Some interesting places in Ethiopia

- Lalibela: the town is very small, and it is there that you can find the famous rock-hewn churches of Lalibela. Try spending a day or so exploring the main churches in town and then hiring a donkey for a day trip up the mountain to see the additional churches and the views up there.

 

 Rock-hewn church at Lalibela

- Addis Ababa: The capital of Ethiopia. Culture shock for just about anyone. If you are not of African descent, be prepared to be the subject of a lot of curiosity. Lots of pointing and wanting to walk near you or talk with you ( not if you avoid looking like a tourist). The Markato is the largest in all of Africa; take a day to scope it out without money or cameras and then return once you know the lay of the land and how to manage yourself. It is no more or less safe than rest of Addis - just be sensible...

- Bahir Dar: Great lakeside community. Just a couple paved roads (when was this written?) NONSENSe - it even has a  ring road now 2012 and then tons of more rural life. Friendly people. Among the things you can visit in Bahirdar are Monasteries of Lake Tana , the Blue Nile Falls and the Market of Bahirdar.  it is now a BIG town..........with International Airporrt !!!!!!!!!!

- Axum: Some would say the stelae and the church** reputed to contain the Ark of the Covenant are not very interesting at a first glance but for those who have read more on Axum and its archaeological discoveries it would be more and more captivating. Some would say it is the most interesting of the historic places because as well as being the HQ of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church - with the Ark?, you have the Stelae from 4thC and graves of the Axumite Kings/Emperors. IF paying to see things inside Cathedral compound be aware no ladies in the "monastry" ie the old cathedral!!!    **  The Ark is not "in the church" it is (said to be) in a small building of its own...

- Omo Valley: Book a guide and visit one or more of the multitudinous tribes.  You need a guide because he knows the languages and your visit will be greatly enhanced.

 -Shashemene: The heart of the Rastafari migrated here and ex-patriot Jamaicans blend with locals to create a city that is a bit different from the rest of Ethiopia. Go to a "pharmacy" and learn about traditional medicine. 

-Gondar - castle compound contains several castles built by/for Eth Emperors 3/400 yrs ago.  It is also the gateway to the Simien Mountains. View the endemic Gelada baboons who will sit right beside the path, oblivious to humans. Lots of other endemic flora and fauna to see, hiking through the remote mountains devoid of power lines, coca cola, and billboards, and full of traditional farmers and small settlements welcoming visitors. A guide and a man with a gun have to be hired to enter the area. They also try to give you a cook and no one is really sure why since there are not a lot of food options available in town to carry on the hike. Buy a sheep to slaughter for a laughably small amount of money (under $10) and feed the whole settlement for a true cultural experience never to be forgotten.  Update - you are entering a  National Park. You need to follow the rules. IF camping for a few days a coook is a very good idea. True you might be better bringing  some basics like pasta/tins from Addis...

 - Blue Nile Gorge: has breath taking views, waterfalls, and swimming holes. The road to get there is interesting as well.  The source is Lake Tana or the streams that flow into it. The road from Addis to Bahir Dar crosses the gorge after 200kms.

-Hawassa - capital of southern Ethiopia. Laid back lakeside university  town - numerous hotels. Boats to see hippos.

-Lake Langano - best of the Rift Valley lakes for swimming. No towns on lake , just isolated hotels like Sabana Beach Resort.

-Arba Minch - on the way to Omo area.. Vast numbers of crocs and hippos in Lake Chamo nearby.

-Wenchi Crater Lake - has to be one of the most beautiful places on the planet.  Do 5 hour pony trekking trip, very cheap. Make it a two day trip  from Addis by staying a night at Ambo or Wolisso.

-Bale Mountains - south west Ethiopia. Trekking, see the Eth Wolf. Afro Alpine plateau areas. Beware of lodge at Dinsho - so called Park HQ. Great place, lousy service.

- Western Ethiopia Eco - Touristic Route:- One can enjoy the natural and ethenic diversity in Western Ethiopia. This starts from Ambo, Wonchi creter lake, and Guder fall. In Nekemte aftre 330km from Addis you can visit Kumusa Moroda 18th century palace and Wollega Musium. In Didessa Valley, Just only 50km from Nekemte, one can visit Didessa River Fall, wildlife and birds watching, five tribes, and fishing, trekking, and many other activities are avilable. Didessa Green Valley Resort/lodge provides clean and best restaurant and accomodation facilities.  Further to Gimbi, there  are organic coffee plantations, traditional gold miners in Nejo and Assosa. Dhati - Walal National Park is located in Kelem, near to Dembi Dolo along this route. Next, you can reach to Gambella where you can visit Gambella National Park, Baro river, and diversity of ethnic groups. The return route is through Gore- Mizan Teferi- Jimma and then to Addis Ababa.

             Shame...shame....What happened to Harar???? This city of 60,000 founded in the 11th century should be engraved in all Tour routes.This city is home of the Harari,Somali & Afar tribes in the area.Located just 110Km from Somalia it's the Home of the Hyena Men.When the dusk falls the Hyena Man is calling for his pets to come out of the wordwork.You'll have a chance to actually feed the Hyenas as well.

             The city has 82 mosques with the  Limbaugh Museum in which the famous French Poet once resided.The endless winding alleys of multi colors the city had it's walls fortified in the 17th  Century to battle off Christian Forces.The merchants line the main walkways inside the old town selling traditional goods from fruits & vegatables to having your clothes altered by local tailor with the sewing machine in the street.

            The city has been overshadowed by Dire Dawa which 50 KM from Harar is merely an Early 20th Century Village for the Djibouti Railway from Addis Ababa.It has now become the second largest city in Ethiopia.Besides being a coffee region it's where Qat was founded & Grown.

           Coming from Addis Ababa stopping in Awash to see the national park the oldest in Ethiopia being founded in 1966.You'll see lots of Springbok,Baboons, with a decent waterfalls.Try to merge with people on this tour you'll need a guide as well .Best time to visit is early morning around Dawn. The Genet Hotel has clean rooms in Awash,a newer hotel good rates...recommend 

-Erta Ale - A very recommended dessert to your trip in Ethiopia:- The only active volcano in the world, to which crater one can reach and obsrve it's heat, flames, and bubling magma from 20-30 meters distance; in the Danakil desert in North-East Ethiopia.