Welcome to Ethiopia safaris and tours, as well as vacation holidays in Ethiopia, the information here helps you to arrange Ethiopian flights and tours, hotel bookings and visa arrangement to Ethiopia.
Being a large and crowded country, Ethiopia receives moderately less attention when it comes to travel literature plus media. Those that take trekking holidays in Ethiopia say that it is very interesting though those planning to do so, it is very challenging to know where to start from. Follow the guidelines below on what your expectations should be when trekking this fascinating Ethiopia.
Following Nigeria, the second densely populated country in Africa is Ethiopia and is situated on the Horn of Africa. It prides among the lowest plus the hottest points in Africa as well as of its green landscape. For those enthusiastic about adventure, Ethiopia offers a wide variety including spectacular trekking environments, exploring the various historical pockets with magnificent architecture and hiking in different weather conditions.
Addis Ababa the capital city is located in the highlands with a mild climate through the biggest part of the year. It is a good place to start any voyage as the city offers a wide spectrum to be discovered. Although the finest cities, trekking routes, and mountains are separated by large expanses of land, the good local flight network will enable you see them next to each other. You will also be able to marvel at the varied yet very gorgeous landscapes below you.
Explore the National Parks
Possibly the biggest contributor to the excitement and fun that trekkers in Ethiopia experience is the big size and variety of National Parks. The green valleys, striking collection of wildlife plus the amazing cities as well as landmarks packed with reserved areas, although the major attraction is the mountains. For those enthusiastic about mountain climbing, Ethiopia offers two key alternatives: the Simien Mountains National Park and the Bale Mountains National Park.the two offer memorable views and close proximity to the immaculate nature, however, the Simien Mountains are most toured because of their historic treasures and outstanding views. There are several well recognized network routes in the Simien Mountains with well places sceneries along the routes. Some of the highlights are: sceneries from Immetgogo promontory which is 3926 meters, the intrepid – the peak of Ras Dashen at 4543 meters and viewing wildlife at Chenek.
…And Don’t Miss Out on
The Wonders Made by Man that dot the Ethiopian terrains. Gonder is a place from which several trekkers start while trekking the Simien Mountains, also holds seventeenth Century castles. Although it is very challenging to reach unless by flight, Lalibela is among country’s most cherished cities. Once a medieval capital, it has several churches built onto the earth’s rock face. Following a taxing trekking adventure, this perhaps is the finest place to have some meditative recovery.
There is no place better than the Simien Mountains for a trekking safari in Ethiopia. The rough wild mountains present beautiful landscapes with exceptional wildlife, challenging hiking opportunities like the topmost peak of Ras Dashen at 4533 meters plus an opportunity to come face to face with the natives of the mountains to learn about their interesting traditional lifestyles. A holiday in the Simien Mountains is a life time memory not worth missing.
Flora and Fauna
These Simien Mountains hold a variety of plants and animals that will certainly be enjoyed on any holiday in Ethiopia. You will commonly come across the massive lobelia with buzzards balanced on top of them. Other plants include the prevalent globe thistle, non-fruiting olive trees, fennel, thyme, endemic Abyssinian rose, solanon wild lavender and jasmine. The animals include the common Abyssinian fox (Ethiopian wolf), the hard to pin down walia ibex and the endangered canid which is occasional. In addition, other animals are seen such as the gelada baboons with their differentiating red-patched chests that earned them the name of ‘bleeding heart baboons’ and several bird species like the falcons seen flying in the mountains.
Because of the high peaks in the country, trekking involving ascending over 3000 meters of the Simien Mountains and at times 4000 meters. This brands Ethiopia as one of the countries with the most challenging trekking opportunities. The best part is the Ras Dashen at 4522 meters while other peaks are kedadit at3760 meters, Immetgogo at 3926 meters and Saha at 3785 meters. Caution should be taken while on the top heights although highly regarded companies should include acclimatization time on the itinerary.
A highlight I can’t forget to mention on your holiday is the traditional coffee ceremony after a long day’s trek. The coffee beans are washed before being roasted on a tinny charcoal stove. They are then grounded in a mortar with a pestle prior to being put into a kettle and boiled on a stove. The coffee is served when black in small cups with sugar. The ceremony finishes on taking all the three cups of coffee. Burning of incense and playing traditional music like the single –stringed masenko which is a wooden flute with horse hair plus goat skin, ultimately complete the ceremony.
The exceptionality of Ethiopia has made it an exciting destination for all travelers and specifically for those in search of extra adventure. The historic sites in the country are very many and perhaps the most wide spread in Sub-Sahara Africa. Specialists say that these sites are part of what the country has to provide given that an additional ninety five percent is still undiscovered.
1. The Simien Mountain National Park (North Gondar Zone)
These mountains are among Africa’s main highlands projecting with Ras Dejen as the highest point in the country at 4620 meters yet still the 4th highest summit in Africa. Although Simien is not very far from Africa’s equator, its peak is snow capped an temperatures drop below zero in the night.
The park has 3 overall botanical regions: the highlands which are mountainous grasslands characterized by fescue grasses and heather, the Giant Lobelia, and the beautiful red-hot Pokers. The park was majorly established to safe guard the Waila Ibex with more than one thousand of them there. In addition, the park has families if the exceptional Gelada Baboon with a red “bleeding heart on the chest” plus the uncommon Simien Fox. Although these foxes where named after these stunning Mountains, they are not commonly seen. More than fifty bird species have been announced in the park.
