15 best Ethiopian sights

Review of the best according to the editors. About the selection criteria. The the material is subjective, is not advertising and is not serves as a guide to the purchase. Before purchase is needed consultation with a specialist.

Ethiopia is an East African country where they converged and left many cultural heritage. This is one of the first places where world religions came – Christianity and Islam – and they began confrontation. At the same time, a significant role was played by cultural Ethiopian identity and independence – not one of the religions was adopted unchanged. This unusual and controversial country preserved many cultural monuments on its territory, religious sites and other attractions.

Ethiopia Attractions

Nomination a place Object name Rating
Ethiopia Attractions 1 Axum 4.9
2 Fasil-Goebby Fortress 4.8
3 Lake Tana 4.8
4 Gorgora 4.7
5 Erta Ale Volcano 4.6
6 Symen National Park 4.5
7 Blue Nile Waterfalls 4.5
8 Lalibela Temple 4.5
9 Volcano dallol 4.4
10 Avash National Park 4.3
11 Abbe lake 4.2
12 Sof Omar Cave 4.1
13 Debre Damo 4.1
14 Temples of Geralt 4.0
15 Harer 4.0

Axum

Attraction Rating: 4.9

Axum

This quiet city in the north of Ethiopia is one of the main tourist attractions of the country. Axum is considered unofficial religious capital. It used to be the center Kingdom of Aksum, who ruled over the region starting from about 400 years BC. By the X century, this state has gradually lost its influence and gave way to modern Ethiopia.

The main monuments of the state that existed here are Aksumite steles, stone slabs of various sizes with attached to them are cast metal disks on which images are carved. It is believed that stelae marked the burial places of people.

In addition to stelae, among the attractions of this place is mention the church of St. Mary of Zion. Ethiopians say it is here that the ark of the Testament is stored – a portable box with stone The tablets of the Testament, where the commandments are written, the staff of Aaron and the vessel with manna.

Fasil-Goebby Fortress

Attraction Rating: 4.8

Fasil-Goebby Fortress

The main attraction of the Ethiopian city of Gondar is Fasil-Goebby Fortress, built in 1632. For about century here was the residence of the ruler of Ethiopia – the emperor lived inside Falisidas and his successors. The fortress is surrounded by a wall 900 meters, behind which are temples, palaces and monasteries. Architecture buildings has elements of Arabic and Indian styles, as well as baroque. The main buildings are Fasilidas Castle and Iyasu the Great Palace, who was the successor to Fasilidas. There are also three churches.

The buildings here are rich in history, many of them no longer preserved in its original form. In 1704, here a strong earthquake occurred that markedly damaged fortress. After the occupation by Italy, there were attempts to restore buildings, however, they were unsuccessful. In 1941 at Facil-Goebby Mussolini’s army was hiding, and the fortress was damaged by the British aviation. The complex is now recognized as a World Heritage Site. UNESCO, partially restored and open to tourists.

4 kilometers west of Fasil-Goebby Fortress is located Gonder’s other attraction is the Fasilidas baths. They are royal baths with a rather large pool, in the center of which is a two-story building – proper bath complex. Earlier rulers of the country swam here. Now the pool is only filled once a year to celebrate Baptism of the Lord.

Lake Tana

Attraction Rating: 4.8

Lake Tana

This lake is Africa’s largest freshwater reservoir. For him huge biodiversity is characteristic for conservation which created a biosphere reserve here. Lake and surrounding 217 species of birds inhabit the territory – cranes, pelicans, parrots and predators such as the screaming eagle. A few dozen live in the waters species of fish. Endemic on coastal areas medicinal plants, live hippos, hyenas, porcupines, monkeys and antelopes.

The lake is located in an ancient tectonic trough and has a very shallow depth – not more than one and a half meters. Locals engaged in fishing and farming, for a small fee they are ready arrange a tour of the lake. On some islands of the pond there are ancient Orthodox churches that were built starting from XIII century and survived to this day. Some of them restored, others are in disrepair. Are inside Christian relics – in other churches of Ethiopia they were not saved after the spread in the country of Islam.

Gorgora

Attraction Rating: 4.7

Gorgora

On the northern shore of Lake Tana is another Ethiopia’s attraction is the small town of Gorgor. He lies on the peninsula of the same name, south of Gonder. Earlier here the residence of the Jesuits was located – the “Old” Gorgor.

Also in the city is the famous Mandaba Monastery in Ethiopia. It is surrounded by a high wall, only men are allowed inside. Complete the abbot has power over 150 inhabitants of the monastery – he has the right to chain a disobedient monk in a chain. They also say that anyone who hides from persecution with side of the state or influential people if he calls in bell and will be allowed inside

You can also visit the old one, built in the 13th century, Debre Cena Church, and the ruined Portuguese monastery of the 16th century. The town of Gorgor is not included in the tourist routes. There is only separate tours where people are brought to him from Gonder.

