What makes you proud to be an Ethiopian

Ethiopia

Land of contrasts and surprises

Ethiopia is one of the most mysterious and fascinating countries on the African continent. A land of contrasts and surprises. With a long history that is constantly tangible both in the traditions of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church and in the pride of the Ethiopians that they have never been colonized.

In the north you discover the former Abyssinia, the legendary homeland of the Queen of Sheba, and experience the cultural and religious diversity of Ethiopia. You embark on a journey through time through the eventful history of the country and come across 3000 year old relics of high African culture. The southern part of Ethiopia is pure adventure: Passing picturesque villages, you drive over Lake Chamo, which is known for its numerous hippos and crocodiles, towards Arba Minch. From there you penetrate into the fantastic world of indigenous people - undoubtedly an extraordinary experience.

Current Ethiopia trips

Journey through the historic north

 

Ethiopia is one of the most mysterious and fascinating countries on the African continent. A land of contrasts and surprises. With a long history that is constantly tangible both in the traditions of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church and in the pride of the Ethiopians of never having been colonized.

On this trip to the historic north of Ethiopia, you will discover the former Abyssinia, the legendary home of the Queen of Sheba, and experience the cultural and religious diversity of Ethiopia. You embark on a journey through time through the eventful history of the country and come across 3000 year old relics of African high culture.

From the capital Addis Ababa, travel to Bahir Dar on Lake Tana, where you will experience the spectacular waterfalls of the Blue Nile. Further north you visit the old royal city of Gondar, hike on the "roof of Africa", in the Simien Mountains National Park, and experience history first hand in Axum, the historic capital of the old Ethiopian kingdom. The tour ends with the legendary rock-hewn churches of Lalibela, which were carved out of the red tuff rock by hand.

 

Great Ethiopia round trip

Land of contrasts

 

This trip combines the highlights of the historic north and south of Ethiopia. You will first discover the former Abyssinia, the legendary home of the Queen of Sheba, and experience the cultural and religious diversity of Ethiopia.

 

Journey to the primitive peoples

Ethiopia's fantastic south

 

Ethiopia is one of the most mysterious and fascinating countries on the African continent. A land of contrasts and surprises. With a long history that is constantly tangible both in the traditions of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church and in the pride of the Ethiopians that they have never been colonized.

The southern part of Ethiopia is pure adventure: Passing picturesque villages, you drive over Lake Chamo, which is known for its numerous hippos and crocodiles, towards Arba Minch. From there we penetrate into the fantastic world of indigenous peoples - the most famous of them is certainly the Mursi people in the Mago National Park, whose women still widen their lips with clay plates.

The encounter with these ethnic groups is undoubtedly an extraordinary experience. Over thousands of years of isolation from the rest of the world, the beautiful Omo Valley has become home to a variety of different tribal cultures. On this journey through the enchanting landscape, you will have the pleasure of encountering ancient customs and traditions, gaining an insight into those rituals and cults that are still an integral part of everyday life here, and the absolutely unadulterated originality of nature admire.

 

Country information

history

The vast majority of paleoanthropologists refer to eastern Africa as the cradle of mankind. Long before there was writing or a tradition to which we can refer today, there were pre-humans and early representatives of the homo genus in the area of ​​present-day Ethiopia. Numerous remains of such pre-humans (for example Australopithecus afarensis) were found in Ethiopia ("Lucy" 1974 in Hadar; DIK 1-1 (called "Selam") 2000 in Dikika). The northern Ethiopian empire of Aksum (also Axum), which was one of the first Christian kingdoms in the world, is considered to be one of the important "world empires" (according to the prophet Mani) in the period of late antiquity. With the expansion of Islam in the 7th century (Islamic expansion), Ethiopian Christianity was completely cut off from the influence of the European Church. In the course of colonialism, Ethiopia had to resist the influence of European powers again and again, first under Emperor Tewodros of the British Ethiopia expedition of 1868, then at the end of the 19th century the influence of the Italians and their colony Eritrea. Despite the technically superior, modern weapons of the Italian army, the Ethiopians fought back the Italian invaders under Emperor Menelik II in 1896 (Battle of Adua). This result is considered to be an important victory for an African against a European army and in the following years it became an integral part of the Ethiopian national consciousness.

geography

Ethiopia is the tenth largest country in Africa, it is around three times the size of Germany. The national nature of Ethiopia has a special role within Africa. Along with Lesotho, Ethiopia is the highest country on the continent: 50 percent of its area is higher than 1200 meters, more than 25 percent over 1800 meters, and more than 5 percent even reach heights of over 3500 meters. Nevertheless, most of the highlands have the character of a low mountain range. The climate here is temperate. The edges of the highlands and the cuts of the rivers (Blue Nile, Omo, Takaze) are very steep. Most of Ethiopia is occupied by the Abyssinia highlands; The capital of the country, Addis Ababa (2370 m), is located in these vast high mountains.

Tourist Attractions

The world heritage in Ethiopia (as of 2016) includes nine UNESCO world heritage sites, including eight world cultural heritage sites and one world natural heritage site. The rock-hewn churches of Lalibela and the Sämen National Park were among the twelve sites to be included in the World Heritage List in 1978. As the last World Heritage Site in Ethiopia to date, the Konso cultural landscape was added to the World Heritage List in 2011. Other sights include Bahir Dar on Lake Tana, (Blue) Nile Falls, Gondar's baroque palace complex, the Simien and Bale Mountains National Parks, Aksum and Lake Langano.

Travel information

Climate & travel times

The Ethiopian highlands have a generally very pleasant climate for Europeans. In Addis Ababa it hardly gets warmer than 30 degrees during the day and rarely less than 10 degrees at night, so you can sleep well. However, in the highlands it can get quite cold (4-5 °) at night, so that the blankets offered in simple hotels are no longer sufficient. There are two seasons in Ethiopia: a rainy season from June to September and a dry season, from October to May, during which it almost never rains, apart from February and March (small rainy season). During the rainy season, the southeast trade wind from the Indian Ocean brings abundant rainfall to the northern highlands; the lower-lying desert regions, however, remain largely dry even then and are therefore often threatened by droughts. You can travel to Ethiopia all year round.

Eat Drink

Culinary, the Ethiopian cuisine differs from the other countries of Black Africa or the oriental region and has a lot to offer. Injera, a large, soft flatbread made from teff, which is served with various tempting spicy sauces (wot), forms the basis of many Ethiopian meals. Wot is available in different vegetarian and meat variants. You eat with your fingers (your right hand), as the sourdough flatbread replaces plates and cutlery. The spice Berbere makes Ethiopian food spicy in general. The spicy Berbere sauce is usually served separately in small bowls. The sweet honey wine Tej or the millet beer Talla are popular traditional drinks.

language

Over 80 languages ​​are spoken in Ethiopia. The official language at the federal level is Amharic, which belongs to the (South) Semitic branch of Afro-Asian and is spoken as a mother tongue by around 19.8 million people and as a second language by another 4 million Ethiopians. With around 25.5 million speakers, the Cushitic Oromo is the language with the most speakers. Many Ethiopians also speak English.

currency

The national currency is Ethiopian Birr (1 Euro = approx. 35 Birr / as of 03/2018). You can withdraw money by credit card from ATMs in major hotels in the capital. Furthermore, money can be withdrawn from banks by credit card, but for a considerable fee. Outside the capital, credit cards are rarely accepted in larger hotels.