Ethiopia is a fascinating country, rich in history and culture and blessed with natural splendour. If you haven't thought about visiting Ethiopia before, here are just a few reasons why you need to add this incredible country to your travel bucket list.
1. Danakil Depression
The Danakil Depression truly is one of the most unique geological areas on earth. A strange and mysterious landscape – scattered with noxious hot springs, frozen black-lava flows, and massive salt basins left over from ancient lakes – it is one of the most tectonically active places on the planet. Erta Ale, the region’s most-visited and active volcano, has maintained a permanent lava lake (one of 5 on the earth) for the past 120 years! If you are looking for an almost extra-terrestrial experience, the Danakil Depression is the place to come.
Lalibela, the ‘New Jerusalem’ was built by King Lalibela ‘with the help of angels’ in the 12th century, and is a world heritage site comprising 12 rock-hewn churches. Lying in the rugged Lasta Mountains it is still a rather isolated place and the little town has not changed since the building of the churches 700 years ago. When your walk around in the perfectly shaped churches, using the underground tunnels to go from one church to another and hearing the distant chanting of the monks, you feel as if a time-machine has brought you back to a mysterious middle age world!
3. Simien Mountains
Located in the north of the country, the Simien Mountains are one of Africa's largest ranges (at least a dozen of the peaks are over the 4,000m mark), and were listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1979. The range consists of several large plateaus divided by large river valleys. The views stretch north towards Eritrea and are spectacular. Three of Ethiopia's endemic large mammals are also resident in the Simiens including the gelada monkey, Ethiopian wolf and the Walia ibex.
4. The unique tribal cultures of the Omo Valley
Ethiopia's Omo Valley is one of the most fascinating regions in Ethiopia, and even the African continent, thanks to the cultural diversity of over a dozen tribes that coexist with varying degrees of peace. The valley is mostly a dry savannah expanse fed by the Omo River –one of their most important resources. Along the river and throughout the valley region, hundreds of small tribal villages pepper the landscape, each of them with their unique customs and even their own language. These tribes have lived here for centuries, and since the discovery of human remains dating back nearly 2.5 million years, the Omo Valley region has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage site.
5. The food
Ethiopian cuisine with its unique and vibrant flavours is one of the most exciting in the world. The national dish of the country is Doro Wat, a very spicy chicken stew that is typically served with an Ethiopian sourdough flatbread called injera. Other great Ethiopian dishes that you must try whilst you are there include Kifto (Ethiopian beef tartare), Azifa (a green lentil salad) and Key Wat (an Ethiopian beef stew).
6. There are regular flights from the UK
It may come as a big surprise, but Ethiopia is in fact very accessible from the UK with direct flights to Addis Ababa operating from both London Heathrow and Manchester! American travellers are also well catered for with direct flights to Addis Ababa operating from a number of major US cities including New York, Los Angeles and Washington D.C.
7. There are no crowds
Ethiopia has got the sights, the scenery and the culture, but unlike other destinations the big tourist crowds have not arrived yet!
If our blog has got you interested in discovering the many delights of Ethiopia for yourself then get in touch with our experts today by calling 020 7843 3500 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org and they can help you plan your dream Ethiopia adventure.
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