Hudad Lalibela Eco-Lodge & Retreat

Gelada baboons (Theropitecus) gelada call the Hudad their home. The animals are easy to recognize, they have thick brown fur and a distinctive hourglass shaped red patch of skin on their chest. Older males also have enormous manes. They are highly sexually dimorphic with males weighing up to 20 kg, whilst females weigh around 13kg. The males collect harems of one to a few females called troops. Sometimes these troops can associate together to form huge herds which forage on the cliff tops. Their diet consists mainly of grass, as well as some roots, small plants and fruits.

Rare visitors to the area are the Hamadryas baboons (Papio hamadryas), these differ from the larger geladas in their colouring. Males are silvery grey and have prominent manes whereas the smaller females are brown. Unlike the Gelada baboons they are omnivorous, eating leaves and plants, as well as insects, small mammals and reptiles.

The area is also rich in rock hyraxes (Procavia capensis). These are small mammals around the size of guinea pigs which live in large groups of up to 80 individuals. They are herbivores, and despite their looks are more closely related to elephants than the rodents they resemble. Hyraxes have distinctive set of calls and vocalizations. The males are much larger than the females.

6 species of bats have been observed on the plateau – including the spectacular Long-eared bat (Plecotus balensis)

Birds found on site include the Crag martin (Ptyonoprogne rupestris) and the Rüeppell´s chat (Myrmecocichla melaena). One bird which is highly prominent is the Verreaux Eagle (Aquila verreauxii).These magnificent birds are black in colour, are slightly smaller than the golden eagle, but have larger claws. They are specialized predators of hyrax. They are one of the few raptors which show ‘obligate siblicide’ where, if two chicks hatch, the younger of the two almost always succumbs to starvation and bullying by the elder chick. The second egg being a form of insurance in case the first one doesn’t hatch.

Carnivores that may be spotted in the area are the leopard (Panthera pardus) and the spotted hyena (Crocuta crocuta). The leopard has relatively short legs and a long tail, its fur is decorated in dark rosettes, and it ranges in weight from 30 to 70kg. They are solitary nocturnal hunters and adept tree climbers. They often drag carcasses up trees to keep them out of reach of scavengers and other predators.

Many small carnivores can also be found including the Lion Tailed mongooses (Herpestes sanguinea), and white tailed mongooses (Ichneumia albicauda) as well as the Ethiopian genet (Genetta abyssinica).

Spotted hyenas have on very rare occasions been seen in the vicinity of the plateau. The spotted hyena is well known for its cries and is a large animal, the females being larger than the males. Spotted hyenas live in large matriarchal clans of up to 80 animals. Hyenas are mainly scavengers and are able to digest bone almost completely. They also hunt prey such as goats and sheep.

Lizards include the strikingly coloured Eritrean rock Agama (Acanthocerus annectans).

What Our Customers Say

  • The location is unbeatable spectacular, staff super friendly, food is also good! all in all an incredible experience that is so worth it even if you just do it in a day-trip from Lalibela, but I do recommend spending the night!
  • A great lodge for a true getaway. The scenery is simply spectacular throughout the entire property, given it sits very high on a small plateau. Baboons abound and make for quite the experience when having a morning coffee or evening tea.
  • I spent 3 nights in Hudad Lodge and feel like a new man! This is the most tranquil and beautiful place I have ever stayed... Truly breathtaking. You can see baboons whenever you want and get really close to them... The views are incredible... The people are lovely...
  • My hike up to hudad via asheten maryam church took around 4 hours. I had an excellent guide, thomas, who let me walk at my own pace and gave interesting facts. At hudad we were rewarded with breathtaking 360 views and a delicious lunch - and coffee of course.
  • Not an easy way to get there - travel light although the guides will help with your backpack if needed. But if you get there - it is unique! We were the night alone in the whole compound with our guide, cook and the guards. And the monkeys :-)