'Ehtiopia' is a personal projects of travellers HandZaround.com funded in majority by them and created in their free time.
Green highlands, barren deserts, impassable lowlands, sparkling waterfalls, glistening lakes, bustling towns. We can’t describe Ethiopia with one word, unless we reach for ‘diversity’.
‘Ethiopia’ takes you on a journey off the beaten track through Northern lands of the country. It offers you a glimpse into the life of Amharic people living in the highlands, a chance to take part in important religious celebrations of Meskel, and a visit through a myriad of majestic Ethiopian landscapes, varying from the hottest desolate reds of Danakil Depression, to tremendous Blue Nile Falls, to the colourful mixture of cultures that you can find in the country’s capital, Addis Ababa.
Although the film is our personal tribute to this unique and vast country, it was impossible to include all that Ethiopia comprises of (and here we mean geographical sites, ethnicities, religions and may more). We have yet to visit the South, East and West of Ethiopia. For more information about the places featured in the film, scroll down.
We are of course aware that Ethiopia consists of Muslim population, and other religions, but unfortunately we didn't have enough time and funds to represent the whole cultural, religious and natural landscape of Ethiopia.
If you're interested about the places featured in the film, scroll down to learn more about them.
Danakil Depression & Erta Ale Volcano
One of the hottest places on Earth full of out-of-this-world landscapes, right near the border with Eritrea. For more photos, stories and information, see one of our articles:
Churches of Tigray and Gheralta Mountains
Extremely difficult to access churches, with Abuna Yemata built directly into a free standing cliff, to which you have to climb up to. For more information please see our stories:
Celebrations of Ethiopian Orthodox Church, Meskel holiday, happens annually on the 26th of September. People gather all around Ethiopia to celebrate, with its centre being Meskel Square in Addis Ababa.
See our Vlog from Meskel here.
Blue Nile Falls
Located a 1.5 hour away from Bahir Dar, one of the biggest towns of Ethiopia, stunning and powerful Blue Nile Falls are a wonderful sight, not too popular with tourists. They're located close to Lake Tana, the source of Blue Nile.
A small town in Amhara region, Lalibela, is famous for its rock-hewn churches. We had a chance to be there during the holiday of St. Mary’s where priests gather to celebrate this special occasion throughout the night. Lalibela offers visitors also a chance to walk around the Saturday market, where one can buy pretty much everything!
A couple of hours away from Lalibela, at the height of 3800m, lays Degosach plateau. We were lucky to spend a couple of days in Degosach Eco Lodge and befriend the local farmers, who invited us to their homes. You can see a short documentary we created about the lodge, here.
See our short documentary film about Degosach Eco Lodge here.
Coffee ceremony and making of injera
Coffee ceremony happens every day, sometimes a couple of times a day, and it’s a very important part of Ethiopians’ lives. It’s not only a way of celebrating a drink ‘born’ in Ethiopia, but also a chance to socially interact with neighbours and friends, as it can last up to a few hours.
Injera is as important - it’s a sour pancake made from fermented teff (the smallest grain in the world). It’s the basis of the majority of Ethiopians' meals and is eaten a few times a day with different vegetable and meat stews.
Ethiopian New Year
Ethiopian New Year happens on the 11th of September and it’s celebrated in a very different way to our New Year celebrations. You can read about Ethiopian traditions that happen during New Year in our article.
Ethiopia’s capital city is a bustling mixture of ‘old’ and ‘new’. It has a very diverse cultural and religious landscape. We loved the variety of things to do in Addis, ranging from visits to vibrant markets (Shola Market or Mercato), to enjoying a variety of food choices on food tours with GoAddis Tours, to admiring beautiful churches such us, Entoto Maryam or Holy Trinity Church.
Stay tuned for our Addis Ababa City Video Guide coming soon!
Hub of Africa Addis Fashion week
Addis Fashion Week happens every year in Addis Ababa and showcases designers and models from around the whole of Africa. 2017 Addis Fashion Week took place in September and was a wonderful spectacle of rising talents, who showed Africa’s upcoming trends.
Horse Galloping Ceremony
The Horse Galloping Ceremony is organised a couple of times a year for important religious events, weddings or funerals. The tradition is supposed to be centuries old and boys as young as eight or nine already start learning how to ride horses. During the ceremony, the villagers wait for others to arrive from places located up to a few kilometres away. Once the big crowd has gathered, the event starts on the stretch of a flat, green plain of grass. Read more about it in our article and see a short film from this unique event.
Birds of Ethiopia
Although we ain’t no professional birdwatchers, we feel we need to give credit to all these stunning birds that we spotted in Ethiopia! We didn’t manage to capture even 1% of all these colours, shapes and sizes that they come in, but we were often accidentally impressed by the diversity of Ethiopian birds.
'Ethiopia' Travel Film by HandZaround Credits:
Footage of lava thanks to:
Special thanks to:
Kassahun Zeleke, his family and the people of Oromia.
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