Modern-day Ethiopia is many seemingly dissonant things. It’s a cross between a pack backers ultimate holiday and a history buff’s Shangri-La.Thank you for reading this post, don't forget to subscribe!Thank you for reading this post, don't forget to subscribe!
It’s also retained a medieval feel through ancient Christian rituals while showcasing the ancient obelisks and tombs of Aksum.
Culturally speaking, there are seven UNESCO World Heritage sites here as well as the chance to look into a more recent and turbulent past – as evidenced by abandoned and burnt-out Russians tanks.
The landscape of this wonderful country is no less varied with lakes rivers, rocky mountains, grasslands, and lowlands.
Top it off with incredible wildlife, remarkable tribal people, delicious food, and wonderful weather.
But make no mistake, this is not merely a holiday destination. Ethiopia will move you, inspire you, and be a journey that you’ll never forget.
1. Danakil Depression
Positioned on the border between Ethiopia and Eritrea is the Danakil Depression. It’s officially one of driest and hottest places on Earth.
With temperatures that often reach 50+ degrees, it’s easy to see why. This is a surreal piece of real estate that’s strewn with active volcanoes, salted basins, hot springs, and a lava lake – all of which combine to create a very lunar-like landscape.
Sitting below sea level, it’s the lowest point in Africa and second in the world (after the Dead Sea).
Do a bit of planning before you go as the climate can be harsh if you aren’t prepared. But the beauty and mystery of this place make any preparation well worth it.
Lalibela pretty much blows the mind of everyone who visits. This medieval settlement was designed to be a kind of second Jerusalem and modern day inhabitants remain proud of this distinction.
Lalibela is perched in the middle of a broad church complex made entire of rock.
There are 11 churches in the settlement, monolithic and grand, all built by King Lalibela as early as the 12th century.
Remarkable because of the architectural design, the churches are actually dug into the ground.
The most famous, and most beautiful, is St George’s Cathedral. An awe-inspiring sight.
If you’re so inclined, there are several monasteries in the nearby area that are worth visiting.
This holy, historic and walled city is a mesmerizing web of narrow alleyways. Built in the early 16th century, it’s the oldest Islamic city in Africa.
It was once the commercial link between Africa and the middle east and today is an enchanting lost-in-time city that’s famous for the impressive walls and centuries old buildings.
There are roughly 99 mosques within the city. A popular attraction is the nightly ritual of feeding they hyenas which happens on the outskirts of the city.
It’s been taking place for generations and you can participate if you’re feeling adventurous.
4. Babile Elephant Sanctuary
5. The Rift Valley
6. The Blue Nile Falls
7. The Omo Valley
10. Addis Ababa
11. Simien Mountains
12. Bahar Dar
13. Rift Valley Lakes
14. Lake Chamo ‘Crocodile Market’
15. Arba Minch
Named after the Amharic word for ‘forty springs,’ Arba Minch is an area of many tiny springs that bubble up from the ridge below them.
It’s a lovely 3k walk through Nechisar National Park to reach the springs.
If you use this area as a stop on the southern Ethiopian circuit, you won’t be disappointed.