Lalibela Things to Do

  • Things to Do
    by Carla10
  • Things to Do
    by Carla10
  • Things to Do
    by Carla10

Most Recent Things to Do in Lalibela

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    Highland Trekking

    by Carla10 Updated Sep 11, 2013
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    Abune Yosepf is a beautiful, still not too much discovered -and therefore incredibly authentical- massif of highlands northeast of Lalibela.
    Lalibela itself lies already inside the mountains of Lasta, with great views of the whole and seemingly endless world of peaks and valleys, but trekking up Abune Yoseph is even more breathtaking- and you are there ALONE, it's not like in the Simiens, where it's so overrun by tourists.
    At an elevation between 3800-4284m you will be able to find at least 43 mammal species, including the ETHIOPIAN WOLF, LEOPARDS and hordes of GELADA BABOONS; around 221 bird species have been identified up there and: apart from this- standing on the edges of the massif makes you feel like standing on top of the world!
    But what impressed me most was the rare possibility to experience a 'home-stay' with the local people, the highlanders of Ethiopia.
    I've never seen ANYTHING like this and didn't believe this way of living still exists at this planet.
    Seing how they live, how they manage to survive and being able to sit with them around the fires, talk with them, sharing their daily lifes is something I will NEVER EVER forget.
    I milked a cow, prepared and baked injera, harvested crops, played with the children, even teached the kids in the locals school for an hour!
    I slept in their traditional huts, shared their food and enjoyed their warm hospitality- the bonfire at night under the mighty, incredible close sky of Ethiopia with it's millions of stars and the clearly visible milky way almost brought me to tears.
    altogether an U N B E L I E V A B L E experience which was only made possible by the help of Daniel Melese and his team from HIGHLAND TREKKING in Lalibela, who organized all very well and professionally.
    I'm deeply grateful to have done that, it was for sure the absolute highlight of my Ethiopia trip!
    highland trekking in Ethiopia, do it!

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    TESFA trekking

    by hannette Updated Feb 12, 2013

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    Tesfa (Tourism in Ethiopia for Sustainable Future Alternatives) is an organization that organizes hikings in the Mequet plateau south-west of Lalibela with the latter as base.
    The aim of the organization is to show you the beauty of the mountains and the countrylife there, bringing an amount the revenues back to the local community.
    Some of the sights are breathtaking, and seriously some of the most beautiful I've seen in my life, though in my opinion it was too expensive...

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    VISIT THE ROCK-HEWN CHURCHES

    by hanspeter_W. Written Nov 27, 2012

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    AT THE CENTER LOCATED ROCK-HEWN CHURCH
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    The 11 medieval monolithic cave churches of this 13th-century 'New Jerusalem' are situated in a mountainous region in the heart of Ethiopia near a traditional village with circular-shaped dwellings. Lalibela is a high place of Ethiopian Christianity, still today a place of pilmigrage and devotion.
    There are two main groups of churches – to the north of the river Jordan: Biete Medhani Alem (House of the Saviour of the World), Biete Mariam (House of Mary), Biete Maskal (House of the Cross), Biete Denagel (House of Virgins), Biete Golgotha Mikael (House of Golgotha Mikael); and to the south of the river, Biete Amanuel (House of Emmanuel), Biete Qeddus Mercoreus (House of St. Mercoreos), Biete Abba Libanos (House of Abbot Libanos), Biete Gabriel Raphael (House of Gabriel Raphael), and Biete Lehem (House of Holy Bread). The eleventh church, Biete Ghiorgis (House of St. George), is isolated from the others, but connected by a system of trenches.

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    TOURIST INFORMATION OFFICE

    by DAO Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    I HOPE YOU BROUGHT A GOOD GUIDE BOOK. Theses guys are polite, friendly and not all that helpful. They try, but I found them hard to understand and they could talk about some things, but sometimes they did not seem to know or have any up to date resources. Lalibela is poor despite all the tourists. Very little resource has been put into the office. They do have a good map of the wider area and can tell you about excursions you could go on/purchase. As for the rock churches in town, don’t worry, a guide is included in the entrance fee.

    Open 8am-12pm & 1:30pm-5:30pm Monday-Friday
    Like all tourist offices in Ethiopia, they are closed on Saturdays.

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    Bet Maryam

    by SirRichard Updated Dec 22, 2008

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    Mass at Bet Maryam

    Bet Maryam is the big church in the middle of the central courtyard of the complex. Most big masses take place here, as there is room for a lot of people in the courtyard and surroundings.
    I attended a mass here very early in the morning, it was interesting to see 10 minutes, but I don't think I could hold 1-2 hours masses as is normal here...

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    The Churches

    by boltonian Written Aug 2, 2008

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    Bet Giyorgis
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    200 Birr entry fee is payable at the gate.

