Gondar is located in the northeastern part of Ethiopia, 30 km from the northern coast of Lake Tana. The city was founded in 1632 by Emperor Fasilidas, who moved the capital of the Ethiopian Empire here in 1638. Gondar remained the capital of the state until 1885.
Gondar is known as the “African Camelot”, because in 1640, under the emperor Fasilidas, an impregnable fortress was built here, which was surrounded by a 900-meter wall with 12 towers. In subsequent years, until the end of the 19th century, each Ethiopian emperor built a castle inside the fortress walls, there are 6 in total. In 1979, the Gonder citadel was included in the UNESCO World Heritage List. The Fasilidas Palace, the Iyasu II Palace, the Dauit Hall and the Gothic building of the library of Emperor Yohannis are the best preserved of the buildings of the fortress. There are also several interesting places
in the vicinity of Gondar. South of Gonder, in the valley of the Kakha River, are the baths of Fasilidas. Every year on January 6, on the Orthodox feast of the Epiphany (Timket), the baths are filled with water. Northwest of Gondar, on the hills of Kuskom, the temple of the Virgin Mary has been preserved, and the church of Deberham Selassie is located northeast of the city. Both temples are decorated with frescoes.
100 km northeast of Gondar the Simien Mountains stretched out. Here is the highest point of the country – Mount Ras Dashen (4623 m). Ras Dashen is surrounded by the Simien National Park.. The park was founded in 1969. Ten years later, it was included in the UNESCO World Heritage List. A distinctive feature of the landscape of the park are the pointed stone towers that can be seen everywhere. These are the remains of ancient volcanic activity – huge pieces of solidified lava. In addition, here you can see mountain valleys covered with various vegetation, gorges, canyons, waterfalls and rare animals such as Ethiopian wolves, Gelada baboons and Walia mountain goats. About 50 species of birds live in the park, including a huge bird of prey – a bearded vulture, whose wingspan reaches 3 m. The Simien Mountains are dotted with numerous routes that can be overcome both on foot and on off-road vehicles or mules. Routes are designed to travel from three to ten days, they start from the administrative center of the park – the village of Debrak.
According to Countries Nearby, the city of Jinka is located in the southwestern part of Ethiopia near the border with Kenya. In the vicinity of the city are the southernmost lakes of the chain of Ethiopian lakes of the East African Rift Zone – Lake Chow Bahr, which is also known as Istifanos, and Lake Turkana (Lake Rudolf). The Ethiopian-Kenyan border runs along the lakes. Lake Chow Bahr is 64 km long and 24 km wide. It is known for its flamingo population. The area of Lake Turkana is 6405 sq. km. The European name for the lake – Rudolf – was given in honor of the Austrian prince Rudolf. The lake is home to many crocodiles and migratory birds.
One of the largest rivers in Ethiopia, the Omo, flows into Lake Turkana.. It flows about 40 km west of Jinka. In 1980, the lower course of the Omo River was included in the UNESCO World Heritage List, as the oldest remains of the first people of the Homo genus, about 1.95 million years old, were found here. For such a long stay of a person in these places, many ethnic groups have formed, each of which has a unique culture and way of life. The Bame, Konso, Gelebe, Bodi, Mursi, Surma, Arbor, Karo, Hamer and many others tribes live in the Omo Valley. The main occupations of the locals are agriculture and fishing. The most popular tribes among tourists are Mursi, Surma and Hamer. Representatives of these tribes paint their bodies with clay and vegetable juice, and also decorate their bodies with scarring. Women of the Mursi and Surma tribes, with the onset of puberty, cut their lower lip and hang a load on it, then clay plates are inserted into the lip, and the diameter of the plates increases every year. The roots of this tradition go back to ancient times, when slavery was widespread on the continent: slave traders did not want to take people with such “decorations” into slavery. Of interest are the annual ritual fights “donga”, which are arranged by the Mursi and Surma tribes. Fights take place on long wooden spears between residents of different villages. The Hamer tribes are known for their marriage ceremonies. Fights take place on long wooden spears between residents of different villages. The Hamer tribes are known for their marriage ceremonies. Fights take place on long wooden spears between residents of different villages. The Hamer tribes are known for their marriage ceremonies.
In addition, the Omo River is a great place for safari and rafting. Rafting is best done at the end of the rainy season – from September to October. Safaris are arranged in two national parks, which are located on both banks of the Omo River. Mago National Park covers an area of 2162 sq. km on the east coast of Omo, Omo National Park – an area of 4068 sq. km on the west bank of the Omo. Savannahs, giraffes, elephants, kudu and a variety of birds live here. Sometimes there are lions, leopards and desert zebras.