2. The rock-hewn churches of Lalibela (North Wollo Zone)
Lalibela is located 642 Km from the capital Addis Ababa and is globally popular for its churches curved from the earth’s rock and at times referred to as the ‘8th Wonder of the World’. These monumental churches where first built in the twelfth century under the rule of King Lalibela although some date back to the tenth century.
Chapel and the Tomb of Adam.
The Castles of Gondar and other monuments (Gondar)
\Gondar is popular for its numerous medieval castles plus the decorations and the outstanding designs of the church. The oldest of these castles was designed by Fasilidas and today still stands in good shape that one can ascends its stair up to the roofoffering gorgeous views of the city.
Tiya pre-historical and archaeological sites, central Tigray (Tigray region)
Anthropologists as well as Archaeologists still say that the most ancient hominid remnants the Australopithecus ramidus which is a new species 4.4 million year of age, where first discovered in Afar region. Current finding done by University of California, Berkeley’s Professor Tim White propose that the first ape man stayed in Ethiopia about five million years ago (Daily Telegraph, Monday 18th January 1999).
Aloes in the mountains of Ethiopia
Ethiopia’s immaculate beauty astonishes every first time guest. The country is a land of rough mountains some as high as four thousand meters, wide savannahs, rivers plus lakes. The outstanding Rift Valley is a very impressive areas of volcanic lakes with a diversity of birdlife, grand escarpments plus beautiful sceneries. The Blue Nile Falls – the Tisisat are among the most natural sceneries in Africa. The fourteen main Wildlife Reserves offer a microcosm of the whole sub-Saharan bionetwork. These vary from the native animals like the uncommon Walis Ibex and the bashful wild ass as well as birds. Following the rains, the Ethiopian terrain is covered by flowers and local plants more than those found in other African countries. Below is a list of the major tourist attractions in Ethiopia.
Blue Nile Falls
The Nile which is the longest river flowing in Africa blesses Ethiopia too. From Lake Tana, the Abbay (the Blue Nile) as locally referred to flows from the Ethiopian land to Khartoum to congregate with the White Nile into a grand river that offer life to Sudan and Egypt. It is supposed that the Blue Nile puts in about eighty percent of the Nile Flow.
This is the largest lake in the country and the Source of the renowned Blue Nile from which it begins its Journey through Khartoum to the Mediterranean. A cruise or boat-ride on the lake is one of the most enjoyable voyages in this region especially during summer. You can rent boats in Bahir Dar from the Marine Transport Authority. On the shore of the lake are several birds both resident and migratory that make the region perfect for bird watching. There are better bird watching opportunities at Fasilidass Island which is popular as a vital wetland. The entire Lake region as well as the Blue Nile gorge posses a diversity of bird species. The various habitat including rocky crags, wetlands and forest all provide platforms for bird watching.
Sof Omar Cave
This cave is among the most extensive yet scenic underground cave-systems on earth. it was formed by River Wabi during the river’s change of course in the ancient centuries and curved-out a new channel in the limestone foothills. Sof Omar Cave is an extraordinary very natural occurrence with spectacular beauty.
The cave which today serves as a vital Islamic place of worship was named after the virtuous Sheikh Sof Omar who in the ancient time took refuge in this cave. The cave holds religious history that dates the advent of Muslims in Bale which is estimated to be thousands of years ago.
The Rift Valley
The Rift Valley in Ethiopia which is a fraction of the East African Rift Valley consists of many springs, a diversity of wildlife and gorgeous lakes. The Valley resulted from 2 parallel faults in the earth’s crust in the ancient geological era, when the crust destabilized and the land slipped. Ethiopia is normally referred to as the “Water tower” of East Africa due to its numerous rivers that drain into the high tableland. The passage of the Rift Valley in Ethiopia is well marked by a series of 7 lakes. Each with its special life plus character as well as providing a home for the wide variety of wildlife, hence making it a perfect and gorgeous tourist destination.
The Awash National Park
Located in the lower-lands east of the capital Addis Ababa and over River Awash, the National Park is among the best reserves in the country. This river is very vital in the Horn of Africa as its waters are the backbone of agriculture in northern Ethiopia though it proceeds to pour into the Danakil Depression. The strong waters burst through a small gorge to form the impressive Awash Falls that are all worth seeing. The National Park neighbors the dormant Fantale Volcano. The park is a reserve of savanna, arid plus semi-arid forests plus riverain woodlands along the course of the Awash River.
The Omo National Park
Omo National Park is another very spectacular park in the country covering 4068 kilometers of land. It is surrounded by river Omo and serves as a habitat to a wide variety of wildlife. It not only prides in more than 300 bird species but also in vast eland herds, elephants, cheetahs, the rare Burchell’s Zebras, giraffes, buffaloes and leopards.
Rafting on the River Omo
It is quite challenging to access the park as the only available means today are through the ferry to the river’s northern bank and the Omarate. From Kibish settlement, it is seventy five kilometers to the head quarters of the park. Nevertheless, a new strip adjacent to the Head Quarters can be used and on the shores of River Mui is an enjoyable campsite although plans for future development are underway.
The Greater Kudu
On an expanse of 2126 kilometers along the banks of river Omo is Mago National park a moderately less developed tourist destination. The extensive grasslands are filled with large groups of elephants, buffalos, kudu and giraffes and occasionally lions, Burchell’s Zebras plus leopards. The rich birdlife in the area is credited to the river banks plus the dry grasslands.
Gambala National Park
Several animal as well as bird species are commonly sighted at while in this area. Basing on information from the Wildlife Office, there are 813 bird species, 224 frequent seasonal immigrants and 596 residents recorded by Dowsett Forbs all in Ethiopia.
Author: Sandra Nans