There is a reason why Ethiopia was named the best tourism destination of the year 2015. This is because it has a lot to offer other than the normal wildlife and trekking on mountains. Before I delve deeper we shall have a history lesson. The language mostly spoken in Ethiopia is Amharic. They use the Julian calendar which is 7 years behind and has 13 months.
Here are some Amharic words to help you get by:-
Hello/hi = Sahlam
Goodbye = Dahahhan (male), dahnahhanyee (female)
Yes = Awo
No = Adalam
Please = Ibeki (male), ibekish (female)
Thank you = Amasagenalaha
Sorry = Yikirta
What is your name? = Man tiba lala?(male), man tiba yalush?(female)
My name is = Nahny…
How are you? = Indet nuhni? (male), indet nush? (female)
I’m fine = Yamasgunuh
Here are some of the attraction sites worth checking out.
1. Bale Mountains National Park
It is in a clearing surrounded by wild coffee plants within the Havenna Forest. It has a natural waterfall that spills into a plunge pool surrounded by decking. There are 240 species of bird, mountain Nyala (Antelope), warthogs and Bale monkeys.
There is also a research centre with a naturalist and ornithologist who spends the day studying the endemic species. He comes out in the evening to have talks with the guests. You can ask all questions you want and he will have answers for you.
Accommodation is not a problem as there is a series of lodge accommodation along the way.
2. Addis Ababa
This is the capital city of Ethiopia and it also hosts the African Union Headquarters. It also has the largest market in Africa, Merkado. Here you can get quality goods at a very good price. All souvenir shopping should be done here.
One of the oldest cities, the Aksumite Empire, is situated here. You will find the ruins of the entire city. It is the supposed location of the Ark of the Covenant. It is also renowned for the world’s tallest monoliths and obelisks the tallest being 33 meters long but which is now in pieces.
It is at the epicentre of the Queen Sheba dynasty.
This is an entire castle complex which can be compared to Camelot. It has castles, churches and historical buildings. The wealthy emperor Fasiladas made Gondar his grand capital in the 17th century. It was built between 1640 and 1769. The bathing pool of the emperor is used in the Timket celebrations held in January
5. Lake Langano
For all beach lovers, this is where you need to go. As you are sunbathing you might be fortunate enough to get a glimpse of baboons, warthogs and probably hippos. It also has a resort that offers windsurfing and waterskiing.
It is located 200km from Addis Ababa and you can be accommodated in one of the 25 bungalows they have there.
6. Danakil Depression
It is one of the lowest and hottest places on earth at 100m below sea level and temperatures of about 50̊ C. It is located in the Afar region which is the region referred to as cradle of hominids and it is where Lucy the 3.2 million old fossil was found. The Awash River is the main water flow in that region but it dries up leaving saline lakes. Tours can be arranged from Addis Ababa or Mekele.
The Konso people have preserved their culture and heritage. They still live in a maze-like village architecture. They put up a pole every 18 years just to keep up with time. The locals frown upon cameras on their faces so you must ask for permission before you take photos of them
6. Lake Tana
This is the stating point of the Blue Nile. It has 37 islands with churches and monasteries some dating back to the 13th century. They are a sight to behold.
This is a 3000 meter high town with a unique array of churches that have been cut out of solid rock. Lalibela after whom the town is named, carved the monolithic churches out of the natural volcanic rocks. They are sculptured from the outside in. the church of St. George and church of Lalibela are found here
Also check out
Erta Ale– it has a lava lake on the small crater in the Erta Ale Volcano. At night it offers a very picturesque view that will inspire the photographer in you.
Feeding of hyenas in Harar– there are two different locations every night where you can literally feed hyenas. The guide will be with you at all times.
Check out things to see and do in Ethiopia for more places to visit. Also check out best things to do in Ethiopia: tourist attractions.