Looking for the best tourist attractions in Ethiopia? Also known as the Horn of Africa, this is one of the countries in Africa that has kept its culture alive. This is clear from the country’s old forts, native villages, and deeply rooted traditions and customs. Ethiopia is a country in Africa that has a different landscape and culture than the rest of Africa. Ethiopia has a longer and more fascinating history, and it also has a beautiful natural landscape with rugged mountains, sparkling lakes, and even a volcano crater. In terms of natural beauty, there is enough for tourists to see and do. Here are the top 10 tourist attractions in Ethiopia.
10 Best Tourist Attractions in Ethiopia
1. Rift Valley lakes
Some of the oldest and innermost lakes in the world are in the Ethiopian Rift Valley. They are between the highlands of Ethiopia and Somalia. People can watch birds at Lake Awassa, fish at Lake Ziway, watch crocodiles at Lake Chamo, and appreciate the healing power of nature as a whole.
2. Lalibela Rock Church
The Lalibela Rock Churches are a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Ethiopia. They are made up of 11 rock churches on a rocky plateau in the Ethiopian highlands at 2,600 meters. They were built in the 13th century. It is a pilgrimage site for people attending the annual Gena festival. It has a long history, and visitors can fully appreciate its treasures when they go there.
In Ethiopia’s Afar region, the Danakil Sadness in the northern Eta’aare Mountains is home to the Dalor Volcano, a cinder cone volcano. At -48 meters above sea level, the crater of Dalor Volcano is the lowest in the world.
4. Unity Park
Unity Park is a very nice and clean park with a zoo, Emperor Menelik II’s palace, and traditional Ethiopian gardens. It’s a great place to see animals and plants, like black lions, cheetahs, zebras, and many beautiful birds. You can learn about Ethiopia’s history and tour the palace where the queen used to live at the museum. Make sure you have enough time to visit because there is a lot to see. It is also a great place to go with your family, but don’t forget to buy your tickets ahead of time.
5. Blue Nile Falls
Even though the Blue Nile Falls aren’t very big, it’s worth going there to see the beautiful rainbow that appears when it’s misty. Together, the rainbow and the waterfall make a beautiful scene. On the other hand, getting to the falls takes time and energy, and most people prefer to see them on a guided tour. There are also places to rent motorboats here. You can also walk up to the summit to see the best view.
6. Debre Damo
The journey to the beautiful Debre Damo monastery is almost as impressive as the building itself. It sits on a huge plateau that can only be reached by climbing 50 feet (15.24 meters) along a cliff with thin leather ropes.
It is now house to more than 150 monks who grow their food and care for their animals. Here, people can see life at its most natural and raw. But because it is one of the most traditional places, it is important to know that women are not allowed to climb the ropes or go to the monastery.
7. Fasil Gebbi
Fasil Gebbi is a fortification in Gondel, Ethiopia is a must include on things to do in Ethiopia. The Ethiopian kings and queens mostly used it in the 16th and 17th centuries. Fasil Gebbi’s building was influenced by Nubian, Arabian, and Baroque styles. It was located on the list of UNESCO websites in 1979. You can spend an hour or two at Fasil Gebbi Castle.
More things to see in Fasil Gebbi
There are few museums or locations to spend a lot of time here, but the castle looks interesting. You will most likely need a guide to have a more enjoyable trip here. You can take a taxi to the castle to hire a guide who will give you a tour to help you learn more about the history and culture of the area.
Where to stay in Ethiopia: Accommodation in Ethiopia
8. Aksum Obelisk
One of Ethiopia’s most well-known sights is the huge Axum Obelisk. It was built by the ancient kingdom of Axum in the 4th century, but an earthquake in the 16th century tore it down. After many twists and turns, Italian soldiers found the ruins and took the pieces back to Rome. And put them back together in their current place.
If tourists know about the history of the Axum Empire, this place will be very fascinating to them. This was the first Christian monarchy in the world. It was set up a few years already when Constantine became the Christian ruler of the Roman Empire. There’s a long history before it, which you can learn about if you hire a guide. This is also where three wise people from the Bible lived, as well as frankincense and myrrh.
9. Volcano Erta Ale
It is a shield-shaped volcano in the Danakil Depressive episodes in the Afar Triangle of the East African Rift Valley. It is among the volcanoes that erupt the most in Ethiopia. Because of changes in the crust in Africa’s Afar Triangle, the crust is only 20 km thick and continues to get thinner. The highest point in this triangle is the Erta Ale volcano.
More about Erta Ale
In the Alpha language, Erta Ale means “smoking mountain.” It is the highest point of this triangle. It is an old volcano below sea level and in the most desolate desert in the world. The mountain’s peak is 613 meters high and has two craters, one of which has a lake of lava.
What to know before you go
Tourists can get a great view of this lava lake, and the lava river crashing against the rock wall is a sight to behold, especially for people who like volcanoes. But before you get there, you might have trouble with the road or the weather. After all, the unusual rock landscape is hard to appreciate. Tourists can plan, and if they want their trip to be more fun and safer, they can choose a responsible guide.
10. Cathedral of the Holy Trinity
The Cathedral of the Holy Trinity in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia’s capital, is an orthodox Ethiopian cathedral. It is the second most important place of worship in Ethiopia after the Cathedral of the Virgin Mary of Zion in Aksum. The outside of this building is simple, but the inside is beautiful, especially the stained-glass windows. Hire a guide to help you understand the site’s history and appreciate its beauty when you go there.
What’s Next: Tourist Attractions in Ethiopia
There are endless things to do in Ethiopia, we don’t expect you to do all of them on your first trip to Ethiopia. We are sure you will be back again after your first visit to the Horn of Africa.