Explore the Historic Northern Circuit of early Coptic Ethiopian Cities of Axum, Lalibela, Gondar and Bahir Dar
Discover the great diversity of bird species along the rift Valley and the great lakes
Visit the beguiling tribes of painted and adorned people of the Omo Valley
Hike through the geographically stunning Simien Mountains
Go beyond the ordinary by visiting the unchartered areas west of the Omo River
Having spent all her childhood living in and discovering Africa with her parents, Illona developed an unsurpassed love of everything African. A successful and exciting career in safari guiding, wildlife and lodge management followed and ten years quickly passed. It is during this time that Illona was able to get to know many countries in Africa in great detail. Now in her eleventh year with Steppes Travel she has furthered her knowledge of Africa and is our leading authority on African travel.
Always looking to push the frontiers of discovery, her most recent visit to Ethiopia took in most of it highlights. Travelling both north and south of Addis Ababa, the most humbling experience was meeting the people of Lalibela and the devoted followers of the Christian orthodox faith which has reigned there since 300AD. She was most overwhelmed by the age of buildings and artefacts in northern Ethiopia. The fact that the bible from which the scriptures are read every Sunday in the church of Saint Mary of Zion in Axum is 1000 years old, hand painted on animal hide. The tribes of the south were most fascinating, including the Mursi women stretching their bottom lips to accommodate the lip plates worn after marriage, the body art and scarification of the Karo.
Ethiopia is the oldest and most captivating independent country in Africa, which was founded on fascinating stories and myths, dating as far back as Solomon and Sheba. As one of the earliest countries to officially adopt Christianity the ancient capital of Axum, rock hewn churches of Lalibela and the castles of Gondar in the north, map out the historic journey of the early Christian Orthodox church movement. In contrast to the Christian north, the eastern Islamic city of Harar offers insight into the Muslim community dating from the first year of the Islamic calendar. In the South West, the Omo valley offers an insight into tribal Africa.
Travelling in Ethiopia is improving but it is not to everyone’s taste, there is little tourist infrastructure and modernity has not yet reached all areas in this fascinatingly diverse country. But the landscape is splendid, the people are incredibly welcoming and the sense of history is tangible.
Journey Ideas For Ethiopia
View more Journey Ideas for Ethiopia
- Classic Ethiopia
Experience the best that Ethiopia has to offer, 11 days from £2,500 per person.
- The Ultimate Helicopter Safari
A 'to die for' Ethiopia helicopter Safari, 10 days from £28,995pp.