Addis Ethiopia Weblog

Ethiopia's World / የኢትዮጵያ ዓለም

Ethiopia: A Feast for the Eyes

Posted by addisethiopia / አዲስ ኢትዮጵያ on August 15, 2009

Geralta

Go there soon; it’s time to turn Ethiopia’s image from one of famine to feast.”

Ethiopia will surprise even the most jaded traveler. As the only African country never colonized (the Italians only ‘occupied’ what was then Abyssinia during the Second World War), Ethiopians proudly call themselves ‘pure’ Africans. With its own calendar (seven years and eight months behind our own), year length (13 months), clock (12-hour cycles starting at 6am), and an ancient language — Amarhic — not spoken anywhere else, Ethiopia and its people are strikingly idiosyncratic.


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Five great things to do in Ethiopia

  1. Be mystified by the Lost Ark of the Covenant. Once rumored to be hidden in Ireland’s Hill of Tara, the ancient Lost Ark of the Covenant is now said to be held in Axum’s (Aksum) Cathedral of St Mary of Zion in northern Ethiopia. Closely guarded by sacred priests, the Ark is Ethiopia’s Holy Grail.

  2. Go wildlife-spotting in the north. Indigenous Gelada baboons, Ethiopian wolves, Walia ibex and spotted hyena live in the Simien Mountains. There are hippopotamus hang-outs near Lake Tana, plus colorful birdlime.

  3. Wander through the rock-hewn churches of Lalibela. An easy candidate for a new wonder of the world, this sacred system of enormous churches carved directly into the rock is an outstanding example of man conquering nature to worship.

  4. Stand cheek-to-cheek with the first human. If you had to pinpoint the place where our prehistoric ancestors finally walked upright on two feet, it would fall somewhere in modern-day Ethiopia. See the proof in Addis’s National Museum, where the 3.3 millon-year-old skeleton of ‘Lucy’ is on display. (The skeleton was named Lucy in tribute to the song Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds, which was playing in the discoverers’ camp.)

  5. Sizzle in the hottest place on Earth. With an average temperature of 35°C, the Danakil Depression, close to the border with Eritrea, is the lowest point on the African continent at 116m below sea level. Access is impossible without private transport.

Please click here to see some fantastic photos of Ethiopia

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