History-
Ethiopia or immediately recalled by its ancient name, Abyssinia is indeed an old nation and one among few countries in the world endowed with long historical time depth.  According to legend, the history of this land has traced back to as far beyond 3000 years ago, just as the same era as king Solomon of Israel and queen Sheba of Ethiopia, both ruled their kingdoms in the general part of 10th century BC. The son of the two elites Menilik the 1st, said to have founded the other longest monarch in the world known as the Solomonic dynasty, finally came to an end in 1974. While recorded documents are claiming that the history of Ethiopia has had started in about 8th century BC, after the coming of Semitic people from south Arabia to the country’s northern highlands and settled along the region of Red Sea. This people then culturally blended with the local Cushitic people and set up the first political entity called, the Da’mat state with its capital at Yeha. Today of course, Yeha is known for its ancient ruins of moon temple structure on which one of the south Arabian diets, Illmuqah used to be worshiped. Afterwards, Ethiopia came to a new millennium through the famous Axumite Empire that was flourished in about the 1st century BC. During this period, Ethiopia reached to its zenith in ancient civilizations that significantly existed for at least 7 or more centuries. Today the city of Aksum is noted for an age-old relics: such as under ground tombs, giant rock steles, coins of gold, silver and bronze, the church of St. Mary of Zion (the focal point of Ethiopian orthodox religion where the original Ark of the covenant believed to have rested) and more. Then due to internal and external factors, like military weakness and spread of Islamic religion in areas of the Middle East, undermined the commercial as well as economical supremacy of Aksum over the Red Sea and beyond. This made the Axumite state to be replaced by the new Zagwey dynasty in the 12th century. By many historians, a century between the fall of Aksum and the coming of the Zagwey dynasty is still mentioned as the darkest period of Ethiopia due to lack of information and obscurity of events performed on that day. The Zagwey dynasty was the other well-structured political power ruled the country from 1137-1270 by moving the central government from Aksum to Adafa, in Lasta region. Few of its rulers were highly skilled on mason works that cut churches form a living rock. King Lalibela, 1181-1221, was one among them and was the most remarkable king in the Zagwey rulers who chiseled out 11 sanctuaries at his capital, Roha. Because of this, Ethiopia orthodox religion has ordained him as a Saint, and his churches are still active worshiping centers where thousands of pilgrims are travelling there through out the year. Especially on the 6 or 7 of January when the annual festival of Ethiopian X-Mas is being observed. Ethiopia had also gone through the medieval period mainly characterized by a series of Muslim- Christian wars that devastated much of the country’s historical and religious antiquities. During this period, no more significant civilizations had revealed in the country. But in general, religious paintings and Ge’ez literatures were extremely developed. The medieval period finally substituted by the Gonderian state in about the 1st quarter of the 17th century and had been lasted up until the middle of 18th century. Gondar was its capital, located in the northwesterly part of the country. Art, music, religious teaching, commercial activities and building architectures were the main characteristics of this state. Its trade routes were extended as far as port Zeyla on the Indian Ocean; Port Massawa on the red sea and Port Sudan in the west. But, due to lack of royal secessions and power struggle between 2 local groups, Gondar was forced to be decline in favor of “the Era of princes or Judges” remained from 1667-1855. It was the most destructive Era in Ethiopian history for it had scrambled the country in to several regional states. This made Ethiopia to lose its national identity for at least a period of one century. However in about the middle of 19th century, the pioneer emperor Tewodros 1855-65 established modern political system in his kingdom. Then this modernization was strongly continued by the next 3 successive kings: – Emperor Yohannes the 4th, king Menelik the 2nd and Emperor Hailessilase the 1st, (the last emperor in the Solomonic line who was deposed by the communist party or Derg in 1974). Since 1991, Ethiopia started to follows a federal political system and is divided in to 9 regional states based on language and ethnic distributions.

 

Travel Insurance is the most essential personal document during a trip to Ethiopia. This is to secure your journey if in case you loose your luggage or theft belongings and flight delay. For that, Our Company always recommends travelers to hold their travel insurance.

Visa is a mandatory document for any one who wants to travel or stay in Ethiopia. It could be obtained from the country where Ethiopian embassies, consular and diplomatic mission offices are existed. For travelers of exceptional countries listed in here under, visa can be claimed up on arrival at Bole international Airport, Addis Ababa. France, Germany, Greek, Ireland, Belgium, Argentina, Canada, China, Denmark, Finland, Brazil, Italy, Japan, Republic of Korea, Israel, Kuwait, Luxemburg, Mexico, Poland, Norway, Netherlands, Portugal, Russia, Sweden, Spain, South Africa, Taiwan, Switzerland, and United States of America.

