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Ethiopia

Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia Africa Addis Ababa 96,633,458 inhabitants 1,104,300 sq km 87.51 inhabitants/sq km birr (ETB) population evolution

Top tourist attractions in Ethiopia

Here is a list of top tourist attractions in Ethiopia. Only the topmost tourist destinations are presented here. To see other destinations, please check the images from Ethiopia section.

Curious if any of these place from Ethiopia made it our best tourist attractions in the world list? Read the aformentioned article in order to find out.

You can also view all tourist attractions in Ethiopia and other countries on our tourist attractions map.

Lake Tana

Lake

Lake Tana is the source of the Blue Nile and is the largest lake in Ethiopia. Located in Amhara Region in the north-western Ethiopian Highlands, the lake is approximately 84 kilometers long and 66 kilometers wide, with a maximum depth of 15 meters, and an elevation of 1,788 meters. Lake Tana is fed by the Lesser Abay, Reb and Gumara rivers; and its surface area ranges from 3,000 to 3,500 km,² depending on season and rainfall. The lake level has been regulated since the construction of the control weir where the lake discharges into the Blue Nile. This controls the flow to the Blue Nile Falls and hydro-power station.

Lake Assal

Lake

Lake Assal is a crater lake in central-western Djibouti. It is located at the western end of Gulf of Tadjoura in the Tadjoura Region, touching Dikhil Region, at the top of the Great Rift Valley, some 120 km west of Djibouti city. Lake Assal is a saline lake which lies 155 m below sea level in the Afar Triangle, making it the lowest point on land in Africa and the third lowest land depression on Earth after the Dead Sea and Sea of Galilee. There is no outflow from the lake and, due to high evaporation, the salinity level of its waters is ten times that of the sea, making it the most saline in the world after Don Juan Pond. Lake Assal is the world's largest salt reserve, which is presently exploited under four concessions awarded in 2002 at the southeast end of the lake; the major share of production is held by Société d’Exploitation du Lac and Société d’Exploitation du Salt Investment S.A de Djibouti. The lake, considered a "national treasure", is a protected zone under the law No. 45/AN/04/5L of the National Environmental Action Plan, 2000. However, the law does not define the boundary limits of the lake. Since the exploitation of the salt from the lake was uncontrolled, the Plan has emphasized the need for managing the exploitation to avoid negative impact on the lake environment. The Government of Djibouti has initiated a proposal with UNESCO to declare the Lake Assal zone and the Ardoukoba volcano as a World Heritage Site.

Ras Dashen

Mountain

6 Ras Dashen is the highest mountain in Ethiopia and tenth highest mountain of Africa. Part of Semien Mountains National Park, it reaches an elevation of 4,550 metres. The more common form, "Ras Dashen" is a corruption of its Amharic name, "Ras Dejen", used by the system of the Ethiopian Mapping Authority which means "the general who fights in front of the Emperor". According to Erik Nilsson, Ras Dashen is the eastern peak of the rim of "an enormous volcano, the northern half of which is cut down about thousand metres by numerous ravines, draining into the Takkazzi River." Its western counterpart is Mount Biuat, separated by the valley of the Meshaha river.

Simien Mountains National Park

National park

Simien Mountains National Park is one of the national parks of Ethiopia. Located in the Semien Gondar Zone of the Amhara Region, its territory covers the Simien Mountains and includes Ras Dashan, the highest point in Ethiopia. It is home to a number of endangered species, including the Ethiopian wolf and the walia ibex, a wild goat found nowhere else in the world. The gelada baboon and the caracal, a cat, also occur within the Simien Mountains. More than 50 species of birds inhabit the park, including the impressive bearded vulture, or lammergeier, with its 10-foot wingspan. The park is crossed by an unpaved road which runs from Debarq, where the administrative headquarters of the park is located, east through a number of villages to the Buahit Pass, where the road turns south to end at Mekane Berhan, 10 kilometers beyond the park boundary.

