Hudad is a lodge sitting atop a high plateau (more than 3,300m altitude) and overlooking the historic religious town of Lalibela, Ethiopia. The lodge sits on its own plateau that commands 360 degree views of the valleys and mountains surrounding it. On the trek up you will pass many small villages and meet many local people.
Hudad is an ecolodge managed by local residents, and its eco credentials are pretty good too. There are no roads up to Hudad, so everyone must hike or ride a mule up to the plateau (about 2-3 hours direct), employing mule drivers and guides. There is no electricity or running water, so everything has been designed around this (there are gravity showers, pit toilets and campfires). The lodgings – tukuls – are also made in the local style.
The kitchen is the meeting place and home to all of the very friendly staff.
Then there is the wildlife – more prevalent than I have seen in other locations that spout this as an attraction. The endemic Gelada Baboon makes this its home, together with Rock Hyrax. Lammergeier, or bearded vultures, can be seen circling the skies with many other birds. A leopard was even spotted briefly.
Opportunities for trekking further afield abound. There are rock hewn churches, schools, villages, mountain peaks and forests.
The people. This is what made the trip for me. Sometimes you will see and hear reports from tourists to Ethiopia, that the locals are not friendly. This is definitely not the case in Hudad or the highlands. I enjoyed the opportunity to practice my Amharic (the main Ethiopian language) and to feel so welcome in such a wonderful place.
If you do ever decide to go up to Hudad, which I thoroughly recommend, do bring very warm clothes – at over 3300m it gets a wee bit chilly at night! But they tell me they are building a bar – so all those stout whiskey’s should help keep you warm.
To a truly magical place…