Are you considering a vacation? Ethiopia could be the destination for you! Here are some reasons why you should consider visiting the country.
The country offers great landscapes and unique rock formations. A number of sites, such as the Danakil depression and the Simien mountains, are a must visit for anyone interested in observing the wonders of nature up close. While some of these may be difficult to access, there are a number of expert guided tours that will help you experience Ethiopia in an unforgettable way.
The flora and fauna
The wildlife, which you can observe at a number of national parks and reserves, is unique to the region. Species such as the Simean wolf can only be found within certain regions in the country.
Ethiopia also has a rich culture and history. It holds a number of UNESCO heritage sites, including the 12th century churches at Lalibela and the Castle of Fasilides. The people continue to practice various traditional activities and host a number of festivals that will provide insight into the culture. During Enkutatash, Genna, Timket and Meskal, you will explore a side of Ethiopia that is untouched by modern practices.
If you are interested in an enjoyable experience of nightlife, Ethiopia’s capital is the place to be. The local clubs and bars at Addis Ababa feature a unique fusion of Jazz and other genres with the traditional Ethiopian style for an exciting new style. Like the rest of the population, revelers are warm and welcoming. You will make friends and spend entire nights dancing.
A convenient location to travel to
Ethiopia is easily accessible as well, thanks to the recently expanded airport in the heart of Addis Ababa. There are a range of facilities for your accommodation, ranging from budget lodges to luxury resorts. Some are even located within certain natural attractions, offering you a close up experience of Ethiopia’s nature.
Here are the places you should visit in Ethiopia.
The country’s capital is always sunny and enjoyable. You are guaranteed thirteen months of uninterrupted sunshine, as Ethiopia still uses the Alexandrian calendar.
You can find beautiful handcrafted and hand-woven fabrics, as well as food, incense, souvenirs and other artifacts at any of Addis’ many markets. You may need a guide to get through the largest market, Merkato, which will almost feel like a city in itself. Security within these markets can be challenging, due to the large number of petty thieves. You may need to secure your valuables before making entry.
Ethiopia is the original home of coffee, and is considered by many as the coffee capital of the world. The coffee culture in the region continues to thrive, thanks to the high quality coffee that the country produces. You can visit any Tomoca branch for a rich and creamy cup of Ethiopian coffee. If you are looking for a more authentic experience, you can enjoy a coffee ceremony. Your coffee is ground and brewed in a charcoal brazier as you enjoy great conversations with your host.
Addis Ababa’s clubs and bars host Ethio-salsa and Ethio-jazz, which merge the traditional Ethiopian styles with these genres to create exciting sounds. You can enjoy the experience all night as most of the facilities are open and accessible throughout the night. Alongside great music on several floors, rotating art exhibits and accommodation, clubs such as Jazzamba and Taitu offer transportation services on request.
Also known as Axum, this ancient city is the oldest city in Africa. The historical remains, which have been marked as a UNESCO Heritage site, have some connection with ancient Christianity.
Local myth suggests that the covenant of Moses was stored here. The ruins include stelae and obelisks that will help you learn about ancient architecture, as well as help to provide links between Ethiopia and ancient Egypt.
Blue Nile falls
Locals refer to it as Tis Issat, which loosely translates to smoking water because of the smoke-like illusion that the falls create. This spectacle is considered as one of the best waterfalls on the continent. Measuring over half a mile long, it cuts through the Ethiopian plateau and plunges for over 150 feet.
You can watch the falls from a few ideal points. One of these is at Bahir dar, which is accessible by foot. The 15 mile trek can be difficult for some. Instead, catch a bus every hour from Tis Abay Village. You can also travel with a tour group for convenience.
The National Museum of Ethiopia
There are a number of impressive exhibitions at the museum that will make every visit worth your while. You could also visit Lucy, once considered the oldest hominid to have been found. The 3.2 million year old fossil is stored in a state of the art facility, which it shares with other impressive fossils. At the museum, you can chart human history and learn about the different steps in human evolution.
The museum also holds different arts and crafts, including jewelry, clothing, musical items, utensils and other artifacts that will improve your understanding of human traditions. Some of the premier artifacts include a 1st century bronze lamp with artistic impression and a 4th century chair that has ancient inscriptions.
The Simien mountains
This range of mountains have been awarded UNESCO heritage status because of their unique formations. The Simien Mountains are often called “God’s Playground” because of their beauty. They are located in Northern Ethiopia and are accessible by car or via helicopter.
A few tour groups organize hikes through the remote range with deep gorges, picturesque valleys, and high peaks. You can observe a number of wildlife, including the rare Simian wolf and Walia Ibex.
Before making your trip, you should consider your eligibility for an Ethiopia visa. Members of some countries do not qualify for an on-entry visa and must make an application before visiting the country and learn more.