Ethiopia is one of Africa’s most beautiful destinations, a country with a rich history, culture and scenery. The country has a number of UNESCO World Heritage sites including rock hewn and medieval monolithic cave churches.
Ethiopia has been voted “world’s best tourist destination” by the European Council on Tourism and Trade and one of “world’s best tourist destinations” by a number of travel magazines such as the Lonely Planet, Trip Advisor and CNN Travel.
Here are Ethioweb’s top ten reasons why you should visit Ethiopia:
Ethiopia is ideally located in the horn of Africa making it easier to get to and from most countries. The capital city, Addis Ababa is served by a number of international airlines such as Emirates, Lufthansa, Qantas, British Airways and many more.
The country’s flag carrier, Ethiopian Airlines is the biggest in Africa with over 90 international and 19 local destinations. Ethiopian Airline’s modern fleet are comprised of Boeing’s 767, 777 and 787 Dreamliner jets. The airline’s customer service is rated as one of the best in the world.
Ethiopia has a population of 90 million with over 90 different languages and ethnic groups making the country one of the most diverse and tolerating nations in the world. Although the country is home to multi-ethnic, multi-language and multi-religion population, it’s people live in great harmony and respect. Ethiopians are known to be very friendly, polite, hospitable, pleasant and quite sociable.
13 Months of Sunshine
Ethiopia uses it own version of the Coptic calendar which has 13 months in a year, 12 of each having 30 days and a 5 or 6 day month at the end. As the country is in the tropical zone, it has three climate zones and is blessed with 13 months of sunshine a year. Most regions in Ethiopia enjoy a mild climate, with average temperatures of around 22°C in the highlands and 28°C in the lowlands.
Ethiopia offers a number of stunning sceneries such as the spectacular Danakil Depression, Simien Mountains, ancient rock hewn churches and rift valleys. There are national parks and treks to admire the country’s rich wildlife. Ethiopia is also one of Africa’s leading birding destinations.
Ethiopia is home to some of the most colorful religious festivals and events. The most popular being Timket (Epiphany), it is celebrated by millions of Ethiopian christians across the country and the world. Other major festivals celebrated include Meskel (Finding of the True Cross), Enkutatash (New Year), Fasika (Easter) and Eid-ul-Fitr.
Ethiopian food is one of the most exciting and delicious cuisines in the world. It is also very health as it is usually accompanied by Enjera, a gluten free, nutritional flat bread used to hold the different variety of meat and vegetable stews. There are many flavoursome dishes for vegetarians and vegans.
Ethiopia’s Yirgacheffe is undoubtedly the best coffee you will ever taste. As the origin of Arabica coffee, Ethiopia produces some of the best varieties coffee beans in the world. It’s coffee beans are known for their winey quality, amazing aroma and a strong rich taste. Ethiopian coffee ceremony is one of the most recognizable and important part of Ethiopian social and cultural life.
Ethiopia is Africa’s oldest independent country with long history dating 10th century BCE. It is also the home of the Aksumite Kingdom, a major player in the trade route between the Roman Empire and Asia. Ethiopia is also where the oldest fossil in the human ancestral line was discovered.
Ethiopia is a country of diverse culture, with over 80 ethnic groups and languages, each having unique culture and traditions dating back some 3,000 years. A traveler doesn’t have to travel far to experience the different cultures and traditions. Most cultures have their own ways of life from dresses, foods, greetings, gestures, dances and more.
Ethiopia especially Addis Ababa has one of the best nightlifes in Africa. The cities have many bars and restaurants operating until dawn. Most have live music performed by local Ethiopian musicians and dancers. There are many modern nightclubs are all over the cities and are filled with friendly crowd and western music. The traditional bars and restaurants are a must see, as they offer a first hand experience of Ethiopia’s traditional food and dances.