by Sarah Assefa December 08, 2020
Landscapes and Weather in Ethiopia
Ethiopia boasts plenty of beautiful natural scenery. The contrasting landscapes you can find, all in one country are astonishing. Ethiopia is home to one of the highest and lowest lands in the world.
Ethiopia is a landlocked country surrounded by Sudan, South Sudan, Eritrea, Djibouti, Somalia, and Kenya. The northern region mainly consists of volcanic areas located in very low lands where the ground is mainly covered in lava. On the other hand, big cities like, Addis Ababa, Lalibela, Gonder are on higher, more mountainous lands.
The highest spot in Ethiopia is the Ras Dashen Mountain which is part of the Semien mountains located in Gonder. It is also the 9th highest mountain in Africa, standing at 4500m above sea level. Visiting the Semien Mountains is a breathtaking and a once in a lifetime experience. The Semien Mountains are located 3500-4500m above sea level and are home to unique habitats and animals like the Walia Ibex and baboons. The beautiful scenery, unique mountains, and habitat have led the Seimen Mountains to become a world heritage site. There has been a large national park built in the mountain (the largest one in Ethiopia), so you don’t have to worry about your safety or the difficulties of getting there.
The Afar region is home to the world's lowest-lying island called Daset. The lowest point on that island is called the Denikil depression. Lake Aftera supplies valuable salt on the shore to the traders in that region. The area is filled with “Natural Jacuzzis” thanks to the natural volcano springs during the dryer seasons, making it a huge tourist attraction.
The variety of the landscapes has also created a habitat for rare animals and exclusively present in Ethiopia. The most known animals that only exist in Ethiopia include the black mane lion, red fox, and mountain Nyala. Ethiopia is also the starting point of the Blue Nile river, which is a part of the longest river in Africa; the Nile river. The Blue Nile starts in Lake Tana and travels for more than 1400kms all the way to Sudan where it meets with the White Nile.
There aren’t as many breathtaking mountains and sceneries in Addis Ababa, but we do have a few places worth visiting. The main one is the Entoto Mountains. Not only is the view gorgeous from there, but the weather and the cool, crisp wind is a much-needed break from the pollution in the city. You can also visit the new Entoto park if you want to eat, drink, go horse riding, etc. Entoto park has also contributed to tightening security in the area, making it super safe for tourists and families to hike and enjoy the view.
The weather in Ethiopia varies drastically among the different regions. The lower lands and volcanic areas have hotter, humid weather than higher lands like Gonder, Lalibela, and Addis Ababa, where the weather is relatively cooler. Omo valleys in Southern Ethiopia mostly have tropical, humid weather as it is closer to the equator. In most parts of the country, the weather remains relatively neutral, making it one of the few countries where you don’t need an air conditioner or heater to survive all the seasons.
In Addis Ababa, the summer starts in November and continues till May. Winter starts around July, and the wettest season in Addis Ababa is during August and September where the temperature can drop to as low as 5 degrees Celsius.
Addis Ababa is known as the city with 13 months of sunshine. No matter how much it rains, or how cloudy it is, we always get a glimpse of the sun every single day of the year. During the summer the sun is going to feel like it's piercing your skin upon direct contact and that is because of the high altitude of the city. However, the moment you get into a shaded area you can feel the cool breeze cooling down your skin.
If you visit Ethiopia, make sure you take trips to at least a few regions instead of staying in one city. However, if you are here for a short trip or you came only for business and find yourself unable to spend time traveling far, the attractive spots in Addis Ababa are surely worth visiting. There is also a new tour and travel company offering hot air balloon experience in Addis Ababa. You can also join several hiking groups if you want to have a hike with friends and family, or you want to meet new adventurers like yourself.
Whether you are a lover of mountains and hiking, or you are craving for hot weather and natural hot springs, you will not regret visiting Ethiopia. If you are wondering what to wear, bring up clothes that you can layer. Also, bring sunglasses, sunscreen, and hats because the sun can be very brutal in areas with higher altitudes. Last but not least, always remember before visiting any area, do your research regarding the stability of the region you plan to visit or will pass by, for your safety.
by Sarah Assefa April 16, 2019
by Sarah Assefa March 01, 2019
by Sarah Assefa December 16, 2017
Welcome to Ethiopia, the birthplace of coffee. The discovery of coffee in Ethiopia dates back to the 9th century. Legend has it that a farmer named Kaldi discovered coffee after finding his sheep jumping with energy after consuming the wild berry.