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Natural Ethiopia

Zebras around Lake Chamo 2x Ethiopia's geographical position partly on the Ethiopian Highland Plateau, partly on the lowlands results in a great variety of different landscapes and biotopes. Most of the country lies on the fertile tableland, between 2000 m and 4500 m altitude, which offers a mild climate and enough rainfalls and is used for agriculture and livestock rearing. The Great African Rift Valley splits the Ethiopian Highland Plateau from north to south, which drops off on all sides to hot and dry lowlands. Here you can find dry bush lands and semi-arid vegetation.
The Danakil Depression in the north east of the country is one of the hottest places on earth.

Rivers of Ethiopia

rivers of ethiopia

The Blue Nile

Ethiopia is often referred to as the water tower of East Africa because of the many rivers that pour off the Ethiopian highland plateau. The Blue Nile, also known as Abbay, originates from Lake Tana. From here it starts its long journey to Khartoum, the Sudanese capital, where it meets the White Nile forming together the Great Nile River, the longest river in Africa. The Great Nile River provides water and life to Sudan and Egypt before draining into the Mediterranean Sea. The Blue Nile makes about 80 % of the volume of the Great Nile River.

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Erta Ale & Dallol

Erta Ale 5 The Danakil Depression is one of the remotest, lowest and hottest places on earth and home of the Afar people. Here the African, Arabic and Indian continental plates drift apart forming one of the most unique volcanic landscapes on earth. This part of the earth is still unstable, the whole area volcanically active. A journey to the Danakil is an adventure in itself. It is here where the African continent will rip apart in a few million years.

Erta Ale

Meaning 'Smoking Mountain' is a 613 m high, absolutely unique volcano. In its round crater there is a constantly erupting lava lake - one of only four on earth. Here you can watch the red-hot magma come to the surface, dry up and be pulled under again. At night, when we climb up to the crater over dried lava, you can see the shine of the magma from far away. To be here feels like being in another world.

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National Parks

Bale Dinsho Blessed with a variety of landscapes as well as abundant bird and wildlife Ethiopia offers astonishing travel opportunities. The land features fall into three main categories, the mountainous, fertile highlands, the lowlands and the Great Rift Valley. While on the highland the climate is moderate, the lowlands are hot and dry. The Rift Valley region, with its occasional hot springs, offers everything from hot to moderate climate. From the peak of Mount Ras Dashen to the depths of the Danakil Depression, Ethiopia is a land of enormous natural beauty.

Bale Mountains National Park

400 km south-west of Addis lays the Bale Mountains National Park with its highest peak, Mount Tullu Deemto. The park is renowned for its distincticeflora and its superb fishing possibilities. With its afro-alpine vegetation, tropical forests and wide grasslands it offers great riding and trekking possibilities. The many diverse biotopes attract a variety of bird- and wildlife and the rivers are teeming with trout, perfect for fly-fishing.

Refer to linkTrekking in Bale Mountains

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The Ethiopian Rift Valley

Ethiopian Rift ValleyThe Great Rift Valley is a recent, geological phenomenon, not older than 35 million years, which stretches across Africa building a 50-90 km wide and 6000 km long valley. The valley is lined up with blue grey ridges of volcanic basalt towering up to a height up to 4000 meters and goes all the way from Syria to Mozambique. In a few million years a new continental plate, the Somali-plate, will be separated from the African continent.

The crack runs across Ethiopia over a distance of 2800 km. It separates the geologically older Ethiopian Highland and creates in the north of the country, in the Afar region, the famous Danakil depression, which is, with -116 m below zero, one of the lowest and hottest places on earth. The whole area is seismically active while the earth crust is thin, creating volcanoes, natural hot springs and some of the world's last true wildernesses.

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