The Ethiopian Coffee Company has partnered with YellowWood Adventures to bring you an incredible 10-day adventure: Discover the wonderful culture of Ethiopia whilst following the amazing ‘crop to cup’ journey of Ethiopian coffee from the wild forests of Bonga to their Islington coffee shop ‘Ground Control’.

9 nights based on twin sharing

9 Breakfasts,
8 Lunches, 8 Dinners

Includes all transfers, guides and porters

Grade 3 – Entry Level
max. 3 hours in a day

Fri 14th – Sun 23rd
May 2021

£1,549

  • Visit beautiful wild coffee forests
  • Experience Ethiopian coffee ceremony

  • Learn about Ethiopian farming life, meet local people
  • Discover new coffee flavours through ‘cupping’

Coffee originates from Ethiopia. The word ‘coffee’ comes from the word ‘Kafa’; the green jungle region in the southwest of the country. Walking through beautiful jungle with Colobus Monkeys swinging overhead, we will experience the beauty of its diverse flora, fauna, wildlife and local people; visiting the coffee plantations and villagers who work there, learning everything about the processes that allow the beans to be exported to the international market. 

An optional 3-day add-on adventure to the churches in Lalibela is also available.

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Optional extras: Horse riding, single accommodation (£200)

Not Included: Flights, visas, insurance (mandatory), airport taxes, tips, beverages, souvenirs

Summary Itinerary: Origin of Coffee Adventure

Day 1: Arrive in Addis Ababa

With group members arriving during the afternoon and evening, today is a ‘free’ day for you to arrive, be transferred to the start hotel, and to shake off any travel fatigue, before the start of your adventure in earnest, tomorrow.

Day 2: Visit coffee company, local charity and Culture Show

After lunch we will take a trip out to a local coffee company, in whose impressive facilities we will see the beans being washed and processed for export. The complex also has a beautiful in-house coffee shop where we will experiment with creating different kinds of drinks. We are invited as a group on an optional visit to Hamlin Fistula Hospital in Addis, run by the charity HamlinFistulaEthiopia.  Please see our Adventure Pack for more details.  We will also visit a culture house to see local dancing and sample ‘tej’ honey wine for our first group dinner.

Day 3: Fly to Jimma, drive to Bonga, walk to a viewpoint

We will hop on a short national flight down to the city of Jimma, from where we will drive the two hours to Bonga in the Kaffa Biosphere Reserve, taking in the truly spectacular views along the way. We will stretch our legs by taking a walk up to the viewpoint above Bonga, to get our bearings, and absorb the beauty of the area we are about to explore.  Our guesthouses are located just outside of the town, amidst a beautifully maintained exotic gardens surrounded by acacia trees and jungle.

Day 4: Tatmara Coffee Plantation

The team at Tatmara Coffee Plantation welcome us today, introducing us to our first experience of the infamous Ethiopian Coffee Ceremony.  We enjoy an al fresco lunch at the plantation and an interesting and educational walking tour of the facilities and processes that are completed here, all contributing to the packet of Ethiopian coffee we may enjoy at home.

Day 5: Enjoy gentle Waterfall walk, en route visiting local honey producer and a Tea Plantation

Treat your senses today, and get under the skin of what the realities of farming are like in the area, with a visit to a passionate and knowledgeable local honey producer, and a Tea Plantation.  We also enjoy a wonderful 2km leg stretch (round trip) to a stunning waterfall.

Day 6: Mankira Wild Coffee Farm

Today we enjoy a beautiful 3hr (round trip) walk through lush and wild forest to the ‘Mother Tree’ in Mankira Wild Coffee Forest.  It is a 40min drive from our guesthouse, and we return to Bonga for lunch and a fabulous visit to a family run Spice Farm.  Our guide Bereket will translate for us so we can learn more about life for our welcoming hosts.

Day 7: Visit Lemkaffa coffee plantation

An early start this morning is well worth the effort.  Today we are truly exploring, with a 2-3hr drive into ‘Medicine Man’ country!  The road is bumpy at times and we need 4x4s for this journey, but it is 100% worth it as this is some of the most stunning scenery that Ethiopia has to offer. We will see Colobus monkeys and incredible flora as well as an excellent tour of the plantation and a delicious lunch, before the return journey to Kafa.

