The world’s most impressive geological features

Marble caves, salt lakes and rainbow mountains.

Where to visit in Ethiopia

© Evan Williams, Wikimedia Commons Ethiopia itineraries Itineraries are subjective things, dependent on how much time you have, your chosen or enforced style of travel, and your interests. So rather than prescribe a few specific itineraries, this section attempts to itemise what is and isn’t possible within the confines of a normal vacation period. Perhaps…

The best coffee destinations around the world

From Colombia to Kosovo, we pick some of our favourite lesser-known places to enjoy a good cup of coffee. 

Simien Mountains National Park

© Dave Watts, Wikimedia Commons This UNESCO-listed national park offers superb trekking and the chance to see the endemic gelada monkey and Walia ibex. Inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1979, the awesome Simien Massif, situated about 100km north of Gondar, comprises a high plateau of ancient volcanic rock incised with tall, precipitous…

Axum

© Adam Jones, Wikimedia Commons No satisfactory explanation has been postulated for how such a massive block of stone was erected – one Axumite tradition has it that it was the work of the mysterious powers of the Ark of the Covenant. The oldest continuously inhabited town south of the Sahara, Axum (also spelt Aksum)…

South Omo

South Omo is Africa as it once was, or as some might still imagine it to be, and its mere existence is at once wonderful and scarcely credible. Nothing in highland Ethiopia prepares one for South Omo. Nor, for that matter, does much else in modern Africa. It’s apocryphal, perhaps, but easy enough to believe…

Danakil Depression

A strange lunar landscape studded with active volcanoes, malodorous sulphur-caked hot springs, solidified black lava flows and vast salt-encrusted basins. Straddling the Eritrean border to the east of the Tigrayan highlands, the Danakil, or Dallol, is an area of true desert that extends across the most northerly and volcanically active portion of the Afar Depression.…

Harar

© Rod Waddington, Wikimedia Commons Harar is the sort of easy-going, cosmopolitan town where you could settle in for a week and do nothing more exerting than just soak up the atmosphere. The spiritual heart of Ethiopia’s Islamic community, the walled citadel of Harar is considered by some to be the fourth-holiest Islamic city after…

Gondar

© A. Davey, Wikimedia Commons With fairy-tale castles, venerable churches and other substantial European-influenced buildings, the former capital of Ethiopia is a fascinating place to explore. The so-called Camelot of Africa, Gondar is perhaps the most immediately impressive town along the historical circuit, studded as it is with fairy-tale castles, venerable churches and other substantial…

Lalibela

The excavation of the churches is something of a mystery – some sources estimate that in the order of 40,000 people would have been required to carve them – so it’s not surprising that their origin has been clouded in legend. Arguably the most impressive historical site anywhere in sub-Saharan Africa, the rock-hewn churches of…