Tesfa Tours is delighted to be quoted in a recent National Geographic Article entitled “In search of the real Queen of Sheba” Legends and rumours trail the elusive Queen of Sheba through the rock-hewn wonders and rugged hills of Ethiopia”


Here is an extract from Stanley Stewart’s article:   “The ruggedly mountainous, ravine-riven northern province of Tigray is considered the cradle of Ethiopian civilization.


This is the land Ethiopians believe constituted the original home of Sheba, a land that now has me walking its trails. …….  I see farmers plowing and harvesting fields of sorghum and barley by hand. With no motorized vehicles in sight, getting around means astride a donkey or on foot, which, right now, is just what I’m after. I’d been longing to get into the countryside, to feel Ethiopia under my soles.


Tesfa Tours, a community tourism enterprise that, working with villagers and development agencies, has built a handful of rustic stone-walled lodges, or hedamos, in Tigray’s highlands. (Tesfa stands for Tourism in Ethiopia for Sustainable Future Alternatives.) Each lodge is owned and operated by a committee of villagers, who act as hosts, manage the lodge, and prepare locally sourced meals for guests.


Entering Erar Valley, we are silenced by its beauty. Orchards stand under lattices of sun and shade. Mingling aromas of wood smoke, harvested hay, and spring flowers scent the morning. Near us, slender men are plowing fields of heavy earth with white oxen. Children ghost through groves of trees, waving shyly at us as they herd sheep. A man near a tukul winnows wheat, throwing forkfuls of flailed grain into the air so the breeze will carry off the chaff.


Over in a dry riverbed three women appear, their elegant shammas—full-length cotton garments—fluttering like white banners against dun-colored banks. Beyond the valley, beyond the enclosing mesas and escarpments, mountains edged the horizon, their sawtooth peaks wreathed with cloud.”


Read the full article here: https://www.nationalgeographic.com/travel/destinations/africa/ethiopia/