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Ethiopia has so much to offer visitors: the Historic Route, covering the ancient town of Axum, with its amazing carved obelisks, Christian festivals and relics, including the Ark of the Covenant; Gondar, with its castles and palaces; Lalibela, with its remarkable rock-hewn churches: Negash, one of the earliest holy Muslim centres from the Prophet Mohammed Era with the NegashAmedinMesgid; the walled Muslim city of Harar and LegaOda, near Dire Dawa where you can see cave paintings considered to be thousands of years old.
Lake Tana, source of the Blue Nile, is the largest lake with 37 islands and the Monasteries like KibranGebriel and Kidanemhiret dating back to 14th century. The Great Rift Valley lakes, many with national parks, are home to a wealth of bird and animal life. The high, rugged, Simien Mountains in the north and the Bale mountains in the southeast are also home to some unique wildlife and rich flora, and are ideal for trekking, whilst some of Ethiopia’s fast-flowing rivers are becoming famous for white-water rafting. There are eleven national parks and four sanctuaries where 277 species of wildlife and more than 850 species of birds can be seen. The Semien Mountains National Park is registered by UNESCO as a world heritage site and is home to three of the endemic mammals, Walia Ibex, Gelada Baboon and Abyssinian Wolf. Ras Dashen, the fourth highest peak in Africa with an alititude of 4,620 meters, is also located within the National Park.
Other National Parks include Bale Mountains and Abijatta-Shalla in Oromia, Nechisar, Mago and Omo National Parks in the south and Yangudi Rasa in Afar, Gambella National Park in Gambella, as well as Awash in both Oromia and Afar Regions. Addis Ababa, Ethiopia’s friendly and safe capital city has so much to offer, too, with its first-class hotels and restaurants, museums and palaces, and good shopping, which includes the Mercato – Africa’s largest open-air market. Ethiopia is a mosaic of people with more than 80 languages, different lifestyles, costumes and cultural dances. People’s livelihoods vary from pastoralists and farmers to factory workers, business people and academics. Ethiopia has been called ‘the land of a thousand smiles’. Visit us and you can be sure of a great welcome, a memorable holiday, and the experience of a lifetime.