The Ethiopian Coffee Company has partnered with YellowWood Adventures to bring you an incredible 9-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’.

8 nights based on twin sharing

8 Breakfasts,
8 Lunches, 8 Dinners

Includes all transfers, guides and porters

max. 3 hours in a day

Sat 4th – Sun 12th
January 2020


  • Visit beautiful wild coffee forests
  • Experience Genna festival & coffee ceremony

  • Ride horses, visit waterfalls, 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. January 7th is also the festival of ‘Genna’ [Ethiopian Christmas] which we will celebrate with the local people. 

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

Optional extras: Horse riding, single accommodation 

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

Full Itinerary for Origin of Coffee Adventure

Day 1: Fly to Addis Ababa, tour the city

With a local guide we will take a short tour of the city, stopping off at the cathedral, Mercato and museum to get a feel for the place. We will also visit a culture house to see local dancing and sample tej honey wine before our first group dinner.

Day 2: Fly to Jimma, drive to Bonga, walk to a waterfall

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 to see a beautiful waterfall in the jungle where we will also pass a bee farm. Our guesthouses are located just outside of the town, amidst a beautifully maintained exotic gardens surrounded by acacia trees and jungle.

Day 3: Visit the wild coffee forest, visit Tatmara coffee farm

When coffee plants are not maintained they grow into huge trees which still bear the caffeinated fruit. We will walk through idyllic farmsteads to view one of these ancient wild coffee forests, where lichen hangs from the shaded trunks; one of the few remaining in the world today. We will then walk through a wild coffee farm located in the heart of the jungle and meet the people who maintain it.

Day 4: Visit the ECX, a tea plantation and Beha village

We will visit the Ethiopian Commodities Exchange office in Bonga to experience ‘cupping’ – the process whereby coffee is tasted to categorize its qualities. We will stop by a tea plantation on the way to the stunning Beha village to experience the coffee ceremony and local cuisine. Today is also the festival of Genna which we will celebrate in the town of Bonga!

Day 5: Drive to Tepi and explore the region

The Tepi Coffee Plantation Project is the second-largest coffee plantation in Ethiopia. Covering 6,205 hectares, it produces over 2,500 tonnes of raw arabica beans each year. The surrounding area is very hilly and was densely forested. The region also exports cardamom, ginger, corn, honey, beeswax, timber, sugar cane, bananas, mangoes, and other fruit. We will visit the local churches and learn about the local spirit cults following Bulafo and Ginabo.

Day 6: Visit Lemkaffa coffee plantation and Dadiban hotspring

We will continue our tour of the region by visiting another beautiful coffee plantation; a convenient excuse to keep exploring some of the most stunning scenery in the entire country. We will view Colobus Monkeys and all manner of tropical birds and wildlife, finishing up by taking a dip in a natural hotspring. For those who like horse riding we can rent horses for these journeys.

Day 7: 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 8: Fly back to Addis Ababa, visit coffee company

In the morning we will fly back to the capital. After freshening up in our rooms 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 before dinner in the best Italian in town.

Day 9: Fly out of Addis Ababa

Optional Lalibela add-on

Day 9: 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 10: 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 11: 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 12: 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 at the Ethiopia Commodity Exchange (ECX), and visit a local company’s production line in Addis Ababa. There is also an option to ride horses in some of the places we visit. Although the tour is centred around this interesting commodity; just being in this protected and truly magical region is an experience unto itself.

Optional Lalibela Add-on = £499

Sunday 12th – Wednesday 15th January 2020

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!

download adventure pack

Flight Information:

International and national flights are not included in the adventure price. Clients need to purchase two national flights for this adventure; Addis Ababa to Jimma & Jimma to Addis Ababa costing a total of approximately £208* or £104

For clients 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* or £85

*A 50% discount is available on these flights if clients’ international carrier is also Ethiopian Airlines