Not many countries manage to impress their visitors in a way that Ethiopia does. This country is just rising from a very rough communist state to a country that is just starting to flourish. The country has breathtaking natural beauty, diverse culture, cheerful people, tasteful and delicious cuisine, and endemic wildlife which are just perfect for travelers who are looking for different experiences. The city is known as the 2nd Jerusalem. If you have been planning to visit a truly exotic location with lesser-known culture and sceneries then Ethiopia should be your pick. We present to your top things to do in Ethiopia for your travel bucket list fulfillment.
Fun & Interesting Things To Do In Ethiopia
One of the most fascinating and exciting things about Ethiopia is that it has a very ancient culture. Their Language, Amharic, is one of the oldest written languages in the world. Ethiopia has many tourist attractions like feeding hyenas, African Safaris, and even a real-world Camelot. You will have quite a country & culture to experience when you visit here. Also, one more fact to add which would excite you more, it is one of the cheapest places to travel in Africa.
As this country was not so open with the rest of the world, the people of Ethiopia are inquisitive and open about what is in the outside world. Ethiopians are trying to grasp everything they can get from fields like music, dress, and even culture. The things to do in Ethiopia will please you! Here are the top must-see places in Ethiopia and the things to do here for both the budget packer and luxury traveler.
Marvel At Churches At Lalibela
If Lalibela is not the must-see for the attraction spot in Ethiopia, then who knows what is. It is a city designed to be the 2nd Jerusalem, and many Ethiopians still claim that fact. It is a place of pilgrimage for Christians. This city has an impressive array of churches that are carved out of stone that also includes the famous St. Georges Cathedral. It has eleven ancient Churches that built from a single rock.
Monasteries To Visit in Ethiopia
Bete Giorgis, also known as Saint George’s, is the most impressive of all the eleven churches at the height of 40 feet and a roof that has the shape of a cross. You can also visit Bete Medhani Alem church across the main road from St. George, it is the largest monolithic church in the world. King Lalibela is credited for these extremely fantastic Churches which have been registered by UNESCO as World heritages.
Be On The Top At Simien Mountains National Park
No matter how you look at it, Simien Mountains National Park is one of Africa’s most beautiful ranges. These Mountains are also known as God’s Playground because of its unique formation. The Simien Mountains, also known as the Roof of Africa, has cliffs that tower of height 1,500 meters. These Mountains are Ideal for travelers who are seeking a trekking experience. There you will also find Ras Dashen, which is the highest point in Ethiopia.
The National Park is home to the Ethiopian Wolf, endemic Simien Fox, the Walia Ibex, and the Gelada Baboon. These mountains live up to your expectations of listing as a UNESCO world heritage site. The Simien Mountains also has 3 endemic plant species and 180 bird species of which 5 are indigenous. The endangered Lammergeyer, which has a wing of 2 meters and with different bone marrow, are also found in the skies of Ethiopia’s Simien Mountain National Park.
Explore The Unique Culture Of Omo Valley Tribes
Between the border of Ethiopia and Kenya, in a remote enclave of the Great Rift Valley, there is the Omo Delta region. It is a forgotten corner of Africa. Here visitors can see the glimpse of the continent as the early explorers have found it. It’s an Africa in which there are exotic tribes which are proud of their traditional lifestyles and ancient customs. Here the wealth of a man is judged by what is the size of his herds.
Central to these cultures are their herds of cattle and goats; here you will find sheep and cattle farmers. Here people are dressed in clothes made from animal skins. Also, blood mixed with milk is the main drink here. If you visit here at the right time, you’ll probably witness a Hamer bull-jumping ceremony. It’s one of the influential moments in a Hamer man’s life, where he runs naked over the backs of the bulls four times to mark his adaptation to manhood.
The Simien wolf of Ethiopia is one of the prettiest in the world. It is also one of the rarest, with its bright russet coat and black stripes on its tail and nose. There are just less than 500 left in the world.
You can get the best chance to see them through Sanetti Plateau, which is located in Bale Mountains National Park. Because it is too cold, the wolves survive here amongst the cloud forest. It is tough for locals to build homes here. A visit to the park will offer you the loveliest mountain scenery in Africa.
Feel Peace At Axum City
Axum is one of the oldest cities in Africa, and it is the home of the ancient Aksumite Empire. You will find some of the best antiques and artifacts in the center of the city. Axum City has so much of the History. It is a city in Northern Ethiopia. You can visit Monolithic obelisks, royal tombs and palace ruins in Axum. Intricately carved out of stone, the largest standing obelisk is over 23 meters high. While you are in the city, please make sure to visit the Axum Tsion church. This city is also the supposed location of the Ark of the covenant.
Explore Omar Caves
Sof Omar is known as the longest cave in Ethiopia. It is being formed by the Weib River and is a little over 15 kilometers. is It the place where you can admire nature’s unique architecture skills. It has 40 main entrances and exits, along with this it’s also the longest cave system in Africa. This is an underground cave located in Southeastern Ethiopia. It’s a sacred place to Islam which is named after Shiek Sof Omar who used the cave as a mosque in the 12th century along with his followers. The caves are breathtakingly beautiful, which features stones. Around 20 meters can be explored on foot with local guides.
Witness Ethiopian Coffee Ceremony
Coffee is an integral part of social and cultural life in Ethiopia. Indeed, Ethiopian folklore states that coffee beans were discovered here around 800 AD when a goatherd noticed his flock becoming active after eating the red berries.
The ceremony is performed around a Rekbot; it is a shelf-like box where the coffee is prepared and served. The beans will be roasted and then mixed with spices in an ornate clay pot called a jebena. The coffee is poured in small cups from a height of one foot and served with a small snack like popcorn.
You will most probably be invited to a coffee ceremony during your stay. You will be expected to drink three rounds of coffee. That’s the count it takes for your spirit for the transformation.
Gain Some Knowledge About Injera
Injera is the staple of Ethiopian cuisine and an acquired taste. It is made from teff, which is a wheat-like grain grown in the highlands of Ethiopia, struck into flour, then mixed with water and yeast, then left to ferment for a few days. In the countryside, the women cook pancake-like bread on large, round, clay cooking plates called Mogogos.
Injera has a different, almost bitter taste. It is served with dollops of tibs (which are strips of fried beef), Doro, i.e. chicken stew and piles of carrots and spinach. Everyone eats together, sitting in a circle tearing off strips and helping themselves to the injera in the middle. Eating in this way is the most friendly way to eat in the world. And it’s also a highlight of any visit to Ethiopia.
Feel The Royalty At Gondar Castle
Did you think the things to do in Ethiopia stop with all the things mentioned above? Think Again. There isn’t any imagination in Ethiopia; Gondar happens to be the real-life Camelot of Ethiopia (Africa). There is an entire castle complex. There is also a small monastery in a nearby city called Gorgora, which is very impressive. A visit to the Gondar city in Northern Ethiopia will guarantee you have a royal day.
King Fasiledes founded it in the17th century. Gondar has been the capital of Ethiopia for almost 200 years. There you will witness panoramic views of Lake Tana. You must also visit Mentewab’s Castle and the Palaces of Emperor Iyasus and Dawit. Debre Birhan Selassie or ‘Light of the Trinity’ church is also worth a visit, as it is famous for mural paintings on the ceiling. From here, you can easily make your plans for heading to the Simien Mountains National Park.