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Ethiopia Tours

Ethiopia is an undiscovered jewel, lying on the eastern fringes of the African continent. The ancient lands of Abyssinia are home to one of the oldest Christian civilisations in the world, with an archaeological, cultural and natural pedigree to match anywhere on the planet.

Highlights of Ethiopia

Things to See & Do

  • Lalibela churches

    Lalibela churches

    The mysterious rock cut churches of Lalibela have been in continuous use since their construction more than 700 years ago. Each of the churches in architecturally unique; some lie almost hidden in deep trenches; others stand in open quarried caves. A complex network of tunnels and narrow passageways links them all. Lalibela is a special place and will remain in your memories for many years to come.

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  • Blue Nile Falls

    Blue Nile Falls

    These stunning waterfalls also known as Tis Issat in Amharic, are situated 30 kilometres downstream from the town of Bahir Dar and Lake Tana. The falls are estimated to be 45 metres high, consisting of four streams that change from a trickle in the dry season to over 400 metres wide in the rainy season.

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  • Gondar medieval castles

    Gondar medieval castles

    Often called Africa’s Camelot, Gondar isn’t far off the mark. With the castles of the Royal Enclosure, ornate churches and resplendent bathing pools, it’s easy to imagine Gondar in all of its glory as the capital of Ethiopia in the mid 1600s. King Fasiledes named Gondar capital in 1636 and by his death in 1667, Gondar’s had become an African power base.

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  • Simien Mountains

    Simien Mountains

    Arguably one of the most beautiful mountain landscapes in Africa, and home to the UNESCO World Heritage setting of the Simien Mountains National Park, this remarkable setting is one of the continent’s natural treasures. Its jagged peaks and deep valleys provide shelter for a rich diversity of wildlife, including ibex, gelada baboons and Ethiopian wolf.

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  • Bird life

    Bird life

    Ethiopia enjoys a well-founded reputation as an ornithological paradise. To date some 826 known species have been recorded here, of which 23 are uniquely endemic to the country. Much of this is due to its unique range of habitats, which encompass everything from freshwater lakes and lush highlands, to acacia savannahs and semiarid deserts.

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  • Timkat Festival (Ethiopian Epiphany)

    Timkat Festival (Ethiopian Epiphany)

    The January Timkat Festival is a wonderful manifestation of the Epiphany pageant as thousands of colourfully robed Coptic monks carry replicas of the ‘The Ark of the Covenant’ from their churches to be worshipped and anointed with holy water. Timkat is Ethiopia’s most important Coptic festival celebrating the baptism of Christ. This is the commemoration of Christ's baptism, which falls on the 19th of January / 20th Jan in leap years. The replicas of the Ark of the Covenant are taken out in the afternoon of the eve of epiphany and stay overnight with the priests and faithful congregation. The following morning the water is blessed and splashed over everyone in a ceremony where the faithful renew their vows to the church. If the body of water is large enough, some people will immerse themselves and we will see this in Gondar. Women who have been unable to have children participate in the ritual for fertility. After the ceremony, the replicas are paraded back to its Church accompanied by much singing and dancing. Cloaked in ceremonial velvet and satin robes and carrying sequined umbrellas, priests march and dance carrying replicas of the Arc of the Covenant from nearby churches to a source of water where blessings are dispensed on the gathered crowd. The priests achieve a state of ecstasy through the drumming and chants that is often contagious to the white robed worshipers who gather around them.

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  • Bleeding Heart Baboons

    Bleeding Heart Baboons

    It is not surprising then that Ethiopian wildlife is so different and undocumented, like the mountain nyala - the last large mammal species to be named by science, in 1919 - and the giant molerat, found only in the Bale Mountains. Ethiopia continues to surprise scientists and visitors alike in the wildlife field, as it does all those who think they know Africa. In the highlands of Ethiopia's Simien Mountains National Park lives a monkey unlike any other. The only surviving species of grazing monkey in the world, the gelada spends most of its time sitting upright and picking spears of fresh, green grass, its primary food. This way of living has bestowed upon the species long thumbs for a precision grip unmatched by any other primate except humans. And it has branded the monkeys in a special way. In most baboons, swellings on the rump signal sexual readiness, but geladas spend too much time sitting to use their rumps as billboards. Hence, evolution has given them the distinct chest patch that has earned them the name "bleeding-heart baboons".

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  • Monasteries of Lake Tana

    Monasteries of Lake Tana

    Lake Tana is Ethiopia’s largest lake, a vast expanse of water, dotted with a cluster of island monasteries that provide a remarkable insight into the country’s Christian heritage. Accessible by boat from Bahar Dar, these fascinating monastic enclaves, filled with ancient manuscripts and beautiful frescoes, have served to protect the country’s religious treasures for centuries.

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