Gondar

Gondar was the site of Ethiopia’s Capital City from the years 1666 to 1864. In 1635, Emperor Fasilidas built a historic castle complex. Also, there are many magnificently painted churches in the area as well such as Debre Berhane Selassie.

Gondar is the site of the annual Timkat holiday where thousands of Ethiopian Orthodox Christians are baptized. The ancient bathing pool built by Emperor Fasilidas is used as the baptismal site.

Bahir Dar

Bahir Dar is a beautiful city in the Province of Gojjam. It lies on the shore of Ethiopia’s largest body of water, Lake Tana. Lake Tana is the home to 37 islands and 20 monasteries of rich historical significance. It is told that on one of the islands, the Ark of the Covenant was held for a length of time. Lake Tana is also the source of the Blue Nile River which begins in Ethiopia and flows into Sudan. Not far from Bahir Dar are the majestic Blue Nile falls which are known in Amharic as Tisissat or “The water that smokes.“ The city is lined with beautiful palm trees and has a lovely beach on the shore for watching Pelicans and occasionally Hippo.

Harar

Located in the Eastern side of Ethiopia, Harar is one of the most holy sites for Islam in the country. Within the city. there are 90 mosques in operation. Harar was built in the 12th century and in 1520 was captured by the Muslim Warrior, Ahmed Gragn.

He used it as a base to attack large parts of Ethiopia. In 1887, It was recaptured by Emperor Menelik II who appointed Ras Makonnen, one of his Generals to be the Governor. It was later governed by the son of Ras Makonnen, young Tafari Makonnen who would later have the title of Emperor Haile Selassie I in the 20th century. Some of the attractions here are Emperor Haile Selassie I’s former house, the Hyena Men who feed hyenas right out of their hands and mouths, and the beautiful city with its markets and colorful people.

Danakil Depression & Erta Ale Volcano

The Danakil Depression is a desert landscape which lies 115 meters below sea level. It is filled with active volcanoes and salt lakes

Rift Valley Lakes

The Great Rift Valley of Africa extends from the Middle East to the country of Mozambique. This deep fissure in the Earth’s crust has created an incredible environment of beautiful lakes and grasslands in Ethiopia. These include the Lakes,Langano, Ziway, Abiata, Shalla, Awash, Awassa, Abaya and Chamo. The largest and most significant of these lakes are Lake Abaya and Lake Chamo,located in Beautiful Arba Minch, which means forty springs in the Amharic language. Lake Abaya and Lake Chamo are home to many species of birds and aquatic life, including huge crocodiles, hippopotamus, nile perch, fish eagle, kingfisher, stork, pelican and much more. Also in the area you can see monkey, baboon, warthogs and snakes.

Mago National Park

Here one can visit the members of the famed Mursi tribe. They are known for their large lower lips expanded by the use of clay discs inserted into their mouths.

Omo Valley

The Omo Valley which lies in the southwest of Ethiopia is home to the most diversity of the country’s remote tribes and Ethnic groups. Over 50% of the tribes live here. Among these are the Karo, Hamer,Mursi, Surma, Geleb, and many more. These tribes have lived in almost complete isolation for many years. They all have their own unique customs, life styles and cultural practices. For instance, the Mursi and Surma tribes are famous for their lip plates, while the Hamer and Mursi are expert at body paintings. The Konso tribe are known for the terraced farms which they create.In the south exist the most amount of national parks in the country and here is where many of Ethiopia’s prolific wildlife species make their homes. These include the Buffalo, Zebra, Giraffe, Leopard, Hartebeest, Oryx, Cheetah and even occasionally Lions, the longtime symbol of Ethiopia’s History.

Awash National Park

Awash lies 211km east of Addis Ababa and is a beautiful deserve for many species of animals and birds. The Awash River flows by the park which includes semi-arid woodland, savannah, and a dormant volcano called Fantalle. There are also numerous hot springs in the area. Over 400 bird species make their homes here.

Axum

Axum is truly a legendary and historic town. Besides being the foundation of Ethiopian civilization, It is a site of many ruins of magnificent palaces, obelisks carved from solid granite and underground tombs of past kings and emperors. The Obelisks or Stelae that wereconstructed here are known throughout the world

Axum is also the home to the Biblical legend of the Ark of The Covenant. It is said to lie in the St. Mary of Zion Church for many centuries past. Up until the time of Emperor Haile Selassie I, Axum was used as the coronation site for all of the royal families of Ethiopia.

Lalibela

Lalibela is one of Ethiopia’s most historic sites. 13 amazing rock-hewn churches were carved here in the end of the eleventh century during the reign of King Lalibela.

There are many legends told about King Lalibela and his construction of the churches. Some say that he was poisoned by his brother and   during the three days he was unconscious, he was taken to heaven where he witnessed a city of rock- hewn churches. He returned from heaven to build these churches. Whatever the truth of what happened is, Lalibela exists as the 8th wonder of the world.