Training Course for Tour Guides in Gheralta, Tigray

The EHF works with local communities, guides and tourist agencies to encourage sustainable tourism to Tigray’s painted churches. In subsidising rural economies, this plays a vital role in protecting the painted heritage. In this effort, the EHF has embarked on local guide training, to improve knowledge and conservation awareness.

The 4-day training course, which focused on the rock-cut and constructed painted churches of Tigray, was held in April 2019, attended by more than 20 guides who work in the region. Its purpose was to provide information on the historical and architectural development of churches, the iconography of their paintings and how they were made, and on issues relevant to their preservation. Findings from the EHF’s conservation work were included. The tour guides have few opportunities to meet together as a professional body, and the course provided a much-needed forum for learning and discussion. Participants engaged with the course with enthusiasm. A particularly useful debate was held about current threats to the painted churches, and the role that the tour guides can have in highlighting these issues to regional authorities. With their intimate knowledge of the sites, they are keenly aware of emerging risks and threats – such as from quarrying activities in close proximity to some of the churches, and the unregulated use of drones for filming by tourists in sensitive locations. We intend to continue this initiative in 2020.

Project Details


Location: Ethiopia, United Kingdom, Eastern Africa, Northern Europe, Africa, Europe Organiser(s): Ethiopian Heritage Fund Project partner(s): Tigray Culture and Tourism Bureau (TCTB), TESFA Tours, Gheralta Lodge Funder(s): The Heritage Alliance, Headley Trust, Private Donors Funding received: £6,600 Commencement Date: 03/2019 Project Status: Active
Project owner? Update this project



Related Projects

Nepal Credit Scott Newman

Patan Durbar Square, Nepal

Patan Durbar Square a World Heritage Site in Kathmandu, Nepal is home to Vishveshvara Temple. The Vishveshvara Temple, built in 1627 was severely damaged. Vishveshvara Temple …

Explore project
Capture 3

Training Course for Tour Guides in Gheralta, Tigray

The EHF works with local communities, guides and tourist agencies to encourage sustainable tourism to Tigray’s painted churches. In subsidising rural economies, this plays a v…

Explore project
Capture wall painting conservation

Wall Paintings of Tigray - Conservation Programme

In 2013, in collaboration with its Ethiopian partners and with the assistance of the Courtauld Institute, the EHF, carried out a survey of 9 painted churches in Tigray, Ethiop…

Explore project