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St. George Church, carved from solid rock in the shape of a cross, Lalibela, Ethiopia

What to do in Ethiopia

Attend a coffee ceremony

Attend a coffee ceremony Bunna or coffee is an integral part of the Ethiopian culture.

Ethiopia is believed to be the very first producer of coffee which is why it has been a part of the country’s culture since early history.
All around the country, you will witness the performance of traditional Ethiopian coffee ceremonies. These simple rituals compare to other extravagant cultural performances as it encapsulates a genuinely Ethiopian practice of preparing and taking coffee.

An Ethiopian coffee ceremony creatively demonstrates the preparation of the much revered drink. A spectator’s senses and imagination would surely be tickled as a native woman performs a dance-like process of coffee making, from washing of the grains to roasting to grinding and to boiling.

Ultimately, the ritual would climax at the drinking part, where the fresh Ethiopian coffee served in cini or Chinese cuplets engages the senses with its soothing texture and stimulating aroma.

Ethiopian coffee ceremonies are an activity to be sought after for coffee lovers and non-drinkers alike. Despite their simplicity and lack of grandeur, these ceremonies present a significant and enduring practice in Ethiopian culture.

Go fishing and see other animals

Go fishing and see other animals When seeking for a good place to start or learn fishing, Ethiopia is simply the perfect destination. With generous amount of natural aquatic resources, Ethiopia has the best equipment for fishing in the entire African continent.

Ethiopian lakes and rivers are teeming with fishes numbering up to 200 species. Some of these include the Nile perch, rainbow trout, tigerfish, and catfish.

Lake Tana, the largest Ethiopian lake, is famous for being the top choice of fishing neophytes for fish-hunting expeditions. The beautiful shoreline and sparkling clear water make for a remarkably stress-free and enjoyable fishing experience.

Other good fishing venues include Ziway, Langano, Chamo and Abaya. Fishing destinations in Ethiopia also often feature other animals such as gigantic crocodiles, hippopotamuses, and flamingos, as well as exotic trees and fruits.

Hunt for great finds

Traditional Ethiopian handmade Habesha baskets sold in Axum, Ethiopia. Ethiopian handcrafts have been mirroring the country’s rich culture since the 19th century. The natives’ traditions and ways of life are reflected in their unique products which have witnessed the evolution of Ethiopian culture groups through the course of time.

Genuine handcrafted products would greatly make for souvenirs and memorabilia, not only of the country but also of its distinct rural traditions and customs.

Handmade products such as furniture, pottery, accessories, rugs and other household ornamentations are available at local stores all over Ethiopia.

When looking for good keepsakes, consider acquiring colorful African baskets which are made and widely used in Ethiopian rural areas. These baskets are created through the artistic coil technique wherein dries grass are bound by thread in a spiral to form a dish shape.

Ethiopian baskets come in different styles for a variety of purposes such as storing grain, selling products, and serving food.

Ethiopian handcrafts are abundantly produced yet very much affordable. This makes for a great deal if you plan to bring home something with social and cultural significance from Ethiopia.

Savor Ethiopian ethnic music

Savor Ethiopian ethnic music A unique feature of Ethiopian culture is its music, a colorful mesh of various elements as every cultural group in the country has its own unique and distinct style.

Ethiopian ethnic music is a mixture of influences from foreign areas, religious systems and other commanding factors.
Some forms are greatly shaped by traditional music from neighboring nations in the Horn of Africa. Some are incorporated with Christian influences.

Moreover, religious music developed in some parts of the country such as the Muslim music termed as manzuma which emerged in the region of Wollo.

Listening to Ethiopian ethnic music is an insightful and significant journey in itself as it uncovers unity among Ethiopian people despite their diversity.

Go religious-site hopping

St. George Church, carved from solid rock in the shape of a cross, Lalibela, Ethiopia

As one of the oldest Christian countries in the world, Ethiopia is teeming with long-established sacred sites and places of worship. These religious sites are definitely worth paying a visit to better understand the vital religious aspect of Ethiopia’s vibrant culture and history.

Christian churches and temples are numerous in the country and are thoroughly distributed throughout the predominantly Christian nation.

Some sites worthwhile visiting for their religious significance and architectural grandeur are St. George Church in Addis Ababa, Debre Birhan Selassie Church in Gondar, and the Debre Damo Monastery, Church of our Lady Mary of Zion of Aksum and Yeha’s Temple of the Moon, all in Tigray.

Apart from Christian sites, Ethiopia also boasts of marvelous Muslim mosques. These include the Ahmad Negash Mosque in Tigray, the Jama’a Mosque in Tigray, and the Dirrie Shiek Hussein and the Grand Huwar Mosque, both in Addis Ababa.