Known as the 'Roof of Africa', Ethiopia is a land of surprises, with a wealth of superb trekking, a rich cultural heritage and some of the finest mountain scenery in Africa. Arguably the most impressive area is the Simien Mountains in the north of the country which has many summits over 4000 metres, including Ras Deshen (4620m / 15,157ft), the fourth highest mountain in Africa. With a striking landscape of ridges and scarps, this region is home to rare wildlife species, including the Walia ibex, Simien red fox, the strikingly maned Gelada baboon and the majestic lammergeier or bearded vulture. Ethiopia also has a fascinating history, best represented in the ancient capital of Gondar, which has an unusual collection of castles and churches built in the 17th century by a succession of Ethiopian emperors. Another place not to be missed when visiting the northern part of the country is the ancient city of Lalibela, with its rock-hewn churches, dating back to the 12th century.


With a land area of 1,127,000 square kilometres, Ethiopia is a vast, landlocked country on the eastern side of the African continent. Kenya and Somalia lie to the south, Sudan to the west, whilst to the north and northeast, cutting off Ethiopia's access to the sea are Eritrea and Djibouti. Ethiopia includes some of the finest mountain scenery in Africa, notably in the Simien Mountains which have been designated a World Heritage Site. This highland area in the northern part of Ethiopia includes many summits over 4000 metres (13000ft.), the highest peak being Ras Deshen, at 4620 metres (15157ft.), the fourth highest mountain in Africa. Geographically, the Simien Mountains comprise several major plateaux, which are underlain by basalt lavas thousands of metres thick. It is the erosion of these lavas which has created the dramatic escarpments and freestanding pinnacles which are characteristic of the range and which are comparable in terms of spectacle to the Grand Canyon.

Time Zone

The time in Ethiopia is GMT + 3 hours.