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Map of EthiopiaEthiopia Holidays

 
  • "Ethiopia is an absolutely fascinating country - one which fully deserves to be known better. The infrastructure details were accurately described in your brochure, and any shortcomings were made up with the richness of historical culture offered to us. Thank you for a brilliant holiday."
    Mr & Mrs Sheppee

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Ethiopia is a culturally and scenically distinct nation, home to orthodox Christians. Never formally colonised by a western power, it has the highest number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites of any African country. It is best known for the historical locations in the north, including the rock-hewn churches of Lalibela, the obelisks of Axum and the Ark of the Covenant. Click here to read about the festivals of Ethiopia.

What to see

Cultural and Historic Sites
The northern historical circuit is the country's most visited region, and encompasses Axum, Lalibela, the Simien Mountains, Gondar and Bahar Dar. The 16th century, Portuguese influenced castles of Gondar, the island monasteries of Lake Tana, the source of the Blue Nile at Bahar Dar and Lalibela’s rock hewn churches can easily be combined in an inspiring week-long itinerary.

Also in the north, although less visited, are the rock-hewn churches of Tigrai, accessed from Mekele. Carved into the sandstone cliffs, these religious sanctuaries are likely to attract the second or third time visitor to Ethiopia.

Journey south of Addis Ababa through the scattered lakes of the African Rift Valley to Arba Minch, a small town surrounded by green hills. Southwest of here is the South Omo region, where it is possible to visit local tribes and gain an insight into their way of life.

Most of Ethiopia is more than 1,500m above sea level and some areas are as high as 4,550m. For this reason, it is often referred to as the ‘Roof of Africa’.

Ethiopia has two highland national parks. The Simien Mountains in the north is a region of jagged peaks and unparalleled mountain views, and provides an interesting contrast to the monuments on the northern circuit. The park is also known for its endemic walia ibex (mountain goat) and gelada mountain monkey.

Meanwhile, the wild alpine scenery of the Bale Mountains is a favoured habitat of the Ethiopian wolf and is the best place in Ethiopia to spot endemic birds.

Accommodation in Ethiopia is simple but we strongly believe that the country’s cultural wonders more than make up for any shortcomings.

Tour Collection

Browse our collection of small escorted group tours and luxurious private journeys.

Tailor-Made

Browse our tailor-made section and design a holiday to suit your interests, tastes and budget.

Key Facts

Capital: Addis Ababa
Flying time from London: 9 Hours
Time difference: GMT +2
Population: 85.8 million
Currency: Birr (ETB)
Official Language(s): Amharic, Oromo, Tigrinya, Somali
Visa (UK Passport Holders): British nationals require a visa, to be arranged in advance of travelling.

Before You Go:

The Chains of Heaven - An Ethiopian Romance

Philip Marsden (2006)
Philip Marsden first went to Ethiopia in 1982 and it was to change the direction of his life forever.

Beyond Borders

2003
A story about international aid workers set in Ethiopia, Cambodia and Chechnya. Starring Angelina Jolie and Clive Owen.
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