Ethiopia is an ancient wonderland with rich architectural treasures including impressive temple and church ruins, tombs and palaces. Ethiopia’s beautiful climate, stunning scenery and hospitable people are invigorating and offer endless opportunities to explore and interact. Travel Ethiopia is a privately owned, eco-minded tour and safari operator founded in 1994 with an incredible depth of experience in the region.
Travel Ethiopia’s guides are highly qualified and multi-lingual, and bring Ethiopia to live on unique trips that explore historic sites, ethnicities, folklore, and the fauna and flora of Ethiopia.
Here we meet Ashenafi ‘Ashu’ Sileshi, one of Travel Ethiopia’s excellent guides.
I am Ashenafi Sileshi (Ashu) a tour guide in Ethiopia with more than fifteen years of experience working as a tour guide and organizer. I was born and grew up in Bale Mountains, one of the prime tourist destinations in Ethiopia, chasing after birds and small mammals as a child before moving onto Addis Ababa University to pursue my college education. A graduate of History and Tour Guiding, I used to teach history courses. I am a great story teller. My passion and thorough understanding of Ethiopia’s cultural history of ancient churches, religions , archaeological sites and of people is exceptional. Over the years I became an excellent spotter of birds and mammals.
Apart from guiding, I have worked for renowned Ethiopian tour operators under different capacities. I am also interested for the conservation of endangered and endemic species. Accordingly I am member of the team working on the conservation of the Liben lark, a bird on the verge of extinction unless proper measures are taken. A proud father of two boys, I am also serving as the Executive Committee of Ethiopian Tour Guides Professional Association.
What is your favorite place to visit in your country and why?
My favorite place to visit in Ethiopia is Lalibela. Lalibela is so special because of the unparalleled architecture: Carved top to bottom, a blend of several civilization of humanity and endless details; a land of myths and fabulous stories, the feelings while walking through narrow tunnels and unique religious ceremonies unchanged over centuries.
I have to add Bale Mountains National Park for its least spoiled environment and diversity of species and endemism (here you can see the Ethiopian wolf, giant mole rat, mountain nyala and beautiful birds etc), and the Semein Mountains for its unrivalled scenery and biodiversity (the star being the Gelada monkey).
What is your favorite part of your job?
My favorite part of my job is helping clients to enjoy their experience and spotting wildlife, especially Ethiopian Wolf in a camouflaged conditions.