Ethiopia is a beautiful country. There is a lot to see and experience.  There is a stark contrast between the dry Danakil Desert and the Bale Mountains National Park. Find out more by hovering your mouse over the highlighted points.

Women

A woman’s status varies by country and region across Africa. In many parts, women struggle against inequality in laws, education, pay and domestic responsibilities.

Women’s health is also at risk from traditional practices such as early marriage. But with better education, girls can make more informed choices, leading to the greater development of African nations.

Uganda Map

Explore Uganda

Have a look and explore some of Uganda’s main attractions, cities and the country’s plentiful wildlife and national parks.

Lake Tana

As well as being famous as one of the sources of the Nile waters, Lake Tana has more than 20 monasteries on its islands and peninsulas, some dating back to the 14th century.

Simien Mountains National Park

Erosion over millions of years has created the jagged mountain peaks, deep valleys and sheer precipices of Simien National Park. As well as its spectacular scenery, the region is an important area for wildlife conservation. The park is home to rare animals such as the Gelada baboon, the Simien fox and the Walia ibex, a wild mountain goat found only in this part of the world.

Tiya

South of Addis Ababa, in the Soddo region, over 150 archeological sites have been discovered from the pre-historic period. Many carved stone monoliths have been found, varying in size from 1-5 metres. The site near Tiya contains 36 ancient standing stones/stelae, many with carved symbols on them, such as swords. Skeletons found at the site have been dated between the 12th–14th centuries, but the stones could be much older.

Harar

The fortified historic town of Harar is considered by many Muslims to be the fourth holiest city of Islam (after Mecca, Medina and Jerusalem). For many hundreds of years, only Muslims were allowed to enter. The town has over 80 mosques, three of which date from as early as the 10th century. There are also many shrines and old houses within Harar’s walls, which were built to their present height in the 16th century.

Addis Ababa

Addis Ababa is the world’s third highest capital city (at 2,440m) and home to over 3 million people. Like many of Africa’s large cities, streets can feel bustling and chaotic. However, peace and quiet can be found in one of the city’s historical churches or looking round the National Museum of Ethiopia.

Climate

Africa is a massive continent, with a range of climates. Some regions are hot and dry, like the Sahara, Kalahari and Namib deserts. Other parts are wet or covered in tropical rainforest. Conditions also vary by altitude, from the dry salt pans of the Danakil Depression (one of the lowest points on earth) to the snowcaps (at certain times) of the highest mountains. Weather-wise, Africa has it all!

Sudan map

Explore Sudan

Have a look at some of the regions, features and places of interest in Sudan.

Gode

Gode is one of the principal cities in the Ogaden region, the semi-arid southeastern corner of Ethiopia bordering with Somalia. Many ethnic Somali live in this region, which has been fought over between the two countries. Average annual rainfall is usually below 350mm here and many people live as pastoralists, grazing their animals over the shrub and grassland. Droughts are a frequent threat to the region.

Children

Around one in six children born in sub-Saharan Africa don't live to see their fifth birthday and life can be tough for those who do.

What are the common challenges facing African children and how do their lives compare with those of children in the UK?

Axum

Axum was the capital of the region’s powerful Axumite empire, which was at its height during the 1st–7th centuries AD. Though a small modern town today, it is still considered to be the holiest city of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church. The Ark of the Covenant (believed by Ethiopians to have been taken from Jerusalem by an early Ethiopian king) is said to be kept locked away in Axum’s Mary of Zion Church. Though no one is allowed to view this particular relic, visitors are able to see the amazing ruins, catacombs and stelae/standing stones of this once great city.

Kenya Map

Explore Kenya

Kenya is a popular tourist destination because of its many national parks and game reserves. Discover a little more about some of these.

The map also has a few of Kenya's key towns and cities. As well as being a hub for business, the capital Nairobi, has one of the largest slums in Africa, Kibera.

Games & Sport

Africa is home to arguably the oldest-recorded games and sports. While some are only known through archaeology, modern-day games and sports such as Mancala/Mankala and Nubian wrestling are very much alive today.

Of course, new sports have come along to claim the attention of Africans. You may have heard of one - it's called football.

