Ethiopia is known to have one of the best tourist destination places on the African continent and one of the best regions to visit in is the Northern part of the county. The Northern route has a lot to offer due to the presence of the different tourist attractions and some of these include:
The Bahir Dar is Amharic for sea shore and you can join your trip to the Bahir Dar with a visit to the Lake Tana monasteries. The Bahir Dar is a small town where you will find a lot of locals carrying out fishing and most of them also consider the water at the Bahir Dar sacred and you get to navigate the water with papyrus made boats which is an exciting experience on its own. If you do not find anything sacred in Bahir Dar you can continue on to the Lake Tana monasteries which will keep you on your toes. These are found on the numerous islands that the monasteries are located on and these are separated as some of them do not allow women to get close to them.
The way that the churches were built is astonishing and a trek to all of them will make your trip worth it. You also get to enjoy a boat ride on the Lake Tana, carry out some spit fishing and meet with the locals and also get to enjoy the local food that is prepared by the locals.
The Lalibela hewn churches are part of the trip that is organized for Northern Ethiopia. There are several rock churches that you will find in Lalibela and all these are worth visiting. These churches are divided into two that is the southern and Northern churches and these can be seen on your way to the next place in Northern Ethiopia. One of the most popular churches you will see is the St George church which is also known as the Bet Giyorgis. The St George church is located on the Lalibela Island apart from the other rock hewn churches located in the same area. The church of Saint George was constructed into a red rock that rises up to two meters high and it is considered to be the most beautiful church in Ethiopia. It has a pillar which was constructed in form of the Greek cross and since it was one of the first churches to be constructed in Lalibela, it still has that ancient look from both the outside and inside and its roofing is quite different from the rest of the churches in Lalibela. The church can be visited at any time of the day but its better if you visit in the morning and evening and enjoy the beautiful sunset and sunrise. Some of the other churches that you will see during your Northern trip in Lalibela include the church of Libanos, Gabriel- Rufael church, the church of Golgotha, the church of the Holy cross and many more others.
The Debre Damo is one of the many monasteries that are found in the old Aksumite city and it is located on top of a cliff which rises up to almost 15 meters high and it was constructed during the reign of the King Meskel during the 16th Century. Getting up the Damo is a bit hard as you have to rock climb the 15 meters using your hands without any equipment but it is worth it. When you get to the top of the hill, the beautiful monastery will greet you and you also get to relax with the cool breeze that you find up in the monastery. The monastery however doesn’t permit women and can only be used by men. You will be welcomed by a monk who will guide through the church and show you all that it has to offer.
The Menz-Guassa conservation area is one of the oldest historical routes in Ethiopia which gives you an insight on what to expect if the culture that is practiced in the country. Located in the highlands of Ethiopia, the community can either be explored on foot or through a drive in the small city. The people in the community live in Kebeles which are farmer’s association which help in the easy administration of the villages. The administration of the conservation area is dated back to the 17th century and that is why they are organized. When you get to the community you will be able to enjoy the most beautiful ways of how they live, their practices and what they normally do to keep them busy and you will also be able to buy yourself some souvenirs from the local shops in the conservation community.
Ever wanted to be in close range with a bubbling volcano that lights up the dark night skies then you to be. The Danakil Depression is the right place for The Danakil Depression is also part of the trip to Northern Ethiopia and it is considered to be the hottest place in the world. There are several activities that you can carry out once you visit and some of these include trekking, visiting the volcanic mountain and go exploring with the locals who have braved to stay in this place. Before you travel to the Danakil Depression, there are a few things that you need to go with like a face mask which will protect you from the volcanic fumes, sleeping bags due to the lack of good accommodation and lots of bottled water. It might not look like a pleasant place to visit but the journey will be worth it when you get there.
The Tigray churches are located in the Ethiopian highlands and you will find a lot of churches that are worth to visit while on the northern Ethiopian tour. These represent the different traditions both cultural and religious that have been practiced in Ethiopia since time immemorial and they can all be explored within a day or the number of days that you would want to spend here. This being a continuous tour, the different Tigray churches that you will see include the Maryam and Daniel Korkor and the Abuna Yemata where you will get to know more about the religious history of the country. There are also other activities that you can carry out in the Tigray region and these include hiking, visiting the locals, exploring the museums that are found in the region but before you visit you need to go with a tour guide because most locals in the area hardly speak any English which might make communication a bit hard if you do not go with one.
The Gondar city is referred to as the Camelot of Africa due to its towering ancient castles which date back as far as the 16th century and they were built by the emperor Fasiladas. A visit to the Gondar will give you more knowledge about the previous emperors of Ethiopia and you get to join in the religious festivals that are carried out by the Orthodox Church like the festival of epiphany.
The story behind the formation of the Gondar city is that the King was led by a raging buffalo which stopped at this exact spot and a sage told the king that the land was meant to be his and this is what led to the construction of the huge castles. The different places that you can also visit while in the Gondar city are the Bath of Fasiladas where the ceremony of Timket take place, visit the locals in the village of Woleka, visit the Simiens National Park, and explore the castle and the market in the city.
Axum also has a lot to offer on this trip from the historical stelae Filed, the archeological museums and the castles. These will make your trip extremely memorable as you will find that trekking through the Axum city is very much exciting. The city is historical when it comes to Ethiopia and it is believed that many emperors who have ruled Ethiopia originated from this city. The different things that you can see and do when you visit the Axum city are the Queen Sheba bath and palace where she was supposedly lived with the son that she had with King Solomon and this son ended up being the first emperor of Ethiopia the famous emperor Menelik the first.
It is also where you will find the Ark of the Covenant church where the Ark of the Covenant is kept till this day. The story is that Menelik travelled once to go and visit his father the king Solomon and when he was travelling back to Ethiopia, he came back with the sacred covenant and it has been kept in the church ever since.