Still under the impression Ethiopia is plagued by drought and famine? Think again. This landlocked country receives more rain than London and its lush green hills are carpeted with coffee plantations. It’s politically stable and unique among African nations because it was the only territory not to be colonised during the turn-of-the-century ‘Scramble for Africa.’ Consequently, people carry themselves differently and the country is brimming with quirks: it has its own calendar and way of telling the time – the days start at 6am not midnight – and its population of nearly a million speak over 90 languages.
Here culture and history are the main focus. Credited as the ‘Cradle of Mankind,’ where homo sapiens originated, Ethiopia is brimming with ancient sites and is famous for far more than producing the world’s greatest long-distance runners. Whether it’s the UNESCO-listed rock-hewn churches at Lalibela or the animist tribes of the Omo Valley, there are plenty of opportunities to get off the beaten track.
Wildlife enthusiasts won’t be disappointed though. In place traditional safari game viewing, travellers can track the endangered Ethiopian wolf across the plateau of Bale Mountains National Park and twitchers can tick off 856 species of bird, including twenty that are endemic – more than any other country in Africa, after South Africa.
Tailormade Africa can design an itinerary to show you a side of Africa’s tenth-largest country you never imagined, whether its mastering how to eat injera and wat with your right hand, exploring a khat market, or side-stepping the bubbling magma of the Danakil Depression – the hottest place on Earth. This ancient country will surpass all your expectations.