What is Ethiopia known for? 14 facts Ethiopia is known for.

aksum oblisk

What is Ethiopia known for? Ethiopia is known for its history, culture, monuments, achievements and more. Ethiopia is a country in the eastern horn of Africa. The country has always been away from the world because of political and socio-economic reasons. The country has one of the largest populations in Africa and has diverse people with diverse cultures and lifestyles.

The country has a lot that the rest of the world did not learn in full. You may discover the rich resources, history, and culture of the country once you go there and find out for your self.

Therefore, Here I will show you 14 facts about what is Ethiopia known for.

1-Ancient civilizations

aksum oblisk

Ethiopia is one of the oldest civilizations in the world. The country’s name is mentioned many times even in the bible being as known and existing powerful nation. This history, or myth for some, is preserved with the stalls and secondary resources. Axum is one of these civilizations, that existed in about 400 BC, today located in the northern part of Ethiopia. Axum today is a tourist town, serving thousands of tourists every year.

Axumite empire was a center for marine trading power and is mentioned in the Roman era writings. The city is largely associated with the Ethiopian Orthodox Christianity and is considered as one of the holy places in the religion.

Besides the ancient steles dating around 1700 years old and ranging up to 33 meters tall and more than 500 tons in weight, the sight is definitely a place to inspire. The gold coins of the time, the household furniture and articulations all make it unique. Ethiopia is known with ancient history and civilizations that still exist in history.

What is Ethiopia known for: Civilization

yeha ethiopia
“Yeha” by Travel Aficionado is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0 


is a town in the Tigray region in Ethiopia. The place is the capital of pre-Axumite. The region has one of the oldest standing structures in Ethiopia. The Sabaean style tower buildings resemble the South Arabian structures dating back in 700 BC. The places also have a monastery of Ethiopian orthodox churched founded even before 1500.

What is Ethiopia known for: Civilization


For someone from the west or from a low altitude region, Ethiopia is located on a hillside, some places up to 4500 or more above sea level. This means the air density is low and you need more oxygen to breathe. If you travel to the mountain areas of the country, it is better to prepare your lungs for more exercise. Ethiopian mountains such as Ras Dejen or Ras Dashen that is 4533 meters of 14,872 feet high is located near semen mountains. The Semen mountains, in the northern part of Ethiopia, are a chain of mountains making a great landscape that is unique.

seimen mountains ethiopia

Bale mountains stand second in the country being 4377 meters high followed by mount Batu that is 4307 meters high. These are located in the Oromia region of the southeast part of Ethiopia.

What is Ethiopia known for: Crazy landscape

4-Danakil Depression

On the other hand, Ethiopian is known for Danakil depression that lays 125 meters below sea level. The Danakil depression is located in the Afar region, near the Eritrean border within an area of 200 by 50 km or 124 by 31 miles. The place is full of surface lava, hot springs, colorful landscapes because of the minerals and Erta Ale lava erupting from the ground. Erta Ale is an active volcano with crater lakes of lava coming out of the surface.

denakil depression , afar ,ethiopia

This place of beauty and hell on earth is not a place of a picnic. It is one of the hottest places on planet Earth in its average annual temperature. Amazingly, nonetheless of the acidic and salty conditions and climate conditions, the place habits microorganisms.

What is Ethiopia known for: Crazy landsacpe

5-Ethiopian Coffee

There are many countries, especially those located near the equator grow coffee. However Ethiopian coffee stands to be unique and on the top list in the world. Ethiopian coffee dates back to the 9th century where a goatherder named Kaldi discovered the hyper effect his goats got after consuming the coffee plant. Arabic scientific documents also recorded that this drink has been used in Ethiopia at that time.

how to make ethiopian coffee at home

Ethiopia contributes to 3 percent of the global coffee market demand. The Ethiopian coffee was on the media when National coffee associations accused Starbucks of striping the Ethiopian coffee farmer’s potential earnings. Starbucks was pressured to sign a contract to pay for using a regional name where the coffees came from that created the need for the coffee. Finally, they agreed with Ethiopian officials for an undisclosed amount.

Related: How to make Ethiopian Coffee at Home

What is Ethiopia known for: Coffee

6-Injera, what is Ethiopia known for

Injera is a flatbread made out of a Teff flour. Teff is a crop with tiny seeds that are not usually considered as food in many countries. Injera is iron-rich and is only grown in some elevations and rainfall amounts.

The bread is unique and sour in taste, especially for those who taste it for the first time. Injera is used with a liquid food that is called wot. You eat the liquid wot or the sauce with the injera. Some say the low calorie of the bread is responsible for the easy weight loss in the country. And once you get used to the taste, it becomes good food on the side. Ethiopians who live in the west also modified Injera replacing ingredients that are not easily found in the places they live in. You can visit a local Ethiopian restaurant to taste injera and for Ethiopian bites as well.

What is Ethiopia known for: Food

7-Origin of humankind

You probably have heard about Lucy, a female species discovered in 1974 in the Afar Triangle in Ethiopia. The Lucy skeleton, with hundreds of pieces of bone fossils, are collected to make some portion of her skeleton. The skeleton is dated back to 3.2 million years old and has a small skull and is bipedal, and walking upright.

Ethiopian was associated with Lucy as a birthplace of mankind. Many similar even older fossils have been found in these places in Ethiopia. Lucy became famous especially after a book by Johanson in 2007 and Lucy’s legacy: the hidden treasures of Ethiopia. The skeleton was returned to Ethiopian in 2013 and has been touring to us and back ever since.

