Top Ethiopia tourist attractions

Bale Mountains National Park
Bale Mountains National Park in Ethiopia. PHOTO/FILE
Located in east-central Africa, Ethiopia is a great travel destination with a stunning landscape that ranges from rocky deserts to dense forests.

The inland country which borders Sudan to the west, Kenya to the south, Eritrea to the north-east and Somalia and Djibouti to the east offers a host of tourist attractions among them the Bale and Simien mountains national parks and Danakil Depression.

Bale Mountains National Park is a high altitude plateau that is broken by many stunning volcanic plugs and peaks, splendid alpine lakes and swift mountain rivers that fall into deep gorges as they make their way to the lowlands.

The park, whose obvious highlight is the Tullu Deemtu (Ethiopia’s second highest summit – 4,377 m above sea level), is home to a wide range of animal and plant species. At the lowlands, the forest is a habitat for leopards, lions, African hunting dogs, hyenas and other animal species.

Simien Mountains National Park is a must-see attraction for visitors interested in game safaris. The park has a picturesque landscape and is dominated by Ras Dashen (Africa’s 4th highest mountain – 4,622m above sea level).

Situated in north-eastern Ethiopia, southern Eritrea and much of Djibouti, the Danakil Desert is famous its scorching sun and the Afar Depression (100 m below sea level). It is the habitat for the Afar community as well as numerous wildlife species, including the African Wild Ass.

Ethiopian travel is challenging and awe-inspiring – a safari you’ll never forget. To be honest, do not visit the country if you’re looking for a relaxing getaway. Here, unless you’re willing to put up with the rough terrain and some degree of discomfort you won’t find Ethiopia a wonderful destination.

Ethiopia holidays can be taken at any time of the year. However, it is not advisable to visit the country during the rainy season (June until early October) as dirt roads leading to major tourist attractions become impassable. The best time to tour the country is between October and April, when the rains are over but the countryside is still green.

International arrivals to Ethiopia are usually served by the Bole International Airport in Addis Ababa. Bole, the only international airport in the country, is served by Ethiopian Airlines, British Airways, Kenya Airways, Egypt Air and Saudi Arabian Airlines among other airlines.