Air: ET/Ethiopian airline is the sole air service provider in the country owned by the government with its hub at Bole international airport. It started rendering services since the 1950s using “Douglas C-47 Sky-train” aircrafts. From then and on this airline has been playing a major role by connecting African nations one from the other. Now a day, ET is one of the best airlines systems in the continent providing an outstanding cargo and passenger services to customers. It is a very well established airline equipped with an up to the minute aircrafts including the latest Air Bus, Boing 787 and so on. Of course, Bombardiers are also serving for local and neighboring countries flight sectors.
Car: Travelers who are in need of more to see are advised to travel by car for it enable them more time to experience the culture, nature, tradition, landscape life style of the local community and more. There are a variety of vehicles that can be suite with the condition of our roads. Mostly we using 4×4 land cruisers for long trips, such as: Omo valley, Surma, Gambela regions, Danakil Depressions, Bale and rift valley regions. In addition, Buses are available for the city tours; Northern historic routes or in general for the drive held on tar roads. Besides, pack animals are also using as a means of transportations in areas no more road accessibility.
Road conditions: Except few areas, road conditions in Ethiopia these days are all in good standards and are covered by tarmac. More than 3000 kms roads are upgraded from gravel to range standards,
Drivers: drivers who are in the hospitality sector are very much efficient and well oriented to the business. Most of them have long years of experience in the field and do their job skillfully.

Ethiopia is a GMT+3 time zone following the Julian calendar. The year is divided in to 13months.  The 12 months each have 30 equal days, but the last or the 13th month that we call it “Pagumen” has 5 or 6 days based on the leap year. Each year also assigned by the 4 Gospels; Mathew, Mark, John and Luke. Like the year of Mark the year of Mathew and on.

Indeed, vaccination for yellow fever must be taken and you are required to have the certificate of it. You are highly recommended to take medicines against malaria. Especially when you plan to travel in lowland areas and rift valley regions of Ethiopia where malaria is an endemic, you must come with medicine and start taking it a week time before your trip. You need also advised to carry with you medical kits against injures, diarrhea. Headache, dehydration, fever, sunburn, insect bites, etc.

About more than 83 ethnic groups who speak their own language in 200 dialects are existed in Ethiopia. These languages are categorized in to two major branches such as, the Afro Asiatic and Nilo-Saharan. The Afro Asiatic is the leading one and covers almost all parts of the country while the Nilo-Saharan is only limited to the south and southwestern part of Ethiopia. Of which more than 50% of the total tribal collections are found in the Omo valley and southwestern regions. Three main languages such, as Amharic and Tigregna form the Semitic family and Oromifa from the Cushitic groups are widely spoken by the maximum population. Amharic is the National language of the state and English is used next to it. Few people also speak French, Italian, German Arabic and Spanish.

Harar– is an ancient Islamic city with a unique cultural and historical significance. Its time depth has dated back to the end of 10th century AD, which was after the arrival of Muslim traders in the region through port Zeyla Berbera and Gulf of Aden. Harar reached to its atop between the 14th and the 16th centuries. Mostly by the time of its Amir, Ahmed Ibn Ibrahim Algazi or locally known as Gragne Mohamed, the left-handed, 1520-1543. Between 1875 to 1885, Harar became a part of the Christian Empire since king Menillik the 2nd in 1887 defeated the last Emir. The city is home for the Harari people who follow Islamic religion, even though the Oromo, Amhara and other tribes are living in it. Harar is considered to be as the 3rd holiest Muslim city in the world next to Mecca, and Medina. There are about more than 99 mosques and shrines in the city.  Besides, the high-fortified wall that surrounds the city is the other symbol of Harar.

The rift valley region- Ethiopia is so unique in geographical setting. The Rift valley region, which is a part of the great east African rift system is one of the country’s geological features formed by the intense tectonic activities during the Cenozoic Era, some 65 millions years ago. It could be noted form space lying between Syria to Mozambique and passing through some countries of Asia, Middle East and Africa as well. Of which Ethiopia takes the maximum range of it. The Ethiopian rift valley region is mainly characterized by a unique bio-diversities and a magnificent landscape that hosts one of the lowest point on earths surface Know as “Dallol or Danakil Depression, Erta’ale, an active volcanic summit and the Sanatie plateau, the 2nd highest peak in Ethiopia. In addition, a number of National Parks, Lakes, rivers and hot springs are also plentifully existed in these environs.  Parks like: – Bale mountains, Awash, Abijata-shalla Lakes, Nechi-Sar, Mago, Omo National parks and Lakes: – Abijata, Salla, Ziway, Langano, Awassa, Abaya, Chamo and so on. More over, Ethiopian rift valley system has proven to be as the site of extraordinary archaeological discoveries of human ancestors. A place called HADAR, in Afar Region is the birthplace of man kind where LUCY, an oldest Hominid fossil, about 3.2million years old was discovered.

