YEHA TEMPLE OF THE MOON, OLDEST MONUMENT SOUTH OF SAHARA. Experience Culture & Nature of Ethiopia with charming forester Ethiopian Park Service hosting your trips


Yeha Temple of the Moon

The oldest standing building in Ethiopia is located in the village of Yeha: the Yeha Temple of the Moon. This is a tower built in the Sabaean style, and dated through comparison with ancient structures in South Arabia to around 700 BC.


Although not radiocarbon dated, the Great Tower is similar in style to structures in South Arabia around 700 BC, which makes it the oldest standing building of Africa South af the Sahara. Its "excellent state of preservation" has been attributes to its rededication - perhaps as early as the sixth century AD - f

or use as a Christian church."


Why consider booking our our Ethiopia Culture & National Parks modules? Because for the same price, our tour gets you to ALL cultural places Ethiopia is so famous for, and on top of that, you get to see up to 12 National Parks/Reserves accompanied by a conservation forester. There is nothing similar on the market. As Ethiopia can be combined with other East African countries, we organize tours in modules. Destinations Overview: Historical Circuit; Danakil Depression; Eathern Route; Simien Mountains; Bale Mountains; Southern Parks Safari; Gambella; Addis Ababa BUT WAIT: if you buy your international ticket with Ethiopia Airlines, they will sell the internal flights at a price that you can't even ride the bus for. But you MUST plan it all in one package and making changes will be very costly. So let us help you plan your entire trip for an incredibly low price!


YEHA TEMPLE OF THE MOON, ETHIOPIA: Entrance to the Yeha Temple of the Moon YEHA TEMPLE OF THE MOON, ETHIOPIA: Yeha Temple of the Moon before the restoration works

Entrance to the Yeha Temple of the Moon.

Yeha Temple of the Moon before the restoration works.

YEHA TEMPLE OF THE MOON, ETHIOPIA: Looking out from the Yeha Temple of the Moon, Tigray, Ethiopia YEHA TEMPLE OF THE MOON, ETHIOPIA: Yeha Temple of the Moon interior

Looking out from the Yeha Temple of the Moon, Tigray, Ethiopia.

Yeha Temple of the Moon interior.



Great Beal Gebri Ruins

Several archaeological excavations have taken place at Yeha since 1952, initiated by the Ethiopian Institute of Archeology. Interrupted during the Derg regime, excavations were resumed in 1993 by a French team and is currently carried out by a German team of archaeologists. The primary archeological study site is the Grat Beal Gebri, a ruin with a 10 meters wide portico, two sets of square pillars and a graveyard with several rock-hewn shaft tomb, which is currently being restored by the German team, as well as the temple.


YEHA TEMPLE OF THE MOON, ETHIOPIA: Yeha archaeological restoration site YEHA TEMPLE OF THE MOON, ETHIOPIA: Yeha archaeologist working at restauration

Yeha archaeological restoration site.


Archaeologists working at the restoration of Grat Beal Gebri.


Abuna Aftse Monastery

Next to the Temple of the moon is the Ethiopian Orthodox Abuna Aftse Monastery, named afte Abune Aftse, one of the nine saints and believed to be the founder of the church. Francisco Álvares mentions visitng the town in 1520 and refers to the monastery and the tower of the temple. This church was either the rededicated Great Temple, or a now destroyed building mentioned by the Deutsche Aksum-Expedition in the early 20th century. The current church, which exhibits Aksumite architectural features, was built between 1948 and 1949 and is one of the many special churches of Ethiopia.


YEHA TEMPLE OF THE MOON, ETHIOPIA: Yeha Abuna Aftse Church, Tigray, Ethiopia YEHA TEMPLE OF THE MOON, ETHIOPIA: Abuna Aftse Monastery Church at Yeha, Ethiopia

Yeha Abuna Aftse Church.


Abuna Aftse Monastery Church at Yeha.


