Boasting commanding views over the nearby rift escarpment, Ankober Palace Lodge is a new eco-tourism enterprise with a rather special address: the historic Ankober Hill in the grounds of Emperor Menelik’s former palace.
Built at an altitude of 2,800m, in a very peaceful and pretty rural setting, Ankober Lodge has 6 cosy double rooms and one family room – with plans to add 4 more family rooms in the coming months. All the rooms are traditionally styled and come with en suite bathrooms and hot showers. For the more adventurous, there are also 4 Swiss high-grade tents with sleeping bags on offer – perfect for nights under the stars in the nearby mountains or forest.
A restaurant (with adjacent bar), built in the style of Emperor Menelik, offers European and Ethiopian dishes, and in good weather breakfast is served on the outdoor terrace with great views of the surrounding mountains, and of valleys dotted with eucalyptus trees.
Ankober Lodge offers an impressive range of activities, including guided tours and trekking programmes which take in the palace, nearby historic churches as well as Ankober market. Longer treks are also possible (trekkers are accompanied with a guide and a cook) as are journeys into the Afar desert region along the so-called Coffee Caravan Route.
It’s worth noting that Ankober Lodge is built at the top of a fairly steep hill, and visitors will need to climb for around 10 minutes to reach reception so be prepared. Additionally, while the restaurant has a fire, the rooms can be a little chilly at night. This said, don’t let steep walks and night temperatures put you off this delightful highland location. Pack wisely, wrap up warm and come!
After some of 40 years of international service, Mr. Ras-Work, once an engineer, has now returned to his home country and has launched a holistic development/commercial project with the aim of providing meaningful support to the region.
The benefits of the project are:
1. Providing a handsome return to the private investor who puts up the ecotourism facilities
2. Contribution to the eradication of poverty by creating alternative employment to the population at large currently engaged in subsistence farming.
3. Protecting the natural environment by planting trees, generating hydro electric power with the use of mini generators in this mountainous region of the country
4. Obtaining foreign currency revenue from services provided to international tourists
5. Opening up a culturally rich spectacular alpine type region to the global tourist community
1. Decent return on investment
2. Higher quality of life to the residents of the region
3. A major foreign currency source for the country
4. Protection of the environment
At present the Ankober Palace Lodge provides direct employment to some 30 to 40 full time and over 100 on and off daily laborers.
In addition Mr. Ras-Work has provided facilities to set up a traditional religious school which on the average caters for some 70 to 100 students. This operation has been going on for the last 15 years.
Mr. Ras-Work has also recently completed the reconstruction of an ancient church which now serves as a visitor’s destination in addition to providing regular spiritual service to the local community…
The next phase of the holistic development program is to set up a Museum which will also provide a traditional arts production centre. In this manner the cultural heritage of the region will be maintained and enhanced by providing assistance in training and marketing of the products of the set up in addition to ensuring the sustainability of the museum.
We have full governmental and community support in the setting up of the museum. The governement has provided 5,000 square meters of land for the construction of the museum. The museum and the lodge will compliment each other in the provision of services to the community.