Welcome to Ethiopia The land of Origins
Ethiopia is a land of wonder and enchantment, a country with one of the richest histories on the African continent, a land of contrasts and surprises, of remote and wild places, home to cultured and friendly people who are descended from some of the world’s oldest civilizations.
This is the land of the fabled Queen of Sheba, home of the Ark of the Covenant, the birthplace of coffee .Lucy, the world’s oldest known almost-complete hominid skeleton, more than three million years old, was discovered here.
Ethiopia has so much to offer to visitors
the Historic Route, covering the ancient town of Axum, with its amazing carved obelisks, Christian festivals and relics, hides – we believe – the Ark of the Covenant; Gondar, with its castles and palaces; Lalibela, with its remarkable rock-hewn churches; Nejash, one of the earliest holy Muslim centers from the era of the Prophet Muhammad with the Negash Amedin Mesgid; the walled Muslim city of Harar; and Lega Oda, near Dire Dawa where you can see cave paintings considered to be thousands of years old.
Lake Tana, source of the Blue Nile, is our largest lake with 37 islands and 22 Monasteries dating back to the14th Century, notably monasteries like Kibran Gebriel and Ura Kidanemhiret. Many of the Great Rift Valley lakes are national parks, and they are home to a wealth of bird and animal life. The high, rugged, Simien Mountains in the north and the Bale mountains in the southeast are also home to some unique wildlife and rich flora, and are ideal for trekking, whilst some of Ethiopia’s fast-flowing rivers are becoming famous for white-water rafting. There are more than twenty national parks and four sanctuaries where 277 species of wildlife and more than 900 species of birds can be found. The Simien Mountains National Park is registered by UNESCO as a natural World Heritage site and is home to endemic mammals, such as the Walia Ibex, the Gelada Baboon and the Abyssinian Wolf. Ras Dashen, the fourth highest peak in Africa with an altitude of 4,620 meters, is also located within the National Park.
Other National Parks include Bale Mountains and Abijatta-Shalla in Oromia; NechSar, Mago and Omo National Parks in the south and Yangudi Rasa in Afarl Gambella National park in Gambella, as well as Awash in both Oromia and Afar Regions.
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia’s friendly and safe capital city also has so much to offer,, with its five-star hotels, international restaurants, museums and palaces, and good shopping which includes the bustling Mercato area (Africa’s largest open-air market) and the much more sophisticated Bole suburb with its boutique shops and stylish restaurants. Thanks to its altitude of 2350 meter above sea level (the fifth-highest national capital in the world) it has a pleasant, “spring” climate all year round (although we do have a major rainy season from June to mid-September).
The majority of Ethiopians belong to the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church, established in the fourth century AD, while about 30% of Ethiopia’s population is Sunni Muslim. But Ethiopia’s Christian roots may go back much further. Even the New Testament of the Bible records St Peter converting an Ethiopian returning to his country. Ethiopian Christians believe that their spiritual tradition goes back even further, to the Jewish early first temple period when our first Emperor, Menelik I, whom we believe to bethe son of the Biblical King Solomon and Queen of Sheba, brought the Ark of the Covenant from Jerusalem to northern Ethiopia as told in our holy book the Kebra Nagast.
Ethiopia is a mosaic of people with more than 80 languages, different lifestyles, costumes and cultural dances. People’s livelihoods vary from pastoralists and farmers to factory workers, business people and academics. Ethiopia has been called “the land of a thousand smiles”. Visit us and you can be sure of a great welcome, a memorable holiday, and the experience of a lifetime.
Some Important facts about Ethiopia