Ethiopia, land of origins, known for its many wonders has been delighting and surprising travellers for many years. There is so much to discover with an ancient African civilisation, its colourful festivals, breath-taking landscapes, diverse tribal culture and most of all, its friendly, welcoming people.
Apart from being the oldest independent country in Africa with over 3000 years of independence, Ethiopia is also the earliest known home of humankind. With more than 80 ethnic groups and some 200 dialects, Ethiopia is home to a multitude of cultures all with their own customs and traditions to preserve. The Orthodox Church is the oldest Christian establishment in Africa and officially the third oldest in the world. Ethiopia is unique with its own alphabet and number system dating back to those ancient times. Ethiopia is the land of the Queen of Sheba, a place of legendary rulers, remarkable kingdoms and ancient histories.
Ethiopia descends to 120 meters below sea level in the Danakil Depression and reaches up to the dizzy heights of Ras Dashen at 4624m in the Simien mountains.
Ethiopia was well known to the ancient writers. It is mentioned in the Bible more than 38 times by both Old Testament and New Testament writers. So, in accordance with the Biblical traditions of ancient Israel, Ethiopia is described as the land of "Cush", which was located by the "River Nile" (Gen. 2:13). The Septuagint (The Greek Translation) also describes it with the name of "Ethiopia", which has the same location.
Many historians knew Ethiopia from The Bible and described its geographical location, referring to the south of Egypt, which was populated by both Hamitic and Semitic stocks of people. According to the ancient Egyptian tradition, it was known as the "Land of Punt" located at the end of the world, as well as "Land of Ghost." Homer (Greek poet of the 8th century B.C.) knew of this historical land and its people when he said "Ethiopia, the land of sun burned face." He described the inhabitants as "the blameless race." Herodotus (Greek historian, 485–25 B.C.) praised the nation of Ethiopia as "the most just men". The legal Source of Ethiopia starts with the introduction of Judaism to Ethiopia, recorded in the Kebre Negest (The Glory of the Kings). This book focuses primarily upon two historical topics:
- The birth of Menelik, son of Solomon, the King of Israel, and the Queen Sheba of Ethiopia (970–33 B.C.)
- The Ark of the Covenant, which was brought to Axum from Jerusalem by the Levites (946–B.C.?)
Ethiopia, then called Abyssinia, has beckoned explorers, writers, and adventure seekers for thousands of years. It's as exotic and exciting as it sounds. After all, this is the land where all began. Now, it's your turn to experience this truly magical land!