A poor country with a low unemployment rate and abundant with natural beauties occupies only the attention of true adventureous spirits.
In the horn of Africa, on the east of the Black continent – Ethiopia was born. It extends over 1.1 million square kilometeres where half of it is the Ethiopian plateau. It is the home of over 80 different ethnic groups, who are incredibly proud of their independence because, unlike other african people – they have never been colonized (except for the 5 years under italian semi-rule from 1936 to 1941.)
Ethiopia doesn’t have a sea exit, and it is bound with Erithrea, West and East Sudan, Kenya, Somalia, and Dibuti. Although poor, the Ethiopians have an extremely low unemployment rate (5%), and their strongest branch of economy is agriculuture which employs an astounding 80% of the 73 million population.
The capitol of Ethiopia is Adis Abeba (also the center of African Union) that lies at the foothills of the mountain Entoto on the altitute of 2400 meters. The most popular symbol of the city is the monument Yekatit 12 on the Casualties Square – the work of a croatian sculptor Antun Augustincic and his associates. The tourists gladly visit the last resting place of Haile Sellassie – cathedral of Holy Trinity, Etnographic museum, and the farmers market Merkato – one of the largest in eastern Africa. Here you can buy at discount prices, especially if you are interested in handmade wooden and leather items, carpets, african spices, coffee…
Ethiopian kitchen is extremely popular around the world for its spicy food made mostly from meat and vegetables. Wat is the ethiopian version of spicy curry. Kifto is a also a common food (a type of beef goulash with local spices) and is served with injera (ethiopian sponge-like bread that resembles tortillas). Tej (ethopian wine from honey) is one of the countrys favourites, as is coffee from locally grown beans.
5 unforgettable tourist attractions in Ethiopia
Louvre has Mona Lisa, and the national museom of Ethiopia – located in Adis Abeba – has Lucy. We are talking about the most famous neandertal fossil in the world, that dates back over 3.2 million years ago. This is the right place to explore the rich cultural and archeological history of Ethiopia.
Tis Isat waterfall
One of the largest attraction of Ehtiopia is the waterfall Tis Isat, which on amhar language means ‘water that is smoking“ . Grandiose waterfalls fall from over 45 meters of height, and are located on the river Blue Nile – 30 kilometers downstream from the ethiopian city Bahir Dar.
Ethiopia is home to ten beautiful national parks. If you want to explore the ethiopian wilderness, National park Awash is the place to be. It is located 225 kilometers east from the capitol city, in the province Afar. Here you will find some interesting endemic plants and animals like dik-dik antillope, impala and a big number of exotic birds. At your disposal there are also National parks Omo, Mago, Neshisar, Yangudi…
Fans of adrenaline activities will feel like home in Ehtiopia. Try rafting on a famous river Omo that flows through the northeastern part of the country. If you are more an alpine type dare to conquer the highest mountain top of Ehtiopia – Ras Dashan (4550m).
Castles and palaces
Ethiopia is one of the rare african countries that can be proud of her unusual collection of castles and palaces. The royal palace Fasil Ghebbi, castle Fasilides, and palace Menteyab are only a small part of beautiful places to visit in Ethiopia. They are located in the city of Gondar.
Official language: amhar; (there are more than 80 languages and 200 dialects spoken in the country) in the service industry you will encounter english speaking people
Religion: Christianity(50 percent); Islam (45 percet)
Currency: Ethiopian birr (ETB)
Visa: necessary – the closest embassy is located in Rome (Via Andrea Vessalio, 16-18, t:0039 (06) 44 16161, e-mail: email@example.com)
How to travel: via airplane; the main airport of Ethiopia – International Airport Bole is located in the capital city Adis Abebi.
Diseases and prevention: vaccination against yellow fever is recommended. There is also a great danger from malaria, dysentery, and hepatitis A and B.
When to travel: Ethiopia has a monsoon climate, but much moderate temperatures than the rest of the countries in the vicinity of Ecuador. Avoid the rain season that goes on from June till September.
Accomodation: Addis Regency Hotel in the capitol city, and Addis Sheraton – are excellent choices.
Restaurants: The best tradiotional cuisine is served in the Yod Abyssinia restaurant located in the capitol city, or in the Habesha restaurant.
Drink only bottled water. Eat in hotel restaurants that have tested quality. Respect the rules and laws of the country even if they seem incredible or strange to you from your western perspective. For instance, homosexuality is illegal and will not be tolerated. If you are a man, never speak to the women of Ethiopia directly – do not even look her in the eyes . You always speak to the man that she is with. Take precautions against diseases, and watch over your documents and money. You can only take 100 birra with you when leaving the country.