An African country, Ethiopia has never been colonized. It has excelled in keeping its colorful cultural identity over time. Such success can be evidenced by the presence of deep-seated customs permeating the country, many indigenous villages, and numerous historic fortresses. When you plan and visit Ethiopia, you are bound to experience incredible destinations that differentiate it from other countries in Africa. It is indeed a country of unmatched culture and nature. Ranging from volcanic craters, shimmering lakes to rugged mountains, you will have many activities to engage in when you visit Ethiopia.
Here is a list of the top 8 best things to do in Ethiopia:
If you are thinking about some of the most diverse ecosystems in Africa, then Lake Tana must come to your mind. It is the main source of the infamous Blue Nile River. Additionally, it remains to be the largest lake in Ethiopia, covering an area of about 50 miles of the northwest Ethiopian highlands.
Supposing you want to explore and enjoy nature offered by Lake Tana, then a boat trip becomes the best way. Cruising through the water, you will be amazed by the abundance of mammals such as hippos, different bird species, fish, and softshell turtles. Such an experience will make you keep coming for more.
NATIONAL MUSEUM OF ETHIOPIA :
This is where you will be able to understand more about Ethiopian history. It is amazing that this museum has three unique exhibits from where thousands of archeological and artifact findings are displayed. Take your time and visit the most enthralling exhibit known as the paleoanthropological section from where you will be able to see the remains of early apes or hominids. You will see the remaining skeleton of “Lucy” which is believed to be the oldest remains of any human ancestor.
BLUE NILE FALLS :
When you eventually visit the Blue Nile Falls, its dramatic thundering will surely take your breath away. The fall is not so tall since it is only about 138 feet high. However, you will like its three-streamed waterfall that is often shrouded in a fog of mist, raging in unison with faint rainbow shimmers.
You should note that making your way to the falls may be hectic and therefore, the assistance of a tour guide is called for. There are different ways through which you can navigate to reach the falls. For instance, you may use a motorboat or steep trek to the viewpoint. For the ultimate experience, you should not visit the falls during dry seasons from January to March because little water will be oozing down the falls.
RIFT VALLEY LAKES:
Across the world, it is recognized that the lakes found within the Ethiopian Rift valley are some of the deepest and the oldest. Such lakes are found located between Somalia and Ethiopian plateaus. They have continued to play significant roles in building Ethiopia’s economy. Some of the lakes you can visit include Lake Awassa, Lake Ziway, Lake Chamo, and Lake Abaya. You will have an opportunity to view birds, crocodiles, and even do fishing.
SIMIEN MOUNTAINS NATIONAL PARK :
When you visit the lush green valley and the jugged peaks of the Siemen Mountains, you will have an opportunity to see the Siemen Mountains National Park located in between. This is one of the most attractive destinations you can visit in Ethiopia. Within the center of this park, you will see Ras Dashan, which is the tenth highest in Africa and the highest in Ethiopia. It is not just the jaw-dropping natural scenery that will move you, but also the diverse wildlife range such as the spotted hyenas, baboons, and caracals roaming through the mountains.
ROCK-HEWN CHURCHES OF LALIBELA :
Visiting Ethiopia offers you an opportunity to see one of the greatest Ethiopian Christianity symbols, the Rock-Hewn Churches of Lalibela. These churches were named after King Lalibela who built them in the 13th century with an intention of recreating the city of Jerusalem. These churches play significant roles in the Ethiopian Orthodox religion to date.
DEBRE DAMO :
Before you even reach the Debre Damo itself, you will be impressed by the nature of the journey it takes. The Debre Damo building is located on top of an extensive plateau and can only be accessed by using a thin leather belt to climb 50 feet along the cliff. When you manage to reach the top of the cliff, you will have succeeded in visiting one of Ethiopia’s oldest religious buildings. You will be amazed to establish that today, Debre Damo hosts 150 self-sufficient monks, growing their own food and keeping cattle.
Have you ever heard of the hottest place on the planet? If no, then you should realize it in Dallol. By visiting this destination, you will experience toxic gas bubbles, boiling sulfuric pools, and muddy hot springs. The average temperature of this place is 95 degrees Fahrenheit across the year. It is not only the unusual temperatures that will enthuse you when you visit Dallol, but also its unique landscape.
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The Danakil Depression in Ethiopia could be a rare but fascinating remote destination. Visitors might feel as if they’d landed on a unique planet. The Danakil Depression is extremely hot and features bubbling volcanoes and a singular landscape.
