Ethiopia is a landlocked country in East Africa with a rich history, extraordinary tribes and meticulously carved churches. Did you know archaeologists have found evidence of one of humankind’s earliest ancestors dating back 4.2 million years in Ethiopia? Yes, the country has such a long historical legacy! On top of that, Ethiopia is home to numerous ethnic groups, which makes it a potpourri of cultures and traditions. Its mountainous terrain just adds more beauty to its already stunning landscape.
Capital Addis Ababa is a commercial city with the right amount of cultural ingredients. The two museums in the city – the Ethnological Museum and the National Museum exhibit the diverse traditions and culture of the country including its various forms of art and crafts. The ‘Red Terror’ Martyrs’ Memorial, inaugurated in 2010, in honour of the thousands who lost their lives during the brutal political repression campaign in the late ‘80s, is a must-visit for those who are curious about the infamous Red Terror movement of Ethiopia. In addition to this, don’t forget to visit the Holy Trinity Cathedral – one of Ethiopia’s most important places of worship, St. George’s Cathedral – a late 19th-century cathedral and Addis Mercato – a bustling open-air market. Addis Ababa is also the perfect place in the country to experience the best of Ethiopian cuisine.
Ethiopia has been mentioned multiple times in the Bible as well the Quran, and is dotted with numerous aesthetic churches and mosques that speak of a rich history. The 13th-century UNESCO listed rock-hewn churches of Lalibela are a remarkable pilgrimage destination for the Christians. Northern Ethiopia’s Tigray region is also home to about 120 rock-hewn churches, which are quite different from the ones in Lalibela and require an adventurous mindset to conquer as many of these can only be reached on foot after some serious climbing.
Harar – located in eastern Ethiopia, is a holy Islamic city and home to numerous mosques and traditional houses. The best way to explore the city is by navigating through its narrow, cobbled alleys where you can witness the city’s bizarre relations with wild hyenas who roam freely among humans.
The next stop on your journey through Ethiopia, is Gonder, located in the northwestern part. The ruins of Fasil Ghebbi, a 17th-century fortress and a UNESCO World Heritage site, is its main attraction. Gonder is also home to one of the most – if not the most, beautiful churches in the country – Debre Berhan Selassie, whose stone walls hide some extraordinary colourful frescoes.
Located more than 120m below sea level, northern Ethiopia has one of the hottest places on earth – the Danakil Depression with an average annual temperature of 34°C and daily highs soaring over 47°C. Here, you will come across some of the world’s most inhospitable terrain featuring a series of salt lakes, hot springs and volcanoes.
Coming to Ethiopia’s national parks, the Simien Mountains National Park is a stunner. This UNESCO listed park is surrounded by scenic mountains and offers great hiking, trekking and wildlife watching opportunities. If your main priority is wildlife, then you should visit Bale Mountains National Park where you will find several endemic species like the Ethiopian wolf and Mountain nyala. Along with its rich wildlife, the park is also home to an array of natural treasures ranging from lakes and waterfalls to lava outpourings.
On the bank of Omo River lies its namesake valley – home to some of the last true tribal people in Africa. Omo Valley’s major attraction is the traditional lifestyle and ancient culture of these tribes.
In Ethiopia, you will find diversity in almost everything – be it the country’s fascinating history, tribes, wildlife or natural landscape. Don’t believe our words? Book a trip and experience Ethiopia all by yourself.
The 13th-century UNESCO listed rock-hewn churches of Lalibela are a remarkable pilgrimage destination for the Christians.