Addis Ababa is the beautiful capital of Ethiopia, with a population of almost three million people, and it is even one of the most trendy and significant places in Ethiopia.
Though it has only been around for a short time, Addis Ababa is a bustling, historic city in Africa that serves as Ethiopia's highly developed administrative, financial, cultural, and artistic hub.
Here are the top surprising Addis Ababa facts that you definitely did not know, ranging from its origins as the capital of Emperor Menelik II to its crazy traffic and the ruins of multiple wars.
Why Is It Called Addis Ababa?
A historical fact about Addis Ababa for travelers to discover. Only since the latter part of the 1800s has Addis Ababa been the capital of the Ethiopian state. Its immediate predecessor, Entoto, was located on a high plateau and was considered unsatisfactory because of extreme cold and severe firewood shortages.
Emperor Menilek II's wife, empress Taitu, convinced her husband to construct a home close to the hot springs at the base of the tableland and to give nobles land there. Consequently, in 1887, the city was established and christened Addis Ababa, which in Amharic, Ethiopia's official language, signifies "New Flower."
Addis Ababa is the beautiful capital of Ethiopia
Why is Addis Ababa popular?
Ethiopia's capital, Addis Ababa, is quickly becoming one of the continent's most sought-after travel destinations due to its distinctive fusion of modern and traditional cultures, welcoming populace, and breathtaking scenery. Addis Ababa provides travelers with an experience that is really one-of-a-kind and unforgettable.
What is Addis Ababa known for?
The urban center boasts numerous significant historical and cultural sites. For instance, the National Museum of Ethiopia shelters the renowned fossilized remains of Lucy, an ancient human ancestor. Moreover, tourists have the opportunity to discover landmarks like the Ethiopian National Palace, Holy Trinity Cathedral, and various other pivotal cultural and historical locations.
Addis Ababa is a great place to sample Ethiopian food, which is renowned for its flavorful and distinctive dishes like doro wat, a spicy chicken stew, and injera, a sourdough flatbread. Addis Ababa also boasts a thriving coffee culture, with numerous cafes offering fragrant and delicious cups of coffee.
Additionally, Addis Ababa is surrounded by stunning natural landscapes, including the Entoto Mountains and the Great Rift Valley. Visitors can visit one of the many national parks and nature reserves in the area, such as the Simien Mountains National Park or the Bale Mountains National Park, which offer opportunities to see a wide variety of wildlife, including rare species like the Ethiopian wolf and the Gelada baboon.
Continue reading to discover more fun facts about Addis Ababa, and maybe these are one of the reasons why Addis Ababa is more popular among international tourists.
Addis Ababa is one of the most trendy and significant places in Ethiopia
Interesting Facts About Addis Ababa
Beyond its bustling streets and vibrant markets lie some intriguing and lesser-known facts that weave the mystique of Addis Ababa city. Let's delve into the top 10 surprising facts about Addis Ababa that might just amaze you.
1. Addis Ababa is home to the largest outdoor market in Africa
One of the fun facts about Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, is that it is home to the biggest outdoor market in Africa. It spans more than a mile in several directions. The market's vastness is so formidable that one can easily become disoriented amidst the bustling crowds and labyrinthine alleys.
While there is not much inside that a tourist would want to buy, it is still a great spot to explore and try something new.
2. The country where Addis Ababa is situated is home to the hottest region on earth
Addis Ababa is a place where you can see the Danakil Depression. The average annual temperature of the Danakil Depression is 34.4 degrees Celsius, making it the hottest spot on Earth. This cool fact of Addis Ababa interests visitors to visit the Ethiopian capital every year.
In addition to this, the area is desert, with only 100 to 200 mm of rain falling there annually.
This area is frequently referred to as the cradle of humanity despite these harsh climatic conditions since numerous prehistoric hominid fossils have been found over time.
3. Danakil Depression is also the lowest place on the continent of Africa
Situated at the convergence of three of the Earth's tectonic plates in the Horn of Africa, the depression descends nearly 125 meters below sea level.
Spanning 200 kilometers in length and approximately 50 meters in width, this comparatively compact desert is home to approximately 25% of Africa's volcanoes.
Danakil Depression is the hottest region on earth
4. There is a square in the city of Addis Ababa named after Mexico
While exploring Addis Ababa historical facts, you could encounter a colossal Mexican sculpture situated in one of the city's main squares.
Mexico was the only member of the League of Nations to support the country during Italy's occupation; therefore, Addis Ababa created Mexico Square in recognition of Mexico's assistance.
5. Addis Ababa is the highest capital city in Africa
Situated in the highlands of the Great Rift Valley, Addis Ababa, the capital city of Ethiopia, is the fourth largest metropolis on the continent and the highest point in Africa at 2,355 meters above sea level.
When visiting Addis Ababa, tourists often experience shortness of breath and altitude sickness after a few days.
One of the greatest places to try Ethiopian food is this stunning city, which also happens to be the fourth biggest on the continent.
6. It has a Science museum
You may observe a scientific museum constructed by the Media Tech exhibition team in the city of Addis Ababa.
Even in the hottest months of Addis Ababa, the average temperature only hits 25 degrees Celsius, or 77 degrees Fahrenheit, despite the city being close to the equator and in the same country as the Danakil Depression.
Addis Ababa's record temperature is a mere 32 degrees Celsius, or 90 degrees Fahrenheit.
Additionally, like Dire Dawa, this Ethiopian city is also a melting pot of different communities from across the nation's provinces.
7. Addis Ababa has a subtropical highland climate
The climate in Addis Ababa is primarily subtropical highland, with monthly variations in precipitation.
Furthermore, the city's major ecosystem is provided by Oromia state, and it is located in the center of the state.
Addis Ababa has a subtropical highland climate
8. The capital city of Ethiopia was originally a military encampment
In contrast to numerous African cities that originated from small villages, Addis Ababa's inception differed significantly. It was originally a military encampment that housed the palace of Emperor Menelik II.
After years of having his massive army encircle the palace, people finally arrived in the city to settle it.
In addition, it was Emperor Menelik II who, in the early 1900s, began renovating Addis Ababa by instituting a number of new educational programs.
Is Addis Ababa Dangerous?
Although there is occasional violent conflict and civil upheaval in other parts of Ethiopia, the security situation in Addis Ababa is stable.
Addis Ababa, like any major city, has its share of safety considerations. While it's generally considered safe for travelers, as with any urban area, precaution is advised. Petty crimes like pickpocketing can occur in crowded areas, so it's advisable to stay vigilant, especially in markets and busy streets. Additionally, it's recommended to avoid showing valuable items openly.
For those planning to visit Ethiopia and explore fun facts about Addis Ababa, applying for an Ethiopia eVisa is a convenient way to facilitate your travel plans. The e-visa application process through Ethiopia Immigration Services can be easily completed online, providing travelers with the necessary documentation for a memorable journey through Addis Ababa and beyond.