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Of all the African nations, Ethiopia is most prone to misconceptions. The 1985 famine and the cracked barren earth of the Danakil Depression are not images quickly forgotten. This fully updated guide refocuses the lens to reveal an ancient country that continues to surpass all expectations: from the ancient Judaic cultures of the fertile highlands to the colorful animist people of the South Omo Valley, from the Afro-pine moorland of the Bale Mountains National Park to the thundering Blue Nile Falls. Taking you far off the beaten track, the author presents more of this expansive beautiful land, believed to be the cradle of humankind.
Bradt's Ethiopia provides the most comprehensive coverage of any English-language guidebook on the market. Not only does it include towns and villages well off the beaten track, but it goes into greater depth than its competitors, with more detail on the history, culture and sights, and more opinionated and entertaining reviews of hotels and restaurants. In addition, it features detailed information on wildlife, national parks and trekking routes found in no other book.
Introduction xi PART ONE GENERAL INFORMATION 1 Chapter 1 Background Information 3 Geography 3, Climate 4, History 5, Government and politics 34, Economy 39, People and culture 40, Music 41, Language 47, Religion 48 Chapter 2 Natural History 51 Mammals 52, Reptiles 62, Birds 64 Chapter 3 Practical Information 75 When to visit 75, Suggested itineraries 75, Tour operators 77, Tourist information 80, Red tape 81, Embassies and honorary consulates 82, Getting there and away 83, What to take 84, Money 86, Budgeting 88, Getting around 89, Accommodation 95, Eating and drinking 98, Public holidays and festivals 102, Shopping 102, Arts and entertainment 103, Media and communications 104, Local interaction 106, Responsible tourism 108 Chapter 4 Health and Safety 111 Preparations 111, Diseases 114, Insects 119, Medical facilities 120, Outdoor health 120, Safety 122, Women travellers 123, Disabled tavellers 124 PART TWO ADDIS ABABA 125 Chapter 5 Addis Ababa 127 Getting there and away 128, Orientation 130, Getting around 131, Tourist information 135, Where to stay 135, Where to eat and drink 144, Entertainment and nightlife 151, Shopping 153, Other practicalities 154, What to see and do 157 PART THREE NORTHERN ETHIOPIA 169 Chapter 6 Addis Ababa to Lake Tana by Road 175 From Addis Ababa to Dejen 175, Dejen to Bahir Dar via Mota 180, Dejen to Bahir Dar via Debre Markos 181 Chapter 7 Bahir Dar and Lake Tana 189 Bahir Dar 190, The Blue Nile Falls 199, The Lake Tana monasteries 202, Bahir Dar to Gondar by road 209, Gorgora 211 Chapter 8 Gondar and the Simien Mountains 215 Gondar 215, Debark 230, Gondar to Axum by road 231, Simien Mountains National Park 233 Chapter 9 Axum and the Adigrat Road 243 Axum 243, From Axum to Adigrat 259, Adigrat 263 Chapter 10 Rock-hewn Churches of Northeast Tigrai 269 Background 270, Bureaucracy 273, Guides 274, Further information 275, The Adigrat-Wukro road 275, Hawzien and the Gheralta 280, Wukro and surrounds 287, Atsbi and surrounds 291 Chapter 11 Mekele and the Danakil 295 Mekele 295, The Danakil Depression 301, Mekele to Woldia by road 306 Chapter 12 Through Routes to Lalibela 309 Woldia and the main eastern approach 309, The China Road from Bahir Dar or Gondar 311, From Axum/Mekele via Abi Aday and Sekota 314, From Abi Aday to Sekota 318, Sekota 318, Exploring the South Wolo heartland 319 Chapter 13 Lalibela and Surrounds 323 Lalibela 323, Churches outside Lalibela 335 Chapter 14 Dessie and Surrounds 343 Dessie 343, Kombolcha 347, Excursions from Dessie and Kombolcha 349 Chapter 15 Kombolcha to Addis Ababa 359 From Kombolcha to Debre Birhan 359, Debre Birhan 364, Ankober 366 PART FOUR EASTERN ETHIOPIA 369 Chapter 16 Addis Ababa to Adama by Road 373 Akaki Wetlands 373, Bishoftu (Debre Zeyit) and surrounds 