This 9 hours excursion (extra 1 hour for lunch) takes you to one of the oldest and remarkable monasteries of Ethiopia. The monastery complex sits on a terrace between a cliff and the gorge of one of the tributaries of the Abbay River. None of the original buildings of Debre Libanos survive, although David Buxton suspected "there are interesting things still to be found among the neighboring cliffs." Current buildings include the church over Tekle Haymanot’s tomb, which Emperor Haile Selassie ordered constructed in 1961; a slightly older Church of the Cross, where Buxton was told a fragment of the True Cross is preserved; and five religious schools. The cave where the saint lived is in the nearby cliffs. The Portuguese Bridge, The Jemma River are also the other attractions included on this program.
Depart Addis Ababa. Debre Libanos is one of the best day trips from the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa. The monastery and church northwest of the city have played an important role in Ethiopian Orthodox Christian religious history and are reminders of Ethiopia’s struggle against the Italian occupation. In addition to its religious significance, Debre Libanos impresses all visitors with the surrounding landscape. Debre Libanos is located directly on the escarpment looking down into the canyon, providing spectacular views – a perfect location to stop and enjoy the surroundings. In addition, a short walk leads to the so-called Portuguese Bridge, which was built around the turn of the 20th century. The bridge spans the small Gur River which, just a few meters farther, pours into a 600 meter high waterfall down into the canyon. Late afternoon, drive back to Addis Ababa.