Many have seen and ready a lot about Ethiopia, the former Abyssinia. Millions of people across the globe, living either in the richest industrialist country or developing countries coin the hearing of Ethiopia to the great famine that happened in the 80’s and also the civil wars that have stopped more than two decades ago.
But Ethiopia’s real image is by far a million miles away from that and this has made the present Ethiopia a country full of mystery to be explored every single day.
It is a land where Christianity was introduced and accepted in the 4th century by its Axumite Empire kings who before had practiced belief in different god’s and also Judaism from its predecessor, Queen of Sheba who ruled the country during BC and make an Ethiopian son from the Jew historical King of Solomon. This first son is believed to start the Solomon dynasty that travelled hundreds of years till it was terminated in 1974, Emperor Hailesilasse being the last one in the line. The erection of the first church in 4th century in the city of Axum and adoption of Christianity as a state religion make Ethiopia the 2nd Christian country in the world next to Armenia.
The return of Minilik I from a visit of his father, King Solomon in Israel do not bring only the start of the Solomon dynasty but the original Ark of the covenant which still is in the strong grip of Ethiopia’s historical records. The belief in the presence of the Ark of the Covenant in the ancient city of Axum made the city a very popular religious shrine both by local and foreign visitors. That is why every Nov 30-Dec 01, the city is hugely crowded by people making pilgrimage to attend the festivity of the St. Mary of Zion
The rock-hewn churches in the Tigray region located up north of the country dating back to the 6th century; the 12thcentury rock-hewn complex of multiple churches in Lalibela, south of the Tigray region; the medieval castle compound of Gondar, a town established in the 17th century north of Lake Tana; the island monasteries of Lake Tana and the walled city of Harar which was established in the 12th century, regarded to be the 4th Islamic center in the world are few of the century old historical mysterious the country holds in its marvelous land. These unexplored riches of the country compete to any historical sites of the world as they are purely authentic and unique.>
Looking at the geographical set-up of Ethiopia in its widely spread 1.1 million square kilometer one would agree that it is a country originally designed to be a continent. The wonderful and breath taking sceneries in the northern part of the country would make you fall in love with the Chain Mountains of the country. Specially a chance of being in these mountains during sun rise or sun set times strikes a question if God took 7 days to work on them or the whole world. The Simein (literally translated as North) mountains national park is an ideal trekkers paradise to admire these living mountains decked with varied fauna and flora where most are endemic to Ethiopia. A time in the park is like a retreat in to search of serenity of life and back to the origin if man. It is here you meet the endemic Gelada baboons, Walia Ibex and other interesting bird life. The Simein Mountains also holds the 4th biggest mountain in Africa, “RasDashen” measuring 4, 630 meters above sea level.
Travelling north-east to the Afar region is an experience to another but different natural beauty where the topography falls even less than 120 meters below seas level with striking look of the surrounding. The “Danakil depression” or “Dallol” is an amazing piece of planet earth created during the formation of the Great Rift Valley system that runs from Syria to Mozambique. Also a very close point of interest in the surrounding area is the active volcano of “Erta’ale”. It is a very warm part of the country dues to its low sea level location but at the small mountain of Erta’ale goes on an activity of a fire spring specially looking wonderful during night time. The same Afar region is also an important site for salt extraction the area bearing different salt lakes such as Lake Assale and Afdera.
Also the southern part of the country is blessed with different colorful lakes created again during the formation of the Great Rift Valley system. Fishing, boat riding and birding are the major activities any one can do in these lakes and some of them are also safe for swimming.
Again talking about the people of Ethiopia, it is a topic about the 80 different tribes spread spaciously in its reader amazed to know the only written language in Africa is found among these 80 languages and is called “Amharic” with its alphabets numbering more than 230. The Ethiopian people of different tribes from one end to the other though have their own unique customs and traditions, as Ethiopians share some cultures such as the coffee ceremony by which the world knows Ethiopia, making cotton woven or animal skin made clothing’s, make their favorite stable meal called, “Injera” and above all are welcoming!