• Gelada Baboon

  • Lalibela

  • Bale Mountain

  • Nile Fall

  • Fassiledes

  • Omotic Peoples

  • Dallol

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Historical sites

Harar and Dire Dawa

Harar Gate

The walled city of Harar, the commercial town of Dire Dawa and Awash National Park are the main attractions along the eastern route. The walled city of Harar is situated amid green mountains on the eastern escarpment of the great Rift Valley. Founded in the early days of Islamic expansions in Africa, Harar has been an important center of political power and base for Islamic cultures and influence. Today, visitors stepping in the walled city of Harar will be met by the Harari people, a unique nationality of Semitic origin with its own language and distinctive culture offering a natural and aged blend of African, Arabian and Oriental elements. Other places of interest are the house of French poet and eccentric Arthur Rimbaud, rich and colorful markets and the hyena-man performance at early night every day when a man feeds his 'wild friends' - the hyenas.

Lalibella: A new Jerusalem


King Lalibela, Later canonized, ruled a couple of centuries after the downfall of the Axumite Kingdom. Carving of the 11 monolithic rock churches in the remote area which now bears his name, and which have been labeled as wonders of the world was done during his reign (1181 - 1221) in pursuit of his ambition to build a new Jerusalem in Ethiopia.


The first European ever to see the churches of Lalibela was the Portuguese priest Francesco Alvarez (5120's) who came to Ethiopia in the hope of converting the Ethiopians into Roman Catholicism. He wrote a factual description of the marvel he had seen, and added '' it worried me to write more of this work, because it seems to me they will not believe me if I write more." Hewn out of rock, the churches of Lalibela are still places of active service and host the most sacred ceremonies of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church.

Gondar: 17th Century Castles and Churches

Ethiopia Gondar Fassiledes

The 17th century capital of the Ethiopian Empire harbors a number of castle like palaces unique in sub- Saharan Africa. Emperor Fasiledes (-1632 - 1667) first built these imposing structures of stone and this tradition was followed by a number of his successors whose buildings greatly enhanced the city's grandeur.

Axum: Ancient and Sacred City

Ethiopia Axum Obelisk

The site of Ethiopia's old capital. Here, it is said, the Queen of Sheba lived and her son - Menilik I, the fruit of her sojourn with King Solomon is supposed to have been born. It is believed still to shelter the true Ark of the Covenant which Menelik I and his companions had taken form the temples of Jerusalem. Today, you will find 'sky scraper' monolithic stelae carved and erected some 2000 years ago from single piece of granite. You will also see ruins of ancient royal palaces, tombs of kings, the bath of the Queen of Sheba, the old and new St. Mary's churches

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