YEHA TEMPLE OF THE MOON, ETHIOPIA: Priest showing 400 year old bible at Yeha Abuna Aftse church, Tigray, Ethiopia YEHA TEMPLE OF THE MOON, ETHIOPIA: Koptic crosses at Yeha Abuna Aftse church treasure room

Priest showing 400 year old bible at Yeha Abuna Aftse church.


Koptic crosses at Yeha Abuna Aftse church treasure room.


YEHA TEMPLE OF THE MOON, ETHIOPIA: Oldest script south of the Sahara at the Yeha Abuna Aftse Church treasure room YEHA TEMPLE OF THE MOON, ETHIOPIA: Holy Ibexes ath the Abuna Aftse Church, Tigray, Ethiopia

Oldest script south of the Sahara at the Yeha Abuna Aftse Church treasure room.

Holy Ibexes at the Abuna Aftse Church.






Ethiopia Historic Circuit by car

9 days. Price: $1249. Hotels, meals, transportation, fees, non-alcoholic beverages, tee/coffee at meals included. Minimum 2 passengers.

Ask for group discount.

Ethiopia Historic Circuit by plane

5 days. Price: $890 approximately, pending flight costs. Transportation, entry fees, etc. Prices may vary depending on fluctuating air fairs. The itinerary will be adjusted according to flights Minimum 2 passengers.  Longer itineraries at additional hotel costs allow for a more relaxed program.

Day 1: ADDIS ABABA - BAHIR DAR, road distance ± 580km;

  1. Stop at the bridge across the Blue Nile Gorge, comparable in size to the Grand Canyon in the USA and supposedly the largest canyon of Africa;

  2. In the evening visit the Blue Nile falls if arrival before dark;

  3. Sleep at simple but beautifully located Ghion Hotel at the waterfront of Bahir Dar.


  1. Start at airport

  2. Flight Lalibela;

  3. Visit the Rock Hewn Churches compound;

  4. Visit Lalibela Church Treasury Museum;

  5. Hotel.

Day 2: LAKE TANA - BLUE NILE FALLS, road distance ± 35km

  1. Day excursion by boat on Lake Tana to visit several of the famous Lake Tana churches and monasteries;

  2. Visit of the Blue Nile Falls;

  3. Sleep at Ghion Hotel.


  1. Flight to Axum;

  2. Visit the Stelae compound;

  3. Visit the Arc of the Convenant Church;

  4. Visit Emperor Kaleb's Palace;

  5. Coffee ceremony at a ceremony in a friend's home

  6. Hotel.

Day 3: BAHIR DAR - GONDAR, road distance ± 175km

  1. The Devil's Nose Rock, is a basaltic monolith or hoodoo, located near the village of Addis Zemen, 75km north Bahir Dar on the road to Gondar. On its top is an important roost and possibly nesting place for Ruepell's and other vultures.

  2. Check in in the hotel at Gondar after which a visit to Mentewab's Castle and/or Fasimile's Bathroom depending on available time;

