Ethiopia is a country rich in culture, history, and natural beauty. From ancient churches and rock-hewn monasteries to stunning landscapes and vibrant markets, there is no shortage of things to see and do in Ethiopia. Here are ten places to visit in Ethiopia that are particularly special.
This small town in the Lasta mountains is home to 11 rock-hewn churches, which were built in the 12th and 13th centuries. The churches are carved into the rock, and some are even connected by underground tunnels. The most famous church, Bet Giyorgis, is a masterpiece of engineering and art.
Known as the “Camelot of Africa,” Gondar is home to several castles and palaces that were built by Ethiopian emperors in the 17th and 18th centuries. The most famous of these is the Royal Enclosure, which contains several castles and a palace. The city is also home to several churches and monasteries, including the Church of Debre Birhan Selassie, which is famous for its intricate frescoes.
This ancient city is believed to be the capital of the powerful Aksumite Empire, which existed from the 1st to the 8th centuries AD. The city is home to several important historical and religious sites, including the stelae field, where you can see massive obelisks carved from single blocks of granite.
This ancient walled city is located in the eastern part of Ethiopia and is known for its colorful markets, traditional houses, and the hyena man. The city is also home to several important religious sites, including the Grand Mosque and the Rimbaud House, which is where the French poet Arthur Rimbaud lived during the late 19th century.
5. Lake Tana
The largest lake in Ethiopia, Lake Tana is the source of the Blue Nile and is home to several islands that are home to monasteries and churches. The most famous of these is the Ura Kidane Mihret Monastery, which is known for its beautiful murals. Visitors can also take boat trips to see the hippos that live in the lake.
6. Simien Mountains National Park
This national park is home to some of the most dramatic landscapes in Ethiopia, including rugged mountains, deep gorges, and vast plateaus. The park is also home to several species of wildlife, including the Ethiopian wolf and the gelada monkey. Visitors can go on guided hikes to see the park’s beauty.
7. Omo Valley
This region in southern Ethiopia is home to several different ethnic groups, each with their own distinct culture and traditions. Visitors can see traditional dances, visit markets, and learn about the way of life of the people who live there. The Omo Valley is also home to several important archaeological sites, including the Konso village and the Herto Bouri Middle Paleolithic site.
8. Addis Ababa
Ethiopia’s capital and largest city, Addis Ababa is a melting pot of cultures and a gateway to the rest of the country. Visitors can see the National Museum of Ethiopia, which houses important artifacts from Ethiopia’s past, and the Holy Trinity Cathedral, which is one of the most important Orthodox Christian churches in Ethiopia.
9. Erta Ale
This volcano in the Afar region is one of the few permanent lava lakes in the world. Visitors can take guided trips to see the volcano and the surrounding area, which is home to several different species of wildlife.
10. The Blue Nile Falls
These falls are located about 30 kilometers downstream from the city of Bahir Dar and are one of the most spectacular sights in Ethiopia. The falls are fed by the Blue Nile River and drop over a height of 45 meters, creating a beautiful mist that can be seen from miles away. Visitors can take boat trips to see the falls up close and also take in the beautiful surroundings, including the lush vegetation and diverse wildlife.