The Afar depression -The northeastern part of Ethiopia is geographically encompasses the landmass of the “Afar depression”, which is one of the hottest, arid and inhospitable parts on the earth. It lies with in the Ethiopian rift valley system with an altitude of  (-120mbsl) and is mainly characterized by a unique geological and archaeological features where the Afar triangle has formed or the three tectonic plates such as: – Arabian, African and Somalia plates are converged. It is a region on which saline lakes, active volcanic movements, minerals of different kinds like; sulfuric acids, potash, salt and so on are to be found. The Afar people are the only permanent inhabitants of this area and are dessert nomadic societies; depend on herding livestock and small irrigational-agriculture along the Awash River banks. They have no any sedentary way of life and move place to place in search of water and grazing land for their cattle. Animal products, Meat and Milk are their every day dishes.

Ertale– meaning a firing mountain, by the local Afar language, is a lava summit rising about 613 masl, with a volcanic crater at its peak. It is one of a mind-blowing place on earth’s surface where an active geological movement has still been experiencing within an elliptical area of 0.7 X 1.6 mts in diameters, 50mts in depth and 100mts in total surface. It is the most adventurous tourist circuit in Ethiopia, which covers a time of one week by trekking and driving through the challenging desert.

Dallol /the Danakil depression: – is located with in the Afar depression just North East of Ethiopia, at an altitude of roughly from -120 to -135mbsl, which is rich in mineral deposits like: – potash in the form of Sylviet, CarnPllite, Kainite; sulfur acid, salt, fumaroles deposits and thermal spring. Lake Asale, a saline lake that lies on a flat surfaced salt-plain is a place where a rectangular Salt Bars are extracted and transported to the highland regions using big numbers of Camel caravans Parks– Ethiopia has a no of national parks featuring its own faunal and floral distributions. How ever the standard of these parks are not compared with that of Kenya, Tanzania, South Africa, Botswana and so on, who have rich biodiversities.
Many of our N parks are concentrated in the rift and Omo valley regions of Ethiopia following the Acacia woodland vegetations, though few are located in the north, south west and south east of the country. Tourists frequently visit the Semin Mountains, Bale and Nechisar NPs. This is b/c of their accessibility and rich wildlife composition for they shelter endemic and non-endemic animals.

NB- the programs to visit those parks are mostly done in combined with other major routes.
The Omo valley– the region of Omo valley is under the Ethiopian rift valley system bounded with Kenya in its southern session. To explore an exceptional African culture and traditions with in a certain spatial boundary, the lower Omo valley region is the right place in the continent. This region encompasses from a site of an earliest settlement of ancient hominids, known as Australopithecus abyssinicus, 2.7myo up to the present unique tribal collections who still intact with their own indigenous way of life. About more than 18 ethnic groups, classified in to 4 different language families are living with in this territory. To mention but some are: – the Hammer, Mursi, Karo, Konso, Bume, Dassanech, Surma people, and more.

The west and southwester region of Ethiopia– This part of Ethiopia has both Nature, culture and medieval history lasted from the 14th up to the 19th C.  The road passes through a wonderful landscape covered with montage forest vegetations, Mountain escarpments of western high lands, plateau, river gorges and valleys. The region of Kaffa where Ethiopian coffee first discovered is located under this route. Even today the maximum coffee production of the country comes from there. However, the main reason for travelling this part of Ethiopia is to see those unique ethnic groups who are living form southwest of lower Omo valley up to the border of south Sudan in the west. Some of them are: – The Dize, Me’en, Surma, Nuer, Agnnuak, Gambella and so on.

