Ethiopian culinary & Coffee Expedition
Travel to the country with over 3,000 years of history and rulers descendant from the legendary King Solomon himself. Known as the birthplace of coffee and producing some of the highest quality beans in the world, Ethiopia presents itself as a vibrant hub of food and culture. Join our guides as we explore the complex connections between tradition, agriculture, environment, and culture, while getting caffeinated along the way. Our writing workshops will focus on engagement, food, and culture as we meet the people and producers of coffee and get the unique ability to see the process up close and personal.
Trip Summary: Ethiopia | 10 Days
Group Trip: 2-11 October 2017
Group Size: Capped at 16
Trip Cost: $3800 per person
- Travel across Ethiopian’s vast growing regions for coffee while meeting local producers and learning about different processes, varietals and brewing methods from trained professionals
- Visit historic monasteries, palaces, and museums from a cultural that is over 3,000 years old, while trying the unique and vibrant Ethiopian cuisine
- Hike several inactive volcanoes, ride out on crater lakes, swim in hot springs and enjoy the Ethiopian floral and fauna.
- Enjoy nightly workshops with a travel-writing guide who will help you engage with a new place and traditions and turn them into stories you can take home.
Itinerary | 10 Days
Day 1-2, Addis Ababa: We will arrive in Addis Ababa and meet to get acquainted and acclimated. The next day we will meet coffee processors and exporters in the city to learn about the quality of the country’s coffee before taking a tour of Ethiopia’s capital, which includes their Natural Museum, housing the oldest human bones, the Cathedral of the Holy Trinity, and Entoto Mountains. We will learn about Ethiopian culture and tradition while we vist the former palace and begin our conversations about traveling and writing.
Day 3, Weliso: We will leave Addis Ababa and journey to the western coffee growing region of Kaffa. An extinct volcano, Mt Menagesha, and Menagesha State Forest, a prominent reforestation project, will give us a better understanding of the ecology along the way. We will also hike Mt. Wenchi and visit the hot springs and offshore island in its crater lake by boat.We will stay overnight in Weliso in a lodge and enjoy the natural hot springs in the area while learning about the history of coffee and Ethiopia and continuing our critiques and conversations about writing.
Day 4-6, Bonga/Jimma Region: Our tour will spend three days in the Jimma Region visiting the Coffee Research Center, learning about genetic variations and farming methods. Jimma is one of the most important cities in western Ethiopia and its Kaffar region is one of the most popular coffee producers. After a lunch, we will drive to Bonga and visit the last of the Oromo kingdoms, and explore cloud forests. The next day, we will reach the site of the original coffee plant and explore the legend of Kaldi, a goat herder who discovered the beans, and have the afternoon to continue our conversations and workshops about writing while in the beautiful natural surroundings of Bonga. The next day, we will tour more coffee farms on our way to Jimma, stopping to explore the palace of the Kaffa King Abba Jiffar II.
Day 7, Addis Ababa: A morning drive from Jimma to Addis Ababa will leave us the afternoon to write, relax, and explore Ethiopia’s vibrant capital on your own.
Day 8, Langano: In off-road vehicles, we will journey to the Ethiopian Rift Valley, over the territories of the Oromo and Gurage people. and visit the Awash River and rock-carved church of Adadi Mariyam. In the afternoon we will visit Langano Lake and swim as we enjoy the beautiful beach of the lake and stay in a waterfront lodge.
Day 9, Yirga Cheffe- Yirga Alem: Today, we will visit the most popular coffee harvesting regions, explore more coffee farms and enjoy the quiet, green country-side at the Aregash Lodge surrounded by coffee plants and wilderness. In the evening, we will continue our conversations and workshops on writing about local traditions and cultures.
Day 10 Awassa and Addis Ababa: In Awassa, we will learn about sustainable coffee practices and the classification of coffee from a regional cooperative of coffee farmers dedicated to sustainable tourism. Partake in a traditional Ethiopian coffee ceremony and stay overnight at the Awassa Lake lodge. In the evening, we will finish up our workshops and share what we have compiled in our journals about our Ethiopian experience. We conclude our trip by heading back to the capital, stopping at several small carter lakes along the way, to explore markets and rest, followed by a traditional farewell dinner.
Optional Extension to Mekele and Etra Ale Volcano (4 days): After a short flight from Addis Ababa, you will land in a little village known as Mekele. Travel on to a second beautiful secluded village about 45 minutes away where you will encounter one of Ethiopia’s most indigenous tribes. From here it is about a 6-hour drive through stunning villages, white sand, camel trains, and even dried lava to the infamous Etra Ale Volcanoe. Spend a full day and night sleeping on the ridge of the Caldera, enjoying fantastic moments taking photos of the lava pools, before we begin our adventure back to Addis Ababa.