The Tigray district of Ethiopia, situated in the North of the country, is a semi-desert area renowned for its rock churches.
To the extreme north-east is found the incredible Danakil desert, the lowest desert on earth at 410 ft below sea level. This point represents the most northerly point of the African rift valley where the tectonic plates are separating.
A visit to Tigray often turns out to be one of the highlights of any visit to Ethiopia. The rose-coloured rocks of the Gheralta mountains are a delight to visit with warm days and agreeable evening temperatures nearly all year around.
Places to visit include Axum with its 4th-century stellae and Yeha dating from the Axumite period which is still being discovered and excavated. There are 120 rock churches, some lost in the desert areas, others high in the mountains such as Abuna Yemata Guh with its precipitous climb up a narrow rock face.
Debre Damo monastery is also a must for the adventurous person since the access is by rope and requires a 30-metre vertical climb. Some churches are for men only and Debre Damo is one. Many churches are within easy walking distance from roads and not all are out of bounds. However, it has to be remembered that the often the purpose of building these churches was for Christians to hide their churches from invading Muslims during the middle ages.
Climbing to Debre Damo. [/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]
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