Addis Ababa Museum

Museum in Addis Ababa

Despite only being founded on Addis' centenary in 1986, the Addis Ababa Museum is the city’s scruffiest museum. That said, perusing candid portraits of the redoubtable Empress Taitu, rakish Lij Iyasu and the very beautiful Empress Zewditu, along with pictures of the capital in its infancy, is still worth an hour or so. It’s unbelievable that the raucous city outside was nothing more than tents on a hill just over a century ago.

There’s also a ‘first-in-Ethiopia’ room, with pictures of Menelik with Bede Bentley in Addis Ababa’s first motor car (1907) and the first telephone in Ethiopia. This was brought from Italy by Ras Makonnen in 1890, and it’s said that local priests, when they first heard the disembodied voices, thought telephones the work of demons.