With an area of 1.12 million square Kilometres, Ethiopia is located at 4 and 14 degree north, 33 and 48 degrees east. Situated in the Horn of Africa, Ethiopia is bordered by Eritrea to the north, Sudan to the west, Kenya to the south, Somalia to the east and Djibouti to the northeast.
The country is the earliest known home of Humankind. Following the discovery of Lucy - Australopithecus Afarensis - 3.2 million-year old remains in 1974 the country became a premier location for paleo anthropological research. Professor Donald Johanson, an American paleontologist was behind the discovery of Lucy.
The other discovery is Ardipithecus ramidus- a 4.4 million year old hominid found in 1994 at a site seventy-five kilometres(45 miles) south of where Lucy was found. The scientists dug up the fossilized remains of a chimpanzee-sized ape and according to Ethiopian anthropologist Berhane Asfaw, who was a member of the scientific team, these fossils represent the oldest human ancestor ever found. All these and other discoveries afterwards testify that Ethiopia is the Cradle of Humankind.
The country is endowed with diverse historical, natural and cultural tourist attractions. Monuments, buildings, churches, monasteries and mosques, contrasting nature that ranges from the highest peak at Semien Mountains to the deepest surface of earth at Danakil Depression, and the abundant flora and fauna are all living testimonies for the country’s richness in resource.
Eight of its attractions are registered by the United Nations Education Science and Culture Organization (UNESCO) as World Heritage Sites.
As a result of its cultural wealth, Ethiopia is known as a country of mosaic of cultures. The world's three great religions Christianity, Islam and Judaism, which contributed to the varied and rich cultures and traditions, are practiced in Ethiopia. More than 80 languages and 200 dialects are spoken throughout the country. These ethnic groups have their own way of clothing, hair styles, songs, dances and arts - but lived in harmony for centuries. They have also their own calendar, way of time counting and unique alphabet.
There are different festivals which are colorful, and fascinating. Meskel (the celebration to commemorate the finding of the True Cross on September 27th), Genna (the Ethiopian Christmas held on January 7) and Timket (the Ethiopian Epiphany held on January 19th) are the prominent festivals celebrated every year. They deliver an unforgettable experience for travellers who plan their trips during those days of the year.
Ethiopia is the birthplace of coffee. Coffee got its name from the area called Kaffa, a place where it was originated. So, it is Ethiopia's gift to the world. Coffee ceremony is part of daily life in individual homesteads in cities as well as rural areas which is interesting to watch and attend.
The Ethiopian Airlines with its extensive international and domestic network provides the best services to get there. Major Airlines like Lufthansa, British Airways, KLM, Emirates, Turkish Airlines, and Egypt Airlines fly in and out of Addis Ababa.