure that you stick to designated trails during your visit to the Simiens, so as to protect the natural fauna and flora. Endemic species, including the Gelada Baboon and Simien Fox, are present in the Simiens – while sightings of the latter are rare, you are very likely to encounter the former, and it is important to follow the guidance of your guide in how you approach these wild animals.

Our tours are tailor-made and it is possible, if you choose, to include time spent camping rather than at lodges, in both the Simien Mountains and in Tigray. Your guide will ensure that you camp in suitable areas and leave no trace behind when you leave.

Carbon offsetting – We provide a monthly donation to the Carbon Neutral fund to partially offset the emissions generated by our business.


Your itinerary will see you visit a number of remote communities, most notably in Tigray, a region that has to date seen very little in the way of mass tourism. As always, it is important to approach indigenous communities in such a way that respects their culture, even as you engage with and show interest in it. This means extending common courtesies such as not taking photos without permission, dressing appropriately when visiting religious sites, and ensuring you do not leave behind litter.

We employ local tour guides who are mindful of local customs and traditions and will guide you on the proper decorum in each situation.

The money generated by your tour – through entrance fees, nights spent at locally-owned accommodation, tour guide fees and your patronage of local shops and businesses (such as coffee houses and restaurants) – will also help to support the communities you visit.

There will be a chance during your tour to visit a number of local community projects, including Aba Hawi’s Greening of Tigray project, which seeks to turn the arid Hawzien Plains of Tigray – the region of Ethiopia worst afflicted by the 1983-85 famine – into fertile land. You can read more about this unique project in an article by Chris Haslam, journalist for the BBC and Sunday Times, who visited the project while traveling with us to Ethiopia in 2015: http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-32348749

Our chief tour guide and fixer in Ethiopia, Zablon Beyene, is a native Ethiopian with extremely good access to the local communities you’ll visit on your tour. Zab has worked on such BBC programmes as BBC's 'Human Planet', 'the Incredible Human Journey' with Dr. Alice Roberts, 'Tribe' with Bruce Parry, 'An African Journey' with Jonathan Dimbleby, and 'Nile' with Joanna Lumley. His knowledge of, and enthusiasm for, Ethiopian tradition, and his close relations with the communities you visit, will ensure that your tour is conducted in a respectful way while also guaranteeing you access to sites and communities that would not be possible on a standard itinerary.

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