ETHIOPIA, situated in the
horn of Africa, is a country with awesome natural beauties,
historical and religious sites, rolling mountains,
breathtaking landscapes, agreeable climates, endemic
wildlife, diverse cultural heritages, hospitable people,
timeless historical sites, artifacts as well as arguably
greatest nation of long distance athletes of all times.
The country is endowed with a long history and rich culture
which dated back to the pre-historic times as far as 3000
years before the birth of Christ. During this long period of
history, the Ethiopian people have dispersed the remains of
civilization and culture in different part of the country.
Among these remains, some of the popular and frequently
visited sites are
The Stalae of Axum, the monastery of Debre Damo, The rock
hewn churches of Lalibela, the castles of Gonder, the
monasteries on Lake Tana, the walled city of Harar, the
palace of Aba Jifar in Jimma, the religious shrine of Sheik
Hussien and the Tigray rock hewn churches.
It is the only country in sub-Saharan Africa with tangible
historical remnants stretching back to the ancient
Mediterranean civilization. It is the residing place of the
original Ark of the Covenant which legend has it that
Emperor Minelik I, the son of queen of Sheba of Ethiopia and
King Solomon of Jerusalem who brought the Ark from Jerusalem
to Axum where he settled and established one of the world’s
longest known uninterrupted monarchial dynasties.
Archaeological findings have identified Ethiopia as the
cradles of mankind with the discovery of one of the ancient
and most complete hominid – Lucy (DINKENESH) at a place
called HADAR found in Afar region - the North Eastern part
of Ethiopia by Donald Johanson in 1974 G.C.
Ethiopia is the land of great long distance runners. It was
Abebe Bikila (the Bare Feet King) who showed the world that
an African can be an Olympic Champion running barefoot
through the street of Rome all the 42 kms through the
streets of Rome in 1960.
After his respectful deeds, his successors has kept his
honor and won many Olympic titles until recently.
The special year for Ethiopian athletics to be the best and
unforgettable is the early 1990s which witnessed the birth
of a new rising star in the field of long distance running –
THE ASTONISHING HAILE GEBRESELLASSIE who is the greatest
athletes of all times, who has double Olympic victories,
four successive world champion titles spanning eight years
and seventeen world records.
Records show that most Ethiopian long distance runners have
come from the highlands o ARSI– SOUTH EASTERN PART OF
Ethiopia as well as the vicinities of the capital – Addis
As Ethiopia is located within the tropics, its topography
and variation in Altitude have resulted in great diversity
of terrain, climate, soil, flora and fauna.
The SPECTACULAR Semien Mountains national park is found in
the Northern part of Ethiopia which constitutes the major
mountain massifs in Africa. The region includes many summits
which rises above 4000 meters above sea level and culminates
the highest point in Ethiopia – the roof of Africa - RAS
DASHEN, WHICH MEASURES 4543 meters (14,904 feet) above sea
level. It is the 4th highest mountain in Africa which is the
home of the endemic Walia Ibex, thick billed raven, Semien
Red Fox and Gelada Baboons.
Ethiopia presents an exquisite world of nature to visitors.
Amongst the rich natural assets, birds stand out as the most
beautiful as a result of their color, splendor and unique
behavior. Being an ancient land, the country has a unique
habitat and landscape which is suitable for bird species and
makes the country Africa’s birding hotspots. It is a country
where major habitat block is contained within its
boundaries, having a high degree of endemicity in both fauna
and flora. As an example there are around 264 species of
mammals of which is 30 endemic which represent 11% of the
There are 16 endemic birds in Ethiopia and 14 birds that is
shared with Eritrea. About 214 paleartic migrants have been
recorded from Ethiopia, of these a large number of them have
breeding population in the country.
Ethiopia, with a surface area of nearly 1.2 million square
kms is the 7th largest country in Africa. It is located in
the horn of Africa which is largely a high plateau with an
elevation ranging from 110 meters below sea level in the
Dallol depression of Afar to mountain peaks of 4543 meters
above sea level in the Semien Mountains. The Great Rift
Valley which stretches from Mozambique through Ethiopia all
the way to Syria separates the western and the eastern
highlands of Ethiopia and these highlands gradually descends
to the lowland areas in the east, west and south of the
country. Much of the country consists of high plateau and
mountain ranges, which are dissected by numerous streams and
rivers. Among the biggest river basins are the Blue Nile,
Awash, Baro, Omo, Tekeze, Wabeshebelle and Genale rivers.
Travelling to most of Ethiopian beautiful attractions is
doable the entire year. However, there are climatic
variations in Ethiopia which are mainly influenced by
Altitude. The main climatic regions are
* DEGA – (COOL TO COLD TEMPERATURE) - type of cool
temperature where average temperature falls between 10oc and
16oc and altitude above 2500 meters above sea
* WEINA DEGA - (WARM TO COOL CLIMATE) - average
temperature falls between 16oc and 20oc
and altitude between 1500 to 2500 meters above sea level.
* KOLLA – (WARM TO HOT CLIMATE) – this is the climate
of hot lowlands and the average temperature falls between 20oc
and 30oc and altitude between 500 to 1500 meters
above sea level.
* BERHA – (HOT AND ARID CLIMATE) – this covers the
area of the desert lowlands below 500 meters above sea level
and the average annual temperature is over 30oc
Over 83 languages with 200 dialects are spoken in the
country, out of which the majority speaks Amharic, (which is
the official working language of the country) Oromiffa and
Tigrigna. The Ethiopian alphabet consists of 33 letters each
with 7 characters. It has 38 diphthongs and numerals. The
writing system is syllabic and written from left to right
which makes Ethiopia the only sub –Saharan African country
having a written language.
are several religious sects in the country including the
main three which are Judaism, Christians, (Orthodox Thewahdo,
Catholic, Protestant,) and Islam practicing harmonically. In
addition to these there are small number of natural
believers and animists in the south and western parts of the
1- ROCK HEWN CHURCHES OF LALIBELA
2- THE GONDER FASILEDES CASTLES
3- AXUM OBELISKS
4- TIYA STALAES
5- THE OMO VALLEY PALE-ANTHROPOLOGICAL SITES
6- LOWER AWASH VALLEY SITES
7- THE SEMIEN MOUNTAINS NATIONAL PARK
8- THE ANCIENT WALLED CITY OF HARAR