Ethiopia is located in Eastern Africa between the equator and the tropic of Cancer; in a region know as the Horn of Africa. At present, it lies between 3N – 15N latitude and 33E-48E Longitude.

Ethiopia has become a landlocked country since 1991 due to its separation from Eritrea. It is border by five countries; on the north and north east by Eritrea, on the east by the Djibouti and Somalia, on the South by Kenya and on the west and northwest by the Sudan. Ethiopia is currently the 10th largest country in Africa that is said to have a surface area about 1,1006,000km2.

Topographically, Ethiopia is a mountainous country and has a very beautiful landscape. The surface configuration of the country ranges from very high mountains (like the Simien and Bale Mountains) to one of the lowest areas below the sea level in Africa the Dankil Depression. The highest peak in Ethiopia is Ras Dashen, which is about 4620m above sea level. While the lowest the Dankil depression is about 120 meters below sea level.

Another major topographic feature in Ethiopia is the central plateau, which is bisected by the Great Rift Valley into North-East and South-West. The Great Rift Valley extends from Mozambique to the Dead Sea and the Jordan valley, passing a South-North direction through Ethiopia.

Ethiopia is one of the few African countries that have a large number of lake and rivers. That is why it is regarded by some as “The Water Tower of North East Africa”. Most of the lakes are found in the Great Rift Valley and they are one of the major sites of tourist attraction. The most prominent Ethiopia lakes are Tana, Abay, Chamo, Shall, Awassa, Abijata, Koka, Hayke and Ashenge.

Lake Tana is the largest lake in Ethiopia and is located in the highlands outside the Rift Valley. It is the source of the Blue Nile and is the third largest in Africa, next to Victoria and Tanganyika.

The major rivers of Ethiopia include Abby (Blue Nile), Wabe Seheblle, Genale, Awash, Takezze, Omo and Baro. Abbay is the largest river in Ethiopia. It is also called the Blue Nile and is the longest River in the world. The Blue Nile Fall is locally known as ‘Tis Issat” and is situated on the upper course of the river, about 30 kilometer downstream from the town of Bahir dar and Lake Tana. It is considered one of Ethiopia’s best-known tourist attractions.

Like the topography, Ethiopia is an ecological diverse country. There are great verities of vegetation ranging from desert lower plants to the high mountains forests. There are also great number of endemic species, of flora and fauna. Altitude diversity in Ethiopia has resulted in dramatic climatic variation. There are there climatic Zones in the country according to their elevation namely; Tropical zone, Sub-tropical zone, and Cold Zone. The climatic variation has also resulted in the existence of four seasons including; Summer, Spring, Winter and Autumn. Ethiopia has a very suitable climate and many people know it as the ‘thirteen months of Sunshine.

In general, the great and remarkable diversity in Ethiopia observed in ethnicity, language, climate, ecology and topography makes the country very beautiful and highly attractive.

Ethiopia is the land where coffee was domesticated and in the evening we will participate in a classic display of Ethiopian hospitality, the Coffee Ceremony. This social ritual is still regularly performed in households all over the country.


Be sure that our travel was really enjoyable and we thank you a lot for the very nice organization and the well balancing of the tour. I promise you to travel back to Ethiopia in January 2015 for the Timkat festival in Lalibela and the Northern part. So, you can as soon as possible prepare our next tour! But as well balanced as the last one we did! Warm regards Véronique and Guy France, July 2013

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