The problem when planning a trip to Ethiopia isn't knowing what there is to do, but rather figuring out how to see everything!
How do you choose between hiking in the Simien mountains, a national park with incredible scenery, ranging from a precipice to valleys 1,500 m below, filled with indigenous species, and discovering modern Ethiopia at Addis-Abeba, its capital, a town where construction continues apace, where buildings worthy of New York jostle for space with small, wooden shacks, museums, Ethio-jazz clubs and the old quarters of the Piazza and the station?
Between sunbathing on the beaches of lake Tana, the largest lake in Ethiopia, where you can watch fishermen drawing up their fish-filled nets, and the newly listed UNESCO world heritage sites: the impressive churches carved into the Lalibela rock, the magnificent fortified town of Haran, where Rimbaud, the French poet, spent some time, the ruins of the ancient town of Aksoum and the majestic monolithic obelisk?
Between exploring one of the new national parks in search of scenery and wild animals – the park at Awash offers panoramic views from the summit of the Fentale volcano, while the park at Gambela is home to elephants, crocodiles, lions, antelopes, hippopotami, red hartebeest, monkeys... – and spending an unforgettable night in the villlage of the Mursi, a semi-nomadic population known for their ear ornaments, worn particularly by the women, who are termed 'plate women'?
And finally, why not adventure into the strange Danakil desert? Situated 116 m above sea level, the volcano there is covered by a thick layer of salt, coloured by a surprising palette of sulfur, salt and other minerals.