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Ethiopia is living history. Known as the Cradle of Mankind for its archaeological findings, Ethiopia can trace its history back millions of years. Colourful legends and fables entwine with historical facts, giving the country a history that’s rich, vivid and intriguing. Add to this surreal landscapes, unusual tribes and eccentric festivals, and you have a country unlike any other.

Its churches speak of eons of human artistry, originality and downright daring. Some, cut into rocks at the tops of cliffs in Tigrey, are still in use today despite hair-raising ascents. And the rock-hewn churches of Lalibela defy imagination, speaking of age-old knowledge, creativity and ingenuity. The monasteries around Lake Tana are decorated with paintings ornate and imaginative that were created from the sap of berries and the elixir of plants. The castles of Gondar, redolent with atmosphere, have come to be known as the Camelot of Africa. And Harar, the Islamic walled city in the east, likewise evokes deeds and exploits.

The tribes of the Omo Valley seem to have been caught in the echoes of history. Here are peoples who wear lip plates, decorate their bodies, and dress in masks and feathers. The customs of the different tribes include jumping over bulls to prove readiness for marriage, mummifying the dead in honey, butter and milk, and defining age according to a generation pole.

The Great Rift Valley carves through the centre of the country, studded with lakes with healing waters and national parks with unique species. The Simien Mountains and Bale Mountain are dotted with cliffs, waterfalls, gorges, and jaw-droppingly beautiful viewpoints, and are home to endemic and extraordinary species of animals and birds. The Danakil Depression, possibly the lowest and hottest place on earth, is an eerie and supernatural landscape of gaudy bubbling sulphur, while Erte Ale Volcano spits flaming lava into the sky.

Ethiopian festivals, too, are unique and distinctive. Celebrated around the year, these include the Finding of the True Cross with bonfires and smoke, Timkat with processions and parades, and Genna with a game like hockey that might have been played by the shepherds on the night of Christ’s birth. 

Exclusive Ethiopia can design holidays to these and more destinations. Let us know your interests, preferences and budget; we’ll give you all the information you need, and create for you the trip of your dreams.

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