Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
12 February, 2018
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
For a trip that's slightly on the wild side, check out Addis Ababa, Ethiopia's bustling capital. The streets are awash with bright colours, lively markets, and local restaurants serving injera, the country's heavenly pancake-style bread, from sunrise to sunset. All of your senses will be awakened throughout your exploration of the city, and they'll only be heightened with a visit to one of the Addis' renowned coffee shops - Ethiopia is the country we have to thank for the discovery of our daily fuel, after all.
Although there is still a marked poverty struggle in the city, the Ethiopian economy is growing rapidly, so it's a fascinating time to experience one of Africa's biggest cities in the midst of major change. Since souvenir-hunting tourists haven't yet started descending upon the city, so you'll be in for an authentic taste of this country's urban rhythms.
A trip to Addis can't be planned without carving out some time for an excursion to the Simien Mountains National Park. The breathtaking mountain range is made up of steep ridges dropping into lush valleys, interspersed with misty waterfalls beckoning trekkers to take a breath and gaze up in awe. Those looking for a serious challenge should hike up Ras Dashen, aptly nicknamed the "roof of Africa."
Within the city centre, the Ethnological Museum offers a unique peek into Ethiopian history, set in the restored former palace of Emperor Haile Selassie. While the entrance to the museum gives visitors an overview of various Ethiopian tribes, the remainder winds through the Emperor and his wife's bedrooms and bathrooms.
One of the nation's greatest treasures lies in Addis Ababa's National Museum: Lucy, the world's earliest known hominid skeleton, rests in the museum's archives, while two casts of the fossilised human are are on display.
Who to take with you
Your partner - this is a trip that will take you on a wild ride, packed with new experiences. If you're looking for a way to bond, exploring the ins and outs of an unspoilt traveller's destination together will seal the deal.
When to go
October to June - the dry season.
Most likely to bump into
An adventurous family determined to stay away from tourist traps.
Essentials to bring with you
Strong mosquito repellant for hiking the Simien Mountains.
How to get there
Fly into Addis Ababa Bole International Airport; Ethiopian Airlines will get you there from London without any stopovers.