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Visit beautiful Ethiopia!

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Ethiopia: a country of diversity!

Located in the northeastern Horn of Africa , equidistant to the equator and the Tropic of Capricorn, Ethiopia is the oldest nation in Africa. Its name is derived from the Greek 'Aethiopia', which means 'Land of the burnt faces'. In antiquity, this names referred to the territories south of the empire of the pharaohs. 

Thanks to so much diversity, Ethiopia is one of the country one has to visit: breathtaking scenery, rugged but majestic mountains, exotic flora and fauna (with a lot of endemic mammals, birds and plants) and a lot of ethnic groups, languages which makes Ethiopia so unique to visit. This diversity maybe the result of the characteristics of its great central massif. Tall and craggy lands alternate with deep valleys, creating inaccessible territories which have served as a defense. The country is endowed with peerless geological formations, varying from 116 meters below sea level that is the radiant sulfuric inferno. The Danakil Depression to the alpine peaks that rise to 4.620 meters in the rugged Semien Mountains only the phenomenal Great Rift Valley cuts Ethiopia in two, forming a series of marvelous lakes, thriving with opulent in all life forms.

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Geography

Ethiopia lies in the Northeastern part of the African continent, better known as the Horn of AfricaIt is bounded on the Northeast by Eritrea and Djibouti, on the east by Somaliland, in the Southeast by Somalia, on the south by Kenya and on the South West by South Sudan and in the  Northwest by North Sudan.

 

Ethiopia is also known as Abyssinia, a term coming from the Arabic 'Habashat'; it was the name of one of the tribes of Southern Arabia that emigrated to Ethiopia at the beginning of its history. 

The layout of the land:

The Rift Valley is cutting through Ethiopia like a scar. It is a 5.000 kilometers long fracture that begins in Syria and continues all the way to Mozambique. This phenomenon is still occurring and has given rise to the range of volcanoes looming above Ethiopia today: Ertale , in the Danakil Depression, is one of the most visited place today in the country. This means in fact that in about 25 millions years Africa the Horn of Africa will be separated from the main continent and will be a new island; just like it happened with Madagascar some 60 millions years ago.

The Central Massif:

Ethiopia is called 'the Roof of Africa' as the Ethiopian massif occupies more than half of the surface of the country. Nine peaks rise above 4.000 meters (12,800 feet) and the high flat plateaux are cut by deep valleys through which mighty rivers run (Blue Nile, Awash, Tekeze, Webe and Shebelle among the biggest)

The Rift Valley crosses the massif, dividing the country into two parts:  the highlands of the West (Abyssinian massif) and those of the South East (Harar massif). These highlands gradually descend until they create plains that give way to immense semi-arid lands: the lowlands

The Lowlands:

The lowlands of the Awash and Afar lands in the East contain several notable volcanic cones with heights greater than 2.000 meters (6,400 feet): Fantale, Asebot, Boseti. The lowest point of Ethiopia (minus 156 meters) lies in the Danakil depression: Dallol, Ertale crater are definitely places to visit.

The lowlands of the West, South West and South East Ethiopia are home to nomadic herdsmen. They seem to have an extraordinary ability to bear the high temperatures of this region. 

Water tower of Africa:

 Ethiopia is also called 'the Water Tower of Africa'. The combination of its high altitude, numerous lakes, and 14 large rivers had created an extensive natural irrigation system. Hydro-electric power stations and irrigation systems are being installed on many rivers nowadays to help the country to have more and more electricity power. The Renaissance Dam on the Abaye River (better known as Blue Nile) is supposed to be the biggest dam of Africa. It will be ready at the end of 2017 and will supply almost 16,000 GWh and 6,000 MW hydro power.  

Since 1995, Ethiopia has been divided into 9 federal states, all with their own capital and government; in alphabetical order: Afar (with Semera as capital city), Amhara (Bahir Dar), Benishangul (Assosa), Gambella (Gambella town), Harar (Harar town), Oromia (Adama, also called Nazareth), Somali (Jijiga), Southern Peoples' State (Hawassa) and Tigray (Mekele). Addis Abeba, the capital city is also considered as a administrative region. 

Ethiopia's awe-inspiring diversity is well represented in our tailor-made and package tours. There are options of an exciting adventure, off-road safaris, mobile camping, guided trekking as well as cultural. Prices range from budget to family, luxury and truly exotic vacation travel!

 

Ethiopia

Ethiopia is truly a land of contrasts and extremes; a land of remote and wild places. Some of the highest and most stunning places on the African continent are found here, such as the jaggedly carved Simien Mountains, one of UNESCO's World Heritage Sites - and some of the lowest, such as the hot but fascinating Danakil Depression, with its sulphur fumaroles and lunar-like landscape.

Ethiopia is old; old beyond all imaginations. As Abyssinia, its culture and traditions date back over 3,000 years. And far earlier than that lived "Lucy" or Dinkenesh, meaning 'thou art wonderful', as she is known to the Ethiopians, whose remains were found in a corner of this country of mystery and contrasts. Many people visit Ethiopia - or hope to do so one day - because of the remarkable manner in which ancient historical traditions have been preserved. And, indeed, the ceremonies and rituals of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church, open a window on the authentic world of the Old Testament. In no other country is it possible to find yourself so dramatically transported back in time or to participate with such freedom in the sacred rituals of an archaic faith.

 

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Addis Ababa

ADDIS ABABA- ‘new flower’ Addis Ababa (the name means 'new flower'), the Ethiopian capital, a delightful place to explore. It is a city of surprises characterized by remarkable diversity and contrasts. It is of fairly recent origin - Menelik II founded the city in 1886. Built in the foothills of Mount Entoto, the panorama of Addis Ababa from the 3,200 meter peak , either by day or night, is a breath taking spectacle. The neighbouring Church of St Mary (1885) overlooks the entire city and the surrounding area.
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