Ethiopia, a country in northeastern Africa, has an amazing landscape, the people are welcoming the sense of history is tangible and you will not have to worry about crowds of tourists. Ethiopia is old beyond imaginings and arguably one of the world’s most interesting destinations that very few people ever visit.
Much of the fascination of Ethiopia lies in its myriad historical sites, the obelisks and stele of Axum, the churches and Coptic monasteries in the Tigre, in the Lake Tana isles and in Lalibela; the African “Jerusalem” with its monolithic churches. The numerous festivals and ceremonies provide many high points throughout the year with the Ethiopian Orthodox Church itself celebrating no less than 150 festivities per year.
Ethiopia is a veritable mosaic of peoples; there are over 83 ethnic groups, each with its own language, several of which have not yet been classified by linguists. Although the original physical differences between the major ethnic groups have been blurred by centuries, if not millennia, of intermarriage, there remain many who are distinct and unique. There is a bounty of fascinating costumes, colorful ceremonies and celebrations, arts, crafts, music and dance that distinguishes Ethiopia as a diminutive Africa.
With nine national parks and a landscape that changes from 116 meters below sea level to 4630 meters above sea level in a matter of hours and varies from dry to wet zones, Ethiopia offers excitement and adventure.
Two of the national parks include the mountain groups of the Simien and the Bale, while the others lie in the Rift Valley towards Kenya. The unforgettable wild landscapes are one of the main attractions of these parks, where many of the animal species are endemic to the area. Towering mountains, impossibly blue lakes and rolling savannahs characterize the rugged landscape. Ethiopia’s Rift Valley lakes, highland mountain ranges, lowlands and semi-deserts also provide the varied terrain to support an amazing variety of birdlife.
Ethiopia is also among the best African destinations for a large diversity of nature-related activities; white-water rafting, trekking, caving, paragliding, fishing and bird watching are all popular adventure tours. The Omo River is one of the world’s greatest rafting adventures with its challenging white water, wildlife, bird life, superb scenery and some of the most unique and least visited people in Africa.