Ethiopia has more UNESCO World Heritage Sites than any other of Africa’s 54 nations. If you are seeking more than another trip—a truly unique travel experience of a lifetime—this will be one of them. Capital city Addis Ababa aside, most agree the entire country is off the beaten path. It’s also the birthplace of people in travel mode. Africa’s oldest royal dynasty is the turf from where humans first began moseying to other continents—the first road trippers. Most paleoarcheologists boil it down to something like this: Africans, from what is now Ethiopia, started wandering toward the Middle East. Once there, the nomads who hung a right evolved into Asians, while the drifters swerving left developed white skin; a rainbow of complexions was born in that midst. If this simplified scenario is in fact true, Ethiopia serves as the origin of foot travel and bore our first true itinerants. And they certainly still like to mosey. Outside Addis Ababa, where cars are a rare luxury, walking is a way of life. Locals catch rides with donkey-cart pilots while children as young as four-years-old herd cattle, camels, and sheep. You’ll fit in just fine. This stunning country has wildly diverse landscapes, microclimates, and cultures.
The country that invented wandering was never colonized and truly enjoys mixing with visitors: xenophobia is not in their vocabulary.
The Ethiopian love of travel is sustained by nationals making both in-country spiritual pilgrimages and outbound quests to holy sites around the world. Intrinsically religious, they celebrate 150 Saints days a year. The self-customized Ethiopian Orthodox Church’s fourth-century origins means Ethiopia was Christian long before Europe. Even atheists will be astounded by the sacred, musical dedication here—an epoch soundtrack loop fills the air in every church.
Ethiopian men and women have also mastered running. Ethiopian track stars own 31 world records, specializing in middle distances. Marathon man Abebe Bikila won his second Olympic gold medal in Rome, running barefoot! Biological anthropology reveals a dateline of pioneering while Ethiopia tutors us on simply enjoying a moment. Perhaps the first humans to seize get-up-and-go were genetically inclined towards walkabouts. That must be why we all enjoy going for a stroll. The roaming gene shoots the rapids of natural selection, motion creating emotion. Walking never disappoints; a whimsical celebration of right now. The human wandering gene should not be outsourced over time—and the country that started it all keeps on trekking. Today’s travelers are actually returning home to Africa’s original pilgrimage epicenter.
The country that hosts the headquarters for the African Union still embodies the walkabout remains a pilgrim magnet—you should come find out why. Ethiopia is humanity’s starting line…ground zero for our most primitive manifest destiny.
Ethiopia is history, still in full stride.
OFF THE BEATEN PATH
Aside from Addis Ababa, most will say the whole country is off the beaten path! And they would be right! Most don’t know there are more UNESCO World Heritage sites in Ethiopia than any other African nation.
The Ethiopian Highlands are the largest continuous mountain range on the continent while the Sof Omar Caves represent the largest cave networks, both offering tourists unique exploration of this undiscovered land.
The remnants of the country’s plight during the 1970s and 1980s now a distant past, Ethiopia actually boasts the highest GDP of any East African nation, and the tourist experience here is ready and waiting for you. Again we only work with the best operators, all who have been the highest quality guides in Ethiopia for many years.
Enjoy a taste of Ethiopia and Addis Ababa with a short stopover package when flying Ethiopian Airlines. Get more out of your trip when you’re passing through Addis Ababa on your way to an African holiday. Immerse yourself into the culture and history of this dynamic destination and enjoy two holidays in one with an Ethiopian Stopover package.
Good to know
Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia
Mostly Omormo, Amharic