Wolleka, Falasha village
From 1985 to 1991 many Falashas were airlifted to Israel. Nowadays only a few Falashas still live in Wolleka. The excellent pottery, that was made here by the skilled craftsmen in former days, you will not find anymore.
What you see now in the several stalls in the village, are items, made for the tourists. Unless you are interested in King Solomon depicted in bed with Queen Sheba, there is nothing really worthwhile to see or to buy.
- Historical Travel
- Arts and Culture
Road to Wolleka
Six KM north of Gonder on our way to the Simien Mountains, we passed the little village Wolleka, once the home of the Falashas or Ethiopian Jews.
Before arriving of Christianity, Judaism was the dominant religion of this part of Ethiopia. After Christianity became the state religion, the Falashas were urged to conversion. If they refused, their land was confiscated. So many Falashas became skilled craftsmen, for example in pottery.
You hardly notice, being in this village and nowadays there is not much to see. In the village you can find still the old synagogue and some old Falasha houses. There are enough people around, who liked to show you the way.
From Gonder you can reach Debark and the Simien Mountains in about 3 hours. There is a daily bus from Gonder to Debark or you can hire a taxi or even book organised treks in Gonder.
The landscape of the Simien Mountains is dramatic by the several plateaus, separated by wide valleys. Some peaks rise above the 4.000 M. The steep escarpments and the views at the pinnacles in the park are breathtaking.
The National Park of 179 sq KM lies at an altitude between 1900 and 4500 M. In Debark you can buy your tickets at the park headquarters. Admission for 48 hours is 50 Birr, camping 20 birr and vehicle (depending on the size) around 15 Birr.
In the park you can make nice treks for half a day or more days. We visited the park only one day and made a nice walk to a waterfall and along the escarpment. The park is also famous because of the gelada (bleeding heart) baboons.
For more information see my Debark page.
- Hiking and Walking
- National/State Park