Ethiopia Cheap Hotel Bed and Breakfast Guest House Accommodation
Ethiopia lies in the north east of Africa, bordering Eritrea to the north and north east, Sudan to the north, Djibouti and Somalia to the east, and Kenya to the south. Its interesting geography features some of the highest and lowest landforms in the African continent: the Danakil depression within an area of hot and arid lowlands, parts of which are desert or semi-desert as well as the spectacular Simien Mountains, with Ras Dashan forming their highest peak, and the great canyons forged by the path of the country’s largest waterway, the Blue Nile River with Lake Tana as its source. This is a place which was discovered to be the earliest known home of humankind, when at Hadar, a UNESCO-listed archaeological site, remains of an ancient female body believed to have lived 3.5 million years ago, was unearthed.
Traditional cottages near Lalibela
Apart from its famous archaeological sites, Ethiopia is still inhabited by over 80 different ethnic groups whose languages and traditions are still kept alive. Its unique religion, the Ethiopian Orthodox Church, is integral to the daily life and customs of many Ethiopians, while it has a strong Islamic tradition whose roots are to be found within the wonderful walled city of Harar, considered by many Muslims to be the fourth ‘Holy City’ after Mecca, Medina and Jerusalem. Harar has 99 mosques and is the centre for the coffee trade, a romantic city well worth a visit if only to witness the daily feeding of wild hyenas at dusk. One of the best places to visit to get an impression of the weight of history which is essential to Ethiopia is the city of Aksum. This was the ancient royal capital of the first great Ethiopian kingdom, where you can still see towering carved granite obelisks as well as a church which is said to be the home of the Lost Ark of the Covenant. Another former capital was Gondar, still steeped in history and the site of many ruined castles. Lalibela has an amazing monolithic church literally hewn out of stone – don’t miss it!
Addis Ababa is located in the central highlands, and is a great place to get an overview of the culture and history of the country. Especially interesting are the National Museum and the Ethnology Museum, as well as the Menelik Palace, Jubilee Palace and the Meskal Square. To experience the full-on hustle and bustle of this chaotic city, visit the mercato market in its western sector. Some of the most rewarding attractions, however, are Ethiopia’s national parks or its 14 major wildlife reserves where you can join in a safari. Great hiking routes run through the Simien Mountains National Park and the moorlands of the Bale Plateau. Many choose to go pony trekking, climbing, windsurfing and waterskiing in various resorts around these parks. Swimming is possible in Lake Langano, while you can go sailing on Lake Tana or white-water rafting on the Omo River and the Blue Nile. While you are there, be sure to see the spectacular Blue Nile Falls (Tissisat) – one of the most spectacular in Northern Africa.
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