Ethiopia’s exclusivity makes it a charming destination for every tourist to visit. It has a lot more it offers to its travelers. Ethiopian is well known for its historical sites including Museums that cover a wide area of the Sub-Saharan Africa. Specialists argue that these sites are only a portion of what actually Ethiopia can provide, agreed upon a 95%remain that has to be explored as well as unearthed.
Things To Do In Ethiopia
The Simien Mountain National Park (North Gondar Zone)
The Simien Mountain is the most fascinating highlands in Africa, its highest peak Ras Dejen has a height of 4620m which is acknowledged to be the fourth in the continent.Simien is located in Africa and close to the Equator but surprisingly it gets snow and ice on its highest peak. During the night, temeperatures drop to zero degrees.
Ethiopia is famous for its national park that is surrounded by three botanical regions. The top of the mountain has grasslands with fescue grasses in addition to heathers, Stunning Red Hot Pokers along with gigantic Lobelia. The park was established with aim of conserving the Walia ibex that have a total of approximately 1000 that stay in the park. The park is also a home to the rare Gelada Baboon with a bleeding heart on its chest and the unique Simien fox. Close to 50 species of birds have been stated in the Simien Mountains; however the simian fox are rare to be seen by visitors.A vacation or holiday in Ethiopia will give a chance to see the attractions that can’t be found anywhere in Africa.
The rock-hewn churches of Lalibela (North Wollo Zone)
Lalibela covers an area of about 642 kilometers from Addis Ababa. It’s famous for its rock-hewn churches that are at times known as the Eighth Wonder of the World. They were carved within the rock and these monolithic churches were established in the 12th century during the supremacy of King Lalibela.However among these have been acknowledged to be built in the 10th century.
The Castles of Gondar and other monuments (Gondar)
Gondar is popular for its well designed decorated churches and the numerous medieval castles. The first castle was built by Fasilidas and this still stands and in good shape. Even after all these years, it’s still simple to climb and get to the roof. It has a wonderful view of the entire scenery of the city.
Tiya pre-historical and archaeological sites, central Tigray (Tigray region)
Anthropologists as well as Archaeologists repeated allege that the ancient hominid still remains. (Australopithecus ramidus is a new species of about 4.4 million years old).These were formerly found in the Afar region. Research findings carried out by Berkeley and Professor Tim White from the university of California state that the most primitive ape man stayed in Ethiopia for over 5 million years ago.(Monday 18th January 1999,Daily Telegraph).
Great Attractions In Ethiopia
Aloes in the mountains of Ethiopia
Ethiopian is famous for its natural beauty that attracts so many visitors. Ethiopia is a land of Rocky Mountains with a height of over 4000 meters, surrounded by extensive savannah, lakes as well as rivers. It shares part of the Great Rift Valley which is an outstanding area of the Volcanic lakes, It offers a beautiful view of the escarpment and it’s a home to various bird species.Tisisat known as the Blue Nile Falls are the most stunning natural sight in Africa of late. Ethiopia has about 14 main wildlife reserves that make it a small world of the entire sub-Saharan eco-system. Bird species along with the native wildlife right from the unique Walis ibex to the timid wild ass move freely in the wilderness. These can be seen at any corner of the park. Apart from its favorable climate, Ethiopia is well known for its indigenous plants as well as flowers that are hard to discover in any other African country.Contact a reliable tour operator who will help book the best package for your tour in Ethiopia.
Blue Nile Falls
History has it that the river Nile is the longest river in Africa. It stretches right from Lake Tana, the Blue Nile is locally called Abbay.It flows from Ethiopia and convene to the White Nile in Khartoum to create the huge river that offers life to Egyptians as well as Sudanese. Its reported that the Blue Nile contributes close to 80% of the Nile‘s flow.
Lake Tana is the source of the Blue Nile River which begins right from Khartoum to the Mediterranean. It’s the largest lake in Ethiopia. A Nile cuisine on Lake Tana is the best moment to all tourists that visit Ethiopia; you get a chance to see big concentration of wildlife cooling off the heat. If you want to hire a boat, this can be done at the Marine Transport Authority located in Bahir Dar. For bird watchers, Lake Tana is a home to many bird species which include both migratory and local birds. Furthermore Fasilidas Island is one place to visit because it’s a popular wetland that harbors different kinds of bird species. Both the Blue Nile Gorge and Lake Tana region have a big collection of birds including visitors and endemic.
Sof Omar Cave
SofOmar is one of the most stunning as well as far-reaching underground cave structures in the entire world. Created by the Wabi River as it altered its path in the past and formed a new waterway via the limestone foot hills. The Sof Omar cave is a charming natural beauty of Ethiopia.The tourism industry of Ethiopia has led to its economic development.
