The Highlights of Trekking in Ethiopia
In spite of its’ considerable size and population, Ethiopia rarely receives much attention in the travel press. Usually, people who take trekking holidays to Ethiopia say that it is a wonderful destination to visit. However, for those yet to take the plunge, knowing where to begin might be a daunting prospect. Here’s an overview of the attractions that await you, if you choose to venture out to this picturesque land.
The Appeal of Ethiopia
Apart from Nigeria, Ethiopia is the most densely populated country in Africa, and it is situated on the Horn of the continent. It is one of the hottest and lowest areas of Africa, but it boasts some of the lushest landscape as well. For adventurous travellers, Ethiopia has a lot of appeal. You can walk amongst spectacular scenery, rock climb in rugged conditions, and explore interesting chapters of history by visiting the marvellous medieval architecture.
The capital of Ethiopia, Addis Ababa, is located in the highlands, which has a milder climate throughout much of the year. This city is a good starting point for tourists, because it offers a gateway for exploration. Although the best mountains, hiking routes and cities are frequently separated by countless miles of land, the fantastic network of domestic flights can transport you to wherever you want to go in virtually no time. Thus, you will still be able to see all of Ethiopia’s stunning natural landscape. This video should give you a good idea of what’s in store:
Exploring The National Parks
Possibly the main reason as to why so many tourists become awe-stricken by their Ethiopian trekking experiences, is the sheer diversity and size of the national parks. A dazzling range of flora and fauna, astonishing landmarks and cities, and enchanting verdant valleys characterise these preserved regions. However, for many, the top attraction is the mountains.
For tourists interested in mountain trekking, there are 2 main choices: the Simien Mountains National Park, and the Bale Mountains National Park. Each park allows you to be at one with nature, and they both have unforgettable vistas. Nonetheless, out of the 2, the Simien Mountains are more frequently acclaimed for the historical treasures located nearby, and for the views.
There are several well established and connected routes that pass through the Simien Mountains, with perfectly positioned viewpoints available on the way. Some of the highlights are the wildlife watching opportunities in Chenek, the view from Immetgogo promontory (3,926 metres) and, for the very daring, the Ras Dashen summit (4,543 metres).
The man made attractions that adorn the landscape in Ethiopia are definitely worth taking the time to visit as well. Gonder, from where bus loads of Ethiopian trekking enthusiasts travel to the Simien Mountains, has seventeenth century castles. Although virtually impossible to get to, unless you fly there, Lalibela is among the most valued sites in Ethiopia. It was the medieval capital of the country, and it has serenely picturesque churches that are carved straight into the rock face. Following a demanding trekking adventure, this might be the ideal location for some recuperative contemplation.
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