  3. Hotel in Gondar.


  1. Visit Royal Enclosure Fasil Ghebbi;

  2. Visit Mentewab's Castle, Fasimile's Bathroom and Fasil Ghebbi, the Royal Enclosure;

  3. Hotel.

Day 4: GONDAR - AXUM, road distance ± 350km

  1. Early in the morning visit the Royal Enclosure, Fasil Ghebbi;

  2. Road trip to Axum;

  3. Coffee ceremony;

  4. Hotel in Axum.

Day 4: GONDAR - BAHIR DAR by car

  1. Drive to Bahir Dar

  2. Day Excursion by boat on Lake Tana to visit several of the famous Lake Tana churches and monasteries;

  3. Hotel in Bahir Dar

Day 5: AXUM - MEKELE, road distance  ± 250km

  1. Visit the famous beautiful Stellae at Axum;

  2. Visit Emperor Kaleb's Palace;

  3. Ride to Mek'ele;

  4. On the way, visit Yeha Temple;

  5. Hotel in Mek'ele.


  1. Early morning visit Blue Nile Falls;

  2. Return flight Addis Ababa;

  3. Trip finishes at the airport.

Day 6: MEKELE - WUKRO - MEKELE, road distance  ± 45km

  1. Visit Rock Hewn Churches in Wukro;

  2. Visit Palace Emperor Yohannes IV;

  3. Hotel in Mek'ele.


Day 7: MEKELE - LALIBELA, road distance ± 430km

  1. Leave early in the morning for Lalibela;

  2. Church treasures museum Lalibela

  3. Hotel Tulkul in Lalibela.


Day 8: LALIBELA - DESSIE, road distance ± 300km

  1. Visit the churches of Lalibela;

  2. Drive to Dessie;

  3. Hotel in Dessie.


Day 9: DESSIE - ADDIS ABABA road distance ± 340km

  1. last day of the Ethiopia Historic Circuit and return trip to Addis Ababa;

  2. Transfer to hotel.


Yeha Temple of the Moon, Ethiopia


Ethiopia modernizes and changes more rapidly than any other country in Africa. Many features may not be there anymore in the near future. If you want to see it the way it was for thousands of years, see it now before it has changed forever! Compose your own once-in-a-lifetime Ethiopia-Africa-Adventure from our affordable modules:

Famous Ethiopia Historical Circuit

Simien Mountains trek or car visit

Danakil Depression and Erte Ale Volcano Expedition

Awash Babile Harar Safari Tour

Ethiopia Central and Southern Parks & Tribes Safari Tour

Bale Mountains National Park and Sof Omar Caves Tour

Gambella National Park Safari

Addis Ababa City Tour & Airport Transfer

All Ethiopia modules and prices together

We designed our itineraries in such a way that you can compose a 2 to 4 weeks journey from different modules that can show you the entire country or just the parts that interest you, all depending on your personal preferences, available time and budget. Email us on your interests and we can discuss a custom program with you by phone (we have phone lines from the USA and Europe) or skype. So, weather you have a great ethnic affinity, are a birdwatcher or want to go on safari, contact us and we work out a customized program that focuses on YOUR interests.

Blue Nile Falls, EthiopiaSt. George Church, LalibelaStellas, Axum, EthiopiaTukuls, Lalibela, EthiopiaElephant bull, Babile, EthiopiaEthiopian Wolf, Bale National Park

Gelada, Simien Mountains National ParkFacilides Bathroom, Gondar, EtiopiaWabia Ibex, Simien MountainsChurch, Lake Tana, EthiopiaErica trees, Bale Mountains National Park.Facilides Castle, Gondar, Ethiopia

Addis Ababa Bole International Airport is home of Ethiopian Airlines, featuring Africa's youngest fleet of the latest intercontinental jet airplanes - including 2 Dreamliners - as well as short-distance Bombardier turboprops for very comfortable, affordable and reliable in-country flights servicing all major cities of Ethiopia. The second best airline of Africa, will fly you non-stop from the USA and Europe to Addis Ababa. Take our 1-week Ethiopia Cultural Monuments Tour and than continue for your Kenya or Tanzania safari - or any other East African capital - thus completing your journey. IF YOU BUY YOUR INTERNATIONAL TICKET FROM ETHIOPIAN AIRLINES, YOU WILL GET MOST INTERNAL FLIGHTS FOR $25 - $35 PER LEG! BUT CHANGING AFTERWARDS IS EXPENSIVE, SO WORK OUT A SCHEDULE WITH US TO GET A FABULOUS DEAL FOR FLYING THROUGH THE COUNTRY IN STEAD OF SPENDING ENDLESS TIME ON THE ROAD!!!


Phone USA:

(++)(1) 304 - 581 - 7740

Phone Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (++251) (0) 911 440 915
Email: [email protected]

Talk or chat with us on Skype in English, Spanish or French. Our Skype name:


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National Parks Tours Worldwide is a brand name of the World Institute for Conservation & Environment, registered in the Netherlands with headquarters in the USA, a social responsibility and conservation company.