Addis Ababa to Mekele. October 21-29, 2017.
The tour starts outside Addis Ababa. Avoiding the heavy diesel exhaust in the city, we drive our escort vehicle around 50 kilometers North to our start location.
From here we have a long ascent. Driving through the countryside, we pass traditional farm-highland, local villages and eucalyptus plantations. As we ascend further we are offered spectacular views of the deep gorges of some of the contributing rivers of the Blue Nile far to the West. And at the top, we finally reach Tarma Ba, a small village located at an altitude of 3.300 meters. This can be a beautiful place. But on other days when winds are strong and clouds are building up around the mountain top, this place can be biting cold and with a visibility of less than 15 meters. Tarma Ba is the highest location of the tour.
From here a gravel road continues up, 70 kilometers towards the high plateau of the Guassa Community Conservation Area, one of the homes to the Ethiopian wolf and a few other endemic species of mammals. But following the tarmac road through a tunnel we find ourselves on top of a long descent on the steep Eastern escarpment, a descent that leads us deep into the warm and fertile valleys of Wollo in the Southern part of Amhara Region. This is a beautiful first day through the highlands and we are now well on our way.