Destinations > Ethiopia
A country of breathtaking scenery that changes constantly as you travel through the different regions. A country of old and such rich culture which expresses itself in the many historical sites and cities. A country of peace with a democratic elected government.
However it is the people of Ethiopia who truly round out the character of this intriguing land, with their deep rooted hospitality and always smiling faces, they will give you the welcome any guest of Ethiopia deserves. It is not only the beautiful nature, wonderful people or the historical sites that make a visit to Ethiopia one you will never forget. Also delight in…
Mountain bike through Ethiopia’s intriguing landscape.
Hiking in the jaggedly carved Simien Mountains
Fishing in Lake Tana or in one of the thousand rivers.
Take a journey back in time, visit the many historical and cultural sites in Ethiopia
Because of the size of the country, and the great variety of its landscapes and climate, Ethiopia is a microcosm of all that Africa has to offer.
Comparable to none, picturesque Ethiopia holds all combinations of peerless geological formations varying from 116 meters below sea level at the radiant sulfuric inferno Danakil depression in the Afar region to the alpine moorland peaks that rise to 4550 meters at Ras Dejen in the ruggedly carved Simien mountains.
The worlds most phenomenal Great Rift Valley cuts Ethiopia into two parts, forming a series of thrilling lakes, around which many of Ethiopia’s national parks are centered.
The widely varying habitats, which includes mountains, lakes, desert, savannah, and everything in between, host an astonishing array of wildlife, many of which are endemic; unique to Ethiopia.
Ethiopia is often referred as the water tower of Africa because of the many trans-boundary rivers like the Blue Nile that pours off its tableland, to the surrounding lowlands of the neighboring countries.
Religion in this fascinating country is unique as well. Many visitors know Ethiopia for its splendid rock-hewn churches and colorful ceremonies, symbolic of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church.
Perhaps best known are Lalibela’s amazing group of rock churches, often referred to as the Eighth Wonder of the World, but equally wondrous are the Churches carved into Cliff-side crevices in the mountains of the Tigray region; often reached only by the most determined and devout.
Islam too has strong and centuries-old roots in the country. Although religion is particularly epitomized in the romantic walled city of Harar, the elegant minarets and Mosques can be seen throughout most of the country side.
But it is Ethiopia’s people who join with the spectacular scenery, abundant fauna and fascinating religions making Ethiopia a cultural mosaic.
As a cultural mosaic Ethiopia is a multi-ethnic state.
Many distinctions have been blurred by intermarriage over the years, however many also remain distinct.
The differences may be observed in the number of languages spoken, an astonishing 83, falling in to four main language groups: Semitic, Cushitic, Omotic, and Nilo-Saharan.
There are 200 different dialects. With over 65 million inhabitants, Ethiopia is Africa’s third most populous nation. Accordingly there are a bounty of fascinating costumes, colorful ceremonies and celebrations, arts, crafts, music and dance that makes Ethiopia a very worthy destination.
Lake Tana & Tiss Issat (Blue Nile) Falls
Lake-Tana is the main attraction of Bahir-Dar. It is the biggest lake in Ethiopia and the 3rd largest in Africa. Boat trips can be taken to the islands; there are churches and shrines on the islands. Besides the lake being the main attraction of Bahir-Dar the Tiss Issat (Blue Nile) falls is also located here, it is a 30km drive from Bahir-Dar and best viewed during the rainy season.
The Castle of Gondar
The castles in Gondar were built during the Gondorine period, and are the main attraction in Gondar. The castle that is located in the middle of town was built by Emperor Fasildes, he reigned from 1632-1667. The design of the castles has Portuguese, Moorish and Indian influence. The architectural designs in Axum and Lalibella are attributed to the Axuminte Kingdom of ancient Ethiopia. It is best to view the city from Goha hotel.
King Lalibella was the key figure in the construction of the Ethiopian Capital Roha (now Lalibella). This is the location that has the rock-hewn churches of Lalibella, one of the churches Medhane Alem is the largest monolithic church in the world. According to legend it took 23 years to build the church which has Axumite style windows against the walls and is below the ground surface.
Axum is one of the important archeological sites in northern Ethiopia. The main attraction of Axum is the Obelisks, there are many of them, in various states of condition – from very good to falling over and sinking into the ground. The Obelisks have a wide base with artistic designs from top to bottom. An Obelisk is cut out from a single stone. The artistic work of the obelisks is credited for the Axumite kingdom. The Ark of the Covenant also rests in Axum and visiting the local museum with a tour of Queen of Sheba’s bath will be an experience.
Dire-Dawa, born in 1902 was established due to the rail road line from Addis Ababa to Djibouti. The highlight of Dire-Dawa is the Market; Kafir market. Kafir market is located in Magala. The new town called Kezira and Magala which is the old town, are located on the southern part of the city. The market brings the Afar herders, Somali Pastoralists, and Oromo farmers together. You will be able to see large caravans of camels at the market. Don’t forget to visit Harar market for indigenous jewelry and crafts; it is worth the time.
Colorful Eastern Ethiopia
Harar and Dire-Dawa: There are six gates in Harar; streets lead from each gate and meet at the center square of the city called Feres Magala (Horse Market). There are 368 alleyways squeezed into just 1 sq km. You will see men feeding Hyenas; it is a tradition of the area. It is interesting to experience this tradition.
Nechisar National Park
The name of the park is derived from the bleached savanna grass; Nechisar means White grass. The diverse habitats that are seen in this park vary in the forest and savanna plains. The forest has bush pigs, warthogs, colobus monkey and bush buck, while the Savanna plains have a large population of the Burchell’s Zebra. There is a massive crocodile population at Lake Chamo, the Crocodiles can be reached through the Nechisar National Park. In comparison to other parks, this park is small in size with only 514 sq. km’s.
Lake Abita-Shala National Park
West of Langano lays the twin lakes of Abita and Shala, these form the 887 sq. km Abita-Shala National Park. These fraternal twin lakes have specific distinctions. Shala at 410 sq. km and a depth that exceeds 260m in some areas while Lake Abita is highly alkaline, isn’t more than 14 m deep. There is a thick acacia forest that surrounds the park; Flamingos are seen at the Abita Lake while Shala has birds such as weavers, horn bills, kites and more.
Awash National Park
Leaving Addis Ababa and driving towards Debre-zeit will take you into the direction of Awash. The drive is approximately 200 km from Addis Ababa. The Awash National Park features natural hot springs, views of the Awash Valley, Water falls and scattered wildlife. Wildlife in Awash National Park include Waterbuck, crocodiles and Ostriches. Awash is a savanna grassland with scattered acacia trees.
Simien Mountains National Park
The Simien (North) Mountain National Park contains one of Africa’s most beautiful mountain ranges. The views in the park are spectacular; especially for trekkers and animal lovers this is the place to experience the nature and wildlife of Ethiopia. The Walia Ibex, the Gelada Baboon and Ethiopian wolf can be seen. Ras Dashen the highest mountain in Ethiopia with an elevation of 4543m, is located here.
Bale Mountain National Park
Bale Mountain National Park is located in the Southern part of Ethiopia. It is a park known for its wildlife with chances to view many of Ethiopia’s endemic mammals and birds, in particular the Mountain Nyala and Siemen Fox, and birds such as the Thick-billed Raven, Wattled Ibis, Blue-winged Goose, and Rouget’s Rail.