Land of mystical castles, endless green fields, incredible Byzantine art and great hiking experiences.
In East Africa, just north of Kenya, one of the world’s most remarkable countries rises high above sea level. The largest landlocked population on earth and one of Africa’s most culturally rich, Ethiopia is fast becoming the place to visit for any adventurous soul.
This is a land of stark contrasts. In the west, fertile forests and rivers cover the landscape allowing the cultivation of coffee. In fact, Kefa in Ethiopia is where coffee originates from and is still the source of the world’s top beans. Much of the east of the country forms part of the Ethiopian Highlands, which is Africa’s largest continuous mountain range.
Ethiopia’s population is highly diverse, comprising over 80 different ethnic groups. Whilst the northern part of the country is notable for its historical relics, the south of Ethiopia is home to the Omotic tribes with their beaded leather skirts and complementing body painting, feathered headdresses and dramatic scarification. Even more unusual are the isolated Mursi tribe whose women wear large clay lip plates symbolizing their worth and beauty.
One of the world’s oldest Christian countries, Ethiopia has a multitude of churches and holy buildings. Chief among these are the Churches of Lalibela (churches dug into the rocky hills of the Lalibela region) and the obelisks in the city of Axum (a city which the Ethiopian Orthodox believes houses the Ark of the Covenant). Historically there are few places on earth that can claim to have such a multitude of Christian artefacts and landmarks as Ethiopia.
Although not as abundant in game as Kenya or Tanzania to the South, Ethiopia contains many animals not found anywhere else on earth. From the fleet footed Nubian Ibex to the extremely rare Ethiopian Wolf, many a nature photographer has made Ethiopia one of their “must-visit” destinations in search of that perfect shot.
A trip to Ethiopia is one you will never forget and the landscapes and people will have you yearning to return to this interesting and beautiful land.