Welcome to Ethiopia

Where the diverse meets the divine

Luxury Ethiopia holidays and Ethiopia safari tours are for people seeking something different, memorable and truly rewarding.

With no fewer than nine UNESCO World Heritage Sites, Ethiopia is steeped in culture and impressive history. It practically sags under the weight of its cultural treasures, including the UNESCO World Heritage site, Lalibela, with its incredible rock-hewn churches; the city of Axum, one of the oldest continuously inhabited places in Africa; and the unchanged tribes of the Omo River region in the deep south. Ethiopia was one of the first countries to officially adopt Christianity as its religion back in the 4th century, and it’s awash with fascinating religious history and Orthodox Christian churches.

It’s also full of natural wonders. Ethiopia’s diverse landscapes will take you by surprise, from deep river gorges, vertiginous canyons and waterfalls to volcanic depressions, forests, arid deserts and even the source of the Blue Nile. This is a country where you can trek more than 3,000m above sea level, in the Simien and Bale mountains, or visit one of the lowest – and hottest – places on Earth, the Danakil Depression. There’s also incredibly underrated wildlife, including rare and endemic species such as the Ethiopian wolf, the gelada monkey and the walia ibex, plus some of the best birdwatching in Africa.

This vast country is rife with ancient culture and legends – the Queen of Sheba and the Ark of the Covenant to name but two. It’s known for its outstanding coffee, and as a haven for vegetarians thanks to delicious and healthy home-grown cuisine. Ethiopia is also the birthplace of the Rastafarian movement – nope, it wasn’t Jamaica! Rastas regard Ethiopia as their homeland and accord central importance to Emperor Haile Selassie 1, the country’s leader from 1930 to 1974. In the Amharic language, “Ras” is a title, such as chief, and “Tafari” was his first name. Still not convinced? Take a look at the colours on the Ethiopian flag!

Historically fascinating, culturally diverse and naturally spectacular, an Ethiopia holiday might not be the first place you think about when considering a holiday to Africa, but it’s an experience you’ll treasure forever.

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“You cannot leave Africa, Africa said. It’s always with you, inside your head. Our rivers run in currents in the swirl of thumbprints; our drumbeats counting out your pulse; our coastline the silhouette of your soul.”

– Bridget Dore (South African poet)

Ethiopia at a glance

Ethiopia is a landlocked country on the Horn of Africa, in the east of the continent. Bordered by Djibouti, Eritrea, Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, and Somaliland (Somalia), it covers an area about twice the size of France. This is Africa’s most populous landlocked country and Africa’s second-most populous nation, second only to Nigeria.

The history of the country is one of Africa’s most fascinating. From its time as a rich and powerful kingdom called Abyssinia to being one of the first countries to adopt Christianity, according to legend it’s been home to both the Queen of Sheba and the Ark of the Covenant. It’s the only African country to have escaped European colonialism, thereby retaining much of its cultural identity. There are more than 80 languages spoken in Ethiopia: the official one is Amharic. As tourism is still in its infancy in this intriguing country, expect holidays to be exciting and adventure-filled; comfortable but not OTT in the luxury stakes.

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