To Debre Libanos & Blue Nile Gorge 100 km north of Addis Ababa over the Entoto Mountains passing through the Sululta Plains to the Monastery one of Ethiopia’s holiest sites. The original Debre Libanos (ደብረ ሊባኖስ) monastery was founded in the 13th century by Tekla Haimanot, a priest credited not only with the spread of Christianity in the highlands, but also the restoration of the Solomonic line of kings. Today he’s one of Ethiopia’s most revered saints. Since his time Debre Libanos has served as the principal monastery of the old Shoa region, and remains one of Ethiopia’s largest and most important monasteries. Many Ethiopians make pilgrimages and some seek out its curative holy waters, said to be good for warding off evil spirits and for stomach disorders.
Overlooking Jema River Gorge, a tributary of the Blue Nile, the Monastery owns ecclesiastical, cultural and historical relics, and boasts a rare grove of trees that have disappeared from elsewhere in the region. Walk across a 16th Century Bridge said to have been built by Portuguese to a spectacular viewpoint overlooking the gorge. Here you may see gelada monkeys—a unique grass eating primate found only in Ethiopia.
We suggest a weekend trip to Debre Libanos Monastery with an overnight in the nearby and beautifully situated Ethio-German lodge. En route you can also visit the Muger gorge with the Durba Waterfall and Jemma Valley.