Erta Ale Volcano

Attraction Rating: 4.6

Volcano Erta-Ale

This active volcano is located in the Ethiopian desert of Danakil, The nearest town is Makele. The name translates as “a mountain full of heat” – steam constantly rises from the vent, and eruptions regularly occur. The volcano has as many as two red-hot lava lakes in craters, which is considered extremely rare.

Erta Ale – an attraction “for an amateur”. To him not hiking trails laid, you have to get to the volcano by yourself. No barriers to rescue from Falls into the lava lake – the traveler must himself monitor his own security.

A tourist who visited Erta Ale will be impressed by the impressive and unusual species of the volcano, its black slopes and craters, from which emanates heat. He makes a special impression at night, when through the cracks in the slopes an orange light breaks from blazing inside lava lakes. You can take a piece of frozen lava – it is also suitable for gardeners to fertilize the earth.

Symen National Park

Attraction Rating: 4.5

Symen National Park

Symen is one of the most popular national parks in Ethiopia It is located in the Amhara region of northern Ethiopia. highlands where Symensky mountains are located, whose unique nature decided to save. The territory of the park is formed by a rocky massif, dissected by ravines and flowing streams, and plains, covered in grass. The highest mountain located here is Ras Dashen 4620 meters high – is also the highest point Ethiopia

Rare and endemic animals live in the park – Symenskaya fox, Ethiopian wolf, gelads – monkeys with blood red breasts. One of the main reasons for creating a protected area – the thousandth population Abyssinian goat, which does not live anywhere else in the world.

In Symen tourist routes are laid, there are guides ready accompany travelers. Those who are going on a hike in park, it is important to have clothes for different weather – on the plain it happens heat, and in the mountains the temperature sometimes drops to zero. Nearest The place where you can stay is the city of Debark.

Blue Nile Waterfalls

Attraction Rating: 4.5

Blue Nile Waterfalls

On the Blue Nile River, flowing through Ethiopia and Sudan, There is a cascade of waterfalls. The locals call them Tis-Ysat, which in translated from Amharic means “steaming water.” Fluid flows form a wall 100-400 meters wide and 37-45 meters high. The largest cascade is located on top of the waterfall, followed by somewhat small.

The power of the waterfalls has declined since the 60s, when on the river two hydroelectric power stations were located. However, even now they tourists admire their greatness. Often the sun refracting through water spray forms a rainbow here, which is especially loved taking pictures of travelers. In the gorge below waterfall, there is another attraction – ancient the bridge, which was built by the Portuguese missionaries in 1926.

Even the path to the Blue Nile Falls is interesting in its own way. The path to them passes through the Ethiopian jungle and leads along the mountain gorges.

Lalibela Temple

Attraction Rating: 4.5

Temple of Lalibela

Church of St. George – one of the monolithic churches in Ethiopia the city of Lalibela, created later than others and the most famous. Churches here were created in the 13th century. Their uniqueness is that they were not built like ordinary buildings. Temples were carved into volcanic tuff – stony rock formed by ash from eruptions and volcanic bombs.

The roof of the church of St. George is at the level of the earth surface, and the building itself merges with the rock from which it cut out. At the foot you can only be after passing through specially cut tunnel. Around the courtyard of the church – excavation pit going 12 meters deep. The temple has a cruciform form, arches, columns, windows are cut out in it. Inside there is one floor, twilight reigns there, as it breaks through the windows quite a bit of light. The walls are decorated with religious paintings. Topics.

Volcano dallol

Attraction Rating: 4.4

Volcano

In northeastern Ethiopia, near the border with Eritrea, another unusual volcano is located. Like Erta Ale he is in the Danakil desert. In Afar, the words “Dallol” means “dissolution”. This is the lowest volcano on earth: its peak is only 30 meters above the surrounding surface. Since the salt flats surrounding the volcano lie significantly below the level sea, its peak is at a negative height – minus 48 meters.

The landscape characteristic of Dallol is very specific and resembles surface of Io – satellite of Jupiter. Potassium, Manganese and Iron Salts color a wide volcanic crater in yellow, red and green colors. Thermal springs from inside are very hot and mineralized water. Due to the combination of heat and they are believed to be completely lifeless – even bacteria and archaea cannot stand such conditions.

A special volcano will require a special visit. equipment. First of all, these are waterproof heat-resistant shoes, protects the traveler’s feet from hot surfaces water Clothing should also be able to protect the skin from exposure. toxic salts arriving with spray. Due to the heat a lot of water – 8 liters per day per person. The best thing use the services of local tour operators organizing here excursions.

Avash National Park

Attraction Rating: 4.3

Avash National Park

In central Ethiopia, in the north of the Great Rift Valley Avash National Park is located. Most of its territory occupied by savannas, overgrown with acacia trees, shrubs and meadows in floodplains of rivers. The Avash River marks the southern boundary of the park. Along her channel narrow gallery grow forest forests.

The biodiversity in the park is huge. Especially a lot of birds here: them there are about 450 species, among which are storks, ostriches, bee-eaters, flytraps, pigeons and many others. Among mammals there are predatory cats – lions, leopards and serval, hyenas and jackals, hippos and wild pigs, antelopes and monkeys.

