1-day private guided trip with start and end at Addis Ababa
Merit Ethiopian Experience Tours [MEET’s] one-day excursion from Addis to Debre Libanos
Private pleasure trip of 1-day to visit the Monastery of Debre Libanos, Jemma Gorge, and Portuguese Bridge
Curious about life, nature, etc. outside of Addis Abeba
Thinking of the best places to visit near Addis Ababa in 1-day
Planning a one-day-long excursion around Addis, or
Seeking out engaging private day tours to book.
You're in luck if we're close to getting it right. Welcome aboard!
We are tourism professionals well-reputed on TripAdvisor for the best private day tours near Addis Ababa.
Customizing individualized trips in Ethiopia, particularly in/near Addis Ababa, sets us apart and atop.
This Day trip to Debre Libanos Monastery is one of our best excursions to explore top-ranking attractions near Addis Ababa in a day. Contact us directly to customize and reserve. Or Book this Excursion to Debre Libanos Monastery from Addis Ababa ONLINE ON VIATOR.
With this day tour to Debre Libanos, you will also see the 16th Century stone-made Portuguese Bridge. Enjoy the magnificent views of Jemma River Gorge.
Duration – 8 to 9 hours
Total Distance Covered – 210 km
Means of Travel – Private Toyota Corolla (1 or 2 visitors) or Toyota Minivan (3 to 6 visitors)
With this day trip from Addis Ababa: -
• Visit local villages of the Oromo people to learn how to bake Injera (Ethiopia's national bread),
• See Gelada Baboons (found only in Ethiopia) and
• Attend a traditional Ethiopian Coffee Ceremony
NOTE – June, July, and August is the rainy season in Ethiopia. Enjoying the views of the Jemma River Gorge and seeing the Gelada Baboons may be difficult.
Women have to cover their hair and dress to cover their bodies when visiting the monastery.
Major Points of Interest and Attractions to visit: -
✿ Debre Libanos Monastery – Ethiopia's biggest monastery, founded in the 13th Century AD
✿ Portuguese Bridge - a small stone-made walking bridge constructed in the 16th Century AD
✿ Stop at a viewpoint to enjoy the breathtaking scenery of the Jemma River Gorge
✿ Participate in a typical Ethiopian Coffee Ceremony
✿ See one of the endemic mammals of Ethiopia – the Gelada Baboon, and
✿ Cultural experience in the villages of the Oromo people
Itinerary: – Meet your professional local tour guide at your hotel in Addis Ababa at 8:00 AM. Get general information about the day trip from Addis Ababa from your guide. And, drive 100 km north of Addis Ababa to Debre Libanos with a private air-conditioned vehicle.
On your way out of Addis Ababa, drive by Meskel Square – Addis Ababa's central downtown square & events hub. Stop at the stature of Emperor Menelik II – the founder of Addis Ababa.
Cross the beautiful Eucalyptus trees forest of Mount Entoto. The summit of Mount Entoto (3,200 meters or 10,500 feet (3.2 km) above sea level) is the highest peak around Addis Ababa.
If you book the day tour to Debre Libanos Monastery in September or October, you'll have extra rewards. You will stop at a few viewpoints to enjoy the lush scenery decorated with Meskel Flowers.
With stopovers, enjoy the breathtaking scenery of the Sululta Plains. This time of the year is best to see the beautiful Adey Abeba flowers. This yellow daisy flower known as Meskel Flower is the National Flower of Ethiopia for many.
Before reaching Debre Libanos, stop for half an hour at a village of the Oromo people. Indulge in a cultural experience to learn how Ethiopians bake Enjera. Enjera or Injera is the flat Ethiopian bread made of Teff Cereals. Take time to experience Ethiopian Coffee Ceremony with locals.
During this Addis Ababa day trip, take an hour's long guided visit of Debre Libanos Monastery. The Monastery of Debre Libanos was established by Ethiopian Saint Abune Tekle Haimanot in the 13th Century AD.
St. Tekle Haimanot prayed for seven years standing only on one leg. If you are interested and fit to walk on steep cliffs for nearly 15 minutes, you will visit the small cave Saint Tekle Haimanot prayed in for seven years.
Continue tour of Debre Libanos Monastery with visiting the church built by Emperor Haile Selassie I in the 1960s. This church is famous for its beautiful stained-glass windows and mosaics.
Then, visit Debre Libanos Monastery Museum for half an hour. See ancient religious and historical artifacts, crowns, manuscripts, icons, and royal seats.
Visiting the museum is quite interesting to learn why Debre Libanos Monastery is established here. Learn the original history why its location is selected for the monastery.
Continue excursion from Addis Ababa by driving 10 minutes to the Portuguese Bridge. Around the small stone made Portuguese Bridge, walk for half an hour to take photos of the bridge.
If the day tour is in the rainy season of June to August, visit the powerful waterfall by the Portuguese Bridge.
Portuguese Bridge foundation is in the 16th Century, according to locals. Some historians claim that Ras Darge built the Portuguese Bridge in the 19th Century. What is for sure, anyhow, is that Portuguese Bridge is worth visiting and offers fantastic scenery.
You might be curious as to why it is called the "Portuguese Bridge". The bridge was built similarly to an earlier Portuguese-built bridge in Northern Ethiopia, which explains why.
Due to the likely use of egg yolk as an adhesive for fusing the stones together, the Portuguese Bridge is also known locally as "እንቁላል ድልድይ" which translates to "Egg Bridge."
During the day trip from Addis, walk over the Portuguese Bridge. Head to the best outlook where you will have a bird's eye view of the beautiful Jemma River Gorge. Jemma River is one of the rivers flowing into the bigger Blue Nile Gorge.