Day 8: Drive to Jimma, tour Jimma

In Jimma, a major nerve centre for coffee in the Oromia region, we will visit the palace and museum of Abba Jifar, King of the Gibe Kingdom of Jimma. The largest and most powerful of the five kingdoms of Gibe, it was established around 1830, when silver Maria Theressa Dollars and bars of salt were the main circulation of currency. Jimma is a very lively town so we can explore the markets and later on some of the nightspots from our hotel.

Day 9: Fly back to Addis Ababa, city tour

In the morning we will fly back to the capital. After freshening up in our rooms and lunch with a local guide we will take a short tour of the city, stopping off at the Red Terror and Ethnographic Museum to fill any gaps in our understanding of recent Ethiopian History and to help us frame all we have seen on our adventure.   We enjoy a fabulous reminisce and reflect over dinner in one of the best restaurants in town.

Day 10: Fly out of Addis Ababa

Optional Lalibela add-on

Day 10: Addis Ababa to Lalibela

We hop on our short one-hour national flight to the historic town of Lalibela where we will begin our guided tour of the ancient 13th Century rock-hewn churches, easily the most famous of all the monuments across this enormous country. Our professional local guide will lead us through the intricate system of underground passages that link the incredibly beautiful churches in the UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Day 11: Visit Asheton Maryam Monastery

The monastery is one of the highest in Ethiopia, set at an elevation of almost 4000m to the southeast of Lalibela. Carved into a cliff face, it was founded by King Nakuta La’ab, whom is most likely buried there. The small and unadorned church houses some impressive crosses, illuminated manuscripts and other treasures, although arguably the most remarkable aspect of the visit is its magnificent setting and the stunning views.

Day 12: Lalibela to Addis

There are eleven rock-hewn churches in Lalibela, many of them interconnected by an intricate network of caves and tunnels! We will continue exploring this incredible area in true Indian Jones fashion the morning before flying back to Addis in the afternoon for an evening out experiencing live Ethiopian Jazz at one of the best spots in town!

Day 13: Fly out of Addis

The Kafa Biosphere Reserve, a UNESCO-protected site, is one of the few remaining wild coffee forests in the world. One day a shepherd here saw that his flock of goats acting strangely after eating the red berries, so he took some home to his wife – and lo the wonders of coffee were discovered!

We will partake in the local coffee ceremony (coffee is Ethiopia’s national drink), experience ‘cupping’ where you can learn about its many varied flavours, and visit a local company’s production line in Addis Ababa. There is the option to ride horses in some of the places we visit, for those that are interested. Although the tour is centred primarily around coffee, we also have the opportunity to visit small scale honey and spice producers, and a tea plantation.  For those less interested in coffee as a commodity,  just being in this protected and truly magical region is an experience unto itself.

Optional Lalibela Add-on = £499

Sunday 23rd – Wednesday 26th May 2021

This add-on tour allows you the opportunity to visit the jewel in Ethiopia’s historic crown; the mind-blowing 13th Century rock-hewn churches of Lalibela, where a local guide will take us around the UNESCO World Heritage Site, commonly referred to as ‘The Eighth Wonder of the World’. We will stay in a hotel with stunning views of this beautiful, mountainous region, as well as taking a day-trip up to the picturesque Asherton Maryam Monastery before returning to the Capital for a night of Ethio Jazz!

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Flight Information:

International and national flights are not included in the adventure price. YellowWood Adventures donates £35/client using international air travel to the charity WeForest, to plant & maintain 15 trees in the fight against global deforestation.

Clients need to purchase two national flights for this adventure; Addis Ababa to Jimma & Jimma to Addis Ababa costing a total of approximately £208.  Those including the Lalibela add-on you will need to purchase two additional national flights; Addis Ababa to Lalibela & Lalibela to Addis Ababa costing a total of approximately £170.  Please note that a 50% discount is available on these flights if your international carrier is also Ethiopian Airlines.

We are happy to send you more detailed information on which flights to book as required.