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Destinations

ETHIOPIA

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Destinations

ETHIOPIA

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Destinations

ETHIOPIA

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Destinations

ETHIOPIA

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Destinations

ETHIOPIA

Ethiopia stands in a class of its own for breathtaking countryside, a proud and ancient culture, and rare endemic wildlife found nowhere else on the planet.

Ethiopia is extraordinary for its otherwordly high-altitude vistas alone; add to that some sulphurous lava volcanoes and countless ancient churches carved into hillsides housing monks who have spent their lives there in spiritual isolation - and a journey to this stunning country makes for a life-changingly diverse destination that will inspire even the most experienced traveller.

Best time to traval: October through January is the optimal period for visiting Ethiopian adventuring.

Wolves in the Mountains

High up in the Bale Mountains where it is too cold and arid for human habitation, among the host of endemic birdlife, flora and fauna, the hunting habits of Ethiopian Wolves make for excellent entertainment. They prey on the burrowing mole rat by blocking one end of their tunnel, digging a new hole into the burrow, and jumping up and down to startle the underground rats into movement. As the panicking rats dash along the tunnel, the wolf leaps across, sticks an intercepting snout into the burrow, and emerges with its tasty treat.

Gilada Baboons

In the precarious precipices of the Simien Mountains, protected from leopard by the extremity of their environment, the spectacular Gilada Baboons spend their days. We set up camp in the swaying grassland, and sit in the midst of these creatures as they scratch for roots and shoots. With their Tina Turner hairstyles, enormous grimaces, and fangs that are at complete odds with their pacifist disposition, their dominance displays and general posturing as they strut along cliff edges make for a spectator experience like no other.

On Top of the World

The Ethiopian mountain ranges proffer up some of the most mystical, magical and mind-defying scenery that the imagination could ever conceive. Rainforests of giant heather, moss-coated trees, and moorlands filled with flowers graduate to eroded ancient basalt lava jutting into miles of jagged dragon’s teeth. Snow-dusted lava fields, glacial valleys and colossal canyons pour crystal waterfalls into gin-clear lakes filled with trout in a pristine environment that is a privilege to touch.

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A Culture of Spirituality

Ethiopia is the home of a Christianity whose purity has been maintained by its isolation: visit churches carved into hillsides 2,000ft above the ground, dating back to the Year 400, and meet the monks who live in them from boyhood and never leave. Journey eastward to a walled Muslim city patrolled by hyenas, and meet the family that has fed them morsels of raw meat from their own mouths for generations.

Kings, Queens and the Ark of the Covenant

This is the land of the Queen of Sheba, who went to visit King Solomon in Jerusalem and returned pregnant with a son: Menelik the First. When Menelik came of age, he journeyed to his father’s empire to be taught the ways of Christianity, and was charged with bringing the faith to Africa. When he returned to his motherland, one of his entourage stole the Ark of the Covenant. It was moved from church to church during the wars, and to this day it is hidden in in Axum, guarded by a solitary monk.

Volcanoes 410ft Below Sea Level

As the Danakil Alps were thrust into being by volcanic volatility, they cut off part of the Red Sea, which dried up over thousands of years leaving 2,500ft of staggering salt formations known as evaporites. The volcanic activity below continues to bubble up remnants of the old ocean, emerging through the salt in acid blues, greens and oranges. Walking around these simmering pools, ground crunching underfoot, is akin to taking a stroll on the surface of another planet entirely.