Ethiopia’s natural beauty always amazes the visitors who visit the country for the first time. It is a land of sturdy mountains, expansive savannahs, rivers, and lakes. The famous Rift Valley is an extraordinary region comprising of volcanic lakes, along with wide variety of birdlife, stunning vistas, and wonderful escarpments.
The Blue Nile Falls is counted as one of the biggest natural spectacles the world has seen. With more than 14 wildlife reserves, Ethiopia serves as the microcosm of entire sub-Saharan ecosystem. With a wide variety of animal species, ranging from the extraordinary Walia Ibex to reticent wild ass, Ethiopia is a great tourist attraction for all its visitors. Here is a list of some of the most popular tourist attractions in Ethiopia.
Tisisat Falls (Blue Nile Falls)
River Nile, Africa’s longest river that runs over 800 kilometers in length inside Ethiopia, is considered to be the heart of Ethiopia. The Blue Nile starts from Lake Tana and flows 800 kilometers till it reaches White Nile to form the Great River. Blue Nile contributes over 80 percent to the flow of the River Nile.
Photo Credit: Directethiopia.com
Blue Nile Falls, locally known as Tisisat Falls, are 45 meters deep and 400 meters wide. Near the Bahar Dar, over a million gallon of water falls over the cliff into the gorge and creates beautiful rainbows, giving rise to the most breathtaking display in the entire Africa. Visitors can reach Blue Nile falls easily from Bahir Dar through tour buses.
Sof Omar Cave
Sof Omar is a small Muslim village in the Bale region and houses a number of amazing natural caves, created by Wab River when it created its way through the nearby mountains
The visitors approach the caves armed with maps and torches, and move underground, deep under the earth’s bowels. Here they can see numerous extraordinary arched portals, echoing chambers, and high eroded ceilings.
The Rift Valley
The famous Rift Valley in Ethiopia, which is an important part of East Africa Rift Valley, encompass a number of hot springs, stunning lakes, and wide array of fauna.
Photo Credit: Ethiopianembassy.be
The valley has been formed due to two parallel faults existing in the earth’s surface. Ethiopia is often called ‘the water tower’ due to the large number of rivers falling off the high Rift Valley passage.
Ethiopia’s largest lake, Lake Tana, is the source giving birth to Blue Nile. It comprises of 37 islands spread over its surface, containing a number of enthralling monasteries and churches, some of which date back to 13th century. Some of the most interesting islands include Dek, Dega Estefanous, Birgida Mariam, Tana Cherkos, Narga, Kebran, and Mitsele Fasiledes.Kebran Gabriel, the principal monastery at Bahar Dar, that allows only male tourists is an impressive Cathedral-like building built in 17th century. Dega Estephanos is another such monastery existed on one of the islands, which is famous for housing the remains of many of the former emperors, along with their jewels and robes.
Photo Credit: Garba.cz
Cruising or sailing on Lake Tana is an extremely pleasant experience for visitors of all ages, particularly during the summer month. Visitors can hire boats from Marine Transport Authority present at the Bahir Dar.Kebran Gabriel, the principal monastery at Bahar Dar, that allows only male tourists is an impressive Cathedral-like building built in 17th century. Bird lovers should also visit Fasilidas Island, an important wetland, comprising of a huge variety of endemic as well as visitor birds.
Simien Mountain National Park
It is one of the important highlands in Africa, which rises to Ethiopia’s highest point, called Ras Dejen, located at a height of 4620 meters. It is the 4th highest peak in the whole of Africa. Even though it is located quite close to the equator, yet ice and snow appear at the highest points; with temperatures often falling below zero degrees during night time.
The Simien National Park comprises mainly for three botanical regions – the higher lands comprise of mountain grassland containing heathers and grasses, giant lobelia and red hot pokers. Primarily, the park was developed for protecting the Walia Ibex. Visitors can also find Simien fox and Gelada Baboons living in this national park. Not only this, the mountain is also home to over 50 different species of birds. Tour of the national park should ideally be arranged in advance by contacting your tour operator.
Axum is the most ancient city of Ethiopia and served as the capital to the renowned Axumite state. It is the home to numerous noteworthy monolithic stone stelae, some of which have been decorated for representing multi-storied building, comprising of windows and doors as well. The world’s largest obelisk that weighed 500 tons and was 35 meters in length also existed here, but at present, it lies broken. Next to it, stands the equally impressive 24 meter long obelisk, which is considered to be Ethiopia’s pride.
Photo Credit: Sacredsites.com
In its day, Axum was a huge commercial center from where trade was carried out with different countries such as Ceylon, India, Arabia, Persia, and Egypt. It was also the home to Ethiopia’s oldest church, dating back to the early 4th century.
Fasilides Castle is an extremely striking tourist destination in the beautiful city of Ethiopia. The ancient castle was built in seventeenth century by an emperor named Fasilides Alam Sagad. It is located at Gondar, Amhara region and is made completely of stone. It is a great representation of the great history of Ethiopia.
Photo Credit: Geolocation.ws
The emperor is considered be one of the most noteworthy rulers of Abyssinia kingdom. He founded the Gongar city in the year 1936, located in the north-west part of Ethiopia. It was the most important business center in the kingdom at that time, as well as home to numerous administrative and cultural amenities. Over the years, a large number of churches and castles came up, amongst which Fasilides Castle, which was the castle of the Emperor himself, was the most significant and striking one. Tourists can visit the castle to see how such a colossal castle was built and how it has been able to withstand the test of times over so many years.
Plan your next vacation to the gorgeous country of Ethiopia and indulge yourself in the wonders of nature existing in this outstanding land.