The Ethiopian highlands are a group of towns and landscapes that are worth your time when you visit the Country. In the past years all these were just rocky structures that had not faced any civilization but at the moment, they have been upgraded and they have become some of the best places for all to visit and experience the Ethiopian culture. Just because these beautiful destinations are referred to as highlands does not mean that they are mountains.
The Ethiopian highlands are a home to more than one UNESCO heritage sites and they are one of the best tourist destinations in the country. This was name that they came up with to join these specific regions that had different tourist attractions and it was also because of the landscape where they are all located and these tourist destinations include:
The Tigray rock hewn churches
The Tigray rock hewn churches are part of the Ethiopian highlands and they are what you would not want to miss out once you visit the Tigray region. There are many churches that you will find in the Tigray region and these include the Abuna Yemata, the Maryam Korkor and the Daniel Korkor. It is said that all the churches here were constructed using stones all the way from the base to the top and the constructors used their ands to ensure that the churches were complete. The
Many people make a pilgrimage to these churches that no one knows how old they are sometime to worship and other times to get away from the busy city and enjoy some quiet time in the villages. Treks can be arranged through the Tigray churches so that tourists can get to know more about the rock churches and also visit the rest of the Tigray region.
The Lalibela region
The Lalibela region is also part of the Ethiopian highlands and it is all about the eleven churches that are located in the area. These are not the same like the Tigray churches but they are worth the trip because of the uniqueness that they show once you get there. They were also constructed out of rocks and once you get there, you will be able to see the different designs that were put inside the churches and meet up with the priests and monks who stay within the churches. Remember that you cannot trek through these churches in one day and therefore you will have to prepare extremely well to explore the Lalibela churches.
The Blue Nile Falls
Also known as the Tis Isat, these are a major attraction for tourists. Tis Isat is Amharic for water that smokes and this came out because when the Blue Nile Falls are cascading down the rocks, they fall down with a great sound and force which makes smoke like features to sprout out hence the locals saying that the water has smoke. There are many activities that can be carried out around the water falls and these include birding, having picnics with your loved ones as you watch the falls and trekking around the falls. The best time to explore the tis Isat is during the rainy season or immediately after because then the water levels in the water fall will be extremely high.
The Simiens Mountains
The Simiens Mountains are part of the Ethiopian highlands trip and there are a lot of things that you will be able to carry out when you visit the Simiens Mountains. It rises up to a height of about 4500 meters above sea level which makes it the perfect place for one to go for hiking. And just before you hike up the Mountain, you can trek through the Simiens national park where you will be able to see the various animals that habitate in the park and the bird species. A visit to the Simiens national Park and Mountain will lead you to the Ras Dashen which is the highest Mountain in Ethiopia. There are also other activities that you can carry out around the Simiens Mountains that you will discover once you visit the region.
The Lake Tana
Lake Tana is a good place to visit especially for all those that are adrenaline high. Lake Tana is a home to the Tana monasteries that are worth your visit the moment you get a chance to visit the area. No one knows when these were constructed, but the designs and portraits that are found inside the monasteries will make your trip worthwhile.
Some of the monasteries are located on hills and getting up to them is a bit hard because of the narrow and steep rock ways that lead up to the churches and therefore you need to prepare a lot before you trek to the Tana monasteries. You will need a tour guide to take you through the monasteries because in some of them women are not allowed to visit due to reasons that will be explained when you get there.
The Lake Tana is also a home to various bird species especially the pink lesser flamingo and the shores of the Lake are also a perfect place for one to go for picnics with their families.
The Aksum city
The Aksum city is one of the few oldest cities in the country and the rich history behind it is one to die for. Axum city is believed to be the city where the famous Queen Sheba used to live and it is also a home to the Ark of the Covenant. The Ark of the Covenant is said to have been brought by Menelik I who is believed to be the son to King Solomon and Queen Sheba. Menelik went to visit his father and he came back with it and this is kept safe in the Ark of the Covenant church where a priest stays throughout. There are also other beautiful things that you get to see when you visit Axum and the most important thing is the rich history that surrounds the city. The other things that you will get to see in Axum include Queen Sheba’s palace, the museum, the churches and not forgetting the bath that is believed to have been queen Sheba’s.
The Debre Damo and Yeha which are also located in the Axum city are believed to be where the first fossils that were discovered. You can trek to the place but note that the Debre Damo only allows men and women have no access to it.
The Gondar city is considered to be Africa’s Camelot because of the way the castles in the area were built up. It is part of the Ethiopian highlands and it is a registered UNESCO heritage site. The castles are believed to have been constructed in the 17th century and you will find a lot of things to do when you visit the Gondar city and these include visiting the museum where you will be able to know more about the Emperor Fasilides, explore the Fasilides Palace, the Fasilides bath and you will also have to meet and greet the locals as you learn more about their culture.
Exploring the Bahir Dar
The Bahir Dar is a city is located on the shores of Lake Tana and it is the perfect place to lead you to the Tana monasteries. It is filled with a lot of tourist attractions that one can visit and see like the different bird species that can be seen at the Lake, the monasteries, the market days where you get to shop for the different souvenirs before you leave the place. It is also the perfect place for one to relax while they have a picnic as they watch the animals
Addis Ababa is the capital city of Ethiopia and surprisingly it is also part of the Ethiopian highlands. It has a lot of tourist attractions that can be seen. The beauty about visiting Addis Ababa is that you get to see everything once you set foot in the country like the National museum where the fossils are put on display, trekking through the city center to look at the market places, hiking up the Entoto mountain, the lion of Judah monument and many more others. When you get to the city center, make sure that all your valuable possessions are left in your room because there are pick pockets waiting to take advantage of the different tourists who come in the area.
There are several itineraries that can be found on our website about how the trip through the Ethiopian highlands will be and when you get here, we make sure that everything is catered for like accommodating, food, transportation and an experienced tur guide who will go with you to the various destinations on the Ethiopian highlands tour. The tour guide will be there to guide you through the tour, make communication easy with the locals and also make sure that you are comfortable.