Dire Sheik Hussein

Dire Sheik Hussein 7Days

Dire Sheik Hussein

Dire Sheik Hussein (Islamic Pilgrimage)

13 centuries ago, a Muslim Sheikh from the Hadramut (a district on the south coast of Arabia, bounded west by Yemen, eat by Oman and North by the Dahna desert), is believed to have landed on the Indian Ocean shoreline and followed the great river, the Wabi Shebelle, from its mouth to its headwaters. Here he settled and preached Islam and performed many miracles. He died in the Bale Mountains. His tomb became a shrine, and the shrine became a village named Sheik Hussein after his death. Sheikh Hussein’s tomb is in a large white sepulcher topped by a red-blue dome. The scene at the sepulcher is dramatic & so religious: pilgrims kiss the walls of the tomb, crying, prostrating themselves and unburdening themselves of their problems. The experience is entirely cathartic. It has continued to be the destination of approximately 50,000 pilgrims twice a year during the Muslim months of Hajj and Rabi` al-Awwal. Most Pilgrimages come from Ethiopia’s remote villages after an arduous journey to pray at the shrine of Sheikh Hussein. Some will travel by donkey or mule, but most will walk on barefoot – for up to 6 weeks or more to reach this sacred place. During 700 years, since the Sheikh’s death, the pilgrimages have evolved into a mixture of Saint Cult and ancient ritual. By tradition, the departure of the pilgrims from their remote villages is governed by the waxing and waning of the moon.

Visit Sheik (Sheikh) Hussein Mosque – nearby Bale National Park and Awash National Park

Visit Sof Omar- Africa’s largest natural cavern tunnel and Sheik Hussein shrine


Program: Dire Sheikh Hussein

Tour Code: Dire Sheikh Hussein

Duration: 6Nights (7 Days)

Transportation: 4X4

Tour starts: Addis Ababa

Tour Ends: Addis Ababa

Day 1: Arrive to Addis Ababa

Evening, arrive to Addis Ababa Bole International Airport & meet with us and transfer to Hotel (4*) or below or above 4* Hotel– Addis

Day 2: Visit Addis Ababa -Rift Valley lakes & Swayne’s Hartebeest

Morning, drive from Addis Ababa to Awassa, also named – Hawassa (273km from Addis Ababa). on the way, visit the Rift Valley Lakes: Lake Ziway, Lake Langano, hot springs nearby Lake Shalla( the deepest lake in Ethiopia – 270m deep!),  &  innumerable pink flamingos on Lake Abijata.   After 70km drive from Shashemene, visit the Sinkille (also named as Senkele) for Swayne’s hartebeest, the place in Ethiopia where Swayne’s Hartebeest sightings are practically guaranteed. Then drive to Dinsho (the Head Quarter office & ticket office of Bale Mountains National Park). Stop and walk at Gayssay (Mountain Nyala Field) and discover herds of mountain Nyala. After having tickets for the Bale Mountains National park, drive and trek into the Dinsho Forest for Mountain Nyala, Menelik’s Bushbuck,… the forest itself- the Juniper Hagenia woodland & and birds:  Blue-winged goose, Spot-breasted lapwing, Abyssinian long claw, Wattled ibis, Black-headed siskin, Rouget’s rail. Overnight – Dinsho Lodge – Dinsho

Day 3: Addis Ababa – Bale Goba – Abyssinia Wolf, Senate Plateau & Harena Forest

Morning at Dinsho Forest, Discover Mountain Nyala, Menelik’s Bushbuck, Bohor, warthogs etc. Then continue to Bale Goba. Afternoon,  drive to  immensely beautiful Bale Mountains for its landscapes peak mountains( 4377m – Mt. Tulu Demtu), Abyssinian/Ethiopian Wolf ( often being seen), Giant Mole Rat & Harena Forest  for Bale Monkey ( endemic) . Hotel (3*) – Bale Goba (2500m of altitude) or lodge in Bale Mountains park

Day 4: Sof Omar- Africa’s largest natural cavern tunnel – Sheik Hussein shrine

Morning, drive to Sof Omar vast network limestone caverns,  the largest in Africa lies at about 100km east of the Bale Mountains range at an elevation 1300m. It has been curved by the Web River, descending from the Bale Region Highlands to the flat arid plains then stretches to Somali Border. The underground chamber, watering by the Web River reaches 16km long, the limestone pillars that support the caverns are high up to 20m.   The cavern is named after Sheikh Sof Omar, a 12century Muslim Chief who used the area as a refuge, remaining an important pilgrimage site for Ethiopian Muslims. Sof Omar Cavern is also  best site for birdwatchers to see salvadori’s Serin– with bold yellow throat (endemic),  & good to see acacia-scrub bird species  such as orange- bellied Parrot, Blue napped mouse bird, Somali Tit and more others.  Then drive to the Muslim pilgrimage center of Sheik Hussein Mosque/Shrine. Sheik Hussein Mosque is famous Islamic holiest place in Bale region. Overnight Tented Camp – Sheik Hussein

Day 5: Awash National Park

Drive to Awash National Park and enter the Awash National Park for game view.  The dramatic Awash Falls, as the river tumbles into its gorge, is the sight not to be missed in the national park. Awash national park, surrounding the dormant volcano of Fantalé, is a reserve of arid and semi-arid woodland and savannah, with riverain forests along the Awash River. Forty six species of animals have been identified here, including Beisa Oryx, Dik-dik, lesser and great kudu, Waterbuck, leopard (rare to see), cheetah (rare to see), Lion – rare, Kudu. Hamadryas and Anubis baboon, crocs, etc and the nomadic Afar tribe at the hot spring water. Overnight – lodge in the Park – or Hotel in Awash Sebat Town – near Awash Park

Day 6:  Bilen Lodge area

Drive to Blien Lodge area.  Possible wildlife: Beisa Oryx, lesser kudu, salt’s dik-dik, warthog, spotted hyena, crocodile, hippo, and lion. Overnight – lodge or tented camp

Day 7: Alay Dege protected Plains – Addis Ababa

Explore Alay Dege (also spelt as Ali Dege) protected area for full day, for Grevy’s Zebra, antelopes and significant varieties of birds and drive back to Addis Ababa and transfer to Addis Ababa Bole International Airport  for departure (end of the trip)

Notice: This itinerary can be amended upon request