Addis Ababa: Debre Libanos, Blue Nile Gorge & Cave Church

Addis Ababa: Debre Libanos, Blue Nile Gorge & Cave Church

From US$ 120 per person

Explore the Debre Libanos Monastery, the Portuguese Bridge, the Teklehaimanot Cave Church, and the breathtaking landscapes of the Blue Nile Gorge on this day trip from Addis Ababa. Discover the typical Ethiopian countryside lifestyle and endemic wildlife.

About this activity

Free cancellation
Cancel up to 24 hours in advance to receive a full refund
COVID-19 precautions
Special health and safety measures apply. Learn more
Mobile ticketing
Use your phone or print your voucher
Duration 7 hours
Starting time 8:30 AM
Instant confirmation
Live tour guide
English
Pickup included
Hotel pickup: Please wait in the hotel lobby 15 minutes before your scheduled pickup time. Airport pickup: The driver or guide will be holding a sign with your last name on it outside the airport where the yellow taxis are parked.

Experience

Highlights
  • Experience monastic life at the Debre Libanos Monastery, founded within a steep riverine canyon in 1284
  • Marvel at the breathtaking views and landscapes of the Blue Nile Gorge
  • Take a short hike to the stone-arch Portuguese Bridge
  • Discover the wildlife around the monastery, including endemic bleeding-heart aboons and birdlife
  • Soak up panoramic views of Addis Ababa from Entoto Hill at 3,300 meters above sea level
Full description
Visit the impressive Debre Libanos Monastery, the famed Portuguese Bridge, the spectacular Blue Nile Gorge, and the haunting Saint Teklehaimanot Cave Church in just one day with an English-speaking guide. Marvel at breathtaking mountain landscapes and endemic wildlife, like bleeding-heart gelada baboons. After pickup at your hotel or at the airport in Addis Ababa, drive 100 kilometers (68 miles) to the north and pass over undulating mountain ranges that shelter the famous bleeding-heart baboons, as well as various endemic birds. Arrive at Debre Libanos, a monastery complex founded by Ethiopian Saint Abune Tekle Haymanot in 1284 that sits on a terrace between a cliff and the gorge of one of the tributaries to the Blue Nile River (Jamma River). Then, experience the breathtaking views of the Blue Nile Gorge, often compared with Arizona’s Grand Canyon. Admire the Portuguese Bridge, built by Ras Darge in the 1890s in a classic Portuguese style. Enjoy the scenic views, interact with the Oromo people, and trek to the Saint Teklehaimanot Cave Church where around 300 monks were slaughtered in 1936 by Italian invaders. On the way back to Addis Ababa, make a stop at the Entoto Mountain for panoramic views of Addis Ababa from 3,300 meters (10,827 feet) above sea level. The tour concludes with drop-off at the airport or your hotel
Includes
  • Pickup and dropoff at any location in Addis Ababa (hotel or airport)
  • Ground transportation including a car, fuel, and a driver
  • English-speaking tour guide
  • Local guides
  • Lunch, including a bottle of water and hot drinks
  • Bottled water
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Personal expenses
  • Gratuities
Not suitable for
  • Pregnant women
  • People with mobility impairments
COVID-19 precautions
Safety measures in place
  • All areas that customers touch are frequently cleaned
  • Customers must keep distance in vehicles
  • The number of visitors is limited to reduce crowds
Traveler requirements
  • Customers are required to bring and wear masks

Select participants and date

Participants

Date

Prepare for the activity

Important information

What to bring

  • Passport or ID card
  • Comfortable shoes
  • Sunglasses
  • Sun hat
  • Sunscreen

Know before you go

  • Women should wear clothing that covers well below the knees
  • Women are also encouraged to bring scarfs to cover their heads as they access the monastery (this is optional)
Customer reviews

Overall rating

5 / 5

based on 4 reviews

Review summary

  • Guide
    5.0 / 5
  • Transportation
    4.5 / 5
  • Value for money
    5 / 5
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A fantastic, eye opening day to a lovely waterfall beside the Portuguese Bridge. The falls on shear cliffs over the Jamma River valley with green terraces far below is a scene you will remember for a long time. Zerefa the guide and Tamrat our expert driver made the day smooth and memorable. Knowledgeable and conscientious guides. We also visited an Omoro house and passed through villages and rolling countryside populated by goats, donkeys, and cattle. Along the road to the monastery and church (note these are not the ancient churches dug into the ground, which are farther north) we also encountered a troupe of baboons. The best part of the day was a detour we took to get back into Addis due to traffic along the normal route. Traversing steep neighborhoods of outer Addis gave a window into the street life of Addis. Beautiful and humbling trip

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March 13, 2020

This was the perfect way to spend my only free day in Addis Ababa - outside of the big smoke. I shared the tour with one other intrepid business traveler, and with our driver Tarmrat and tour-guide Alex we made a fine four. I was picked up from my hotel and the tour began with a short trip around some Addis landmarks, with Alex explaining the importance of Ethiopia and Ethiopian culture in the region and on the continent. Alex was also very knowledgeable as we pinged off random questions about this and that throughout the day. We experienced everything this tour promised - this spectacular baboon and his 20 or so family members, not to mention some live action as he chased away some wannabees, monasteries with surprising and frankly the most beautiful modern stain-glassed windows I have seen, spectacular scenery from the top of the Rift Valley, and some very lovely walks including to a cave chapel. Lunch was great; vegetarian if you wished, and finished with a perfect coffee ceremony

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March 13, 2020

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Product ID: 352026