About Us

YellowWood Adventures

Reconnecting with nature in pristine, wildlife-filled landscapes. Being fascinated by traditional cultures. Finding deep fulfilment in authentic travel experiences.

The path less travelled offers many rewards for the intrepid traveller.

What is a YellowWood Adventure?

All of our tours are uniquely special, but here are eight common characteristics you can expect from a YellowWood Adventure:

  1. Discover the real destination by taking the path less travelled
  2. Unique and authentic experiences
  3. Journeys through pristine, sweeping landscapes filled with endemic wildlife, connecting with nature
  4. Visits to traditional communities and cultures, meeting local people
  5. Stays and/or eating with local families
  6. Visits to local projects and charities
  7. Discover new and unusual dishes and flavours of local foods
  8. Blissful escapism with few or no other tourists

Our reviews

Sure, we can speak for days about why we love our trips. But that's not who you need to hear from.

Read the reviews about YellowWood Adventures on Trust Pilot to see what our customers say about us.

Why are we called 'YellowWood'?

The name comes from the poem The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost. It's one of Sam's (our founder's) favourites...

"Two roads diverged in a yellow wood…

I took the one less travelled by,

And that has made all the difference."

Our purpose

We see YellowWood Adventures as more than just a business. We want it to be a force for doing good.

We strive to support local communities by providing income directly into their local economies, and to use tourism to actively protect and raise awareness of natural ecosystems.


We're passionate about sustainability, not only because it's the right thing to do, but because we love the places we visit and the people who live there. We want to support communities and the ecosystems they live in through our adventures - leaving behind only footprints.

See the sustainability commitments we have made to ensure we do just that:

About our founder

In 2015, our founder Sam McManus quit his city job in London and spent three months solo hiking around Ethiopia.

He bought eight tents which he left with local guide Gebre in the Gheralta Mountains in Tigray, built a website to organise small hiking groups to share with people the amazing experiences he had there – and YellowWood Adventures was born.

Wax & Gold: Journeys in Ethiopia & other roads less travelled

Author and YellowWood founder Sam McManus has collated 15-years' worth of adventure travel writing in Ethiopia, Japan, Bolivia, Egypt, Kyrgyzstan, Iran, Mongolia, Lebanon, Oman & Costa Rica.

This collection of travel stories revolves around a central solo journey exploring the mountains of Ethiopia over a three-month period, which led to the founding of YellowWood Adventures.

Meet the team


To help you choose the right adventure for you, we have given each itinerary a grading that relates to the level of Walking / Trekking you will experience during the trip. This grading can be found on the Yellow map on the adventure page of the website.

All of our trips involve a level of general activity so are designed for people who are in good health, enjoy the outdoors, and have a taste for adventure and some level of fitness. As will be clear from our destinations, the climate (and altitude) may be different to that which you are used to, so please take this into consideration when choosing the most suitable holiday.

Please read our Adventure Itinerary & Essential Information for more information and don't hesitate to contact us if you would like to chat through whether you have found a suitable adventure for you.

Grade 1-3: Entry Level

You need to be in good physical health to enjoy your active holiday, but you don’t need to be an experienced hiker. These itineraries offer a mix of sightseeing and easier walking for around 2-4hrs a day, with the emphasis on sights and cultural experiences. 

Walks will be well marked or on defined pathways, and often around sites of interest. The expected amount of descent/ascent will depend on the landscapes of the destination, but will not exceed 400m/day, and will often be much less. Walks are at low altitude (below 3000m). 

You will not be required to carry more than a day sack with water and essentials. Ensure you are aware of the weather conditions likely in the destination you are visiting and have a pair of comfortable and worn in walking shoes/boots.

Grades 4-6: Intermediate

You need to have a good level of fitness and be a regular walker for these adventures, with ideally some trekking experience. You can expect to be walking for 3-6 hours per day, not including rest stops, normally on good trail paths but with some uneven surfaces at times. 

You will not be required to carry more than a day sack. You may be walking in more challenging temperatures. You will generally be walking at low altitude (below 3000m) but may walk at altitudes up to 4000m. The amount of ascent could be up to 800m in a day but will frequently be less. You may walk on consecutive days.

Ensure you are aware of the weather conditions likely in the destination you are visiting and have suitable clothing for this adventure.

Grades 7-9: Challenging

You need to have a good level of fitness with previous experience of trekking. Extra training before your trip will ensure that you get the most out of your adventure. Areas will be remote and terrain uneven. 

Expect to walk for 5 – 8 hours a day, not including breaks, with some very steep ascents and descents. You will be walking at altitude (over 3000m but not higher than 5000m).

Ensure you are aware of the weather conditions likely in the destination you are visiting and have suitable equipment/clothing for this adventure (see the packing list for your adventure).

Please check individual itineraries for details of what you will need to be carrying with you.

Get in touch

CLICK HERE to schedule a call online with YellowWood Founder Sam McManus.

Or call us directly 24/7 on:

+44 207 846 0197
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