Despite being a land of amazing history, fascinating traditions, welcoming people, various ethnic groups and wild natural beauty, Ethiopia is rarely considered when people are thinking about their next big adventure. Often referred to as a cradle of civilization, Ethiopia has some ways of life, beliefs and traditions that date back over three thousand years and some archeological and architectural remains that showcase the country’s long, diverse and interesting history. Human Beings have lived in this area since the start of the human race and there are many reasons to visit Ethiopia.
In terms of landscape, Ethiopia offers travellers a rich diversity of dramatic, wild vistas. The Danakil Depression is one the lowest dry spots in the entire world and the Great Rift Valley can only be described as awesome. The Simien Mountains are rugged natural beauty at its best, and there are also lush virgin jungles, expansive barren plains, unforgiving deserts and gushing rivers to explore. Ethiopia is home to a range of flora and fauna, including the endemic Simien wolf and Gelada baboon. Other native creatures include the lion, cheetah, leopard, monkey, baboon, hippopotamus, gazelle, aardvark, and many different species of bird. The national parks are the perfect way to see stunning scenery and the wildlife of Ethiopia.
The capital city, Addis Ababa, is a bustling and thriving city in the foothills of the Entoto Mountains. It is well worth taking a few days to visit the city’s charms before heading out into other areas.
Other popular places to visit in Ethiopia include Lalibela, Harer, Gondar, Konso and Tiya.
Lalibela is home to impressive and incredible churches, some hewn into the massive rocks and others within existing caves. Shrouded in mystery, these ancient churches have stood the test of time for visitors to marvel at today. Cleverly concealed entrances lie in pits, not visible until you are almost on top of them. The mountain backdrop makes it an even more wondrous sight. Locals live in small huts in the surrounding villages.
Harer is a revered walled ancient city, particularly important within the Islam faith.
Gondar is a former capital of the country, and is interesting for its collection of imposing and magical castles. A stroll around Gondar feels like wandering through a delightful and charming fairy-tale land.
Konso hides some lovely walled towns in its hills, in Tiya you can see a prehistoric burial ground, complete with mysterious symbols carved into the standing stones, and in Axum you can see some the world’s tallest obelisks. Axum was the former seat of power during the reign of the Queen of Sheba, and grand remains can still be seen today. It is also claimed to be the home of the sacred Ark of the Covenant, which is said to be kept safe by the church of St Mary of Zion.
With so many fascinating things to see and experience, why not consider doing something a bit different and taking a trip to Ethiopia? You will surely take away a lifetime of fond memories and a plethora of exciting tales to share!