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Located in northern Ethiopia at 2,600 metres above sea level, in a stunning location to the south-east of the Simien Mountains, Lalibela is a centre of pilgrimage for Ethiopian Orthodox Christians.

It is famed for its 11 churches, which date from the 12th and 13th centuries, and are hewn from the area’s characteristic pink granite. The churches stand in two groups, separated by the Jordan River. The entire city has a unique architectural style and many buildings are decorated with well-preserved paintings. Lalibela is considered by many to be one of the unofficial wonders of the world.

The surrounding area is excellent for a variety of raptors, including lammergeier, augur buzzard and lanner falcon.

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Key info

  • Ideal for viewing: black scimitarbill, Abdim’s stork, Abyssinian long-eared owl, crested francolin, egyptian vulture
  • Where: Amhara Region, Ethiopia

Wildlife trips

This location is featured in the following itineraries:

Ethiopia: A Unique Wonder

Join award winning environmental photojournalist and conservationist Ben Cherry on a trip through three very unique locations in Ethiopia: the Simien Mountains, Lalibela and Bale Mountain National Park, and discover an entirely different take on African wildlife photography.

  • When to go: Nov
  • Duration inc. flights: 15 days
  • Price inc. flights: From £4,995 pp
  • Trip type: Group tour

Ethiopian Wildlife Extravaganza

This wonderful introduction to Ethiopia takes you to each of the country’s major cultural highlights and provides you with the chance to see superb wildlife, such as gelada baboon, Menelik’s bushbuck, mountain nyala and one of the world’s rarest mammals - the Ethiopian wolf - all in stunning scenery.

  • When to go: Jan-Jul, Sep-Dec
  • Duration inc. flights: 12 days
  • Price inc. flights: From £3,195 pp
  • Trip type: Tailor-made trip idea
Suggested accommodation is shown below. Please contact us for further recommendations.

Mountain View Hotel

Located on the edge of the Lasta Mountains, this 30-room hotel has magnificent panoramas and is the ideal spot from which to enjoy the surrounding countryside – the sunsets are particularly stunning. The hotel’s curious architecture consists of a series of boxes, with acres of windows.