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The Danakil Depression is one of the lowest, and hottest inhabited places on earth. It is located in the Afar Triangle 30km from the Eritrean border. The scorching, inhospitable land of active volcanos, lava lakes, sulphur pools, acid hot springs and salt flats is perfect for independent travelers in Africa. This place has been described as the "Gate to Hell", as well as "other worldly" by those who've visited. This remote area is inhabited by Afar nomads and accessible by 4x4 only.
World-renowned for its 11 rock-hewn churches constructed in the 12th and 13th century, Lalibela was meant to be a "New Jerusalem". These architectural marvels are believed to be some of the largest monolithic churches in the world. Surrounded by a traditional village, and the town of Lalibela, the rock-hewn churches remain an important pilgrimage site for Orthodox Christians. The town is also a popular place to celebrate Timkat (Epiphany) every January 19th
The Simien mountains are stunning eroded jagged mountain peaks rising out of deep lush valleys of pristine afro alpine forest. A trek here offers you to opportunity to spot Gelada Baboons, Walia Ibex perched on a rock ledge and occasionally the Ethiopian wolf. This national park offers some of the best and most accessible vistas in all of Africa and is home to the highest peak in Ethiopia, Ras Dashen. Bring a camera for spectacular photos of natural beauty.
Bahir Dar is a large city sitting on Lake Tana, the largest lake in Ethiopia and also the source of the Blue Nile. This city is of great importance not only because it is the launching point for those wishing to visit the Blue Nile Falls but also for the numerous medieval island monasteries. These secluded Christian monasteries on Lake Tana are of great religious and historical significance and are mainly accessible by boat from Bahir Dar.
Famous for its Royal enclosure (Fasil Ghebbi) of castles built by successive Ethiopian emperors and kings, Gondar is the only place in Africa where you find castles and is often referred to as the "Camelot of Africa". One of the most important Ethiopian Orthodox churches is found here, Debre Birhan Selassie church. Renown for its iconic Ethiopian Church art and angel covered ceiling. The city of Gondar is also a former capital of Ethiopia and jumping off point for those heading to the Simien Mountains.
This trip hundreds of kilometers south of Addis Ababa is an escape off the beaten path and into nature. Those who visit Ethiopia for photography tours and adventure travel should not miss the Omo Valley. The area has over a dozen diverse African tribes living much the way they have for centuries. The natural scenery is ever-changing and as spectacular as the colorful tribesmen. The Lower Omo Valley area is one of the only places to see elephants, giraffes, Cape buffalo and other wildlife in Ethiopia.
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Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
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