Why You Must Visit Ethiopia!
If you’re going on holiday anytime soon and are stuck with where you want to go – you should try visiting Ethiopia! Here are 14 reasons why:
- Ethiopia was voted the world’s Best Tourism Destination for 2015! The country’s outstanding natural beauty, dramatic landscapes, and ancient culture led the European Council on Tourism and Trade to select it out of 31 countries as 2015 year’s top vacation spot.
- Ethiopians are known for being some of the friendliest of African people.
Ethiopia has “a perfect record of promoting social-friendly tourism,” proudly reports Senator Ionel Agrigoraoiei from the European Council.
- Ethiopia possesses one of the most otherworldly, extraterrestrial landscapes anywhere in the world. Located in one of the most remote and hottest parts of the world lies an unforgiving alien like place. The Danakil Desert in the North East of Ethiopia is home to Dallol Volcanic Crater. Acidic hot springs, mountains of sulfur, pillars of salt, and small gas geysers surround the Volcano. All of these things come together to make one of the most bizarre and alien landscapes on planet Earth. The area is so remote and sparsely populates that the only way to get there would be by Camel Caravan or on a 4-wheel drive.
Click here to see a fantastic 5-minute BBC video on the “Enchanted Kingdom” featuring Dallol as one of the extraordinary places on earth.
- Ethiopia has the most unusual churches in the world built from solid granite below the surface of the earth. In the 13th Century King Lalibella received a message to build a “New Jerusalem” in Ethiopia for those who could not make a pilgrimage to the Holy Land. But instead of building the City on the ground, the entire village was constructed underground from immense pieces of rock – in fact each church was constructed from a single rock! Though it supposedly took 23 years to build, modern day archeologists estimate that it must have taken no less than 40,000 people to build the City.
- Lalibella is very much alive today, as 1,000 priests live and pray in the town of 10,000, with religious ritual central to the life of the town. There are regular processions, as well as singing and dancing priests. Lalibella is a high place of Ethiopian Christianity, and a center for pilgrimage and devotion. A trip to the mountainous village of Lalibella is a trip back in time to almost an architectural wonder (how in the world did they carve out the insides of the churches?) and a biblical experience. Did you know that Ethiopia is home to nine (9) UNESCO World Heritage Sites? This, of course, is one of them.
- Ethiopia is known for its Christian tradition. This is also where the Ark of Covenant may be hidden for protection. Christianity plays an integral role in all aspects of national life. Not only a religious institution, the Church for centuries has been the center of the cultural, political and social life.
Christianity was introduced first in to the royal court, and from there gradually penetrated among the common people.
allegedly houses the original Ark of the Covenant.
- English is the most widely spoken foreign language and the language in which secondary school and university classes are taught.
- Some of the most exciting and weird-looking animals inhabit Ethiopia, and they’re especially plentiful in Simien Mountains State Park. Take, for example, the Gelad, or Bleeding Heart baboon, pictured here. They are in fact the last surviving species of a once widespread group of grass-grazing primates. Geladas live in large groups of as many as 600 members. Such a complex society requires clear communication, so geladas use visual signals, such as facial expression and body posture, to interact.
Simien Mountain State Park is home to a number of endangered species, including the Ethiopian wolf and the walia ibex, a wild goat found nowhere else in the world. More than 50 species of birds inhabit the park, including the impressive bearded vulture, or lammergeier, with its 10-foot (3m) wingspan.
- Home to men and women of world marathon and long distance runners, champions and record holders, you may join on great Ethiopian run and training. What do Kenenisa Bekele, Tirunesh Dibaba, Derartu Tulu and Fatuma Roba have in common, apart from being Olympic gold medal-winning runners? They all come from Bekoji in Ethiopia – and they were all trained by one man.,Coach Sentayehu Eshetu.
.Meseret Defar, Olympian, since 2003
- Ethiopia is the birthplace of mankind and home to “Lucy,” the exciting Ethiopian archeological find from 1974. Lucy, who would have lived in Hadar, Eastern Ethiopia about 3.5 million years ago, may be the great grandmother of us all. Ethiopia was home to some of the earliest hominid populations and possibly the region where Homo erectus evolved and expanded out of Africa to populate Eurasia 1.8 million years ago.
- Ethiopia is the birthplace of coffee and today has some of the most divine coffee in the world. You’ll want to bring home for gifts with a traditional Ethiopian coffee pot. Coffee is Ethiopia’s most important expert crop. The Sidama Coffee Farmers Cooperative Union (SCFCU) shows what’s possible through farmer organizing and connection to Fair Trade coffee roasters. Responsible for processing, marketing, and exporting for 47 primary cooperatives, the union represents some 85,000 small-scale farmers.
- There is a wealth of gorgeous jewelry and artwork to be had at ridiculously reasonable prices.
Ethiopian Opals, Hinged Coptic Cross, and Cuff Bracelets
- Ethiopia was one of the few countries of Africa to escape the ravages of European colonization. In fact, it was colonized by Italy for a while, but only for several years, while the other African nations were colonies of Europe starting in 1896 through 1945-1960 with some semblance of colonization continuing in the other African countries even today. This “escape” of Ethiopia from the clutches of colonization may be one of the reasons Ethiopians are so peace loving and why 80 different ethnic groups peacefully co-exist even though they speak 83 different languages and 200 regional dialects. Also impressive is the fact that there has been religious freedom in Ethiopia for centuries.
- Ethiopia’s capital, Addis Ababa which means “new flower” is blooming and booming and, for this reason, is called the “Dubai” of Africa. The IMF has classified Ethiopia as one of the five fastest growing economies in the world. Addis Ababa is also home of the African Union whose immense headquarters was a gift from the Chinese. Addis Ababa is often referred to as the “capital of Africa” because of its historical, diplomatic and political significance to the African continent.
- The famous Blue Nile originates in Ethiopia at gorgeous Lake Tana. And there are spectacular waterfalls named Tis Isat, Blue Nile Falls.
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