|Currency :||Birr (ETB)|
|Time Zone :||East African Time (+8hrs EST)|
|Capital City :||Addis Ababa|
|Population :||77 Million|
|Government :||Federal Republic|
|Total Area :||435 186 mi²|
|Climate :||Tropical monsoon with wide topographic-induced variation|
|National Holidays:||National Day (defeat of MENGISTU regime), 28 May|
|Additional Info:||Ethiopia offers a greater richness in archaeological finds and historical buildings than any other country in Sub-Saharan Africa|
Trekking Semien Mountains
Ethiopia is home to the Semien Mountain range (other spellings include Simien or Simin). This range is considered one of the most spectacular trekking locations in the world and is a World Heritage Site and National Park.
The mountains are a series of plateaus that are separated by valleys and canyons, which rise to pinnacles. The tallest peak is Ras Dashen (14,904ft) but many others provide good competition like Mount Biuat and Abba Yared. Snow regularly falls in this mountainous region, making it one of the few parts of Africa to regularly receive snowfall. The mountains are dotted with villages linked by tracks. Animals that can be spotted in this area are the Gelada Baboons, Ethiopian Wolves, and the Semien Fox. Many claim the scenery in this region far exceed the beauty of the Grand Canyon in the USA.
Ethiopia has yielded some of the oldest traces of humanity, making it an important area in the process of human evolution. The Axumite kingdom, a great civilization of the ancient world some 3,000 years ago, has left behind the mystery of the Stellae found at Axum. The city of Axum, Ethiopia's oldest city, is home to remaining obelisks, as well as the graves of Kings, and the Legendary Bath of Queen of Sheba.
Gondar, the 17th Century capital of Ethiopia, is noted for its Medieval Castles and churches and is often nicknamed "the Camelot of Africa."
Harar, an ancient and holy city, is visited frequently by adventure travelers keen on Ethiopian culture for its great city walls and ancient buildings. The sixteenth century was the Golden Age of Harar. The local culture flourished, and many poets lived and wrote there. It also became known for coffee, weaving, basketry and bookbinding. The old town is home to 110 mosques and many more shrines, centered on Feres Magala Square. Notable buildings include Medhane Alem Cathedral and the sixteenth century Jami Mosque. A long standing tradition of feeding meat to hyenas one night a year developed in the 1960s into a nightly feeding show for the benefit of tourists.
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