Timkat 2021

Experience the incredible Timkat festival on the Ethiopian highlands. Cycle, run, or walk across the stunning plateaus, moving from camp to camp, culminating in an evening of celebration with the local villages.
5 Days

Trip Summary and Itinerary Map

This 5 day Timkat 2021 adventure offers a truly unique way to experience the biggest festival on the Ethiopian calendar. Ride, run, or walk across Ethiopia's beautiful plateaus, heading from camp to camp across farmland, ridges, gullies, and canyons. 

You can book this trip as a standalone adventure, or you can include it as part of a wider itinerary in Ethiopia. Get in touch and we can help you with a tailor-made trip. 

  • The trip takes place across the Ensaro and Moretna Jiru woredas of the Amhara region in northern Ethiopia.
  • The cycling routes are on farm tracks and quiet roads, while the running and walking is off-road,  surrounded by stunning mountain scenery. You will not have experienced a gym like this anywhere else in the world.
  • The starlight in this part of the country is extraordinary. With the assistance of an expert and telescopes from the Ethiopian Space Science and Technology Institute, you can enjoy the highland night skies in stunning detail.
  • There are two notable monasteries along the gorges of the Jamma River: Debre Libanos and Zena Markos. The monasteries were founded in the 12th century by two cousins Teklehaimanot and Zena Markos.
  • On the last evening and final morning, celebrate Timkat with the local community of the Abo Church near our campsite. In the evening, follow the procession as the Tabot is paraded towards the Water Pool where it will spend the night. On Tuesday morning we will invite local people to join our own Timkat celebrations at our camp before making the journey back to Addis. 

Start from Addis Ababa and end at Addis Ababa

Landmarks potentially visited on Timkat 2021


Friday 15th January

Arrive at Bole International Airport. You will be picked up outside the airport terminal. There are two departure slots, an early departure at 11:30am or 12:30pm departure.

Drive from Addis to the first campsite (3.5 hours). Explore around the campsite before having dinner at the camp. This is an excellent opportunity for star gazing with the Ethiopian Space Science & Technology Institute (ESSTI). 

Saturday 16th January

Enjoy breakfast at the camp overlooking the sweeping views. There are two cycling options to choose from.

Cycle option 1 (harder): 9am departure from campsite. Ride to St. Michael’s Church at Ingofe for picnic stop before heading back to the campsite. The round trip is approximately 40km. You'll arrive back at the campsite by 3-4pm.

Cycle option 2 (easier): 9.30am departure from campsite. Ride to Lemi for coffee and visit the colourful local market before turning around and heading back to the campsite for lunch. The round trip is approximately 20km.

For those not cycling, you can walk or horse ride to the plateau overlooking the canyon. Those doing the easier cycling option can also visit a nearby village in the afternoon.

Enjoy another delicious dinner in the evening at the camp, and start gazing with ESSTI. 

Sunday 17th January

Today you will break camp and move to the second campsite. Starting at 7am, have breakfast at the camp before taking to the bikes for the journey to the next camp. 

Cycling option 1 (harder): 9.30am departure from campsite. This is a long 50km ride to the next campsite by Abo Church. At the halfway point, stop at a local village for coffee.

Cycling option 2 (easier): 10am departure from campsite by vehicle to local village for coffee. From here, ride to campsite by Abo Church (25km).

For those not cycling, you can either be dropped by vehicle to walk the last 8-10km to the campsite. 

Monday 18th January

Today is Timkat Eve! From 7am, enjoy breakfast at the campsite. There are two cycling options.

Cycling option 1 (harder): 9am departure from campsite. Ride via Enewari and Chasso to Zena Markos Monastery for picnic lunch before returning back to camp via Mariam Segnet Church. The approximate distance is 40-50km with vehicle pick-up option towards the end.  You'll return to the campsite by 3-4pm.

Cycling option 2 (easier): 10am departure from campsite by vehicle to Enewari. Ride to Zena Markos Monastery for picnic lunch, before returning to Enewari via Mariam Segnet Church. There is a vehicle transfer from Enewari to campsite. The round trip is approximately 18km. Return to campsite by 3-4pm.

For those not cycling, you can walk from Mariam Segnet Church to Zena Monastery and back with a picnic lunch at the halfway point. 

At 5pm, join the Timkat procession from Abo Church and return to campsite for evening dinner around 9pm. Rejoin the Timkat celebrations. 

Tuesday 19th January

Timkat arrives! The day starts early at 6:30am. Coffee and bread at campsite around 8am before breaking camp and preparing for the Timkat celebration. At 10:30, enjoy a Timkat Meal and celebration at the campsite with local people. From 12.30pm the transport departs for Addis Ababa. You'll arrive in Addis around 4:30pm. 

Prices and Inclusions

Prices are per person


  • All ground transport.
  • Good quality mountain bike. 
  • All camping equipment. 
  • Meal plan full board. 
  • Fees for entrances, local guides and compulsory scouts for activities mentioned in the itinerary, unless listed as excluded.
  • All government taxes for the services included in the tour price.


  • Any meals not mentioned as included and bottled drinks. 
  • International flights and visa fees.
  • Other personal expenses, souvenirs, tips and gratuities, etc.
  • Any activities not mentioned as included.

Questions about this Trip?