Ethiopia is one of Africa’s hidden backpacking gems – this place propelled itself to one of my top 5 countries to visit. It’s nothing short of amazing. It has a magnificent cultural heritage, seven sites of which are included in the UNESCO world heritage list. The rocky mountains, lakes, rivers and diverse grassland ecosystem account for Ethiopia’s uniqueness.
Positioned on the border between Ethiopia and Eritrea is the Danakil Depression. It’s officially one of driest and hottest places on Earth. With temperatures that often reach 50+ degrees, it’s easy to see why. This is a surreal piece of real estate that’s strewn with active volcanoes, salted basins, hot springs, and a lava lake – all of which combine to create a very lunar-like landscape. Sitting below sea level, it’s the lowest point in Africa and second in the world.
Babile Elephant Sanctuary
Only about 1,000 elephants remain in Ethiopia, and by far the largest and most visible herd lives in the Babile Elephant Sanctuary. A short drive from Harar, Babile is also home to gazelles, lions, leopards, cheetahs, and tons of exotic birds. The landscape morphs from rocky outcrops to lovely tree dotted landscapes. Roughly 400 elephants live here and you’ll really love the walking safaris that run each day.
The Rift Valley
The Rift Valley is endowed with numerous hot springs, beautiful lakes, and a plethora of crazy, African wildlife. The passage has a chain of seven lakes and each of the seven lakes has unique feature of its own. For animal loves, the Rift valley is paradise – the place is crawlign with African wildlife. The hot springs here are highly recognized for their therapeutic purposes, and people come from all over the country to bathe in them – make sure you join them at some point throughout your time here!
Feeding Hyenas in Harar
One of the most popular tourist attractions in Ethiopia, most people would be absolutely mortified to do this. At two different locations in the city you are able to feed the Hyenas every single night. The city of Harar is also extremely interested being the 4th most holy city for Muslims; great museums, food, but not much nightlife. I would definitely recommend checking out the stories on my travel blog about the city.