(1st of March, 1896)

A nice Tigrayan valley surrounded by high mountains: it is here that the great battle won by the Ethiopian army was fought. Almost 25,000 died.


The battle of Adwa was fought on the 1stof March 1896, in the area quite near to the town of the same name, located around:

The area is surrounded by peaks 2,500-3,000 m high – some 500-1,000 m above the countryside which is already around 2,000 m above sea- level. The highest and most majestic peak is Mount Samayata (3,024 m).

The Italian army started from the northern side, organized in 4 columns:

The movement started on the 29th of February at 9.30 pm. It should have deployed on the line marked by Esciashò, Rebi Rienni, Raio and Erarà peaks.

For still questionable reasons, the Indigeni brigade advanced 7 km further than the fixed point, with the vanguard to the south reaching close to Adwa. The area is marked by Gossoso, Monoxeitò, Sendedò and Kidane Meret peaks. It is here that between 6 am and 10 am the first battle was fought and the Italian troops (almost 4,000 Eritrean plus Italian soldiers) were defeated by 15,000 Ethiopians led by Ras Mikael and Fitautari Gabejehu. Later the Imperial Guard joined them.

The survivors were chased so they withdrew towards the line between the Zeban Darò, Rajo and Erarà peaks, where meanwhile the Middle Brigade had taken the position. It is here, between 11 am and 1 pm that the second crucial battle was fought. The Italians, devastated again by the impressive enemy’s strength, made a messy retreat to Eritrea.

That morning the Second Brigade had received the order to move forward, towards the east, to help the Indigeni Brigade. They took the wrong direction and ended up in the west, in the Mariam Shoaitù valley. Here they easily won the first fight against isolated gangs of enemies, but in the afternoon they were surrounded by the Ethiopian army. In a few hours they were defeated in the third (and last) battle and the survivors moved back towards Eritrea, followed by the Oromo cavalry.


Two days trip starting from Gheralta lodge, with overnight in Adwa. The excursion will end around 4 pm with drop off at a local hotel or at Axum airport. The vehicle returns back to Gheralta lodge, so it is also possible to continue the stay at the lodge, with arrival at dinner time.

Please contact the lodge for more details, extensions, special needs and for quotations:


Mobile: +251 (0) 988270623

Tel: +251 (0) 34 6670344