The wildlife part of this day tour from Addis Ababa helps visitors to see one of the endemic mammals of Ethiopia – the Gelada Baboon. The Debre Libanos area is the nearest place to Addis Ababa to see Gelada Baboons, which are notable for the red patch on their chest. “The bleeding heart baboon” is the nickname of Gelada Baboons.
Have lunch at a local Ethiopian restaurant or at Ethio-German Park Hotel where you will try tasty Ethiopian food. During this excursion to Debre Libanos, try the typical Ethiopian traditional food known as Beyaynet or Beyaynetu. Vegan curries, veggies and stews are served on top of a large round piece of ‘Injera bread’. Enjoy a unique Ethiopian dining experience eating with your fingers.
For bird lovers, this Addis Ababa day tour gives a chance to see a few endemic birds of Ethiopia. Near Debre Libanos, spot the Rüppell's Chat, White-winged Cliff-chat and White-billed Starling.
Then, drive 100 km back to Addis Ababa, with a couple of stops for scenic pictures along the way.
This day trip is a great getaway from the busy daily life of Addis Ababa city.
It allows visitors to develop photography skills in taking photos. Get great shots of different scenes. Snapshot historical places like Debre Libanos monastery, and the Portuguese Bridge. Wildlife photo capturing includes Gelada Baboons and some birds.
With this day trip from Addis Ababa to Debre Libanos indulge yourself in cultural activities such as Ethiopian Coffee Ceremony. Admire the unique landscape of the Jemma River Gorge (one of the biggest rivers forming Blue Nile Gorge).
The other best part of this Addis Ababa day trip is a visit to local villages. With the cultural visit, see locals in difficult living conditions; yet feeling happy and smiling. Such experience makes most visitors give more value to their own life. You'll make more sense of social relations.
Per person tour price of Addis Ababa to Debre Libanos Monastery Day Tour
|Number of visitors in a group||Per-Person Price in US Dollars|
|1 visitor||185 US Dollars|
|2 visitors||115 US Dollars|
|3 visitors||110 US Dollars|
|4 visitors||95 US Dollars|
|5 visitors||85 US Dollars|
|6 visitors||80 US Dollars|
|Contact us if you have any questions|
The price of this day trip includes: -
• Comfortable Toyota Corolla or Toyota Minivan equipped with air conditioning and seat belts
• Fuel (gasoline) and driver's allowance
• All admission (entrance) fees to places of visits mentioned
• Lunch with soft drinks, water, coffee, or tea at a local Ethiopian restaurant
• Professional experienced English-speaking tour guide
• Family Visits and attendance of Coffee Ceremony
• Bottled water in the car
• And, related government taxes
Price does NOT include: -
• And, any other expense which is not mentioned in the “Included” list above
Please, contact us if you want the exact price of the tour.
This one-day tour from Addis Ababa can be customized to meet visitors’ interests and preferences best. And, the tour can be booked for up to six visitors at the same tour price.
This day trip can be extended to include the famous Blue Nile Gorge by driving 200 km more.
Contact us for booking this day tour from Addis Ababa or for further details!
Debre Libanos Monastery (ደብረ ሊባኖስ ገዳም) is located north of Addis Ababa. Debre Libanos is 100 km (about 62 miles) north of Addis Ababa past the towns of Sululta (ሱሉልታ), Chancho (ጫንጮ), and Debre Tsige (Debre Tsege) (ደብረ ጽጌ). At a small settlement known as Chagel (ጫገል), turn right and drive about 4 km to Debre Libanos Monastery.
“Debre Libanos Massacre” was committed on 20 May 1937 by Italian troops massacring more than 2,000 Ethiopian pilgrims and monks at Debre Libanos Monastery.
Italy occupied Ethiopia from 1936 to 1941. On 19 February 1937, two Ethiopian nationalists tried to kill the Italian Viceroy, Rodolfo Graziani. Following the failed assassination, more than 30,000 Ethiopians were killed by the fascist Italians – as revenge.
The May 20th, 1937, Debre Libanos Massacre is part of this retaliation against innocent Ethiopians by invader Italians. More than 2,000 monks, nuns, pilgrims, and regular Christians were brutally slaughtered as they were celebrating an important religious holiday at Debre Libanos Monastery.
With this day trip to Debre Libanos Monastery, your guide helps you spot several bird species including many Ethiopian endemic birds. As you drive from Addis Ababa to Debre Libanos, stop at Sululta Plains.
The wetlands of Sululta are is a great birding spot near Addis Ababa. Among many birds spot the endemic Ethiopian birds like the Black-Winged Plovers, Wattled Ibis, Blue-Winged Geese, Spot-Breasted Lapwing, and Abyssinian Long claw.
At Debre Libanos Monastery, walk in the forests to see different birds like the white-cheeked Turaco, Fan-tailed Raven, Stout Cisticola, Rüppell’s Robin-chat, Yellow-bellied Waxbill, and White-backed Vulture.
Expect to see three endemic birds of Ethiopia near Debre Libanos Monastery - White-winged Cliff-chat, Rüppell’s Black Chat and White-billed Starling.
Learn more about Ethiopian History with a day trip from Addis Ababa to Debre Libanos.
Visitors’ recent reviews about our day trip from Addis Ababa to Debre Libanos Monastery, Portuguese Bridge, and Jemma River Gorge
“Highly recommend this company!”
Very knowledgeable guide not just about sights but Ethiopian history, culture, people, and politics. In my travels, I depend on my guide to be a window into the country I am visiting. Muluken was a great help in this regard. I highly recommend him and his company Merit Ethiopia Experience Tours!
TripAdvisor review: Debre Libanos Monastery and Jemma River Gorge - Day Tour from Addis Ababa
Reviewed by Barry on Feb 15, 2023
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