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Anisha Shah
Created byAnisha Shah
Luxury & Emerging Destinations Travel Journalist

Northern Ethiopia: Making an Entrance

Featured Guide

Considered the cradle of humanity, North Ethiopia is home to some of the world’s oldest communities, lays claims to the Ark of the Covenant and is bathed in immense natural beauty. Mountainous highlands descend to bottomless lakes laden with UNESCO sites and treasures: here exists the grandest collection of archaeological legacies in sub-Saharan Africa.  Ousting the legacy of famine, the country is emerging as a hot destination for its deeply ingrained identity and glorious antiquity. Traversing fabled territory feels ground-breaking and deeply resonates with this Emerging Destinations travel writer. As a journalist of BBC TV & Radio background, history, culture and nature satiate my appetite. In Ethiopia they converge, exuding the essence of mankind through a richly woven tapestry of time.

  • Restaurant
    Anisha Shah's rating: 5
    Four Sisters restaurant in Gondar is one of the best. Ethiopian food is popular worldwide; Injera is the country’s staple; made from indigenous crop cereal, ‘Teff’. It’s a spongy... more
  • Attraction
    Anisha Shah's rating: 5
    30+ islands dotted on Lake Tana house ancient embellished and adorned monasteries and churches, filled with original paintings, frescoes and murals. Their location was... more
  • Attraction
    Anisha Shah's rating: 5
    Slicing through placid still waters of a seemingly infinite lake, chug chugging by motorboat, feels remarkably pacifying. The vital lake is the source of the Blue Nile, which... more
  • Attraction
    Anisha Shah's rating: 5
    Trekkers and adventurers will delight in the majestic scenes of wilderness unfolding along the walk and boat crossing en route to ‘Tis Abay’ in Amharic. Several streams filter... more
  • Hotel
    Anisha Shah's rating: 5
    Set on the serene banks of Lake Tana, this sanctuary is ideal for some pampering and recuperation. With a good spa, pool and restaurant, it can be a sweet ending or interlude to a... more
  • Attraction
    Anisha Shah's rating: 5
    Once the capital of Africa’s oldest empires, Axum city is cited from 400BC. Littered with UNESCO Heritage sites including famous Stelae; granite monoliths from pre-Christian... more
  • Attraction
    Anisha Shah's rating: 5
    The most famous sights of Ethiopia, the UNESCO protected 12th Century churches are carved into steep stone sides. Navigate a network of trenches and alcoves to get into each... more
  • Hotel
    Anisha Shah's rating: 5
    The ‘highest hotel in Africa’ is the sole hotel within the national park, sitting atop an escarpment. Lammergeyer soar at these heights, clearly visible. ‘Tukul’ village style... more
  • Attraction
    Anisha Shah's rating: 5
    The ‘Roof of Africa’ encompasses UNESCO World Heritage Simien National Park. Trek or drive through rocketing rugged Amethyst-tainted peaks and plummeting canyons, spot the... more
  • Attraction
    10 Merkato
    Anisha Shah's rating: 5
    All routes begin in the Capital, Addis Ababa. Mercato is the largest open-air market in Africa. It employs tens of thousands and spans a 5 km width. Be warned, you can literally find... more
  • Attraction
    Anisha Shah's rating: 4
    The chest of tablets on which the Ten Commandments were written, according to the Bible, has historically travelled some distance. Now it’s widely believed to be held in the... more
  • City
    12 Gondar
    Anisha Shah's rating: 4
    This was once the epicentre of the Ethiopian empire. Royal castles dominate the landscape; venture into the Royal enclosure. Most impressive is Fasilidas Castle –the late King... more