Today’s salt traders operate in much the same way their predecessors did when trading with ancient Egypt. This trader from Danakil is always ready to greet potential customers with a warm smile.
Ethiopia, an old country beyond all imaginations, has culture, religion and traditions dating back over 3000 years of history. The country is home to over 80 different Ethnic groups with their own language, culture and traditions. The strong religious setting, celebrations and festivals play an important part in every ones daily life. From the ancient Christian and Muslim traditions to the leather clad Hamar and the agricultural Oromo, Ethiopia is a land of diversity.
Ethiopia has one of the oldest independent Christian traditions in Africa. The Ethiopian Orthodox Church has its own head, follows its own customs, and is extremely proud of its fourth century origins. The Islamic tradition is also strong here and offers colorful contrast, particularly in the eastern and south-eastern parts of the country. In fact, there were Ethiopian Muslims during the lifetime of Prophet Mohammed. The ancient traditions of these religions have contributed to the fascinating culture travelers find all across the country. This rich religious history is brought to life in the romantic walled city of Harar, considered by many Muslims to be the fourth "Holy City" following Mecca, Medina, and Jerusalem.
Ethiopia has a proud and long history extending to the known beginnings of humankind. The Axumite kingdom was one of the great civilizations of the ancient world and has left behind the mystery of the great Stellae found at Axum. In the late middle Ages great religious civilizations flourished in many parts of the country, particularly at Lalibela where churches hewn out of massive monolithic rock testify not only to great faith but also to great architectural skills. And in the former capital of Gondar castles speak of the same legacy and are evidence of a history shared with Europe.
Ethiopia was, until very recently, the earliest known home of humankind. The discovery of “Lucy”, a 3.5 million year old skeleton believed to be the missing link between apes and human, is paving the way for the search of our origins. Hadar, where Lucy was discovered, has been registered as a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Select a safari from the menu on the left to see what historical and cultural adventures await you in Ethiopia