The wide tree-lined streets, fine architecture, glorious weather, and the incongruity of donkey trains trolling along the boulevards make Addis Ababa a delightful place to explore.

By Prof. Pranab K Bhattacharya (The Hand India) |

Ethiopia, popularly known as ‘The Horn of Africa’, was never colonized and it is the only African nation that can boast 17 centuries of Christian traditions. As per Trip Advisor (US)’s contest for top 10 ‘World’s Best Tourism Destination’ Travelers’ Choice Award 2016, Ethiopia has been ranked at number 3.

It is a country so rich in its history that its ten destinations have been designated as UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites. The southern Ethiopia is a destination that is most unique, where time has stood still.

Visitors may take an inquisitive stroll of the various tribal villages, meeting nomads and get amazed at their earthly lifestyle, and social infrastructure that is reminiscent of bygone eras. Above all things, it is a country of great antiquity with a culture and tradition dating back more than 3,000 years.

It is a land of great geographical variety, from the high peaks of the rugged Semien Mountains in Amhara region to Ethiopia’s volcanic desert, the Danakil Depression, which is the hottest and lowest point on the planet. In the Afar region, one witnesses tropical forests, lakes, broad savannah, rivers and deserts.

The unique Rift Valley is a remarkable region of volcanic lakes, with their rare collections of bird life, great escarpments and stunning vistas. Tis Esat, the Blue Nile falls, must rank as one of the greatest natural spectacles compared to anywhere in Africa today. Addis Ababa, the capital, was formally founded in 1886.

Amharic is the official language of Ethiopia, although English, Italian, French, and Arabic are fairly spoken. In areas outside of the larger cities and towns, indigenous languages are spoken – the most common of these are Oromifa and Tigrigna. Despite its proximity to the Equator, Ethiopia’s high altitude ensures a temperate, moderate, even chilly climate.

Entry point by air can only be accessed from Bole International Airport, Addis Ababa.  For Indians, entry is possible by air to Addis Ababa. There are regular flights from New Delhi and Mumbai. For visa, Indians can apply at the Ethiopian Embassy in New Delhi.

Addis Ababa

The wide tree-lined streets, fine architecture, glorious weather, and the incongruity of donkey trains trolling along the boulevards make Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia, a delightful place to explore. Set in rising countryside between 2,300 to 2,500 meters in altitude, it is a city of surprises characterized by remarkable diversity and contrasts.

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