Churches built in the 13th century -not to be prominently seen, as their European counterparts- but to be hidden. Ethiopia saw three waves of monotheistic religions: Judaism, Christianity (in the 4th century) and Islam in the 12th century. Ethiopians remain deeply Christian to this day. While I was there these churches held hundreds of pilgrims in white robes holding multi-coloured silk parasols.
When you go, ask your guide to show you St George’s horse hoof print on the rock. How can you be sceptical when a well meaning monk tells you the story?
If you are going solo, contact the guide that took me around: Samson Tilahun. He is superb and well versed in history. His website is:
He is guiding a photographer friend of mine at this very moment, on my recommendation.
World Expeditions can also take you there. Chris Buykx has spent years guiding and designing trips to Ethiopia’s HIghlands. One of their trips includes a trek in the Simien Mountains.
More on Ethiopia soon (with more photos).