Ethiopia is a land of wonder and fascination. Ethiopia is one of the first African country with richest histories, a land of contrasts and surprises, of remote a wild places, home to cultured and friendly people who are descended from some of the world‘s oldest civilizations . This is the land of the fabled Queen of Sheba, home of the Ark of the Covenant, the birth place of coffee. ”Lucy”, the world’s oldest known almost complete hominid skeleton, more than three million years old, was discovered here.
Ethiopia has so much to offer visitors: the historic route, covering the ancient town of Axum, with its amazing carved obelisks, Christian festivals and relics, including the Covenant; Gondar, with its castles and palaces; Lalibela, with remarkable rock-hewn churches; Negash, one of the earliest holy Muslim centers From the Prophet Muhammad Era with Negash, the walled Muslim city of Harare and Lega Oda, near Dire Dawa where are you can see cave paintings considered to be thousands of years old.
Lake Tana, source of the Blue Nile, is the largest lake with 37 Islands and the monasteries like Kibran and Kidanemhiret dating back to 14th century. The Great Rift valley lakes, many with national parks, is home to a wealth of bird and animal life. The high, rugged, Simien mountains in the north and the bale mountains in the south east are Ethiopians fast flowing rivers are becoming famous for white-water rafting.
There are eleven national parks and four sanctuaries where 277 species of wildlife and more than 850 species of birds can be seen. The simian mountains national parks is registered by UNESCO as world heritage site and home to there of the endemic mammals, Walia, Ibex Gelada Baboon and Abyssinian Wolf. Ras Dashen, the fourth highest peak in African with an altitude of 4,620 meters, is also located within the national parks. Other nation parks include bale Mountains and Abijatta- shalla in Oromia, Nechisar, Mago and Omo National parks in the south and yangudi Rasa in Afar, Gambella National park in Gambella as, well as Awash in the both Oromia and Afar Regions.
Ethiopian is a mosaic of people with more than 80 languages, different lifestyles, costumes and cultural dance. People livelihoods vary from pastoralist and farmers to factory workers, business people and academics.
THE PEOPLE & CULTURE
Ethiopia has been called a rich culture mosaic due to its eighty different languages and dialects and as many, if not more, culture variation. In the north and center of the country different Semitic languages namely Tigrinya, Guraginya, and the official language of the country Amharic are spoken. The ancient Semitic forebear of these languages, Geez, today only survives in church liturgy and literature. To the east and other parts of the south are the Oromos, the Afars and the Somalis who are Cushitic-speaking people while the associated Sidama languages are spoken to the south- east to the west and south are to be found the Nilotic people, each with its own distinctive languages and culture. The Amharas are located in the central highland plateau of Ethiopia and comprise the major population elements in administrative zones of Gonder, Gojjam, in parts of Shoa and Wollo of the Amhara regional state. The Oromos are the largest ethnic group in the group in the country. They are a pastoral and agricultural people who live mainly in central and south- western Ethiopia.
Despite its location in the Horn of Africa, Ethiopia is a very safe country to visit, and Addis Ababa is still one of the safest capitals in Africa. There is little incidence of personal crimes such as assault and robbery, and the country’s security forces have taken great measures to prevent terrorists from instigating violence that could harm the safety of residents and visitors and disrupt the business community, which has registered 8 years of significant growth. Visitors should, of course, take the usual precautions – not carry large amounts of money with them and leave particularly valuable items locked away. During your Ethiopia vacations, both men and women should be careful to keep handbags and personal property at hand in crowded places like Mercato. Like everywhere else, pickpockets like to create some kind of diversion before making their move, so visitors should walk purposefully and be cautious about sudden introductions in the street. In Addis Ababa, such incidents as do occur tend to happen in the city center, in a circle linking the Ghion, Ethiopian and Ras Hotels.
No visa is required for citizens of Kenya, Djibouti, and Sudan. Nationals of the following countries can apply for and receive a tourist visa upon arrival at the airport. The cost is $50 for a 30-day, one-time entry.
ARGENTINA, AUSTRALIA, AUSTRIA, BELGIUM, BRAZIL, CANADA, CHINA, DENMARK, FINLAND, FRANCE, GERMANY, GREECE, IRELAND, ISRAEL, ITALY, JAPAN, KOREA REPUBLIC, KUWAIT, LUXEMBOURG, MEXICO, NETHERLANDS, NEW ZEALAND, NORWAY, POLAND, PORTUGAL, RUSSIAN FEDERATION, SOUTH AFRICA, SPAIN, SWEDEN, SWITZERLAND, TAIWAN (PROVINCE OF CHINA), UNITED KINGDOM, UNITED STATES.
Those not included in the list above can apply for a visa at Ethiopian Embassies and consulates in their home countries.