Top 10 Things to do in Ethiopia

October 11, 2017 Stefan Strunk

Ethiopia from Africa region, is best know for Churches & Cathedrals. Discover best things to do in Ethiopia with beautiful photos and great reviews from traveller around the world here!

1. Rock-Hewn Churches of Lalibela

Lalibela 1260, Ethiopia
Excellent
81%
Good
14%
Satisfactory
3%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 1 reviews

Rock-Hewn Churches of Lalibela

A labyrinth of tunnels with grottoes and galleries connects 11 impressive churches built under King Lalibela out of red volcanic rock.

Reviewed By Chrisbeeoxford - Oxford, United Kingdom

The eleven churches are in two campuses. The central campus is in my view the better of the two and includes the oldest and youngest churches. This does not mean that one should not see the other campus as it does have much to offer different from the city campus. I was brought to admire how King Lalibela harnessed religion and politics so deeply to rule his kingdom for 40 years without any issues.
There is so much to see and history to learn and marvel at that a short review cannot do the two campuses justice. The churches remain working churches and the objective for pilgrims. One is constantly aware of how religion has remained woven into Ethiopian society. The campus is a place of calm, of sanctity, and removed from materialistic life despite the tourist wandering in and out. The seamless structures are a marvel. The most perfect has to be the youngest of all the churches, St George and the most interesting (and oldest) St Mary's.
In the other campus one can experience Hell. In my view the best there are the semi-detached churches of Gabriel and Raphael.
I had never understood the idea of the New Jerusalem until I saw Lalibela.

2. Bale Mountains

150 km east of Shashamene in the Oromia Region National State, Goba, Ethiopia
Excellent
84%
Good
15%
Satisfactory
1%
Poor
0%
Terrible
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Overall Ratings

5 based on 112 reviews

Bale Mountains

Reviewed By alexclaw - Frankfurt, Germany

We are a group of 3 hikers just completed a trekking to Bale Mountains, since the very beginning Armaye at Armaye Ethiopia Tours provided us amazing service more than we expected. He was very helpful and easily contactable person. I found him via posts and reviews of Trip Advisor and then contacted him two weeks ago through email to finalize the trip, even if we are late but he helped us to arrange all the program.
When we arrived in Dinsho, Armaye was there and welcomed us with big smile picked us up from the town to the park Headquarters where our camp site is located. We paid all necessary payment in there and he explained to us about details of the trip. The campsites were excellent. On the next day, we met with our Porters and other staff who are going with us on the hike, they all really a very good guys and treated us very well.
Armaye always make sure our needs were fulfilled; extra sleeping bags were given to us when we felt cold on the Mountains. Armaye is really a good guide, patience and also very knowledgeable about the park and he always spot birds and other animals such as Ethiopian Wolves in the park. When we arrived to the camping sites, our cook Idris also always ready with hot coffee and snacks, his soup and food was delicious.
We had truly a life changing experience in Bale Mountains with Armaye and his friends, it was the right decision to use them. on the end we are also discussed about our next trip to Ethiopia with his company. I would recommend anybody to do this trek and you will not regret using this company,
Thank you Armaye Hope to see you again!

3. Simien Mountains National Park

Gonder 0125, Ethiopia 251921963544
Excellent
82%
Good
14%
Satisfactory
2%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 806 reviews

Simien Mountains National Park

Simien Mountains National Park, in northern Ethiopia is a spectacular landscape, where massive erosion over millions of years has created jagged mountain peaks, deep Valleys and sharp precipices dropping some 1,500 m. The park is of global significance for biodiversity conservation because it is home to globally threatened species, including the iconic Walia ibex, a wild mountain goat found nowhere else in the world, the Gelada baboon and the Ethiopian wolf.

Reviewed By Chrisbeeoxford - Oxford, United Kingdom

If one wants to see the endemic mammal species one would need to stay 3 nights in the Lodge; one short visit is not enough to hunt for them in 400 square kilometres of difficult terrain. However a quick visit has its virtues; the scenery is magnificent, the flora is surprisingly similar to Scotland, the Gelado are there in their hundreds, and a few birds can be observed.
Beware if you cannot walk well. The tracks are down and up and can be steep.

4. Omo National Park and River

Jinka 1018, Ethiopia
Excellent
78%
Good
13%
Satisfactory
5%
Poor
2%
Terrible
2%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 298 reviews

Omo National Park and River

Open Ethiopia is running a trip to Omo national park and Omo valley tribes

Reviewed By adventurerealtor - boulder

Must do! We have been traveling in Africa for years, driving overland from South Africa, usually without any guides.
We got to spend quality time in a Hamer Village with only a few other tourists. The camaraderie was incredible, the interactions we had unforgettable, the photos... priceless!
We got connected to Gino and Lalo, and they were fantastic. Coming from a tribal background, their language skills and knowledge were very impressive.
We also had a fire in our Defender (my car), and the guides put us in touch with some good repair shops.
A week later, they still check in on us to see if we need anything.
Highly recommend!

