"An unknown jewel" Top 5 Page for this destination Ethiopia by SirRichard

Ethiopia Travel Guide: 1,896 reviews and 9,289 photos

More than deserts and hungry kids

I have just returned from a 17 days trip to Ethiopia. I went there independent, bought a Lufthansa air ticket and after arriving in Addis i started taking buses to do all the "Historic Route" in the north, clockwise to Bahir Dar, Gonder, Axum, Tigray and Lalibela. As things went much better than expected, I still had 3 days left in Addis, so I took another bus to follow the steps of my admired Burton and enter the muslim city of Harar, in the East.
In spite of the common western perception of Ethiopia as a dry desert where everybody is hungry, I have discovered a wonderful green country with lots of interesting treasures and monuments, water (maybe too much, I went in rainy season) and friendly people.

A rich heritage

What attracts most visitors to Ethiopia are the fantastic rock-hewn churches of Lalibela, but there are many other top attractions in the country. This is what I saw:
- Bahir Dar: The Blue Nile source and Falls. Lake Tana and its orthodox monasteries.
- Gonder: Medieval Castles and the incredible H.D.Selassie church with amazing paintings on walls and ceiling.
- Axum: the monolite stelae, the church of St.Mary of Sion (where the Ark of the Covenant is said to be).
- Tigray: the many remote monasteries and churches in the rocks (yes, IN!), Yeha archeological site and Debre Damo holy monastery.
- Lalibela: the world know rock-hewn churches.
- Harar: a walls surrounded citadel, the muslim markets, the feeding of the hyaenas.
- Addis: museums, the Merkato market, restaurants, Entoto Hills.

Green Ethiopia, gorgeous landscapes

Travelling around the north gives you the chance to admire somre incredible green mountain landscapes.
It was a trip full of surprises: pushing the bus out of the mud became a daily activity, sleping with the monks in Debre Damo isolated monastery was an unique experience, travelling in trucks, donkeys, and even a UN Peace Forces pickup near the Eritrean border made the trip interesting, travelling by bus in Ethiopia is a resistance challenge, with bus rides of 10-12 hours daily...

In the pic you can see me painting my Travel Diary on top of Debre Damo monastery.

  • Last visit to Ethiopia: Aug 2006
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
  • Add to Trip Planner (?)
  • Report Abuse

Reviews (32)

Comments (56)

  • muguruki's Profile Photo
    Mar 5, 2010 at 8:29 AM

    Great tips, lovely photos. One of these days I'll get to Ethiopia but I reckon I'll eat a lot of spaghetti as I'm a long way from acquiring a taste for injeera.

  • Oct 30, 2007 at 7:38 AM

    An absoutely beautiful collection of works. Simply inspiring. Thank you.

  • northeast80's Profile Photo
    Oct 27, 2007 at 12:21 AM

    What fantastic pages, informative and very interesting to look at, you get a real sense of the place through your paintings.

  • uaamom's Profile Photo
    Oct 25, 2007 at 10:14 PM

    Your watercolor diaries are absolutely charming! I need to work on my Spanish though!

  • Ekahau's Profile Photo
    Jun 21, 2007 at 3:08 PM

    Lalibela is such a cool place great pages Sir Richard and Injhera with several kinds of Wat oh tasty. wonderful photos. A place I have been back to 12 times but 6 of them were so far back Haile Selassie was the king of Kings

  • madamx's Profile Photo
    Jan 20, 2007 at 6:07 PM

    Thoroughly enjoyed your page, plus your beautiful watercolors; I always thought of Ethiopia as desert too! Thanks for a great page ~ Helen

  • Pawtuxet's Profile Photo
    Dec 31, 2006 at 4:36 PM

    Bet that coffee would make my hair stand straight up!! :-) Thanks for a good tour. Happy New Year!

  • mikarov99's Profile Photo
    Dec 10, 2006 at 10:52 PM

    very interesting pages, and nice pics, Ethiopia is own top my whish list to visit.

  • titti's Profile Photo
    Oct 16, 2006 at 1:05 PM

    Wondeful water colours!! Ciao.

  • alza's Profile Photo
    Oct 13, 2006 at 10:31 AM

    'Plus léger qu'un bouchon...' happy to find Rimbaud's drunken ship here. Wonderful depiction, Joaquin!


“When in doubt, move!”

Online Now


Top 1,000 Travel Writer
Member Rank:
0 0 0 3 6
Forum Rank:
0 1 8 4 2

Badges & Stats in Ethiopia

  • 169 Reviews
  • 240 Photos
  • 4 Forum posts
  • 21,975PageViews
  • 5 Cities

Have you been to Ethiopia?

  Share Your Travels  

Latest Activity in Ethiopia

Travel Interests

See All Travel Interests (5)