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BAHIR DAR: is located on the southern shores of lake Tana from where excursions by boat can be made to the lake’s island and peninsulas and to the “Tissisat Falls.” (the most spectacular water falls of the country). The blue Nile draws its strength from the large reservoir, Lake Tana, set at 1,830 m above sea level. The lake includes more than 30 islands and peninsulas, most of which shield ancient monasteries, decorated with wonderful wall paintings from the 12th to the 20th centaury. Among its multitude of monasteries, some can only be visited by men.


GONDAR , surrounded by the lower hills of the southern semien
mountains, lies at 2,200M above sea level. “The city of the castles” is one of Ethiopia’s most fascinating cities, founded by Emperor Fasilidas in 1632. At this time, Gondar became the royal capital city of the country. In subsequent years, several castles were built, each unique in size and architecture. Gondar is a city rich in fabulous history and ancient monuments. For many centuries it was the center of fine arts, music, science, religion, commerce and administration. The most interesting church of Gondar is “Debre Berehan Selassie”. This Trinity church is built in a rectangular shape, its ceilings are decorated with beautiful winged angles and its walls with impressive scenes depicting biblical events.


LALIBELA, Set at 2,600 m above sea level in the rugged mountains in the northern end of Wollo, is the most exciting attraction of the country from here the Zagwe Dynasty ruled the country. From several centuries. Formerly known as Roha, the town of Lalibela bears the name of its most famous king “Lalibela” (1181 – 1221A.C). There are in total eleven rock hewn monolithic churches, believed to have been built by king Lalibela, which are architecturally unique buildings, finely carved, some decorated with beautiful paintings. There is nothing that could be more attractive than the fascinating and impressive churches with their ancient architecture and carving. The churches of Lalibela are the eighth wonders of the world.


Axum is one of the most important archeological sites of Ethiopia. It is well known for its ruins of the palace of the legendary Queen of Sheba who reigned about 1000 B.C. The greatest mystery of all, however, is that the son of the Queen of Sheba, Menelik I, first king of the Solomonic Dynasty brought with him the Ark of the covenant is believed still to be kept in the church of St.Mary of Zion erected on the original location of the oldest church of Ethiopia. The Aksumite kingdom’s conversion to Christianity in the 4th century makes Ethiopia, after Armenia and Georgia, the third oldest Christian county. The site of the country’s most ancient city, shields and shelters a great number of priceless relic. Other ancient sites are the 2000 years old stelae, (some are even much older), which are made from single blocks of granite carved to represent multi-storey houses.


Deber Damo the ancient monastery of Debre-Damo dates back to early Axumite period and is onsidered to be the oldest church in the country. Unlike other monasteries and churches. Debre-Damo is built on the edge of a cliff accessible only by a rope.



AFAR REGION: the Afar region is part of the Ethiopian Rift Valley. Since the late 1960s it has attracted the attention of researchers because of its uniqueness as the world's only active, superior triple junction where the complex tectonics and volcanism of an area between three separating lithosphere plates (African, Eastern African, and Arabian) can be observed on dry land. From archaeological point of view it was from this region that LUCY, the most important hominid skeleton dated at about 3.5 million years discovered. Any one who wants to visit the homeland of this Great, Great, Great grandmother of the 6 Billion people of the world have to travel to the Afar region. The Denakil Depression, at 120 meters below sea level is one of the lowest points on earth's surface and it is found in the Afar region.


Harar the Medieval “Walled City” with its 99 Mosques and Shrines, is considered the fourth most sacred center of the Islamic world. The town of Harar is surrounded by a strong stone and mud wall with five large gates. Harari women are famous for making beautiful baskets while the town’s silversmiths are famous for their attractive Jewelry. Places of interest to be visited in Harar are : the “Rimbaud House” which is named after the famous French poet who lived there in 1880, the rich and exciting market places, the house of Ras Mekonnen and the Hyena-Man performance who, in the early evening, feeds his wild friends, the hyenas, with meat and bones which he hold between his teeth.


Awash National Park lying in the lowlands east of Addis Ababa, and striding the Awash River, the Awash National Park is one of the finest reserves in Ethiopia. The Awash River, one of the major rivers of the Horn of Africa, waters important agricultural lands in the north- eastern part of Ethiopia and eventually flows into the wilderness of Danakil Depression. The dramatic Awash Falls as the river tumbles into its gorge, is the site not to be missed in the national park. A special attraction is the beautiful clear pools of the hot springs (Filwoha). Awash National Park, surrounding the dormant volcano of Fantale, is a reserve of arid and semi-arid woodland and Savannah, with riverine forests along the Awash River. Forty-six species of animals have been identified here, including Beisa Oryx and Swayne's Hartebeest. The bird life is prolific specially along the river and in amongst the 392 species recorded.


RIFT VALLEY LAKES: Ethiopia’s Rift Valley is known to be one of the biggest birds sanctuaries in Africa. Each of the seven lakes has its own attractions, shelters different species of birds and many wild animals. The Rift Valley is also the habitat for a variety of flora and fauna.

The Addis Ababa southern road leads you to Debre-Zeyit, an exotic small town with spectacular crater lakes. Proceed to lake Ziway, the first of the Rift Valley lakes, lake Abijata and Shalla National park for bird watching. A good place to view Crocodiles is on the shore of lake Chamo, just south of the town of Arba Minch, at a place popularly referred to as the “AZZO GEBEYA” or crocodile Market. This spot offers one of Africa’s most impressive displays of big crocodiles.


Bale Mountains National Park is an area of high altitude plateau that is broken by numerous spectacular volcanic plugs and peaks, beautiful alpine lakes and rushing mountain streams that descend into deep rocky gorges on their way to the lowlands below. As you ascend into the mountains you will experience changes in the vegetation with altitude, from juniper forests to heather moorlands and alpine meadows, which at various times of year exhibit an abundance of colorful wildflowers. Bale Mountains National Park is the largest area of Afro-Alpine habitat in the whole of the continent. It gives the visitor opportunities for unsurpassed mountain walking, horse trekking, scenic driving and the chances to view many of Ethiopia's endemic mammals, in particular the Semien Fox, Mountain Nyala, Black and White Colobus Monkey and Endemic birds, such as the Harenna forest.


Semien Fox the Semien Fox -despite its name, is more common here in Bale than it is in Semien. It is found nowhere in between these two isolated mountain areas, and nowhere else in the world. The animal is the size and colour of a European Red Fox, but with long legs, longer muzzle, and a striking black and white tail.



Omo Valley is dominated mainly by many ethnic groups who speak omotic language as classified by linguistics. The region and the people of this are one of the least affected by the modern world. The life style of the people has hardly changed for centuries. People still live in simple make shift huts, dress animal skins and drink with calabashes. The area is a veritable paradise for photographers and naturalists.

The people of the Omo Valley and their culture have been source of fascination for travelers. The Hammar who are well known for their sense of elegance are the major ethnic group in the region. The Surma and Mursi women, who wear lip plates by piercing their lower lip have been compelling tourists to travel to their land to see what seems impossible.


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