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Ethiopia

Travel Guide 2022

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In this country, trips always become expeditions. Ethiopia is the roof of Africa and whoever goes there for trekking should know beforehand what to expect. The largest part of the highlands, where the wildly rugged Ras Daschan rises 4,600 meters into the sky, belongs to the zone "Woina Dega", the "wine country". There, the vegetation finds the best conditions, and the people who live here from cultivation and animal husbandry have long since adapted to the conditions. It rains very often in this region and also allows coffee, Ethiopia's most important export product, to flourish magnificently. The country is about three times the size of Germany and a considerable proportion of the inhabitants live on the edge of poverty.

Ethiopia at a glance

Population104.957.000
LanguageAfar, Amharic, Oromo, Somali und Tigrinya
Area1127127 km2
ContinentAfrica
CurrencyEthiopian Birr (ETB)
Neighboring countriesEritrea, Kenya, Sudan, South Sudan, Somalia und Djibouti

Guide to Ethiopia

Ethiopia is a long-suffering country shattered by various civil wars. The fall of Haile Selassie, the self-proclaimed “Emperor”, ended an era. The aged man who called himself the “Lion of Judah,” surrounded himself with tame lions in his palace, and basked in the glow of infinite wealth, was finally assassinated. Thus died a dynasty that saw itself as the heir of King Solomon and the legendary Queen of Sheba.

Left behind was a land on the precipice – a beautiful and very poor land on biblical soil. It is lonely and yet not abandoned by the world, for here the tender plant of a tourism in its infancy still flourishes. If you are lucky enough to be a guest from another world and attend a coffee ceremony there, you will understand why the black beans have a special reverence in this part of Africa. Ethiopians believe that coffee connects people to the four elements of nature. As the fruit of the earth, roasted by fire, with the fragrance in the air and the water as a gift from God.

The beans are harvested in the mountainous region of Kaffa, in southwestern Ethiopia. The country now occupies a top international ranking in the production of high quality coffee. The 1995 constitution makes Ethiopia a parliamentary republic, but on its way to becoming a modern state, its development has been repeatedly threatened by external influences. Already in the 16th century there were Muslim raids, and the multi-ethnic structure brought additional problems. But whoever travels to this part of the continent with open eyes will discover many special features. In the mountainous region of the Simien Mountains National Park, where palm trees and giant lobelia grow at an altitude of almost 3,600 metres at Camp Chenek. Or in the famous “Valley of a Hundred Voices”, where the whisper of a man can still be heard for miles. Or at the mountain with the unusual name “Mamma”, where you can make the acquaintance of baboons.

Water is a rarity everywhere, and if you want to reach the romantic high valley of Dihwara, you will have to make do with narrow paths on the way there. Highlights of a tour through Egypt are the rock churches of Lalibela, the old fortress city of Fasil Ghebbi in Gondar, the ruins of Aksum and a valley at the lower reaches of the river Awash, where the remains of four million year old “pre-humans” were found.