By Jenna Jolie
If you plan to travel Africa, we give you expert advice to include in your list the below five unique destinations in Ethiopia – the Land of Origins.
1. Danakil Depression
If you want to go on an adventure, Danakil Depression, which is the hottest place in the world, is ready to welcome you. The Depression is both one of the lowest places on Earth and one of the hottest in average yearly temperature. In fact, Danakil is one of the most harsh and surreal places on the planet.
It is located 155m below sea level, and the temperature reaches as high as 50°C in summer. Visiting Danakil is a true expedition; you can trek up an active volcano, camp on the crater rim, and explore the otherworldly landscapes of Dallol.
2. Rock Church At Lalibela
The rock church at Lalibela is one of the wonders of the world. This UNESCO registered special heritage is located 645 km north of Addis Ababa. You would be surprised when looking at the 11 medieval monolithic cave churches which are carved out of a single rock. The buildings were constructed in the 12th century. Lalibela is the high place of Ethiopian Christianity.
Lalibela remains a living cultural site;1,000 of its 10,000 residents are priests, and the churches are the focal points for ceremonies, vigils, and processions.
3. Omo Valley
Let’s visit Omo Valley if you would like to be greeted with some of the world’s oldest human remains. The Lower Valley of the Omo is located in the remote southwest corner of Ethiopia, close to the border with Kenya.
Today, the Omo Valley continues to provide a glimpse of ancient ways of life, thanks to more than a dozen tribes that live along the banks of the Omo River. Famed for their body adornments – which include lip plates, scarification, and face paint – the tribes are a huge tourist attraction.
The Konso and Dorze people’s way of life is also fascinating; little influenced by tourism, life in this spectacular region of the Rift Valley revolves around market days, traditional ceremonies, farming, and weaving. Unlike the Omo Valley, there are community guesthouses and workshops, providing an authentic immersion into these welcoming yet little known cultures.
4. Simien Mountains
Simien Mountains National Park with its hair-raising jagged peaks and deep gorges is a mist-shrouded park where Ethiopia’s most striking wildlife. You find the Park in northern Ethiopia. Millions of years of erosion have created a jaw-dropping landscape, recognized by UNESCO. You can take single or multi-day treks with local guides.
It is so exciting to climb an altitude of 4,620m, stretching 100 miles east to west; the Simien Mountains are one of the highest peaks in Africa.
5. Blue Nile Falls
The Blue Nile Falls is a waterfall on the Blue Nile river in Ethiopia. It is known as Tis Abay in Amharic, meaning "great smoke". It is situated on the upper course of the river, about 30 kilometres (19 mi) downstream from the town of Bahir Dar and Lake Tana. The falls are one of Ethiopia's best-known tourist attractions.
To see the waterfall at its biggest and best, tourists are recommended to visit in the wet season, August and September are particularly good months. The heavy downpours during the rainy season ensure that the river is sufficiently topped-up to offer a spectacular cascade.
For holidaymakers in Ethiopia at any time of year other than August and September, the Blue Nile Falls, although not as powerful, is still worth a visit because of the beautiful natural surroundings.