Found around 490 AD, Waldeba is one of the oldest monasteries in Africa. Located in a highly inaccessible remote area surrounded by mountains, terrains, rivers, deep gorges, and valleys, the monastery hosts hundreds of monks and nuns and students. It is located in Wolkait, Tigrai, west of Zarima River at an altitude of 1118 m.a.s.l. It is one of the oldest monastic schools in Africa which has produced many scholars and writers.
It was established at a site which, legend has it, was visited by Joseph, Mary, and Jesus during their time in Egypt. While at Waldiba, they received a divine message to return to Jerusalem, which they did by taking a subterranean passage via Eritrea or Yemen.
The monastery can’t be reached on a vehicle and makes for a long day trip on foot or a mule.
To reach the monastery, you have to travel for more than ten hours on foot from Mai Tsebri. You can also reach it through Mai Gaba and Mezega.
When traveling to the monastery during the late rainy season, when the land is covered with grass and bushes, you have to follow signs put by travelers to make sure you are on the right track.
Several other interesting monasteries lie in the area and can be visited over a few days from the village of Sequar Maryam, which has accommodation and lies close to Waldeba.
Dimetsi Weyane TV Documentary on the Monastery of Waldeba
Damages on Waldeba