5. Abuna Yemata Guh church

Hawzen, Hawzen, Ethiopia +251 91 051 0910
Excellent
86%
Good
11%
Satisfactory
1%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

5 based on 80 reviews

Abuna Yemata Guh church

Reviewed By Rolalldup - Nantes, France

I Stayed 3 days in Hawzen to visit the nearby churches. It's a very nice experience, the walks to reach the churches are beautiful and sometimes includes climbing. The paintings inside the churches are in a remarkable good shape.
I planned my trips whith Aregawi, who is a young guy living in Hawzen. He organized for me everything at fair prices. He is also a pleasant man and it was a pleasure to interact with him (+251 91 47 95 520)

6. The Ruins of Aksum

Axum, Ethiopia +251 91 155 3405
Excellent
44%
Good
36%
Satisfactory
16%
Poor
4%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4 based on 217 reviews

The Ruins of Aksum

The remains of once powerful royal capital contain impressive tombs and stelae.

Reviewed By marblau - Coquitlam, BC

There are many guides to chose from, but we were glad we chose "Zeray" ([email protected]) as he never disappointed us.
He maximized our time each day, meeting us at the airport, and then starting our tour driving out of town through outstanding countryside to visit the 2600 year old church in Yeha, and much more.
We then drove back into town, checked into our hotel and proceeded to see the sites in Axum.
Zeray was able to make the history of each site come alive for us, his information was precise and interesting. He kept us moving and we were able to see all the sites we wanted to by days end.
4 hours was enough to see Axum's historical sites.Combined with the drive through the extraordinary countryside made it a great day. Zeray, thanks for making the day so special.

7. Gheralta rock

Hawzen, Mek'ele, Ethiopia +251 91 051 0910
Excellent
82%
Good
17%
Satisfactory
0%
Poor
0%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

5 based on 64 reviews

Gheralta rock

Reviewed By Dr Raymond D - Tamworth

We stayed at Gheralta Lodge not far from this rock. It is a spectacular sight. The Mountains soar up from the road as you approach it.

8. Erta Ale

Ethiopia +251 91 815 6611
Excellent
89%
Good
7%
Satisfactory
0%
Poor
3%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

5 based on 64 reviews

Erta Ale

Reviewed By AgnesHenrietta - Brussels, Belgium

With some friends we visited the east of Ethiopia, starting in the Bale Mountains - south east.This is an area with changing vegetation and very divers flora and fauna - e.g.mountain Nyala. In the NE - Afar region - the sights are incredible; the volcano Erta Ale is not to be missed out. You climb some 2-3 hours and when you reach the top
it is already getting dark, the perfect hour to see the eruptions which go on all the time. Since we had "huts" in the neighbourhood overseeing the volcano we could assist at this "spectacle" all night. Simply fantastic!
Some days later we were in the Danakil depression, with the salt lakes, the sulphur fields, the camel caravans!!! All superlatives. Organised by a friend, Ermias Firde.
He's so good, a perfect guide. Telephone and e-mail on request.

9. Church of St. George

Lalibela, Ethiopia +251 94 646 0146
Excellent
85%
Good
15%
Satisfactory
0%
Poor
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Terrible
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Overall Ratings

5 based on 161 reviews

Church of St. George

the church of st George is a brilliant feats of engineering and architecture and are often referred as the "Eighth wonder of the world".

Reviewed By Julie C - New York City, New York

The Church of Saint George has been something I have wanted to see for some time and it didn't disappoint.
An amazing feat to build/carve a church from a huge rock .
From above, the church looks big but once you enter it appears much smaller. Make sure you walk around to get a 360 degree look from above but take care the rock is slippery.

10. Debre Berhan Selassie Church

Gondar, Ethiopia, Gonder, Ethiopia +251 91 815 6611
Excellent
62%
Good
31%
Satisfactory
5%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 291 reviews

Debre Berhan Selassie Church

Reviewed By Robert937 - Rotterdam, The Netherlands

At first sight the church looks like a large barn strangely placed in an enclosure of walls with small towers amidst high trees. There used to be a church at this strategic hill top built in the 17th century, but it was destroyed. This building dates from 1880s, a time when Ethiopia was under attack by the Sudanese ansar followers of the Mahdi who wanted to establish an Islamic caliphate in the region (comparable to IS during our times). Initially these fanatic Islamic rebels fought British backed Turkic Egyptian rule of Sudan, but later turned against Christian Ethiopia as well.
For this reason you see the fortification surrounding the church. Twelve towers symbolizing the protection by the twelve apostles. The interior of the church is abundantly decorated, while the exterior has been kept rather low profile. A bit like similar churches that were built during Ottoman rule in Romania. I was not very impressed about the artistic quality of the frescos. It represents a kind of naieve art, that has its charm. You see scenes from the bible, but also many knights on horses with spears and swords fighting evil (no doubt Al Khalifa's troops). Satan as well is depicted with near him Christian martyrs. One whose head is chopped off, another one hanging upside down from a tree, and other horror scenes.
Remarkable: at the entrance to the church there is a sign in English urging visitors "who slept with your spouse or your spouse yesterday" (I hope they forgot the word today) and "ladies during manstration" not to enter.
Entrance fee for foreigners 100 ETB

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