Trekking To Meqdela
The trek from Lake Ashenge to Meqdela is an outstanding and exceptional route for the adventure seeker and trekker. It takes us upto the top of Maqdala Amba, where an embattled and embittered emperor Tewodros II retreated in 1867, as his dream of unified Ethiopia crumbled under the strain of internal and external pressure, most significantly his own growing unpopularity with his subject. Maqdala was once a stronghold of military for the former King Tewodros II. The power of the Gondarine Empire was eventually weakened by the presence of the Oromo, as well as by the doctrinal disputes that had undermined the Church. Real power passed to regional warlords in what is called the Era of the Princes, the decades of civil war that ended in 1855 when Kasa Haylu defeated his rivals and became the emperor Tewodros II and he made his capital at Maqdela.
The siege at Maqdela in 1867 and was the main reason for the journey made by General Napier. He began at the Red Sea Coast traveling about 390 miles from Kumayli, across Eritrea into Ethiopia via Lake Ashenge and up to Meqdela. Negotiation between emperor Tewodros II and the British Government failed to reach an agreement. Finally, in August 1867, the cabinet granted 2 million pounds to mount an expedition, led by General Napier to rescue the British hostages held captive by emperor Tewodros II at Meqdela. Soldiers from four regiments, the Artillery, Cavalry, Engineers and Infantry took part. Over 35,000 pack animals including camels, together with 44 elephants made the difficult journey. Emperor Tewodros II of Ethiopia committed suicide in 1867 after being defatted by the British troops. The Historical perspective adds another dimension to the trek.
Our trek begins from Lake Ashenge and covers about 150 miles, following the same route taken by General Napier. This will enable travelers to experience and enjoy the truly varied topography and landscape, unspoiled and rarely visited areas. At Meqdela, besides its beautiful scenery, one can visit the Sebastopol Canyon, the old church and Emperor Tewodros II graveyard. It is one of the best places both for trekkers and historians.