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Message from the Prime Minister - (top)

Ethiopia has a proud and long history extending to the known beginnings of humankind. The fossils of our species' earliest known ancestor was found in the Danakil Depression in north-east Ethiopia. The Axumite Kingdom was one of the great civilizations of the ancient world and has left behind the mystery of the great stellae found at Axum. In the late Middle Ages great religious civilizations flourished in many parts of the country, particularly at Lalibela where churches hewn out of massive monolithic rock testify not only to great faith but also to great architectural skills.

And in the former capital of Gondar many magnificent castles speak of the same legacy. All these would be enough to make Ethiopia a fascinating place to visit and travel through, but Ethiopia has so much more to offer. Here you can find virtually all the faces of African culture and its landscapes and much of its wildlife. You can travel through high meadow lands reminiscent of Europe or trek across even higher moorlands - in the Simien and Bale mountains - and see unique forms of Afro-Alpine plants, which here grow to an astonishing size. You can explore great rivers and lakes including Lake Tana, the source of the majestic Blue Nile whose valley is one of the world's greatest, longest and deepest gorges. You can discover the savannahs and wetlands of our western region and visit the far south, which teems with wildlife and is home to fascinating ancient cultures.

In the great Rift Valley a necklace of beautiful lakes lies beneath the splendid panorama of the Bale Mountains. And in the and east, the walled city of Harar speaks of other old civilizations and great faiths, such as Islam. Many kilometers north of there lies the Danail Depression, one of the world's most inhospitable but nonetheless dramatic landscapes which is also one of the hottest places on earth. Yet it is home to proud and independent Ethiopian people who have learned to live with their environment, even to benefit from it. Wherever you go on your journey through Ethiopia, as this book so amply illustrates, you will find many things to enjoy and marvel over, and you can at all times be sure of the warm hospitality of the Ethiopian people.

The Government of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia extends its warm welcome and wholehearted support to visitors interested in our fabulous tourist attractions and to the investors needed as partners in the further development of our tourism resources.

Meles Zenawi
Prime Minister


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Last updated 23-01-07 11:30 CEF DST
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