Coffee, Ethiopia’s gift to the world- Is a shrub like tree belongs to a Rubiaceae plant species mostly grows in a tropical region on a fertile and damp soil types. Coffee prefers to be cultivated at an average altitude of 1100 to 2100masl with enough rainfall reaching up to 1500mlts-2500mlts. The region Kafa form which the name coffee derived is the best place where an abundant production of coffee has come. Of course, it also grows in central, southeast, north and southwest high lands of the country. There is no any scientific evidence that testifies when, how and by who coffee was discovered. But local tradition holds that a certain Goat herder named Kaldi, lived many years ago in the western highlands of Ethiopia, said to have credited with the discovery of coffee. He, once had been gathering his flocks in a pasture, noticed unusual behavior of excitement on his goats that made him confused for a while. But in the end he traced the reason and knew that they ate wild Red Berries in the nearby forest. Then he plucked the beans and took some home to show his wife. He told her what he had seen on the goats after they ate from them. She was amazed at by the incidents and advised him to take them to the monastery where monks were living for she feared they could be Devil’s sent. Kaldi took the beans to the monastery and gave them to the monks after narrated the same story he already had told to his wife. Then the monks were astonished too and reached on a similar opinion likes that of Kald’s wife and decided as they were truly Devil’s sent. Then they threw the beans in to a burning fire. The berries began to be roasted and smoke came out from the fire. The monks smelled a nice aroma from it. After a while, they started an all night long church service and finished the procession with no bleary-eyed. They were surprised and tried to investigate the secret why they had such a strange feeling. In the end they came across the fact that it has been the coffee scent they smelled the other day. From then and on, they declared it should be used legally by drying, roasting, grinding and boiling the berries for their stimulating drink. After all this processes, coffee had traveled across the Red Sea to Yemen and South Arabia and obtained its modern name as “Coffee Arabica” which today the aroma and flavor of it overwhelming the whole world.

People

The Hamer people – The Hamers occupy a territory that stretches from the plains of lower Omo Valley in the west up to the rift valley region of Chew Bahir in the east. They are cattle herders with a small agricultural activities producing mainly sorghum and maize/ corn. The Hamner are grouped under the east Cushitic language families, which is similar to their neighboring, Karo, Dassanech and the Erbore tribes. They are known by age passage rite known as the Bull jumping ceremony which is accompanied by and evening dance of young girls and boys called Evangadi dance. On the ceremony, girls are attired themselves with goatskin clothes simmered with butter and jewelries of iron, bronze ringlets and bracelets.

The Mursi people – The Mursi people are living in the lower Omo Valley, east of Omo and west of Mago national parks, just in the southwest of Ethiopia. They are group in the Nilo-Saharan language family, which is similar to Surma people. Their main subsistence activity is pasturing and small agriculture during the main rainy seasons and flood-retreat cultivation along the Omo and Mago River banks. The Mursi young men are famous for rite of age passage initiation called Dueling or stick fighting ceremony going on between 2 clans for which the winner marry his sister. Female are also known for lip-plate insertion during their puberty as a sign of beauty. Meaning the bigger plate a girl inserted on her lip is the most beautiful one   who is needed by men for marriage with big number of cattle dowries.

The Karo people – are grouped under the Omotic language family. They occupy the eastern side of the Omo River with in three main villages: Dus, Korcho, and Labuk. Dus is the largest, ritual and ceremonial village of them. They are cattle followers and subsistence agriculturalists that produce cereals along the bank of the Omo River. The Karo shares the same age passage ritual ceremony with their neighbor Hamer people. Both men and women are mainly known for their body painting and scarification cultures to beautify themselves.

The Erbore people –The multilingual Erbore people are living south of the Woito valley or north of Lake Stephanie. They are clustered under the east Cushitic language groups occupying two regions, one from Borena and the other from Dassanetch. The Erbore speaks different languages like Arbore itself, Hamer, Oromiffa and Tsemay. They have an active age-group system, which effectively mobilize them for taking action and carry out important ritual and economic functions. Both men and women undergo a series of age set ceremonies through a length of nine-years time. Among the Omo valley tribes, the Erbore people are subsistence Agro- pastoralists with some time fishing and apiculture activities. In tradition wise, they are well known for body painting and beadwork decorations.

The Surma People– is living in southwestern Ethiopia stretching from the lower Omo valley up to the border of south Sudan. They are grouped under the Nilo-Saharan language family with a number of not more than 10,000 people. The Surma people have certain cultural similarities with their neighboring Mursi people. Young girls are piercing their lower lip and insert a wooden or clay-made plates/discs. Men are also passing through a ritual ceremony of stick fighting ceremony known as “Dueling”, which is similar to the Mursi tribes. This tradition makes the young men to pass form young hood to an adult one. They are agro-pastoralists who practice small agriculture to produce maize, sorghum and other cereals. Cattles are the main economic source of the society besides expressing one’s economical status in the community. From the cattle, they get meat, milk and blood for their daily diet and skin for their clothing.