The park is open for tourists all year round. Work here guides, hiking trails laid, there are tent camps for those who stay for a few days. One of the main Attractions Avash – two-kilometer sleeping volcano Fantale. The last time he erupted in 1820 – this is still then resemble lava flows descending from the crater.

Abbe lake

Attraction Rating: 4.2

Lake Abbe

Abbe is a salt lake on the border of Ethiopia and Djibouti, fueled by fresh waters of the Avash river. The area around the reservoir is deserted, people almost do not live there. In the vicinity are unusual landscapes: limestone pillars and other bizarre forms, resembling a lunar landscape. It was here that the film “Planet” was shot monkeys. ”

The place here is very hot: even in winter the daytime temperature reaches 35 ° C, and night – 25 ° C, in the summer it can be up to forty and above. Despite its extreme aridity, the area around the lake populated by animals: in winter you can see flamingos, constantly inhabit Thompson’s gazelles, warthogs, camels and donkeys.

Getting to the lake is easier from the state of Djibouti: there paved road and there is a tourist base. To arrive possible on your SUV (a regular car doesn’t have enough patency for local roads) or taken at a travel agency. Near lakes you can admire a large colony of flamingos, limestone rocks and hot springs from the ground.

Sof Omar Cave

Attraction Rating: 4.1

Sof Omar Cave

Sof Omar – the longest cave in Ethiopia, is located in southeastern part of the country in the province of Bale. Nearest town, from which you can reach her – Rob, he’s about 120 more west km A wide river Web flows through the cave, originating in the mountains Bale. It drains the cave walls, forming an unusual natural picture.

There are 42 different entrances through which you can get inside. If the passage is located near the village, you can get inside only with a guide and for a fee – 100 birr (approximately 200 rubles). Inside the cave branches into many wide corridors, interspersed with galleries and halls. In some places there are columns remaining from the walls washed out by the river. At the entrance you can see monkeys and birds, and in the depths 9 different species of bats live.

The length of the tourist route is approximately half a kilometer. Previously, electric lighting worked here, but now travelers have to be content with their flashlights. Through the huge main entrance light penetrates quite far inland so that it’s completely dark in the cave.

Debre Damo

Attraction Rating: 4.1

Debre

To the west of the Ethiopian city of Adigrat is an ancient Christian monastery Debre Damo. He stands on a cliff on 2216 meters above sea level. The monastery arose in the XI century, during the existence of the kingdom of Axum. Monks live here to this day. day.

To get to the monastery, you need to climb the rope along a steep rock wall 15 meters high. The top of the cliff is flat, on it are located monastic huts, where about 200 live man, as well as the main temple, the bell tower and the chapel. Population completely male, women are not allowed in the monastery.

The main temple is composed of alternating layers of wood and stone. Inside the building is decorated with numerous frescoes. There are ancient religious books. By the beginning of the XX century, the temple was abandoned and began collapse, but later it began to be restored, and he fulfills its purpose now.

Temples of Geralt

Attraction Rating: 4.0

Temples of Geralt

Geralt district is located in Tigra – the northernmost of the regions Ethiopia Its main attraction is carved in stone. churches similar to the Lalibela temple, but much more ancient – they began create since the 5th century, from the very adoption of Christianity by Ethiopia. There is another group of buildings that arose where – in the XV-XVII centuries. These are critical parts of religious and cultural heritage. country.

Many of the churches are not just tourist ones. sights, but still valid religious facilities. Due to the fact that they were not built, but carved from stone, buildings were much more durable and resistant to the effects of time, than many other ancient structures. Inside you can see the ancient manuscripts and admire the unusual wall paintings. Besides the churches themselves, travelers are waiting for amazing landscapes and unique mountain landscapes.

Harer

Attraction Rating: 4.0

Harer

If Geralt is the place of Ethiopian Christianity, then the capital another common religion in the country – Islam – is considered a city Harer. It is also the commercial center of Ethiopia. Situated Harer on the eastern edge of the Ethiopian Highlands, at the top of the hill, in 1847 meters above sea level.

The city has a rich history. In the sixteenth century here the emirate is located, where the religious leaders had real power – imams. In 1527, one of the local rulers, Ahmed ibn Ibrahim al-Ghazi declared war on Christian Ethiopia. He managed to capture part of the country’s territory, however, later, after the death of the imam, Ethiopians recaptured them back. Further, the emirate lasted a few more centuries until it was conquered by the Egyptians in 1875, and through several decades became part of Ethiopia.

The most significant sights of Harer are local mosques. There are quite a lot of them – only the old city, surrounded by fortress wall, has at least 87 religious buildings. You can also visit the house of the French poet Arthur Rimbaud, who lived here in recent years.

At night, you should be wary of hyenas roaming the streets of Harer. Local residents believe that predators “patrol” the city, protecting people from thieves. Because they do not fight with these wild animals, and constantly three flocks roam in Harer.


Attention! This rating is subjective, is not advertising and does not serve as a guide to the purchase. Before the purchase consultation with a specialist is necessary.

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