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About Ethiopia

HomeAbout Ethiopia

Ethiopia, The Land of Origins, The Land Beyond Your Imaginations

Ethiopia is the land of origins, the land beyond your imaginations, a country with one of the richest histories in the continent, a home to unique culture and friendly people.

Ethiopia is an ancient country located in the northeastern part of Africa, or as it generally known, the Horn of Africa. Ethiopia lies between the Equator and the Tropic of Capricorn. Its area is 1,112,000sq.kms. It is divided into climatic regions such as highlands, lowlands and majestic mountains, imposing peaks, alluring and glamorous gorges ravishing tablelands, verdant pasturelands and savannas, luxuriant tropical regions and the magnificent Rift valley are its physical features.

Ethiopia is anchored in an ancient, cultural society which comprises a mosaic of over 80 ethnic groups describing it as the museum of peoples, rich in all kinds of relics. There are magnificent monolithic stele, timeless monuments, prehistoric cave-paintings, exotic rock-hewn churches, monasteries, castles, mosques, temples and shrines which harbor all sorts of irreplaceable, irretrievable, priceless mementos.

Ethiopia is an exotic destination with so many diverse surprising tourist attractions, which combines history, culture and nature together. The extensive national parks, game reserves and sanctuaries shelter a variety of wildlife and bird species, most of whom are endemic to Ethiopia, while its history of 3000 years is attractive to tourists whose interests are on the other side. Its comprehensive and ample dynamism would classify Ethiopia in higher echelon in the tourism industry.

Conventionally, Ethiopian history began with the visit of queen of Sheba, allegedly from Ethiopia, to Solomon, king of Israel in the tenth century BC: hence the reference to Ethiopia's "3000 years history that we claim so often. Aside from the fact that this association has scarcely any scientific basis, it represents too short a view of the Ethiopia past. Archeological and linguistic research in recent years has made possible and necessary the adoption of a longer and more scientific perspective.

The discovery in 1974 of the earliest hominid in the Afar desert, named Lucy can be a very good example. This female ancestor of the human race was dated to 3.2 million years ago.

As a proof of its long history Ethiopia has many historical places. Axum is Ethiopia's most ancient city and the site of many remarkable monolithic stone steles. At Lalibela there are 11 remarkable rock-hewn monolithic churches. The 17th century city of Gondar and the 9th century city of Harar are the other historical attractions. In addition to these there are many age-old churches, monasteries and mosques with rich collection of relic in different parts of Ethiopia. Many colorful festivals are also additional attractions.

With a history stretching to three millennia back and with different people speaking over 80 languages and 200 dialects, it is no wonder that the mosaic of cultural diversity of Ethiopia is a major attraction and enchantment. Ethiopia is rich medley of people of different religions and customs with distinctive life styles. There are many interesting cultural traditions in Ethiopia including the nomadic culture of the people of the Omo Valley. The life style of the people has hardly changed for centuries. People still dress in animal skins, drink from calabashes and decorate with clay. It is unique, undisturbed, and wild and considered to be among the most fascinating in the African continent. Traveling through this area is like traveling thousands of years back in time, providing an insight in to an Africa of a bygone age.

Ethiopia is found very near the Equator, the country as a whole is far from "tropical" in the accepted sense of the term. On the contrary the elevated nature of its highlands rising to over 2000 meters gives it a decidedly cooler climate than its geographical location. Visitors to Ethiopia soon discover that climate is not merely an expression of latitude, but also of altitude.

Ethiopia is a country with contrasting nature, from the snowcapped peaks of the Semien Mountains to the arid lands of low land dessert, the Denakil Depression. Its unique landscape makes Ethiopia to have more endemic flora and fauna than any other regions in Africa.

No other aspect of Ethiopia's biology typifies its unique situation more than 800 species of birds are discovered in the region of which more than 16 species are endemic. There are also more than 31 species of mammals, 6 species of reptile and 33 species of amphibian that are endemic to Ethiopia. Little is known about insects and other groups of invertebrates but similar rates of endemism are likely to occur. Also numerous endemic plants have been identified so one who visits Ethiopia can be sure to see many things which she/he cannot see anywhere else in the world.

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