Culture and traditions have outlived more than 3.000 years in this fascinating country and are as alive as ever. Follow the footsteps of the Queen of Saba and let yourself be fascinated by the legendary rock churches of Lalibela and the unbelievable natural beauties. A country full of colourful contrasts and lively history is waiting for you.
Ethiopia is a landlocked country in the north-east of Africa. During the time of the emire it was known as Abyssinia. It borders Eritrea, Sudan, South Sudan, Kenya, Somalia and Djibouti. With over 91,000,000 inhabitants, Ethiopia is the most populous landlocked country in the world and the second-most populated nation on the African continent.
In Ethiopia there are more than 80 ethnic groups, their sizes range from several million to only a few hundred. Even if it belongs to Africa south of the Sahare geographically, huge parts of the country are historically and culturally influenced by the Far East.
Within the country, over 80 different languages are spoken, but official language is Amharic which is mother tongue to about 19,8 million of the inhabitants. English is the main foreign language spoken and used in from secondary school on.
As different as the ethnic affiliation is the religious. The main denominations are the Ethiopian orthodox Christians, the Sunnite Muslems and different Ethopian Protestant churches. Little minority groups belong to natural religions, Catholisicm and Judaism.
Ethiopia's capital with more than three million inhabitants fascinates with excellent hotels and restaurants, interesting museums and old palaces as well as with Africa's biggest street market, the Mercato.
Gondar is an old imperial city and located between mountains at a height of over 2,100 metres. Here you will find the origin of the Blue Nile as well as the spectacular Tis-Isat-Falls. Historic abbeys, often decorated with colourful wall paintings, can be found on the islands of Lake Tana.
Axum is located in the far north and is the centre for the Ethiopian orthodox church. It is visited by thousands of pilgrims during the festivities of Hidar Zion and Timkat.
Harar is the stronghold of the Ethiopian Muslims and located in the east of the country. Here you will find countless mosques and shrines, nested houses, small alleys and colourful markets.
The skeleton of Lux which was found in 1974 shows that the history of mankind started in Ethiopia and its more than 2,000 year old history goes back till the antiquity.
Ehtiopia is the only African country that never belonged to a European colonial power even if it was the target for the Italians at the end of the 19th Century. During the battle of Adwa on 1. March 1896 the attempts of the Italians could finally be repelled.
In 1930 Haile Selassie became the 225. emperor of Ethiopia. He enforced the abolishment of slavery and reformed his country, especially the legal and educational system. He led Ethiopia - which was occupied by the fascistic Italians before, to independance.
The socialistic military coup of 1974 heralded one of the most repressive dictatorships of Africa, it was put down in 1991 by a civil war. Political and economical reforms led Ethiopia to a republic with 14 regions.
Agriculture is the most important industrial sector of the country. It contributes 43,2 % of the GDP and accounts for four fifth of the export. Additionally four fifths of the population work in this sector, which is also resposible for securing the supply of the country.
The traditionally most important export good of the country is without a doubt coffee with Germany being the biggest importer. Ethiopia additionally exports oilseeds, legumes, flowers, leather and leather products as well as gold.