Ethiopia is truly unparalleled in its variety of awe inspiring landscapes that beg to be explored. From desert volcanoes and jagged peaks, to UNESCO World Heritage stone churches and lush waterfalls, there’s something for all skill levels and interests. With preparation and a knowledgeable guide, an adventurer could spend a lifetime experiencing all the country has to offer. We took a look at some of Ethiopia’s best hiking trails to show a snapshot of what’s out there.
Erta Ale Volcano
The Erta Ale Volcano is one of Ethiopia’s most stunning and recognizable landmarks, situated in the Afar region in the North-Eastern part of the country. As the country’s most active volcano, visitors will be treated to a constant churn of molten, erupting rock. Past hikers recommend making the 3 hour hike after dark to avoid the sun’s heat and to see the lava at its brightest.
The village of Geech in the Simien Mountains is a popular base camp for some of the area’s most scenic hikes. There is a multitude of trails that branch off to the peaks of Ras Dashen or Jinbar Falls. Hiring a local guide is recommended as many hikes span several days and are filled with hidden gems. Visitors willing to experience these challenging hikes will be treated to incredible vistas and a variety of unique wildlife, such as the Gelada Baboons and the Walia Ibex.
Blue Nile Falls
For those looking for single day excursions, the Blue Nile river culminates in the breathtaking Blue Nile Waterfall next to the village of Tissisat in Northern Ethiopia. Your two-hour hike to the base of the falls includes walking over a modern suspension bridge along with a Portuguese-built stone arch bridge completed in 1626. Although the falls are always running, visiting in the rainy season guarantees the most impressive display.
The UNESCO World Heritage site of Lalibela is one of the most holy sites in Ethiopia, where ancient kings constructed churches carved directly into the rock as an alternative pilgrimage for the holy land. Today, the hiking to and around Lalibela is still an impressive journey and a living tour of the history of this storied nation. Find a local guide and experience the best this area has to offer.