The Danakil Depression is believed to be one of the foremost inhospitable places in the globe. It’s far and away from the most well-liked – with a mean daily temperature of over 34° Celsius (with peaks going overflow 50°), at about 125 meters below water level, the area has a minimal amount of rain per year.
The area where the Danakil is found sits on three tectonic plates, which are constantly shifting. As a result, the Danakil is scattered with rock formations, springs and geysers. you’d expect that such an inhospitable place is totally desert. Alas, it is not.
Those inquisitive about visiting the Danakil Depression are advised to rent a tour, especially considering that it’s a somewhat hostile environment. it’s best to go to with an expert and someone who knows the world well.
What is shocking is that the indisputable fact that there actually is life during this region. this can be where the famous Lucy, a hominid skeleton, was found. And it’s where the Afar people, one among the numerous indigenous peoples of Ethiopia, live.
These are nomadic those who still live a reasonably traditional lifestyle of cattle or goat herding. Some add the salt mines scattered around the Dallol.
Danakil Depression Overview:
When you arrive at the Danakil Depression, the most important things that are must-see are as follows:
20 km north from Hamedela, Dallol maybe a cinder cone volcano. There are hot springs here discharge brine and acidic liquid. Visitors will see small, temporary geysers that produce cones of salt. the bottom of the hills is that the lowest place in Ethiopia furthermore because the hottest place on earth.
The Dallol comes from the people of Afar and means dissolution or disintegration. In fact, the Afar people hack blocks of salt out of the bottom during this area. Travelers are likely to determine camel caravans loading up with salt here.
Irta’ale, also referred to as Erta Ale, is a vigorous shield volcano. this suggests that the volcano consists almost exclusively of lava flows. Erta Ale has been in a very state of continuous eruption since 1967. The volcano’s southerly crater is one in every of the sole permanent lava lakes on the world. The road to the Volcano is 15 km and can take you 2-4 hours.
Tours take visitors on the hike within the evening, generally after dinner. While the climb in itself isn’t too steep, the darkness and warmth make it harder. it’s possible to ride a camel and tourists should have a torch to run. At the summit, the temperature is going to be cooler.
Lake Adfera or Lake Afrera could be a hypersaline lake, with a surface of 100 square km. A hypersaline lake is one that has high concentrations of common salt or other salts, making saline levels on top of those within the ocean. The lake isn’t as visited as Dallol or Erta Ale. Visitors can actually swim within the nearby springs, and salt is extracted from its green waters.
Things to consider when you visit the Danakil Depression:
1. When to Visit:
The Danakil Depression is hot year-round. The place is very hot there is no way you can escape the heat but we advise you visit between November and January, during this time the temperature is at least on the place human can handle compared to other months, though it’s still very hot
– a headlamp,
– a small backpack for the volcano trek,
– sunglasses and a hat,
– It’s a volcano area so it will be nice to bring something to cover your face/mouth.
– toilet paper and baby wipes,
– A small cloth for cleaning your hands
The place is extremely hot so dehydration is very important you will drink a lot of water so make sure you bring enough water during your safari
Only happens to be available when you are in Abaala Village & standby generator in Hamed Ela military camp but you have to pay a small fee to use it.
5. Be ready for:
A very high (over 40 degrees) temperatures non-stop for some days. Not sleeping on a standard bed for 3 nights and not sleeping much generally. The sleep at the volcano is merely 3-4 hours long and you sleep on a mattress placed on the bottom under the night sky. The night at the Abaala Village is spent on a mattress in an exceedingly shared room in an exceedingly local homestay and also the night in Hamed Ela camp is spent on an Afar bed ( a wooden platform with thick ropes tied between its sides and also the mattress placed on top of it).
It’s good to own a sleeping capsule with you after you sleep in Hamed Ela because the sleep is kind of long (over 8 hours) but the warmth, donkeys making noises and folks arousal early to arrange breakfast might keep you awake. – not having a standard shower and not employing a normal toilet for four days – there’s an African cold bucket shower and drop toilet in Abaala Village. In other places, you would like to use the ‘natural toilet’ as you go.
6. Water and Food:
Water and food are provided but are very basic and sometimes you can repeat the same food for days so bring extra food or snacks in case the food is not your favorite.
7. Be strong and be prepared:
For an unforgettable adventure and astonishing views!!!