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The first Europeans to record their visit to Ankober were the Evangelical missionaries Carl Wilhelm Isenberg and Johann Ludwig Krapf in 1839. However, at the time there was a small colony of Greeks, who made their living as craftsmen and tradesmen. In the following years, a steady stream of travelers visited Ankober, including Captain William Cornwallis Harris. Following the death of Meridazmaches Sahle Selassie in 1847, the Abichu Oromo rebelled and attacked Ankober; only the firearms Sahle Selassie had collected there saved the capital. The Shewan’s burned the town in 1856 in reaction to the invasion, and eventual conquest, of Emperor Tewodros II.

Debre Birhane

Debre Berhane was founded by Emperor Zara Yaqob, in response to a miraculous light that was seen in the sky at the time. Believing this was a sign from God showing his approval for the death by stoning of a group of heretics 38 days before, the emperor ordered a church built on the site, and later constructed an extensive palace nearby, and a second church, dedicated to Saint Cyriacus. Zara Yaqob spent 12 of the last 14 years of his life in Debre Berhane.


Ankober may have formerly been known as Gorobela. Meridazmaches Amha Eyesus, moved the capital of Shewa from Doqaqit to Ankober. It remained the principal residence of the rulers of Shewa until Negus (later Emperor) Menelik II moved it to Mount Entoto in 1878, although Wossen Seged preferred to live at Qundi during his reign. The name of the town is said to have been taken from an Oromo Queen, Anko, who ruled the town during the reign of Qedami Qal

Aliyu Amba

Set at an altitude of about 1,500m near the base of the escarpment, 15km from Ankober, Aliyu Amba is in itself remarkable only for boasting a vulnerable mosque. Aliyu Amba owed its importance to its location on the caravan route that stretched west from Saqqa in the Gibe region to Harar in the east and Tadjoura on the Red Sea. It was the most important market of central Ethiopia in the early and middle 19th century, and its merchants were almost entirely Muslim. The rulers of Shewa and of Harar co-operated in keeping this west-east route open. As a result, the two potentates were in regular contact, and the head of the Harari community in Aliyu Amba was appointed by the Emir of Harar. This town was also an important center of the amole trade in the 1830s, and Mordechai Abir notes that a 10 percent duty on all sales rendered to the Shewan government 3,000 Maria Theresa Thalers in cash and the equivalent of 2,000 in kind.

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Trip Facts

Accommodation Hotel reservation
Transportation 4 wheel / bus
Group size Min 5 – Max 20
Fitness level Intermediate
Tour Destination Debre Birhane
Tour Activity Adventure tour
Tour type Adventure
Package Short Day
Meals Hotel meal
Language You select
Total distance 160km
Other Hiking 1 days ~ 20 km


  • Some places are Not accessible for wheelchair,
  • Not recommended for heart problems or other serious medical conditions,
  • Not recommended for pregnant travelers,
  • Not recommended for travelers with back problem,
  • Travelers should have an intermediate or above physical fitness level,
  • This travel requires good physical weather. If its cancelled due to poor weather, you’ll be offered a different date or a full refund.
  • This travel requires a minimum number of travelers. If it’s canceled because the minimum isn’t met, you’ll be offered a different date or a full refund.

When to Go

Travelling in Ethiopia is possible at any time of year, but each season will bring with it a different experience. Many tourists choose to go between September and November when the landscape is alive with green after the rainy season. December through April is also fine hiking weather, as the sun is often out and temperatures are higher, but views tend to be a little hazy, and the landscape turns from vivid green to yellow and dry. The least popular hiking months are June, July and August when rain falls daily. Temperatures during the day tend to be comfortably warm in all seasons but can fall below zero at night, so pack warms clothes and a good sleeping bag.

Keep In Mind

To make sure that your environmental impact is minimal, whenever you travel, don’t forget to take the following steps:
  • Do not collect or damage any vegetation and do not disturb or feed wild animals;
  • Remember to take all of your litter with you;
  • Camp only in designated areas;
  • Always use latrines where provided, or bury waste at least 100 meters away from water;
  • Do not use soaps in natural waterways.


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Ethioder Tour and Travel is a Destination Management Company in Ethiopia, since 2000 GC, made up of professionals…

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