What do Olympic medalists Gabre Selassie, Kenenisa Bekele and supermodel Liya Kebede have in common? They all come from Ethiopia.
Ethiopia also known as the horn of Africa, is located in east Africa. This country can boast of a rich history that dates back to the biblical times of king Solomon.
Ethiopia was known the ancient kingdom of Abyssinia and is the only African country apart from Liberia that, was not colonized during the scramble and partition of Africa by Europe in the 18th-19th century.
This beautiful country is a land of natural contrasts and has the most UNESCO World Heritage sites in Africa. There are so many beautiful places in Ethiopia worth seeing.
So pack your bags and camera. Let’s discover the beautiful wonders available in this exotic country.
Lava Lakes, Erte Ale.
Erte Ale which means Smoking Mountain in the Afar language is in the Afar region, northeast Ethiopia.
In the region lies two lava lakes. These beautiful lakes are the world’s longest existing active volcanoes and persistent lava lakes.
You can take a trip up Erte Ale and watch the activity of the lake.
Wonchi Lake is situated in the Shawa zone, 16 kilometres from Addis Ababa, the capital.
This crater lake was once an active volcano. Wonchi is now made up of a caldera 2,800 km above sea level, hot springs, a crater lake, islands and ancient monasteries.
has a large indigenous forest reserve. Visit there and I can assure you that you will be surprised by the beauty of the landscape and the freshness of the air in the region.
Sef Omar caves.
Sef Omar caves are in Bale, Oromia region in the southwestern part of Ethiopia. The Caves were named after a Muslim cleric in the 12th century. They are 15 kilometres long and are the longest caves in Ethiopia.
They are considered the largest cave system in Africa.
It is considered a religious centre for the Muslim and Oromo religions.
Prepare to be mesmerized by the view of domes, vaults, pillars and the web river in these caves.
The hallmark of your visit will be in the chamber of columns, a large central hall in Sef Omar caves.
Nechisar national park.
This national park nicknamed Bridge OF Heaven was established in1974 and is between lake Chamo and lake abaya, south of Addis, near aba Minch town.
It can boast of a wide array of animals including Vervet monkeys, Swayne’s hartebeest, zebras, black-backed jackals, Grant gazelles and lions.
The park consists of lake Chamo, hot springs and another famous lake called lake Abaya.
Nechisar national park also has scenic grasslands, luxuriant groundwater forests which makes is a beautiful sight to behold.
The rock-hewn churches of Lalibela.
Hike up the rocky hills of Lalibela situated in the western Ethiopian highlands. Explore the rock-hewn churches of Lalibela.
King Lalibela of the Zagwe built these churches in the 12th and 13th century during his reign.He wanted to recreate the holy city of Jerusalem In his own country.
It was made a UNESCO World Heritage site, in 1978.
Visit the churches and be teleported back to the ancient Christian kingdom of Ethiopia.
The Mausoleum of Menelik II
This historical masterpiece is in Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia. It is the resting place of the great emperor Menelik II, his wife and his children.
The Semien Mountains.
If you love Grand Canyon, you will love the Semien Mountains. The Semien Mountains is a national park located in North Gondar Debark, the far north region of Ethiopia.
Established in 1969, it was made a UNESCO World Heritage site.
If you love being in nature, the mountains have everything to keep you fascinated. You can embark on multi-day treks where you will pass through dramatic mountains like Buahit Pass which stands at 14,534 ft above sea level and Buyot Ras.
You will get the chance to see breathtaking views and the stunning Jinhar waterfall.
Other interesting things to see in the area are rare animals like the Ethiopian wolf( which is the most endangered carnivore in Africa), the Walia Ibex, the gelada monkey and more.
This is a place you have to visit. It’s wild and wonderful.
What is the Best Time To Visit Ethiopia?
Ethiopia is a vast country with different seasons. So that is a difficult question to answer.
Also, the best time to visit Ethiopia depends on what you want to do.
Ethiopia has a rainy season that falls from June to late September in the northern and central Highlands. In the south, the rainy season starts earlier from March to June.
It is best to avoid the southern region during the rainy season because the roads will be affected making driving difficult.
If you love experiencing cultural festivals, September to January is the best time to visit Ethiopia. Cultural festivals like Meskel (holds at the end of September), Genna ( the Ethiopian Christmas) and Timkat occur during that time. However, prices of accommodation and transportation increased during that period.
If you love fair weather without the crowd, go to Ethiopia from February to March because most tourists have left and it’s the dry season.
A word of caution: Avoid visiting the Danakil depression in September and October.
It’s one of the hottest places on earth and the heat will be unbearable during those months. According to Joan Torres, the best time to visit here is from mid-November to February.
This is such an interesting read. I’ve been to a few other countries in Africa & I absolutely love everywhere but I’ve never been to Ethiopia (I didn’t realize there was so much to see), I’ll definitely added it to my list now
Ethiopia is very high up there on my bucket list. Hopefully, next year. Wasn’t aware about the lakes which makes it even more appealing. Need to start planning.
Yes. Do it.
This is part of the world that I know very little about. It would be an interesting trip to add Ethiopia and would avoid the rainy season as you advised.
Yes. I hope you do
I wish your locations you mentioned had more pictures! I’m sure they’re amazing though!