Things to Do in Ethiopia

The ancestral home of mankind Ethiopia is ancient Orthodoxy and primitive tribes, rock churches and monasteries of Lake Tana, the canyons of the Great Rift Valley and the Blue Nile waterfalls, as well as coffee, Pushkin and Rasta. Tours, photos and maps – all about Ethiopia from Subtleties.

Incredibly original and fantastically picturesque Ethiopia is located in the east of Africa, in the very place where the Horn of Africa supports the “heel” of the Arabian Peninsula. After the secession of Eritrea, Ethiopia lost access to the sea, but this did not detract from its tourist attractiveness. People come here to stand on the land of the legendary Queen of Sheba, admire the unearthly landscapes of the Great Rift Valley, as if just emerging from the crucible of the Creator, go down to the incredible churches-wells, completely carved in stone, up to the frescoes, see many rare and endangered species in the open spaces national parks, relax on the picturesque Lake Tana and admire the Blue Nile waterfalls. Finally, to recite “under the sky of my Africa to sigh about gloomy Russia” directly at the monument to Pushkin in the center of Addis Ababa. Other unusual features of the country include Orthodox Christianity with thousands of years of rituals, an 8-year-lag calendar (which has 13 months), as well as midnight and noon at 18:00 and 6:00, respectively. In a word, you already understood – you must go by all means!

The capital is Addis Ababa. Major cities are Dire Dawa, Nazret, Gondar, Bahr Dar.

Climate of Ethiopia

Ethiopia has a tropical monsoon climate strongly influenced by the country’s highland landscape, which makes it always cooler and wetter than neighboring countries. Most of the major cities in Ethiopia are located at an altitude of 2000-2500 m above sea level. It is comfortable in Addis Ababa throughout the year: +25…+30 °C and moderate rainfall. In the eastern regions of the country, there is a hot and dry desert climate with large daily temperature fluctuations – up to 15 ° C. See for weather information.


A wicker straw basket with a pointed lid will become a practically authentic souvenir from Ethiopia – it serves both for carrying things and food, and as a table, and as a chest – in a word, it will certainly come in handy in the household. Local craftsmen weave colored fibers into baskets, creating an interesting national pattern. For the set, you can purchase a straw mat, coasters for dishes or a wall panel with traditional motifs. You should also pay attention to wood products, national clothes (especially popular among the highlanders “shamma” – a kind of toga) and Orthodox paraphernalia, including unusual icons.

You should definitely buy a couple of packs of coffee – Ethiopian is considered one of the best in the world. The price per kilogram usually does not exceed 70 ETB.

7 things to do in Ethiopia

  1. Take a picture at the monument to the great Ethiopian poet Pushkin at the National Museum of Ethiopia.
  2. Go down to the underground churches of Lalibela and leaf through the 600-year-old Bible.
  3. Sing “Buffalo soldier – dreadlock rasta” at the Lion of Judah Monument.
  4. See the Ethiopian wolf in the vastness of the Semien National Park.
  5. See the oldest ancestor of Homo sapiens, the 3.2-million-year-old hominid Lucy at the National Museum.
  6. To understand that the best coffee is not brewed at Starbucks, but at a roadside coffee shop in any Ethiopian village.
  7. Let yourself be smeared with white clay and ashes during a visit to the tribes of the Stone Age (optional – insert a wooden round timber into the lower lip).


Still, it is no coincidence that Peter I once hired Abram Hannibal: apparently, he felt the elusive commonality of our two nations. If in Russia the head of everything is bread, then in Ethiopia… also bread, or rather, its local variety called “ingera”, reminiscent of thin pita bread. Injera acts as an appetizer, main course, and dessert – it all depends on what it is served with. A traditional Ethiopian meal is injera with wat stew, which is made from just about anything. So, “doro” is chicken wat, “yebeg” is lamb wat, “asa” is fish wat, and “shiro” is vegetarian vegetable wat. It is customary to put a large tray on the table with an injera spread on it, in each corner of which blots-lakes of different cotton wool are slapped, and a dish with a “working” injera, from which pieces are broken off (by all means with the right hand!) And dipped in cotton wool to taste. Meals don’t cost more.20-30 ETB. Another dish based on injera is “firfir”, a baked and chopped flatbread with meat or vegetables.

Lunch in a medium-sized restaurant will cost 50-70 ETB per person, in a bourgeois one – 150 ETB maximum. It is customary to leave the traditional 10% of the bill for tea.

Of the more satisfying ones, you should try “tibs” – beef chop fried in butter (of course, not everywhere it turns out tasty and juicy), and “kifto” meatballs, generously seasoned with chili peppers. Kifto is served raw, semi-cooked and ready, we strongly recommend taking only the latter. In addition, the country has no shortage of “pan-Italian” restaurants with pizza, pasta and lasagna on the menu.

Ethiopians strictly observe the Orthodox fast – these days in the vast majority of “folk” restaurants they serve only lenten food. Restaurants designed for tourists are not affected by these restrictions.

Of the drinks in Ethiopia, coffee is the most common, which is usually served with popcorn. Here coffee beans are roasted by hand, ground by hand in a mortar and cooked on coals, so the coffee turns out great! It is always served black and with sugar. Another national drink is tej mead wine, an amazing orange color, which people come to drink at tejbeit, the Ethiopian equivalent of a British pub. The local wines are quite good too.

Things to Do in Ethiopia