In every way Ethiopia is unique! It has its own languages, its own calendar, its own brand of Christianity and a landscape that is unparalleled. In the mountains of the north one feels neither part of Africa nor Asia. The Semitic people, speaking age old languages, plough their stony fields with ox drawn wooden ploughs. This is the technology that enabled the ancient civilizations of Ethiopia to come into being.
The first civilization that we know much about was based in Axum and traded on the Red Sea with the Pharaohs of Egypt and later with the Romans and other Mediterranean powers. In the 4th century Christianity came to Ethiopia and an amazing period of church construction began which culminated in the incredible series of monolithic rock-hewn churches in Lalibela.
Ethiopia is truly a land of contrasts and extremes; a land of remote and wild places. Some of the highest and most stunning places on the African continent are found here, such as the jaggedly carved Simien Mountains, one of UNESCO's World Heritage Sites. Ethiopia is old; old beyond all imaginations. As Abyssinia, its culture and traditions date back over 3,000 years. And far earlier than that lived "Lucy" or Dinkenesh, meaning 'thou art wonderful', as she is known to the Ethiopians, whose remains were found in a corner of this country of mystery and contrasts.
Many people visit Ethiopia - or hope to do so one day - because of the remarkable manner in which ancient historical traditions have been preserved. And, indeed, the ceremonies and rituals of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church open a window on the authentic world of the Old Testament. In no other country where is it possible to find yourself so dramatically transported back in time or to participate with such freedom in the sacred rituals of an archaic faith.
Ethiopia's many national parks enable the visitor to enjoy the country's scenery and its wildlife, conserved in natural habitats, and offer opportunities for travel adventure unparalleled in Africa.
The wildlife consists mainly of East African plains animals, but there are giraffe or buffalo. Oryx, bat-eared fox, caracal, aardvark, colobus and green monkeys, Anubis and Hamadryas baboons, klipspringer, leopard, bushbuck, hippopotamus, Soemmerings gazelle, cheetah, lion, kudu and 450 species of bird all live within the park's 720 square kilometres.
ETHIOPIA SAMPLE TRIPS
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