Ethiopia

Riven by many deep and stupendous gorges, crowned by high and magnificent mountains neck-laced by a chain of lakes, water by majestic rivers, studded with burning deserts and great escarpments that plunge down from its highlands, Ethiopia remains a land of incomparable beauty.

But it is not simply the sheer scale of its physical beauty which characterises this land where the Blue Nile has carved one of the world's greatest and most awesome gorges.

Its ancient and medieval monuments, its proud and colourful cultures, and its varied and often unique wildlife set it apart from all else.

Ethiopia, dissected through its middle by the scar of the Great Rift Valley, is as old as time itself. It is a land claiming a history that goes back to the Old Testament.

It is the land of Sheba, and of Axum and Lalibela, of towering obelisks and the Ark of The Covenant - a land that was Christian before much of Europe and yet unknown to Europe for 1,000 years or more; a land that dwelt in limbo, forgotten by the world which it never forgot.

From the vast spread of Lake Tana, source of the Blue Nile River in the northern highlands, through the relics of Axum, seat of Sheba's legendary empire, down along the scorching inferno of the Danakil Depression, one of the world's lowest points, and high amid the wonders of the Simien and Bale Mountains to the untouched, game-filled wildernesses of the remote southern grasslands.

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Fact File

CapitalAddis Ababa

LanguageAmharic, Oromo, Tigrinya, Somali

ClimateThe predominant climate type is tropical monsoon. In Addis Ababa there are on average 7 hours of sunshine per day, meaning it is sunny for around 60% of the time. The dry season is the sunniest time of the year, though even at the height of the rainy season in July and August there are still usually several hours per day of bright sunshine. Most major cities and tourist sites in Ethiopia have a comparable climate.

CurrencyBirr

VisaIssued on arrival at Bole International Airport

HealthAdvised immunisation against yellow fever, malaria, poliomyelitis, tetanus, typhoid, Meningococcal Meningitis and Hepatitis A

PassportsMust be valid for more than six months after proposed date of departure from Ethiopia

Time ZoneGMT +3