    Walk from the centre of town downhill for about 400m on the cobbles and the entry is to the left.

    Once in the complex, you will see 2 churches, sadly they are covered with a huge tent like structure to protect the stone.

    Between 12-2pm, the churches are closed and you can only walk around the site, after 2pm you can go inside, but some will have worship occuring, so be sensitive to this.

    Once past the 2 churches, you must leave through the back door and steep steps. Follow this down to the road, turn right and walk 200m. On the left is the most famous church (Bet Giyorgis). The single stand alone church contains mumified remains.

    Then, back to the road, and you may need to ask the many local kids how to find the entry to the Southern complex. This is less well known but by far the best area. Here are 6 or 7 churches, all different, and a series of underground, pitch black passages.

    We were told that you need 2 full days to visit all the churches. Unless you are pasionate about this area, one day is more than enough.

    Guides can be hired (official or unofficial) but we didn't bother. Explore yourself and read up before you go.

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    Bet Asheton Maryam

    by 1W1V Written Jun 28, 2008

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    Entrance of BAM
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    This church is really nothing special compare to what you can find in Lalibela village. Nevertheless, the journey to the site is wonderful and the view from BAM is fantastic.
    To make your journey easier and more enjoyable, just take a local guide with you.

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    A STOLEN CROSS, 3 GRAVES AND THE CAT

    by DAO Updated May 2, 2008

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    This is the inside of the Bet Medhane Alem Church. Inside you will find a cat. This little guy will now follow you around and even next door before he magically returns here. It gets more interesting. Towards the back you will find 3 graves cut down into the stone floor. Creepy. There are several stories surrounding them. They all say that the graves are ceremonial. One guide told me it was to represent the Father, Son and Holy Ghost. Another said they were for Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

    The real mystery here though is the 7kg SOLID GOLD Lalibela Cross. It was stolen in 1997 and made its way to Europe before it was return – thankfully intact. They will rarely show you the cross and they did not while I was there.

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    See the Churches

    by flynboxes Written Jan 14, 2008
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    Aside from the UNESCO construction going on this is what you are here for right? Ok they say this place was built by angles but on a side note they also say that 30-40,000 people were living here when it was carved out..god bless em.

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    THE STAIRWAY TO HEAVEN - BET GABRIEL RAFAEL

    by DAO Updated Jan 11, 2008

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    The Stairway to Heaven is a narrow rock ledge that runs steeply up the side of the Bet Gabriel Refael Church. Located in the South-East cluster of churches, this is one of the truly unique features in Lalibala. The guides really don’t like you to climb it and if you were to fall of you would end up in Heaven. Or somewhere else. If you have good balance, it is worth a climb unless it’s raining.

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    HIRE AN OFFICIAL GUIDE

    by DAO Updated Jan 11, 2008

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    Getting an official Guide in Lalibela is easy and economical. When you pay the entrance fee for the main site of churches, the Guide is included in the price. You simply go to the main site entrance. If you want a guide for other areas, do the same thing. They have a little ‘Guide Centre’ building outside of the entrance (pictured), but I never saw them in it. They all hang out around the ticket office. Easy!

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    KING LALIBELA

    by DAO Updated Jan 11, 2008

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    Here he is! OK, he is behind the curtain and you are not allowed to look. It is a shame really because the room that houses his tomb is the most ornate in terms of painted sculptures in all of Lalibela. King Lalibela (c.1185-1225) is buried in one of his rock-hewn Churches called Golgotha. Legend has it that when he was born the infant was surrounded by a swarm of bees. So his mother named him Lalibela which means ‘The Bee Recognizes his Sovereignty’. King Lalibela founded the town and ordered that 11 churches be carved out from the underlying rock to create the marvel it is today. He fashioned it as the new Jerusalem, even naming the river ‘Jordan’ and a nearby hill ‘Calvary’.

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    Lalibella Churches

    by AddisLig Written Nov 2, 2007

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    The famous Kidus Giorgis (St George) Church
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    Of course the main attraction of Lalibella (or even Ethiopia) are the churches built long time ago - between 7 & 12th centuries. All of them are carved out rocks and still are used today for church services. It is a UNESCO heritage site and at the moment filled with scaffoldings to stop the rain water ruining the churches any further.

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    BET MEDHANE ALEM

    by DAO Written May 19, 2007
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    HELLO!

    You are looking at a tip I have not added content to yet. If you need information about this now, please email me and I will update it immediately. Thank you for your patience.

    DAO

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    THE CROWN JEWEL OF ETHIOPIA - BET GIYORGIS

    by DAO Updated May 17, 2007

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    ITS ALL BELOW GROUND!
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    HELLO!

    You are looking at a tip I have not added content to yet. If you need information about this now, please email me and I will update it immediately. Thank you for your patience.

    DAO

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Lalibela Things to Do

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