Movement of Jah People
Christmas special: Religion & Spirituality in Ethiopia
Land of Origins
Not many people know that Ethiopia is the cradle of the world religions. It is the first Christian nation in the world: in the 3rd century Ethiopia was the first nation that adopted Christianity as a state religion. Ethiopia is also the first Muslim nation: when the Prophet Mohamed was expelled from Mecca in the 7th century, he sent his family to Ethiopia and there they founded the first Muslim settlement in history.
Furthermore, Ethiopia harbors ancient lines of Judaism, dating back to the biblical times of King Solomon, and many other denominations and spiritual movements, like Rastafari, Baha’i, Agnostic movements, and indigenous tribal beliefs like Animism. In Ethiopia different beliefs and faiths live peacefully next to each other, and mutual respect between them is considered one of the highest values in society. We are so inspired by this rich historic and spiritual heritage, that we have decided to set up a tour that explores the World Religions and local denominations from the unique Ethiopian perspective.
A Journey Along the World Religions
The tour starts in Addis Ababa, the capital city, where we explore broader Ethiopian history and culture. Next to the general highlights, we visit the Interreligious Council of Ethiopia, who will introduce us with the rich spiritual traditions of this nation. After our stay in Addis Ababa we travel East to the magical city of Harar. On the way we spend a night in Awash National Park, where we explore the beautiful natural environment, and we come across one of the largest religious pilgrimages of Africa; the Saint Gabriel celebrations in Kulubi. Harar is predominately a Muslim city, and there we will explore the Muslim traditions of Ethiopia. Next to that, a local Rastafarian will take us to a sacred place in the countryside and introduce us with his faith. After we have explored the East, we travel to the North, to the cities of Bahir Dar and Gondar, where we explore, among other things, the ancient traditions of Ethiopian Judaism. After we have spent time in the Simien Mountains, without doubt one of the most spectacular mountain ranges of Africa, we continue our journey to the cities of Axum and Lalibela, which are the two most holy places in Ethiopian Christianity. According to local tradition, the original Ark of the Covenant is kept in Axum, and Lalibela is known for its 900-year-old monolithic rock hewn churches. The tour will end in Addis Ababa, where you can check in for your flight back home, or extend your stay with, for example, a visit to the tribal regions of the south.
This tour is not specifically a Rastafari Tour, but is aimed at exploring the spiritual and religious traditions of Ethiopia in general. The group will consist of people who are interested in religion and spirituality from different backgrounds. Elements of Rastafari will be part of the program, and if you want you can extend your stay in Ethiopia with a visit to the Rastafari town of Shashamane after the regular program.
15 days: €2389 per person*
*Full package, based on two people sharing, with reservation of availability and price changes. For prices in other currencies please contact us. Excludes international plane ticket
5 % discount for people who book before 1 September 2019
The Ethiopia Experience
This tour is organised by The Ethiopia Experience. A social responsible travel company specialised in Ethiopia. The Ethiopia Experience is the parent company of Rastafari.travel and maintains strong relations with the Rastafari community. If you join this trip and you have a special interest in Rastafari, we will make sure you will meet local Rastafarians and you will have the chance to elaborate your knowledge and understanding of the faith.
Qumelachew Muluneh ('Kumi')
In his daily life Kumi is active for the Inter-religious Council of Ethiopia (IRC). Through his work he maintains relations with all religions and denominations in Ethiopia. He is a bridge builder between different faiths, and is a devout follower of the Ethiopian Christian Orthodox Church himself. Kumi will lead the interactions with different religious leaders and makes sure we connect with the right people in the right way.
Jos Wesemann ('Brother Joshua')
Joshua is the founder of the travel company The Ethiopia Experience and co-founder of the platform Rastafari.Travel. He is responsible for all logistics of the tour and will make sure everything will be organised from A-Z, and the program is carried out smoothly. Joshua is also an excellent story teller, and as a foreigner living in Ethiopia he has a profound understanding of Ethiopian history, culture, and religion from a 'Western' perspective.