The Nyangatom people- are grouped in the Nilo-Saharan language family with a total number of not more than 10,000 heads in the Ethiopian territory and probably are the smallest of all tribes in Omo valley region. They occupy the land located immediately south of Omo N. Park and out bounded with Kenya in the south as well as south Sudan in the west. Their territory in Ethiopia is also shard with Kwegu and Mursi people in the north, Karo and Hamer people in the east and Dassaanech in the south. They depend on Agro-pastoral activities, cultivating sorghum and maize along the Kibish and Omo rivers basins. Cattle rearing, fishing, hunting and forest honey collecting are also practiced among them. Like other tribes in the region, physical appearance is vey much important in the Nyangatom people. They use scarification, ornamentation and various types of hairstyles. Women in this society are known for using an enormous bead necklace and red ochre on their hairdo. Both men and women insert needle like ornament in their lower lip made from ivory, aluminum and wooden objects. Men also use delicately colored clay made head-caps decorated with Ostrich feather.

The Agnnuak people- Approximately, they are about 100,000 people living in western Ethiopia along the Baro River, which is bordered with south Sudan. Geographically, they share both from Ethiopia and Sudan territories but the maximum are living in Ethiopia, Gambella region. They speak the Nilo-Saharan language family, which is the same as the adjoin societies. The Agnnuak people are permanent farmers who settled in certain area and practice subsistence agriculture. Crops like, sorghum, maize and corn are the main production of them. After harvesting, fishing is also another activity of this group over the Baro River, rich in Tilapia, cat and golden fishes. In addition, cattle are very important in the society for dowry and other basic needs. Like many of the tribes in Omo valley region, the Agnnuak’s are polygamous society in which men can have more wives as far as he can pay cattle for dowry. Both the Men and Women are known with doted scars on their faces for adornment purposes. Tobacco smoking is very common among the group using different pipes made from bamboo trees.

The Nuer people- Like the Agnnuak, the Nuers are occupying the territory of Ethiopia and south Sudan. The Ethiopian Nuers are living in the western plains of Gambella region following the Baro River and its tributaries. They are approximately 60,000 people grouped under the Nilo-Saharan language family. They are cattle breeders but as an addition they also have small farmlands for their sorghum, maize and other productions. Fishing and hunting are also another activities of them. The Nuers are sharing some ritual elements with the Agnuak tribes like, circumcision and extraction of the 4 lower incisors during puberty. The main distinctive feature of the Nuer men is the 6 linear scars on their forehead to show the passage form a boy to adult hood social age system. This practice started around the age of 14 with big celebrations. Women also have doted scars on their faces for beautifying purpose and to be selected among the girls for marriage

Yeha- is a small settlement but having a great significance in Ethiopian history on which state formation was started. It had been served as the capital of the Da’mat state flourished in about the 4th century BC. Because of various archeological discoveries in the village and near by areas, Yeha is considered to be as the main center of ancient Ethio-Sabina culture. Now a days, the ruin of the 12mts high moon temple structure, the small museum that shelters an age-old religious books and other pre Aksumite artifacts; like the dreadlocked woman statue (fertility indication), bronze materials, stone inscriptions and different clay works, made it to be a place of antiquity. Yeha was a city where ancient South Arabian deity, Illmuqah was worshiped for several centuries, how ever since the 6th century AD, the area has been completely changed in to a Christiania worshipping site where the church of Aba/father Aftse, one of the nine Syrian saints is now standing.

Aksum- Aksum in general is called the genesis of ancient Ethiopian civilization and center of Christianity. The town of Aksum was existed much earlier than the Aksumite Empire and goes back to the Stone Age periods. Meaning the Aksumite state was founded later in the 2nd half of the first century BC. It was served as the hub of trade, agriculture, politics and religion of the dynasty. The history of Aksum has witnessed by the greatest achievements of important antiquities flourished during its golden ages. These are like, potteries, iron and bronze materials, coins of gold, silver, bronze; under ground tombs, steles, ruin of palaces, stone inscriptions and so on. In addition to this, Aksum is considered to be as one of the leading Christian shrines in Ethiopia where the original Ark of the Tabernacle has believed to be sheltered. Port Adolis which was located on the Red Sea coast was the main Aksumites trade route that connected Aksum to the Roman Empire and Mediterranean regions. Such as: – ancient China, Persia, Greek, Turkey, Rome and India. The Aksumite state in general, reached to its climax in between the 3rd and 6th Centuries then start to decline in about the beginning of 8th Century AD, finally went in to decay in the most part of 10th Century.

