Ethiopia is a huge landlocked country in the Horn of Africa, surrounded by Eritrea and Sudan to the north, Djibouti and Somalia to the east, Kenya to the south and South Sudan to the west. This east African country covers an area of 1.1 million kilometres squared, and its capital and largest city is the ancient city of Addis Ababa.
What can you expect of the terrain?
The terrain of Ethiopia is as varied as its ancient culture. Towering rocky mountains dominate the landscape and the cliffs of the Great Rift Valley divide the country from southwest to northeast. There are extensive lowland areas, semi-deserts, hilly steppes and forested regions that are home to countless endemic animal and bird species unique to Ethiopia.
What type of wildlife will we see?
Ethiopia is a vast country and as a result it has no shortage of wildlife to discover. Whilst the larger and more well-known game animals such as ferocious prides of lions, huge herds of elephants and hyenas are abundant, it is Ethiopia’s rarer wildlife that attracts most visitors to the country. More than 242 mammals are listed as living in Ethiopia, including fox, ibex, bushbuck, nyala, hartebeest and wild foxes. Gelada baboons roam the mountainous regions, as do 30 bird species that cannot be found anywhere else in the world.
Best time to go and why?
Ethiopia has something to offer throughout the year with a temperate climate in most areas. The major highland destinations across the Northern Circuit, including Addis Ababa and Harar, enjoy daytime temperatures between 22˚C and 28˚C with cool nights. The southern Rift Valley and South Omo are warmer and can get seriously hot in the summer months between June and August.
When is high season?
Ethiopia doesn’t really have a high season, but most travellers visit during the dry season between October and June.
When is low season?
The rainy season between late June and September brings flooding to the lowland areas. Hiking routes and safaris are less busy at this time of year.
When is the best weather?
The so-called Green Season in September and October is when the forests and mountain areas are at their most lush.