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Close-up of the Blue Nile Falls near Bahar Dar

Travelling in Ethiopia won't be everyone's cup of shai: there's not much tourist infrastructure here, and checking your email is slow. But the landscape is splendid, the people are welcoming, the sense of history is tangible and you won't have to worry about crowds of tourists.

You'll soon see that there's far more to the place than famine and misery. Ethiopia is just about the only country in Africa never to have been colonised, and its people have a proud tradition of fighting for their independence. The pride is justified.

The country is also unusual for its rich Orthodox Christian heritage, which the Ethiopians maintained even when all its neighbours embraced Islam in the 7th century. If you still don't get it, let's tell it the way it is: Ethiopia is arguably Africa's best kept secret.

Facts for the traveller
Money & Costs
Off the beaten track
Getting Around
Further reading

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