Ethiopia has so much to offer to visitors: the historic route covering the ancient town of Axum with its amazing carved monuments, Lalibela with its wonderful rock hewn churches, Gondar with its palaces and castles, Bahir Dar and Lake Tana. The shore of Lake Tana provides an ideal place to explore the lake and its medieval monasteries and the Blue Nile falls. The walled Muslim city of Harar is an ancient maze that includes 82 mosques, three of which date from the 10th century, and 102 shrines. Harar is said to be the fourth holiest of all Muslim cities. Lega Oda, near Dire Dawa, is where you can see cave paintings believed to be thousands of years old.
The people of the Omo valley and their cultures have been source of fascination for travelers. Hammar people are well known for their sense of elegance, and they are one of the major ethnic groups in the southern region. The Mursi women wear lip plates inserted in their pierced lower lips. They have been compelling tourists to travel to their land to see what seems to be impossible alteration to their appearance.
Ethiopia is a mountainous country and has a very beautiful landscape. The natural composition of the country ranges from very high mountains (such as the Simien Mountains and Bale Mountains) to one of the lowest areas below the sea level in the world, the Danakil depression.
The Great Rift Valley Lakes are home to a wealth of bird, animal and plant life. The high rugged Simien Mountains in the north and the Bale Mountains in the southeast are also home to some unique wild life and rich flora, and are ideal for trekking. Some of the country’s fast flowing rivers like Blue Nile, Awash and Omo are preferred for rafting.
The Danakil depression is one of the earths’ hottest place with many points at little more than 163 meters below sea level. Dallol is a lunar type landscape, while Ert-ale is a continuously active volcano with two lava lakes within its caldera.
Most Ethiopian festivals are linked to the Ethiopian Orthodox Church, whose history goes back to the 3rd century. Due to strong Orthodox beliefs, celebrations and festivals play an important part in daily life. The Ethiopian Orthodox Church ceremonies are unique and impressive. Of note are Timket (Epiphany), Genna (Christmas) and Meskel (Finding of the True Cross). During these festivals, religious followers and priests dress in traditional costumes and celebrate festivals across the country.
Meskel (Finding of the True Cross) -September 27
Gena (Ethiopian Christmas) -January 07
Timket (Ethiopian Epiphany) -January 19