Later on the cave was turned into an Islamic shrine which was named after the saintly Shikh Sof Omar. He was a great man who lived in Ethiopia for so many centuries. The cave has a great attachment concerning the Muslim religion and it was because of this that it come into existence after so many hundred years ago.
The Rift Valley
The East African Rift Valley stretches up to Ethiopia; its rift valley consists of various hot springs, lakes, rivers as well as a collection of wildlife. The valley was formed due to the two parallel faults that developed on the earth’s surface. It all happened when the crust was damaged and later on the land collapsed. Ethiopia is known as the water tower of Eastern Africa, this is acknowledged through its various rivers that flow to fill the tableland. The Great Rift Valley’s channel via Ethiopia is noticeable by a sequence of seven lakes. These seven lakes have their own features and are a home to the diversity of flora and fauna that makes the spot fascinating and a tourist destination.
The Awash National Park
It’s situated in the lowlands of the eastern part of Addis Ababa; it has the accessibility of the Awash River. A wash National Park is one of the most excellent reserves in Ethiopia. The Awash River is among the main rivers of the horn of Africa. Agricultural activities are carried out in the northern part of Ethiopia due to the river that flows into the wild of Danakil Depression. The spectacular Awash Falls, as the river flows into its gorge, offers a wonderful view of the national park. The Awash national park is enclosed by the inactive volcano of Fantale, It’s characterized of semi and rid savannah, riverain forest along with woodlands of the Awash.
The Omo National Park
Its among the most amazing national parks in Ethiopia, It covers an area of about 4,068km of wilderness surrounded by the Omo river. It’s a famous home to a variety of wildlife and about 306 species of birds are as well discovered in this place. Common wild animals seen include Burchell’s zebra, leopard, lion, cheetah.giraffe, elephants, eland and buffalo. A visit to this park will give a true wilderness of Ethiopia.
Rafting on the River Omo
Accessing the park may not be easy although if you are to get there, you must use the route of Omorate.The ferry is the easiest means that can get you to the north bank of the river. The park’s headquarter is located within 75km from Kibish settlement. But an airstrip is reachable at the headquarter along with a stunning campsite on the Mui River. Improvements are yet to be seen as you continue visiting Ethiopia.
The Greater Kudu
The Mago National park is moderately undeveloped for visitors; it has a stretch of land of approximately 2162km along the banks of the Omo River. Its natural grassland is a home to many wildlife like Kudu, elephants, giraffe, buffalo and the rare seen animals like leopard, lion and Burchell’s zebra. Because of the dry grasslands as well as rivers, these have attracted many species of birds to Ethiopia.
Gambala National Park
This national park is a must visit, it has many wildlife and species of birds that will make your tour memorable for a lifetime. With a report from the Wild life information department, Dowsett Fors has acknowledged over 813 species of birds, 596 inhabitants as well as 224 habitual serial migrants in Ethiopia. The experience is inspirational and worth it.
FLORA & FAUNA OF ETHIOPIA
Ethiopian rare and endemic plants
Ethiopia is commonly known for the numerous vegetation that grows in the different parts of the country and whereas some of them are eaten, the rest are just normal vegetation which are common in the country and at the same time endemic to the country. There are numerous trips that can be organized especially for botanists to come and explore the plant section of Ethiopia but even if you are not botanists, these plants are worth visiting and you get to know more about them since some of them are also medicinal. Ethiopia is an agriculture country and despite the changes in weather that the country experiences, you will find that there are more plants or vegetation that grows in the different parts of the country. The country has its own endemic vegetation that are all important to Ethiopia due to the various uses that they provide both to the government and locals.
The eco information about some of the plant species which are located in Ethiopia has been listed below so that you get to know more about them before you visit to see and learn more in person. The botanical trips in the country are mostly done in the dry season immediately after the rainy season because this is the time when most of them are fully blossomed.
The Teff is an endemic to Ethiopia and it is used for almost every meal that is prepared in the different restaurants in Ethiopia. They can be eaten by both people and animals and they are small hard grains that are believed to have been discovered in the years of 1000 BC and the beauty about the Teff is that it can grow both in the rainy and drought seasons which makes it a favorite among the locals. It is mostly prepared with pancakes and Injera which is a local delicacy and it grows faster than most greens.
The Kosso is got from the African Redwood tree and it is mostly used for medicinal purposes. The small African Redwood seeds are dried, mixed with water and later on drunk. It is purple or green in color and extremely bitter but most locals say it has healed them from many illnesses especially tape worms since Ethiopians are known to consume a lot of raw meat which causes many diseases and this Kosso is the medicine that they can easily afford.
