Ethiopia is a unique and secluded country. It has never been colonised by a European power, and as a result the people have retained a strong cultural identity and are renowned for their warmth and hospitality. It possesses some of the most impressive architecture found anywhere, particularly at Lalibela, where the rock-hewn churches have been described as the Eighth Wonder of the World. The landscape is equally memorable and Ethiopia is home to some of the finest mountain scenery in Africa. The Simien Mountains, famed for their volcanic pinnacles, are particularly beautiful. This World Heritage Site is home to the Walia Ibex, Gelada Baboons and the rare Ethiopian Wolf. Festivals in Ethiopia are colourful events with plenty of pageantry, music and dancing. We run three trips to coincide with these festivals. In January we attend Timkat, the most important festival in the calendar, which celebrates Epiphany. In September we attend the Meskal festival which has been celebrated for over 1600 years.
Many are more than a peek into the nationâ€™s past; they are a giant two-footed leap. Ethiopiaâ€™s landscapes are no less dramatic, and range from the Simien Mountains National Park and Bale Mountains National Park, which proffer tremendous trekking and innumerable interactions with dozens of animals and birds seen nowhere else on earth, to the Danakil Depression in Northern Ethiopia, an enchanting and unforgivingly hostile environment offering extreme adventure. The remote lowlands in the sultry southwest are also home to untold adventures and house some of Africaâ€™s most fascinating tribes.
Testing, awe-inspiring and heartbreaking â€“ a journey youâ€™ll never forget. You donâ€™t explore Ethiopia for a relaxing getaway, you venture here to be moved. And moved you shall be.
Although itâ€™s anything but desert wasteland or a perpetual home of famine and war, Ethiopia is monetarily poor and travel here is tough, both physically and mentally. However, those willing to take some doses of displeasure with Ethiopiaâ€™s bounty of treasure will be pleasantly rewarded.