What is Ethiopia known for: Origin of mankind

8-Indigenous plants and animal species

The country has diverse climatic and landscape compositions and is unique for its plants and species. Ethiopia had 277 species of mammals, 262 species of birds and 6600 species of plants in 2002. These include Jasmine, myrrh, Chat (addictive chewed plant), Caraway, and red pepper and more. Animal species include baboons, Ibex, red fox, cheetah, lion, and elephants.

Animas including the indigenous ones such as Black rhinoceros, Ethiopian Fox and Walia Ibex are among critically endangered mammals.  Mountain Nyala, Nubian ibex, and African wild dogs are also endangered animals in the country.

Animals such as Gelada baboons, Ethiopian Wolf, Mountain Nyala, Black Maned lion, Somali wild ass, Bale mountain Vervet are some of the indigenous animals in Ethiopia.

What is Ethiopia known for: Wild life


Many tourists are attracted to festivals in Ethiopia, especially religious celebrations. Timket or the baptism of Christ festival is among these highly celebrated days in the country. On January 19, people gather in the middle of the city of Addis Ababa to celebrate the day. Priests in many churches take Tabot (the ark of the covenant, indicated in the bible and these churches could have one), covered with ornamental cloth and is taken to a tent near a water stream.  With chants, songs and celebrations it is taken on foot to places near the church.


Celebrations in the capital city Addis Ababa is done in an open field called Jan Meda. After celebrations, the Tabot is taken back to the church in the evening. the horsemen, the procession, the celebrations, the clothing, the chants all make the day memorable, especially for the tourist.

Meskel is also another celebration, on September 27., a commemoration of the crucifixion of Christ. The celebration continuous with processions, burning torches in the middle of the city, in Meskel Square in Addis Ababa. It is also celebrated everywhere in neighborhoods.

10-Running and great Ethiopian run

Running seems a child of east Africans as these are the ones that always set a record in running. People like Haile Gebre Selassie and Derartu Tulu and many younger runners are knowing in the field. Especially Haile is known in many countries for the repetitive records he broke.

Haile also started a great Ethiopian run, a 10-kilometer-long annual running even in November. His programs begin months before and numbers and cloths are assigned to paying runners. The rest informally participates. Together with diplomats, embassy employees, government representatives, the community and more, the program continues with fun dancing and running to finish the 10 kilometers. More than 50,000 people participate in the event.

What is Ethiopia known for: Athletics

11- Eskista, dance (what is Ethiopia known for)

Ethiopian dancing translated to dancing shoulders is a unique Ethiopian dance style done by shaking shoulders and upper body. Ethiopia has many dances that have their own unique moments and stories. There are usually done with traditional music that has a unique beat that encourages a strong dance movement. The dances are harder than they look and many tourists enjoyed them but with poor performance. But it is a unique form that makes Ethiopia known in the world.


Hewn churches Lalibela- The UNESCO preserved eleven medieval monolithic churches still stand in the region of Lalibela. These are churches carved out of a rock. The churches were built in the 12 century by king Lalibela with unique and unique architectural styles. What makes them more unique is that these were chiseled out of a single rock to make every structure. The trenches and ditches and spaces and opening were also vastly thought upon.

History of lalibela bete giyorgis ethiopia

Besides the historic aspect of the church, the decorations, the spaces make the place beautiful and worth to visit. Due to natural and man-made reasons, the churches are losing their structure, cracks and surface deterioration are also challenges. Still, they stand a good attraction place.


Hamar has been a destination for many tourists. The Hamar people are Omotic people in the southwest part of Ethiopia. These are known with their nude living, only covering some part of their bodies and their culture of cattle or bull jumping. Boys jump back and forth tow times on the row of cattle and should not fall in order to marry. It is another form of men initiation. Women initiate whipping on the back for the boys who have been initiated. The whole experience and lifestyle are unique even to the other regions.

What is Ethiopia known for: unique culture

14- Rastrafari

Rastafari or Rastafarianism is a religion that began in Jamaica in 1930 based on biblical truth and based on Ras Teferi or Ethiopian king Haile Selassie who ruled from 1930 to 1974. Haile Selassie is the second coming of Christ for the Rastas and believed it is a symbol for freedom of black society from western oppression which they call Babylon. The religion and the Ethiopian association also grew and also became famous after Bob Marley’s songs and lifestyle promotions.

The Rastas settle in a place called Shashemene and consider Ethiopia as a holy land. They also visit the place as a holy trip. Rastas are associated with the use of Marijuana, dread hair, reggae music, and green-yellow-red clothing.

What is Ethiopia known for: origin of religion

15- A unique time and year

Ethiopian year is different from the rest of the world. In fact, the Ethiopian calendar is 8 years younger. Even the time system is different. Ethiopians began their day at 1:00 and end at 12:00 and the evening begins at 1:00 again and ends at 12:00 once again. This is different from the western system that begins the day at 7:00. This makes the Ethiopia new year in September, not January. And other celebrations are also different.

What is Ethiopia known for: a unique time

What is Ethiopia known for? Ethiopia is known for its rich cultural, historical and natural resources. Most of the cultures, despite the foreign influence, persists up to date. The events such as Meskel, Timket, Great Ethiopian run are colorful and cultural celebrations. These have a unique signature that Ethiopia is known for. The Simien mountains, bale mountains and other parts of northern Ethiopia are also great for adventure. Their unique natural settings take the breath away. Many tourists find these places unique and extremely attractive. The Danakil depression is also a great scientific and physical space that adds quality to what Ethiopia is known for.  

The unique traditions of Hamar and the unique belief of the Rastafarians add a place for what is Ethiopia known for.

Ethiopia is also known for its respectful culture towards visitors. The people are peaceful and are welcoming. You will be amazed by how you are treated on the street or in any service area.

So what is Ethiopia known for?

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