#Ethiopia – one of Africa’s last tourism frontiers

INNOVATION AND INCREASED CONNECTIVITY PUT ETHIOPIA INTO POLE POSITION TO BECOME A MAJOR TOURISM POWER IN AFRICA

(Posted 09th November 2019)

(Pictures courtesy of Ethiopian Tourism)

Ethiopia’s extensive network of national parks but notably also several UNESCO World Heritage Sites, besides other tourist attractions can be explored along several well-established routes after landing in Addis Ababa.
There, in the capital city, await a number of internationally branded hotels ranging from 3 to 5 stars, including the Addis Ababa Sheraton which is part of the global group’s luxury network.
Ethiopian Airlines itself has also invested in a brand new hotel close to Bole International Airport, the Ethiopian Skylight Hotel, and an extension, bringing the overall number of rooms to some 1.000, is already under planning.

The launch of e-Visa facilities, now taken up over the past two years by over 200.000 travelers already, has greatly facilitated greater visitor numbers and Ethiopian Airlines’ offer to give a free city tour – and transit Visa – for passengers with a layover of between 6 to 8 hours and more, has also shown an impact and given those who benefited from the free offer no doubt the taste for more.

A varied selection of exciting destinations awaits visitors to Ethiopia. National parks include the scenic Simien and Bale Mountains, with their wealth of wildlife, while historical sites range from the atmospheric rock-hewn churches of Lalibela to the towering stelae of Aksum and castles in Gondar.

ATCNews has in the past published articles about these attractions and how to reach them by air with Ethiopian Airlines from Addis Ababa, evidence that Ethiopian Holidays is now very active in promoting a greater number of stays in Ethiopia, while Addis Ababa of course remains Africa’s largest hub for flights across the continent.

From hiking and wildlife viewing to hot-air balloon trips and exploring museums, Ethiopia offers limitless possibilities to outdoor enthusiasts and travellers seeking to explore the country.
A wide range of outdoor and adventure activities includes scenic overland expeditions, hiking in ancient forests and across afro-alpine moorlands, climbing active volcanoes and ballooning around Addis Ababa .

From the coffee plantations of the western highlands to the lakes that dot the Great African Rift Valley, Ethiopia’s wealth of down-to-earth nature experiences include the opportunity to track endemic wildlife on foot, and some of the finest birding anywhere in Africa.

Whether visitors are wandering through some of the country’s first rate museums and palaeontological sites or enjoy shopping for handicrafts or explore and sample the unique and spicy cuisine, Ethiopia offers a rare variety of rewarding cultural experiences.

Another highlight can be a visit to the Erta Ale Volcano as can the cultural mosaics of Konso and South Omo and bird-rich lakes along the Rift Valley floor. Five well-established routes can be followed to explore Ethiopia’s best known destinations, along with some more off-the-beaten-track gems.

Some of the country’s highlights can be reached by domestic flights with Ethiopian Airlines, arranged by Ethiopian Holidays but a number of locally licenced tour companies are available to arrange for trips across Ethiopia, fitting everyone’s budget and time frame.

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