Foods

Africa has some of the most distinctive cuisines and flavours in the world. Food varies widely, but there are commonalities across regions. Depending on what's grown locally, dishes are also influenced by the traders, immigrants and rulers who settled across the continent. Arab, Asian and European elements blend in with traditional African cooking.

Bale Mountains National Park

Set across the Bale mountain range, this national park protects the montane/montain forests and moorland found on these high slopes. Home to a number of regional birds, such as the blue-winged goose, the park is also one of the best places to see endemic animals such as the Ethiopian wolf, mountain nyala (a high-altitude antelope) and the rare Menelik’s bushbuck.

Poverty

Across the rest of the world, absolute poverty has halved over recent decades, but in Africa it has barely fallen.

About two-fifths of the population of sub-Saharan Africa survive week by week on what someone in the UK earns from just one hour's work on the minimum wage.

Great Rift Valley

The Great Rift Valley runs through central Ethiopia in a north-easterly direction, dividing the eastern and western highlands. Towards the south of the country, the valley contains a string of eight large lakes.

History

The first humans are thought to have lived in Africa and powerful African empires formed from the medieval age onwards.

However, today's African nations were shaped by the European powers who colonised this vast continent. Having gained their independence, many African countries are still coming to terms with the legacy left by their colonisers.

Agriculture & Famine

A quarter of the population of sub-Saharan Africa is undernourished and famines can impact whole regions.

Land is available to grow more food locally, but investment is needed in  technologies such as irrigation for land to be used effectively. Farmers must also adapt to climate change if they are to feed the continent's rising population.

Development

‘People are the real wealth of a nation.’ This is the belief of the United Nations, whose Millenium Development Goals provide a framework for improving the lives of millions.

It helps when nations are peaceful, stable and growing economically. But where even the poorest countries focus on health, education and creating fairer societies, more Africans have the chance of a better life.

Lalibela

The small town of Lalibela lies high in the mountains. As the capital of the Ethiopian dynasty which ruled from the 10–13th centuries, it was named after the greatest king of the time, King Lalibela. A devout Christian (and as legend has it, instructed by an angel in a dream), the king ordered 11 medieval churches to be created out of the rock. Lalibela’s rock-hewn churches are considered by many to be an unofficial wonder of the world.

Geography & Wildlife

With its varied geography and diverse habits, the African continent is home to a wide range of flora and fauna. Though famous for its 'big game' animals, Africa has huge numbers of fish, mammal, bird, reptile, amphibian and insect species, as well as many tree, plant and flower species.

The Danakil Desert

The Danakil Desert contains one of the lowest points on the earth’s surface – the Danakil Depression. Descending to minus 116 metres in altitude, this desert area is characterised by its soaring temperatures and strange geological features. The lunar-type landscape has large salt basins and calcareous chimneys, as well as hot springs and active volcanoes (e.g. Erta Ale/Irta’ale) which spew out sulphur into the atmosphere.

Mekele

Mekele is the capital of the Tigrai region. Though the city itself has few tourist attractions, the road north from Mekele leads to many rock-hewn medieval churches. These are carved into the the cliff faces of the region and visitors need a candle or torch to see around properly inside.

Gonder

Founded in 1635 by Emperor Fasilidas, Gonder served as the capital for over two centuries. The royal enclosure at the centre – sometimes referred to as the ‘Camelot of Ethiopia’ – contains a number of churches, palaces and castles. The Emperor’s first castle, built around 1640, is a unique mixture of Portuguese, Axumite and Indian architectural styles.

Health

Africa has a high number of communicable diseases, which place a huge burden on healthcare systems. The vast majority of malaria cases and HIV/AIDS-related deaths occur in Africa; these two diseases currently represent the greatest threats.

With low investment in healthcare and a severe shortage of medical staff, many countries struggle to meet the health needs of their people.

Ethiopia map The Danakil Desert Great Rift Valley Kenya Map Sudan map Uganda Map Gonder Axum Harar Addis Ababa Tiya Mekele Lalibela Lake Tana Simien Mountains National Park Bale Mountains National Park Bale Mountains National Park Gode