The Afar depression -The northeastern part of Ethiopia is geographically encompasses the landmass of the “Afar depression”, which is one of the hottest, arid and inhospitable part on the earth. It lies with in the Ethiopian rift valley system with an altitude of  (-120mbsl) and is mainly characterized by a unique geological and archaeological features where the Afar triangle has formed or the three tectonic plates such as: – Arabian, African and Somalia plates are converged. It is a region on which saline lakes, active volcanic movements, minerals of different kinds like; sulfuric acids, potash, salt and so on are to be found. The Afar people are the only permanent inhabitants of this area and are dessert nomadic societies; depend on herding livestock and small irrigational-agriculture along the Awash River banks. They have no any sedentary way of life and move place to place in search of water and grazing land for their cattle. Animal products, Meat and Milk are their every day dishes.

Ertale– meaning a firing mountain, by the local Afar language, is a lava summit rising about 613 masl, with a volcanic crater at its peak. It is one of a mind-blowing place on earth’s surface where an active geological movement has still been experiencing within an elliptical area of 0.7 X 1.6 mts in diameters, 50mts in depth and 100mts in total surface. It is the most adventurous tourist circuit in Ethiopia, which covers a time of one week by trekking and driving through the challenging desert.

Dalol /the Danakil depression: – is located with in the Afar depression just North East of Ethiopia, at an altitude of roughly from -120 to -135mbsl, which is rich in mineral deposits like: – potash in the form of Sylviet, CarnPllite, Kainite; sulfur acid, salt, fumaroles deposits and thermal spring. Lake Asale, a saline lake that lies on a flat surfaced salt-plain is a place where a rectangular Salt Bars are extracted and transported to the highland regions using big numbers of Camel caravans.

The Geraltha churches- The rock-hewn churches of Gerealta are located over the Hawzien mountain ranges just about some 200kms across the northeastern direction of Aksum. The Hawzien region is rich in ancient rock churches and monasteries that had been very much far from human access for centuries. The area is marked by the most spectacular views in Ethiopia composed of an exceptional sand stone mountain escarpments, wider gorges and valleys that are extended as far many kilometers in distance, flat surfaced plains covered by trees of small shrubs and acacia woodland vegetation. Most of the Geraltha churches are cut from the face of a vertical rising rock pillars that high up to 4000mts and are spotted at the great summits of those skyline mountain chains. They are accessed by a sheer cliff terrines and quiet adventurous paths using rock handgrips and footholds. Especially: – the church of Mariam Korkor, Danel Korkor, Abune Yemat/Guh, Kidane Mehiret at Debre Tsion, Yohannies Mekuddi, are some of the few churches approached in that ways. They are still active liturgical worshiping centers and religious institutions of Ethiopian orthodox faith, intact with their original teaching and beliefs. The churches are decorated with mural and fresco paintings depicting scene from biblical lore. According to tradition, most of the sanctuaries are dated back to the 4th and 6 Centuries AD, while modern historical evidence has attested their ages much later in date between 13th and 14th Centuries.

Harar– is an ancient Islamic city with a unique cultural and historical significance. Its time depth has dated back to the end of 10th century AD, which was after the arrival of Muslim traders in the region through port Zeyla Berbera and Gulf of Aden. Harar reached to its atop between the 14th and the 16th centuries. Mostly by the time of its Amir, Ahmed Ibn Ibrahim Algazi or locally known as Gragne Mohamed, the left-handed, 1520-1543. Between 1875 to 1885, Harar became a part of the Christian Empire since the last Emir was defeated by king Menillik the 2nd in 1887. The city is home for the Harari people who follow Islamic religion, even though the Oromo, Amhara and other tribes are living in it. Harar is considered to be as the 3rd holiest Muslim city in the world next to Mecca, and Medina. There are about more than 99 mosques and shrines in the city.  Besides, the high-fortified wall that surrounds the city is the other symbol of Harar.

The Semin mountains national park- Geographically, Ethiopia is mainly characterized by magnificent mountain ranges, massive escarpments, River valleys and gorges, flat toped alp plateau and plain landscape, lying from -120mbsl to more than 4000masl. This topography made Ethiopia to be called the roof of Africa. The Semin Mountains are one of the most spectacular land formations not only in Ethiopia but also in the world located in the northern section of the country. Because of its exceptional landscape, natural scenic beauty and diversified faunal and floral distributions; it has been listed under UNSCO as a world heritage site and hosts the Semin Mountains National Park” which is distinguished by a dramatic mountain ranges, sharpened escarpments, remarkably steep cliff edges, high rising volcanic plunges and deep gorge structures. The park engulfs the highest peak in Ethiopia and the 4th highest summit in Africa known as mount Ras-Dashen, 4543masl. The Semin Mountains NP is truly home for a great number of endemic mammals in the country’s list. These are like, the Waliya Ibex, Ethiopian Wolf, Gelada Baboon and Minilik Bush Buck. Other species of Plants and Bird are also sheltered under the park’s range. Among the birds: – bearded vulture/ Lammergeyer, Egyptian vultures and plants of St. John’s worth, Hygniniea Abyssinica, giant lobelia, Erica Arboria are excess and common in the Park.

