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Top 5 Reasons to Visit Ethiopia

VO: Rebecca Brayton WRITTEN BY: Spencer Sher
This country might not be on your bucket list, but it should be. Welcome to MojoTravels, and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the Top 5 Reasons to Visit Ethiopia. For this list, we’ll be exploring some of the many reasons why this landlocked African nation of over 100 million people is deservedly garnering more attention from tourists.
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Top 5 Reasons to Visit Ethiopia

This country might not be on your bucket list, but it should be. Welcome to MojoTravels, and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the Top 5 Reasons to Visit Ethiopia.

For this list, we’ll be exploring some of the many reasons why this landlocked African nation of over 100 million people is deservedly garnering more attention from tourists.

#5: It’s Where Life Began

Between the discoveries of Lucy and Ardi, two of the oldest and most well known early human ancestors whose skeletal fossil remains date back 3.2 million and 4.4 million years respectively, Ethiopia has rightfully earned a reputation for being the cradle of humankind. So taking a trip there would give a whole new meaning to “visiting the motherland”. And over its long history, the country has become a melting pot of different religions, cultures and languages. Orthodox Christianity and Islam are the two most practiced religions by far, while the country continues to boast, by some counts, more than 80 different ethnic groups and 90+ languages. Now that’s diversity.

#4: Wildlife and Bird-Watching

Ethiopia is home to some of the rarest and most beautiful creatures known to man, from the Gelada Baboon, also known as the bleeding-heart monkey due to the bright patch of skin on its chest; to the Ethiopian Wolf, which holds the dubious distinction for being Africa’s most endangered carnivore. There’s also the Mountain nyala, a species of antelope that looks like it leapt right out of a Disney film and into the real world; and the White-cheeked turaco, one of the most stunning birds on the planet. We can’t promise that you’ll see them all during your wildlife-spotting visit, but it’s certainly worth a shot!

#3: Architecture and History

As we’ve already noted, Ethiopia is teeming with historical significance, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the country is awash in picturesque historical structures. The most famous is undoubtedly the 11 Churches of Lalibela. A UNESCO World Heritage Site dating back to the 13th century, these monolithic structures, are made entirely of rock and can be found in the mountainous region of Amhara. Many thousands of Ethiopian Orthodox faithful make pilgrimages to the churches every year. Next up on your Ethiopia to-do list should be the fortress city of Fasil Ghebbi. Also a UNESCO site, it was once home to the Ethiopian emperor Fasilides, but now serves as a well-preserved window into the past.

#2: A Unique Cuisine

Ethiopian cuisine consists of a wide variety of flavors and textures; however, the discussion surrounding it begins and ends with injera, which is indispensable. The country’s national bread, it consists of a risen sourdough flatbread made from teff flour, which is then topped with an ever-changing mix of stews, salads and other colorful and tasty toppings. There are many great options to choose from, such as Doro Wat, the beloved spicy chicken stew, and Shiro Wat, a veggie concoction loaded with chickpeas, onions and garlic. Simply tear off a piece of unique sour, spongy bread and start scooping! Wash it all down with a cup of locally harvested Arabica coffee (from the land where coffee was first discovered) and your taste buds will thank you!

#1: Natural Landscapes

When people think of Africa their minds inevitably conjure up images of sandy deserts and dense jungles. So it may come as a surprise to learn that Ethiopia is filled with soaring mountains, immense lakes and greenery aplenty. The Simien Mountains are some of the most spectacular on the continent, and they lie at the edge of a sea of vast plains that appear to stretch beyond the horizon. One must-see for all visitors is The Blue Nile Falls, which remains one of the country’s hottest tourist attractions – and for good reason. Simply put, there is so much natural beauty in Ethiopia that is pleasing to the eye! So…what are you waiting for?



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