Blue Nile Falls

Waterfall

The Blue Nile Falls is a waterfall on the Blue Nile river in Ethiopia. It is known as Tis Abay in Amharic, meaning "smoking water". It is situated on the upper course of the river, about 30 km downstream from the town of Bahir Dar and Lake Tana. The falls are considered one of Ethiopia's best known tourist attractions. The falls are estimated to be between 37 and 45 metres high, consisting of four streams that originally varied from a trickle in the dry season to over 400 metres wide in the rainy season. Regulation of Lake Tana now reduces the variation somewhat, and since 2003 a hydro-electric station has taken much of the flow out of the falls except during the rainy season. The Blue Nile Falls isolate the ecology of Lake Tana from the ecology of the rest of the Nile, and this isolation has played a role in the evolution of the endemic fauna of the lake. A short distance downstream from the falls sits the first stone bridge constructed in Ethiopia, built at the command of Emperor Susenyos in 1626. According to Manuel de Almeida, stone for making lime had been found nearby along the tributary Alata, and a craftsman who had come from India with Afonso Mendes, the Catholic Patriarch of Ethiopia, supervised the construction.

Awash National Park

National park

Awash National Park is one of the National Parks of Ethiopia. Spanning across the southern tip of the Afar Region and the northeastern corner of the Misraq Shewa Zone of Oromia, this park is 225 kilometers east of Addis Ababa, with its southern boundary along the Awash River, and covers at least 756 square kilometers of acacia woodland and grassland. The Addis Ababa - Dire Dawa highway passes through this park, separating the Illala Saha Plains to the south from the Kudu Valley to the north. In the south of the park the Awash River gorge has amazing waterfalls. In the upper Kudu Valley at Filwoha are hot springs amid groves of palm trees. The Awash National Park was established in 1966, although the act authorizing its existence was not completely passed for another three years.

Mago National Park

National park

Mago National Park is one of the National Parks of Ethiopia. Located in the Southern Nations, Nationalities, and Peoples Region about 782 kilometers south of Addis Ababa and north of a large 90° bend in the Omo River, the 2162 square kilometers of this park are divided by the Mago River, a tributary of the Omo, into two parts. To the west is the Tama Wildlife Reserve, with the Tama river defining the boundary between the two. To the south is the Murle Controlled Hunting Area, distinguished by Lake Dipa which stretches along the left side of the lower Omo. The park office is 115 kilometers north of Omorate and 26 kilometers southwest of Jinka. All roads to and from the park are unpaved. The major environments in and around the Park are the rivers and riverine forest, the wetlands along the lower Mago and around Lake Dipa, the various grasslands on the more level areas, and scrub on the sides of the hills. Open grassland comprises about 9% of the park's area. The largest trees are found in the riverine forest beside the Omo, Mago and Neri. Areas along the lower Omo are populated with a rich diversity of ethnic groups, including the Aari, Banna, Bongoso, Hamar, Karo, Kwegu, Male and Mursi peoples.

Sof Omar Caves

Tourist attraction

Sof Omar Cave is the longest cave in Ethiopia at 15.1 kilometres long; sources claim it is the longest system of caves in Africa and ranks as the 306th longest in the world. It is situated to the east of Robe, in the Bale Zone of the Oromia Region in southeastern Ethiopia, through which the Weyib River flows. It sinks at the Ayiew Maco entrance and reappears at the Holuca resurgence 1 kilometre away. According to tradition Sof Omar was the name of a Muslim holy man who lived in the area and Ayiew the name of his daughter. Maco and Holuca are local names for 'name' and 'cave', respectively. Long a religious centre, it is sacred both to Islam and the local Oromo traditional religion. The caves are known for their many pillars, particularly in the 'Chamber of Columns'.

Yangudi Rassa National Park

Protected Site

Yangudi Rassa National Park is one of the National Parks of Ethiopia. Located in the Afar Region, its 4730 square kilometers of territory include Mount Yangudi near the southern border and the surrounding Rassa Plains, with altitudes from 400 to 1459 meters above sea level. Sandy semi-desert and wooded grassland cover the majority of the park's area. This Park lies between the territory of the Afars and the Issas, and while violence have been frequent between them, most of the park happens to be in an area where they avoid each other. As a result, most of the active protection of the Park is focused on managing their conflict. This national park was proposed in 1977 in specific to protect the African Wild Ass, but the steps needed to officially establish this park have not been completed as of 2002. Recently, the Wild Ass went extinct in Yagundi Rassa. However, there is a small population in the adjacent Mile-Serdo Wild Ass Reserve. The park headquarters are in Gewane. Large animals native to the park include Beisa Oryx, Soemmering's gazelle, gerenuk and Grevy's zebra. Bird species of interest include Phoenicopterus minor, Petronia brachydactyla and Ardeotis arabs. The Awash - Asseb highway crosses the Yangudi Rassa National Park, as does the Awash River.