The rift valley- Ethiopia is so unique in geographical setting. The Rift valley region, which is a part of the great east African rift system is one of the country’s geological features formed by the intense tectonic activities during the Cenozoic Era, some 65 millions years ago. It could be noted form space lying between Syria to Mozambique and passing through some countries of Asia, Middle East and Africa as well. of which Ethiopia takes the maximum range of it. The Ethiopian rift valley region is mainly characterized by a unique bio-diversities and a magnificent landscape that hosts one of the lowest point on earths surface Know as “Dallol or Danakil Depression, Erta’ale, an active volcanic summit and the Sanatie plateau, the 2nd highest peak in Ethiopia. In addition, a number of National Parks, Lakes, rivers and hot springs are also plentifully existed in this environs.  Parks like: – Bale mountains, Awash, Abijata-shalla Lakes, Nechi-Sar, Mago, Omo National parks and Lakes: – Abijata, Salla, Ziway, Langano, Awassa, Abaya, Chamo and so on. More over, Ethiopian rift valley system has proven to be as the site of extraordinary archaeological discoveries of human ancestors. A place called HADAR, in Afar Region is the birthplace of man kind where LUCY, an oldest Hominid fossil, about 3.2million years old was discovered.

-Luggage- 20kg /passenger is free for local flight services but more than the limited kilograms would charge you an extra payment. Any backpack luggage is free in Ethiopian airline.
NB- Water is also allowed to carry with you while flying under Ethiopian airline.

Ethiopia is a landlocked nation since 1991and has no access for passengers by Sea in to the country, except cargo services through Djibouti. The only ways to land in the country as a passenger are by Car via Kenya in the south and Sudan in the northwest then by air as through Bole international Airport.

Most of Ethiopia’s meals are eaten using the five fingers of either right or left hands, not with forks, spoons or chopsticks. Especially “Injera. ”Injera is a flat sour spongy like slim bread made from an indigenous tiny cereal called “Teff or Eragrostis teff” and is a steeple traditional meal of the maximum people. It could be served in many ways; like with meat, with Bean or pea soup, chickpea stew or with dairy products. In addition, “Doro Wot or Chicken soup” is a national stew that usually be served with Injera.

Beverages like Tella (brewed from the fermentation of Cereals like, Barley, Sorghum, Maize, Finger millet with Malt and Hops/rhmmus pyramid;

Teje/ Honey wine (made from Honey, hoops, water and malt).

Araki, local Jin or Ouzo like drink prepared by distillation system are also widely used by the local communities.

Coffee – Ethiopia is a birthplace of coffee where organic beans are plucked in a forest. There is a special coffee ceremony almost all parts of the country like the Japanese have their own tea ceremony.

 the land formation of Ethiopia is largely the result of the Cenozoic era or quaternary periods formed by the intense tectonic and volcanic activities held some 65 millions years ago. This in turn made the country to have different topographical features raging from the lowest point at the Danakil depression (-120 mebsl) up to the highest peak of mount Dashen (4543 masl) in the Semin Mountains. The north, north-central and south- western highland regions of the country are mainly characterized by a mountainous and massif escarpments, elevated between 2000-4400meter above sea levels. While the east, south and south-central regions, which mostly encompass the Ethiopian rift valley system, has a lower landmasses ranging below 1000masl.

Ethiopia’s Economy is depend on agriculture mainly produced once in a year. This covers about 80% percent of the country’s total GDP with only about 20% is form trade and industry. Nomadic and Agro-pastoralist activities are also practiced in some parts of the country. Coffee, Oil seeds, skin and hide with live cattle export are the other main products that support Agriculture. Coffee is our main export cash crop and stands first. These days “Chat or Cat -Edulis” becomes important plant, made Ethiopia to earn a foreign currency from export. Somalia, Kenya, Djibouti, Yemen, Sudan are some of the countries in which “Chat “is exported.

Judaism – it has long root in Ethiopia. According to traditional history, the House of Israelis or the Black Jews came with the Ark of Covenant accompanying Menelik the first, the son of King Solomon and Queen Sheba in 10th B.C. That was the beginning of Judaism in Ethiopia. The House of Israelis used to live in Ethiopia up to the end of 20th century with their religion.

