Ethiopia is Africa’s oldest independent country and is home to 31 species of mammal, as well as being one of the avian centres of the globe. The country is also home to some magnificent architecture, a rugged range of alpine peaks, and a blend of culture and history that ensures that Ethiopia offers a rich and varied African adventure for explorers.
From the medieval site at Lalibela, to the baroque-style royal residences at Gondor, to the cultural terraces of Konso highlands, over a millennium of Christian history has shaped Ethiopia’s cultural fabric. Some of the world’s oldest churches can be found on the islands of Lake Tana, while at Axum (home of the Queen of Sheba) the giant, granite obelisks prove even the most ancient architecture is phenomenal.
Ethiopia’s mountains are inhabited with myriad wildlife, including the Ethiopian wolf, walia ibex and gelada baboons, all of which are unique to the country. Both the Bale and the Simien Mountains are worth the attention of any keen explorer.
Bale National Park is a mixture of alpine peaks and dusty plains, and first-time visitors would be forgiven for mistaking it for the set of a Western movie. Exploring on horse-back is advisable, especially riding the Sanetti Plateau as the sun rises.
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