Welcome To Ethiopia
Safari In Ethiopia.
Ethiopia is a unique African country, which has been left out of the mainstream media since the defeat of the Derg in the 80’s, and the last drought which Bob Geldorf sought donor funding for relief for.
It is unique in Africa for several reasons. The northern two thirds of the country offer historical areas of interest found nowhere else. It is here that medieval castles still stand, from the 15th century and ancient Christian festivals attract 1000’s of worshippers annually.
The southern third of the country is a complete contrast, and is more recognizably African. South of Arbaminch, the tribes people still practice body painting, shave their heads and use natural paints and feathers for adornment. Some tribes women wear goat skin cloaks with exquisite beadwork, and proudly wear neck rings indicating their status, or painted gourds as head adornment. The women of the Mursi wear the famous enlarged lip plates in their lower lips, and the teenage boys paint themselves but wear no clothing.
There are some 27 different tribal groups here, but their lifestyles are changing rapidly!
The citizens comprise Coptic Christians, Ethiopian and European Christians. Moslems and a remnant of the Felasha jews are also found here. The ancient city of Harar in the east is primarily Moslem, and there is a high level of religious tolerance in Ethiopia. What a fabulous example to the rest of the world!
The southern regions practice ancestral worship and a mix of Christian and ancestral worship.
The early city of Axum was the first capital and today is where interested travelers will find the finest ‘collection’ of stellae in the world. These were symbols of royal individuals burial places, and are in extremely good condition. Several modern churches are located here, and the museums hold truly astounding collections of historical artifacts. It is said too, that the Ark of the Covenant is held here at the Church of Mary.
The wildlife here is equally unique, and with recent conservation measures proving successful, Wailia ibex, Simian wolves and Gelada ‘baboons’ may be found. Of course the birdlife in Ethiopia is altogether at another level with many species occurring here as endemics.
The country is divided by the Great Rift Valley, with the Ethiopian Highlands in the north and north-west a steep mountainous terraine. There are over 40 peaks reaching 12000ft asl! The Danakil Valley in the east is below sea level, and the rest of the country consists of rolling hills and sandy river beds, seasonally flooded.
Addis Abeba is the capital, and Bole International Airport the main airport there. Considered one of the most populous countries in Africa, it has a mix of history dating from the 17th century, various tombs and churches of note, and a unique market! It is a curious mix of poverty and grandeur…and now modern city shops and smart hotels.
This is one of the most interesting countries in the world!