Rock on in Ethiopia

Ethiopia has a treasure trove of sites to entice travellers seeking experiences off the beaten track with UNESCO World Heritage sites, national parks and cultural activities.

For natural beauty and wildlife experiences, visit the national parks in the Simien and Bale Mountains where Gelada monkeys, birds and ibex can be spotted.

Historic sites don’t come much better than the rock-hewn churches of Lalibela and the castles in Gondar. Lalibela has 11 churches with the most impressive being Bete Giyorgis (St George) – carved entirely out of a single block of granite, while in Gondar, the royal compound is a permanent fixture on most tours. The Erta Ale Volcano is spectacular, and on a tour of the Omo Valley you might visit one of the tribes that call this area home.

Bird lovers will be keen to visit the lakes dotted along the floor of the Rift Valley, while in the north, 3,000-year-old Aksum has monolithic obelisks, royal tombs and castles dating back to the reign of the Queen of Sheba.

To experience one of Ethiopia’s greatest cultural experiences, visit during Timkat, the Ethiopian Epiphany, on the 19th January each year.

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