The Ethiopian Rose
The Ethiopian Rose is considered to be the only African Rose and it normally grows in the highlands of Ethiopia. Due to the weather conditions that are experienced in the highlands make it extremely conducive for the Rose to grow. It is cream in color and endemic to the country and the seeds of the African Rose are also used to treat tape worms from the locals that are found in the country.
Ethiopia is known to be the mother of coffee and that the first seeds of coffee were first discovered here. There is a legend that says that a monk went out to pick some fruits from the forest and that is how he got to see the weird looking beans and he decided to take some back to share with the monks. The beans were placed on a fire where they were mixed with water and they tasted the sweet aroma that came with burning the seeds. None of them slept that entire night and this is how coffee was discovered in Ethiopia.
Coffee in Ethiopia is grown in the different parts of the country and the type of coffee that is mainly grown is the Arabica coffee and the country is one of the leading coffee producers in the whole world. And there are coffee trips that can be arranged so that you get to visit the different farms where the coffee is farmed and maybe also engage in activities like picking the coffee and drying it.
The soap berry
The Soap berry also known as the Endod by the locals in Ethiopia, it was used by the locals as soap to wash, clean and bathe before real soap was introduced in the country. Now days it is mostly used to treat the coffee berry disease which affects the Arabica coffee and to also whiten clothes as most locals put on white especially during festivals and traditional ceremonies.
The Frankincense gets its name due to the fragrance that it gives out even while still in the forest. It is also used for medicinal purposes and they normally grow about five fruits and these open when they are fully mature. The bark of the tree is used to treat fever after cutting and boiling it and it is used by locals who cannot afford medical services and it is said it is extremely effective when it comes to treating fever.
The False Banana
The False Banana also referred to as the Ensete by the locals has a close resemblance to the bananas and it is grown in the county of Gurage. The false banana can grow up to 2o feet and does not have banana fruits or any other fruit on it and that is why it is referred to as the false banana. The false banana takes about four to five years to mature and it is used for various purposes that is women who are in labor tie themselves around the tree before they give birth and it is also used for medicinal purposes after being brewed through different stages. You can view the whole process when you visit the country and some locals especially those that live in the South western part of the country use it as their staple food and some parts are used as animal feeds.
The jasmine flower can be found in the tropical forests of Ethiopia because the weather there is conducive for them to grow. They have fruit berries which turn black when ripe and just like the frankincense, it gives off a sweet fragrance which most locals say can better be smelled during the night. The Jasmine flowers come in colors of white and yellow and they are round in shape. It is mostly used for decorations in festivals that are carried out in Ethiopia by the different ethnic groups that live in Ethiopia.
The Red hot poker
The Red hot poker is located in the Simiens Mountain region and this orange like flower is normally eaten by hummingbirds that habitate within the Bales Mountain National Park. It grows in sunny conditions and this is the only way that it can bloom. It is extremely rare on the African continent and the only other place that you can get to view it is in South America. The Simiens Mountain region has more than 1000 tree species that can be seen when you visit the Mountain ranges and most of these are endemic to the Mountain.
The firethorn can be grown in the different gardens around Ethiopia and it is one of the oldest plant species that have been grown in Ethiopia for many centuries. It has small white flowers and fruits and the fruits are used when preparing Ethiopia’s special Jam and the different sauces that are prepared in the different Ethiopian restaurants. Some people use the firethorn as a fence to their homes and this is because the thorns that are found on the plant act as a barrier to the outsiders who would want to trespass on one’s property.
The Ethiopian Eucalyptus
The locals who live in Ethiopia are people who have been carrying out deforestation in the country and this had greatly affected the weather conditions of the country and it also led to the extinction of some animals that lived in the different parks since they had lost their homes to the locals. When the trees in Addis Ababa were cut, the government replaced them by planting the Ethiopia Eucalyptus that grows up to a height of 300 feet. The Ethiopian Eucalyptus tree has a lot of functions and some of them are their barks are used in the paper making business, the leaves and fruits are used to provide shade to both the locals and tourists and they are also used as a means of fencing houses in Ethiopia.
The plant life in Ethiopia is faced with many challenges the most being human settlement due to the increased number of people in the country. These have encroached on the plant section in the country by cutting down almost half the trees and plants in the country just so that they get land for both settlement and agriculture. This has seen many endemic plants in the country become extinct but the Ethiopian government is doing all it can so that it preserves the greenery in the country and this list is just a few of those endemics that can be seen in the country.