Ethiopia is the cradle of humankind where the fossil remains of early humans, namely Selam and Lucy, were discovered. Ethiopia has its own ancient calendar and unique alphabet. A rugged country of tall mountains and arid deserts, Ethiopia has a diverse population with more than 80 distinct ethnic and linguistic groups.
Ethiopia covers 1.1 million km2 area of land and is located in the Horn of Africa. It borders Eritrea, Djibouti, Somalia, Kenya, South Sudan and Sudan. The country is divided into nine regional states and two city administrations.
Ethiopia enjoys a temperate climate on the plateau and a hot climate in the lowlands. Addis Ababa, which ranges from 2,200 to 2,600 m., has a maximum temperature of 26 °C and minimum of 4 °C.
FAUNA AND FLORA
Coffee is one of Ethiopia’s most notable gifts to the world. This mysterious plant was first discovered around the 9th century in the southwestern part of Ethiopia in a place called Kaffa, which is still known today for its production of organic forest coffee. It is from Kaffa that coffee crossed the Red Sea to southern Arabia (present-day Yemen) and spread to the world.
Ethiopia is full of dramatic landscapes, scenery, and rich flora and fauna. Ethiopia has 823 species of birds and 277 species of mammals, seven of which are endemic, including the Gelada baboon, Walia Ibex and Simien fox.
ADDIS ABABA – THE CAPITAL CITY
Despite being near the equator, the high elevation of Addis Ababa ensures moderate temperature year-round.
Addis Ababa is as cosmopolitan as any of the world’s great metropolis with its great infrastructure, architecture and diversity. Addis Ababa is the seat of the Central Ethiopian Government and many diplomatic missions, most notably the African Union (AU) and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA).
DINING AND ACCOMMODATION
Addis Ababa has many hotels that cater to every type of visitor and budget: from luxurious five-star hotels comfortable four-star and three-star hotels to cozy budget guest houses. Many of the larger hotels offer entertainment, tour operators, meeting venues equipped with advanced audio-visual equipment, printing facilities, wireless internet access and catering services.
There are hundreds of excellent and affordable restaurants in Addis Ababa that serve both traditional and international cuisine in pleasant and comfortable settings. Coffee is a traditional part of Ethiopian culture and you are never far from one of Addis Ababa’s excellent coffee and pastry shops. For a comprehensive list of great restaurants and coffee shops in Addis please refer this guide cleverly put together by Cactus Advertising and Marketing.
Bole International Airport is the busiest airport in East Africa and the hub of the national flag carrier: Ethiopian Airlines. It is also serviced by several international airlines with daily flights to Europe, North America and Asia as well as African destinations. For further information on local and international flights, please visit: www.ethiopianairlines.com
Yellow and green meter or contract taxis are available at the airport, hotels and shopping centers. Walking in Addis Ababa is also a pleasant and practical way of getting around. There are also ride hailing apps such as Etta and ZayRide which are available for download from both Play Store and App Store.
There are plenty of Activities to engage in while in Ethiopia. From mountain hikes to birdwatching and historical tours, Ethiopia offers something for everyone. To explore what activities you can engage in and get more information about Ethiopia, please refer to the Ethiopian Tourism Organization.
For the business traveler who doesn’t have time to go on out of town excursions, here are our must-have experiences right here in Addis.
- Attend an Ethiopian Traditional Coffee Ceremony
- Have Ethiopian Food
- Watch a Traditional Dance Show
- See Lucy! Meet the oldest human fossil ever discovered.
- Drive through Merkato. Explore Africa’s largest open air market.
- Drive down Churchill Road. Drive through a few of Addis’ most iconic areas from Piassa to the National Theater
For information on these and much more please visit the Ethiopian Tourism Organization’s website at www.ethiopia.travel