Wade through incense into a medieval world hewn from stone in Lalibela, and watch the line between past and present blur while taking part in striking Christian ceremonies that haven't changed in 1.000 years. Ethiopia's storied and sovereign history has left its wide-ranging and fertile highlands laden with historical treasures, ranging from the ancient tombs and obelisks of Aksum to 17th-century castles and burnt-out Russian tanks. Many are more than a peek into the nation's past; they are a giant two-footed leap. Ethiopia's landscapes are no less dramatic, and range from the Simien Mountains National Park and Bale Mountains National Park, which proffer tremendous trekking and innumerable interactions with dozens of animals and birds seen nowhere else on earth, to the Danakil Depression in Northern Ethiopia, an enchanting and unforgivingly hostile environment offering extreme adventure. The remote lowlands in the sultry southwest are also home to untold adventures and house some of Africa's most fascinating tribes.
Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia
Federal parliamentary republic
The Oromo are the largest ethnic group, at 34,4% of the nation's population. The Amhara represent 27,0%, while the Somali and Tigray represent 6.22% and 6.08% of the population, respectively. Other prominent ethnic groups are the Sidama, Gurage, Welayta, Afar, Hadiya and Gamo.
Amharic is the official language but there are ninety individual languages spoken in Ethiopia, most Afro-Asiatic languages of the Cushitic or Semitic branches.
Christians make up 62,8% of the country's population, Muslims 31,6% and practitioners of traditional faiths 5,6%.
Churches in Lalibela
Praying in Lalibela