Introducing Addis Ababa
Like the Ethiopian marathon runners, Addis Ababa (often shortened to plain ‘Addis’) is evolving at a fast pace. The fact that the country’s economic growth should reach almost 5% in 2013 helps create a feeling of confidence and stamina. Founded little more than a century ago, Addis Ababa, which in Amharic means ‘New Flower’, is not only the diplomatic capital of Africa and a thriving metropolis, but also a groovy city that takes pride in its multifaceted assets.
Perched on the Abyssinian plateau, some 2400m above sea level, Addis boasts a climate classed as ‘tropical highland’ – in other words, balmy and temperate, with cloudless blue skies for about eight months of the year – all the more reason to visit. It’s well endowed with museums, including the culturally stimulating Ethnological Museum, set within emperor Haile Selassie’s former palace, which gives a great insight into Ethiopia’s many rich cultures. Another highlight is the National Museum, the collection of which ranks among the finest in sub-Saharan Africa; its star attraction is Lucy, the oldest hominid ever be found by archaeologists.
Addis also gets rave reviews for its restaurant scene and nightlife. Bole Rd – the avenue that connects the airport to the centre – is the fashionable district, with plenty of fancy bars, eateries, galleries and clubs. Addis has lots of great surprises up its sleeve – it’s time to delve in!
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Best places to stay in Addis Ababa
10 places to travel for a higher cause
Seeking some deeper meaning on your travels? Make your own pilgrimage to some of the world’s great spiritual sites. 1. Source of the Ganges (India) The River Ganges is Hinduism’s holiest river, beginning in the Himalayan peaks of Uttar Pradesh and spilling out into the Bay of Bengal more than 2000km later.
Addis Ababa destination guides
Calling the caf-fiends: great coffee spots
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Highlands of Ethiopia
Combine a trek in the wild and stunning Simien Mountains with Ethiopia's historic sites
Highlights of Ethiopia
Rich with natural contrast, captivating human history and countless surprises, Ethiopia has long been an intersection between the civilizations of North Africa, the Middle East and Sub-Saharan Africa. This 15-day adventure is perfect for the traveller looking to delve into the history and culture of this incredibly diverse land like few others do.
Lonely Planet: Roads Less Travelled Ethiopia itinerary
A day spent negotiating Harar's maze of cobblestone alleyways is the perfect start for a journey to Ethiopia's hidden corners. Stretching northwards from here are the lands of the Afar, extending all the way to the infamous Danakil Depression – the hottest place on earth.