Christianity – first arrived during the time of apostles. But the conversion of the Axumite Dynasty took in 4th century AD. The expansion of Christianity continued in 6th c when the nine saints from Syria and Greece arrived in Ethiopia. They translated bible from Greek language to Geez language. Geez is the ancient language of Ethiopia. It is now only used in the church chants, writing manuscripts and liturgy. The nine saints also expanded Christianity and founded monasteries. These monasteries are widely visited now a day. During the medieval period of Ethiopia Christianity reached its golden age. Currently about 45% of Ethiopians are Orthodox religion followers.

Islam – a group of the first Moslem (the followers of Prophet Mohammed including his daughter and two of his future wives) made their way to Ethiopia in 615 AD. The Moslem population covers about 35% in the country. Many of them live in East, North East, and South East of the country.

Wakeffana – it is the belief of Oromo society in one God (waqa) in some areas. Traditional beliefs – includes worshiping rivers, deities, mountains, etc. It still exists in the country.

The name of Ethiopia’s currency is called BIRR, consists of both paper-notes and coins with a category of 1,5,10,50,100 Birr notes and 5,10,25,50,1birr cents. Travelers can carry with them any amount of their local money and changed it in Hotels, Banks or any authorized dealers at Bole international airport or in Addis Abeba or major cities in the country.

Communication service is now at its encouraging stage, even though not well developed as the other world. Mobile/Cell phone, cable Telephone, Internet, Fax, face-book, Skype services are available almost in all parts of the country. Road facilities are also in a better condition. Big and small towns are connected through gravel and tarmac roads with more than 35,000km coverage. Now Ethiopia has restarted again light rail transportation service in Addis Abeba and across to Djibouti even so this program is still on the process of connecting major cities with the capital and neighboring countries with Ethiopia.

As Ethiopia is one of the best tourist destinations in Africa, hotels, lodges; resort centers are being opened in all corners of tourist destinations. In Addis Abeba accommodations are in excess for it is a seat of local and international organizations, like: African union, Economic Commission for Africa, United Nation, Embassies and Consulates of different countries in the glob. World class Hotels, such as: Sheraton, Hilton, Mariot international, Radison Blu and on are opened their branches in Addis Abeba.
Souvenirs/gift article shops– Souvenirs are in abundant across every tourist destinations from streets venders up to big shops owners. In the historic route, crosses, parchments, religious and historical antiquities are common. While in the Omo valley region, tribal collections including: beads, shells, decorative materials and wooden artifacts are displayed for sale. For modern gold and silver jewels, Addis Abeba, Piazza area is best for you can find a variety of selections. There are custom restrictions to take out souvenirs from the country, to mention but few are, Ivory, Elephant tusk, unprocessed material, historical and religious objects
When to go– As Ethiopia enjoys 13 months of sunshine, traveling to the country can be held all year round but for those season oriented travelers from September -February is the best time to explore major festival on the way. Such as:- Meskel (the finding of the true cross) on the 27th of September, held all over the country but in Addis Abeba is very colorful; Ethiopian X mass ( the festival of Gena) falls on the 6 or 7 of Jan, and colorfully observed in Lallibela, Ethiopian Epiphany (Timket festival) on the 19 or 20th of Jan observed all most all parts of the country however in Gondar is so magnificent.
Parks- Ethiopia has a no of national parks featuring its own faunal and floral distributions. How ever the standard of these parks are not compared with that of Kenya, Tanzania, South Africa, Botswana and so on, who have rich biodiversities.
Many of our N parks are concentrated in the rift and Omo valley regions of Ethiopia following the Acacia woodland vegetations, though few are located in the north, south west and south east of the country. Tourists frequently visit the Semin Mountains, Bale and Nechisar NPs. This is b/c of their accessibility and rich wildlife composition for they shelter endemic and non-endemic animals. The programs to visit those parks are mostly done in combined with other major routes.
Tipping- In Ethiopia there is no formal regulation or law that has been clearly mentioned to pay or not paying tip. It is up to the client/s who generously do it based on the degree of satisfaction that he/she received from the service providers. But in general, people who are working in the hospitality business are expecting tip for the service they offer. In fact, some travel companies have their own tipping systems dealt with their customers. So, it is much better to discuss with your local agent for more in formations.

Because of its proximity to the Equator, Ethiopia experiences all types of climates from cold to hot and mild to warm. There are 4 seasons with 5 climatic zones in the year. We call: –

-Summer the rainy season, prevails from June to September;

-Spring comes from September to December.

-Winter the dry season, runs from January to March.

-Autumn, from April to June.