Upon arrival, you will be welcomed by our staff, and then taken to your hotel. The name Addis Ababa in Amharic (the national language of Ethiopia) means “New flower”. Addis, which was founded in 1886 by Menelik II, is 2,500 metres above sea level, making it one of the highest capital cities in the world.
With an average temperature of 25ºC, it is a pleasant city with side avenues of jacaranda trees, interesting museums and one of the largest open-air markets in Africa, known as the “Merkato”. It also has a good number of restaurants, hotels and discotheques.
A tour of the city will be provided upon request – depending on your energy levels after your long-haul flights! Options (listed below) would be discussed with Amlaku Teshome, and a tailor-made tour would then be made.
Set within Haile Selassie’s former palace, and surrounded by the beautiful gardens and fountains of the university’s main campus, is the enthralling Ethnological Museum.
Even if you’re not a museum fan, this one is worth a bit of your time – it’s easily one of the finest museums in Africa, showing the full sweep of Ethiopia’s cultural and social history across two floors.
It has collections that describe almost all the tribal groups in Ethiopia. Here you will have an overview about the history, culture, and traditions of the people of Ethiopia.
A beautiful church with a baroque style of European architecture unique to both Ethiopia and Africa. The Cathedral is dedicated to the Holy Trinity.
Many renowned Ethiopians are buried in the church grounds and the tombs of Emperor Haile Selassie and his wife are inside the church.
St. Georges Cathedral
Located in the heart of the city, this is where the coronation of Emperor Haile Selassie as the Emperor of Ethiopia took place in 1930.
Its museum holds clothes and belongings of former Ethiopian kings, along with historic religious crosses and other symbols, together with numerous manuscripts and paintings.
National Museum of Ethiopia
The collection on show at the National Museum is ranked among the most important in sub-Saharan Africa. Far and away the highlight is the palaeontological exhibition in the basement, the home of world-famous Lucy.
Her 1974 discovery in the Afar region of northwestern Ethiopia changed our understanding of human origins forever. This section is well labelled in English, so if your time is limited spend most of it here.
If you’re a market lover, one place you can’t miss when you visit Addis Ababa is Addis Merkato. It’s considered Africa’s biggest market, an open air sprawl of vendors that goes on for kilometres.
It’s one of those markets that weaves in all directions and you never know what you’re going to stumble into or what you’re going to find. At the market there’s a section for just about anything you can imagine.
With an altitude of 3200 metres, Mount Entoto is the highest peak in the Addis Ababa region. It was the site of the first palace of Menelik II, the founder of Addis Ababa, and offers wonderful views of the surrounding forests and the capital below.
It is considered a sacred mountain and has many monasteries. The mountain is densely covered by eucalyptus trees that were imported from Australia during the reign of Menelik II, and mostly planted during Emperor Haile Selassie’s reign. Thus, it is sometimes referred to as the “lung of Addis Ababa”.
The forest on the mountain is an important source of firewood for the city. It was also a source of building material in earlier times.