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Ethiopia

This nation is rich in culture, natural beauty and history. Its stunning landscapes and ancient traditions leave people with a lasting impression that dispels the myth that Ethiopia is just a land stricken by drought and famine. Located in what is known as the ‘Cradle of Humanity’, this nation provides an extraordinary journey through spectacular landscapes and glorious vistas which compete with wildlife reserves for the visitor’s attention.

The Timkat – or Epiphany – religious festival is the most important festival in the Ethiopian calendar. It is celebrated all over Ethiopia but the best place to experience it is Lalibela. Taking place in January, crowds of revellers dressed in white sing in the streets to the sound of beating drums. Priests are adorned in jewel encrusted velvet and satin robes where they perform mass and bless the water. The procession culminates at the water source where the followers baptise themselves by jumping into the water fully clothed. Lalibela is famous for its architectural curiosities including churches carved out of solid rock, believed locally to have been built by the angels. This spectacular experience, in colourful surroundings and echoes of Italian influence, allows the visitor to revel in the culture, landscape and friendly ambiance of this Christian celebration.

Many of the tribes open their villages to visitors who will experience old world charm and a fascinating insight into the lives and cultures of these wonderful people.

The Omo River Valley in south-western Ethiopia is a totally unspoilt area where a multitude of tribes co-exist in complete isolation. The Mursi and Surma tribes are famous for the women who wear large lip plates and the men who carry fierce fighting sticks. Many of the tribes open their villages to visitors who will experience old world charm and a fascinating insight into the lives and cultures of these wonderful people.

The river running through the highlands of Ethiopia provides unforgettable rafting adventures immersing you in deep forest gorges and cascading waterfalls. Known as ‘Africa’s last great wilderness’, this region is also home to majestic wildlife such as lions and elephants.

Simien Mountains National Park is a particularly stunning area where you can stand atop this panoramic precipice and view the amazing Abyssinian abyss. Sitting among the gelada baboons or marvelling at the horned walla ibex, is a must for wildlife enthusiasts. This World Heritage Site, with its dramatic scenery, is the fourth highest peak in Africa made up of a rock massif which slopes down to the grasslands and gorge. Fifty species of birds can also be seen in this area but it is the protection of the rare mammals which inhabit this lush region that offer the most rewarding experience.