Ethiopia is ripe with history. Supporting this is the fact that some of the oldest evidence of modern human were found in Ethiopia. Located in the Horn of Africa (the easternmost part of Africa) Ethiopia is a mix of mountains and plateaus, lowlands, highlands and semi-desert. Ecological diversity means the country has a lot of sights to offer to a discerning traveller. Here is our pick of four places in Ethiopia that deserves a visit or ten.
The capital city, also the largest, has historical and political significance (for Africa as a whole). The city is home to the fossilised remains of the early hominid Lucy, also known as Dinkinesh). National Museum of Ethiopia is a place you can not give a miss. If you are in Addis Ababa around the last week of September, experience Meskel–Ethiopian annual religious holiday, also known as the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross (September 27; September 28 on Leap Years). Addis Ababa has many churches–most notably St. George's Cathedral (1896) and Holy Trinity Cathedral. Menelik Palace, also the official seat of the government, is worthy of a visit; National Jubilee Palace is also popular with tourists. Learn about Ethiopian history at the Red Terror Martyrs Memorial Museum through a photographic display of the Derg rule (or the brutality of it).
Lalibela is located in Amhara region of Northern Ethiopia. The star attraction of this destination is its monolithic rock-cut churches. Historically, Lalibela is a treasure with its history dating back to the times of the Apostles. Lalibela is one of the holiest cities in Ethiopia. It is home to Biete Maryam, Biete Medhane Alem and Biete Giyorgis or more popularly known as Church of Saint George–a Unesco World Heritage Site, among many others. Lalibela is known worldly for its rock-hewn churches, an excellent example of rock-cut architecture.
Located in northwestern Ethiopia, Bahir Dar is the capital city of Amhara Region. It leads the Ethiopian tourist scene with popular attractions like Lake Tana, the source of Blue Nile River, and Blue Nile Falls–one of the main tourist attractions of Bahir Dar. The city is also known for its palm trees lined avenues and colourful local markets.
The city is located north of Lake Tana and an erstwhile capital of Ethiopian Empire. What draws tourists to this city is its many beautiful ruins in Fasil Ghebbi (former seat of emperors). Fasilides' Bath, an important religious site, is where the annual ceremony called Timkat takes place. Visit this city for its churches.