Posted on October 7th, 2009 No comments
The landlocked Ethiopia on the Horn of Africa is more commonly associated with its troubled history than with its abundance of unique charm that makes it a praiseworthy tour destination. It is a country that has endured more than its fair share of strife in the relatively recent past, stemming from war, famine and drought in the region, and though travellers may be forgiven for opting for an alternative travel destination in light of the negative headlines Ethiopia often elicits, they will be sacrificing an opportunity to explore one of the most fascinating and rewarding countries in Africa.
Ethiopia prides itself in being one of the oldest independent nations in the world, as well as being one of the few countries to have never been fully colonized; aside from a five-year stint during which the country lay under Italian occupation, Ethiopia has remained entirely autonomous throughout its long history. As a result, the land that awaits travellers is one unaffected by the Western influence found in countries with a colonial history and one wherein upwards of 77 different ethnic groups, many with their own unique cultures, languages and customs, live predominantly traditional lives. An apt reflection of Ethiopia’s distinctiveness and separateness can be seen in the country’s continued use of the Julian calendar at a time when most societies have long since switched to the Gregorian calendar. This, along with having its own written system and notation system means that where many destinations can boast a uniqueness of identity in some aspect or another, Ethiopia surpasses most by retaining an untouched individuality of extraordinary depth, a quality that it has been nurturing since the beginnings of civilisation itself.