374, Adama (Nazret) 382 Chapter 17 Awash National Park and the Assab Road 389 Awash National Park 389, Metahara 393, Awash Saba 394, The Assab Road 396 Chapter 18 Harar and Dire Dawa 405 To Harar and Dire Dawa by road 405, Dire Dawa 408, Harar 414, Excursions from Harar 426, Jijiga 430 PART FIVE SOUTHERN ETHIOPIA 433 Chapter 19 Addis Ababa to the Rift Valley via Butajira 437 Addis Ababa to Butajira 437, Butajira 441, From Butajira to Hosaina 442, Hosaina 444, Sodo 446 Chapter 20 The Rift Valley South to Hawassa 451 Addis Ababa to Ziway 452, Ziway 452, Lake Langano 456, Abiata-Shala National Park 458, Arsi Negele 461, Shashemene 461, Hawassa (Awassa) 466 Chapter 21 The Bale and Arsi Highlands 473 Asela 474, Asela to Dodola 476, Dodola and Adaba 476, Adaba-Dodola mountain trekking 478, Dinsho 482, Bale Mountains National Park 483, Robe 491, Sof Omar Caves 492, Goba 493, Goba to Negele Borena via Dola Mena 495, Negele Borena 496, From Negele to Shashemene 498, From Negele to Yabello 499 Chapter 22 The Moyale Road 501 Dilla 502, Dilla to Yabello by road 507, Yabello 509, From Yabello to Moyale 511, Moyale 514 Chapter 23 Arba Minch and the Konso Highlands 515 Arba Minch 515, Nechisar National Park 521, Chencha and Dorze 524, Karat-Konso 526 Chapter 24 South Omo 535 Planning your trip 537, The Konso-Jinka road: Weita, Key Afer and Koko 541, Weita to Turmi via Arbore and Lake Chew Bahir 543, Hamer country: Turmi and Dimeka 545, Omorate 547, Murelle and surrounds 550, Mago National Park 552, Jinka 555 PART SIX WESTERN ETHIOPIA 559 Chapter 25 The Wenchi Loop 563 From Addis Ababa to Ambo 563, Ambo 564, Mount Wenchi 566, Weliso 567 Chapter 26 The Western Highlands 571 Jimma 571, Bonga 578, Mizan Tefari and southwest Omo 579, Matu 583, Bedele 584, Nekemte 586 Chapter 27 Gambella 589 Gambella 589, Gambella National Park and surrounds 594, Dembidolo 595 Appendix 1 Language 597 Appendix 2 Glossary 605 Appendix 3 Key Historical and Legendary Figures in Ethiopia 607 Appendix 4 Some Ethiopian Transcriptions of Place Names 611 Appendix 5 Further Information 613 Index 622
Philip Briggs has been exploring Africa since 1986, when he spent several months backpacking on a shoestring from Nairobi to Cape Town. He has visited more than two dozen African countries in total and written about most of them for specialist travel and wildlife magazines including Africa Birds & Birding, Africa Geographic, BBC Wildlife, Travel Africa and Wanderlust. He first visited Ethiopia in 1994, on a four month trip to research the first edition of the Bradt guide, and has travelled there extensively since to research subsequent editions, accompanied by his wife, the travel photographer Ariadne Van Zandbergen. Kim Wildman has spent the better part of the last ten years crossing the African continent from end to end as a guidebook author, travel writer and wildlife photographer.
During this time she has authored and updated more than 15 guidebooks including Bradt's Ghana and Tanzania. Kim has a degree in African Studies, attained from the University of Cape Town, and her feature articles have appeared in Travel Africa, abouTime, Planet Africa, The Sydney Morning Herald, and Voyageur.
'Essential reading for anyone with the remotest interest in Ethiopia...a complete reference book to Ethiopia as well as an excellent travel guide.'
- Travel Africa
'An indispensable handbook for anyone wishing to visit Ethiopia.'
- The Guardian
'Thorough and reassuring, it provides all the practical and background information to make readers leap from their armchairs and visit this vast, magical country.'
- The Daily Telegraph
"The Bradt Guide has almost everything you need to read about the country's history, tourist attractions and hotels, and proves itself to be an invaluable companion while in the country."
- SX News
"Highly personal and informative guidebook ... his enthusiasm is reflected in every chapter."
- Business in Africa