Intro: Ethiopia


The cradle of mankind – one of the labels of Ethiopia. This label is because of the archeological discovery of our oldest ancestor Lucy; because of Lucy, Ethiopia is well-known as THE place on earth where human life started.

However, Ethiopia is also well-known for a lot of less positive matters. Famine is one of them. It was Bob Geldof who pointed that out to us in the 80s. The country also had some dictators - and one resulted in the other. Millions of people died.

Those times are behind us. Ethiopia is slowly but surely heading towards the light at the end of their tunnel. Tourism is on the increase, foreign NGOs are fighting to give a helping hand to the country they know from the Live Aid period and the Ethiopian people are taking a lot of new initiatives.

Tourism-wise the country does have a lot to offer - historically, culturally and naturally. Historically Ethiopia is not only the cradle of mankind, it also has a very solid orthodox Christian church with century old souvenirs. As such the country is the only one in the world with a completely different calendar than all other countries - you will be 7 years younger all of a sudden! The northern circuit is the richest in culture, with well-known names as Gondar, Axum en Lalibela.

Nature-wise Ethiopie has a bit of everything. Mighty mountain ranges like Simien Mountains and Bale Mountains, bizar deserts like Danakil, savannahs in the south and forests south of Addis. For game the country is not as equipped as Kenya, Tanzania and Botswana, but it does have some species which are very very rare - and relatively easy to see. Examples are the Gelada Baboon, the Mountain Nyala, the Simien Wolf and Meneliks Bushbuck.

Culturally the far south of the country is the place to be. In this region some nilotic tribes are living who seem to come straight out of prehistory. Best examples are the tribes from the Omo-region like the Mursi and the Harar.

Ethiopia is facing some prejudices as a travelling destination. I wouldn't recommend it as a first time destination in Africa, but otherwise it is a great country!

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