Safari Expert Offers Five Little-Known and Curious Facts About Ethiopia
DENVER, CO — Africa Adventure Consultants’ 12-day cultural adventure, The Ethiopian Epic, is one of the world’s “50 Tours of a Lifetime” according to National Geographic Traveler magazine. With departures year-round, cost for the value-priced safari to Northern Ethiopia and the Lower Omo Valley starts at $2,712 per person, double occupancy, exclusive of air.
Kent Redding, president of Africa Adventure Consultants, describes Ethiopia as “a destination like no other: exotic, foreign, mysterious and historical.” The adventure combines highlights of the Northern Historic Circuit with a journey to the Omo Valley in the south, home to a number of indigenous tribes with unique customs. In the north, guests boat across Lake Tana visiting historic island monasteries, wander among Gondar’s medieval castles, and explore Lalibela’s underground rock-hewn churches. In the south, participants visit a number of tribal villages including the Dorze, Hamer, Dassenech, and Karo peoples, using the Buska Lodge in Turmi (Lower Omo Valley) as a base.
National Geographic Traveler’s (NGT) fifth annual “50 Tours of a Lifetime” target travelers willing to move outside of luxury and certain comfort zones to delve into culture and personal discovery. The feature will be in the May/June 2010 issue of National Geographic Traveler, on newsstands in late-April and available online at http://traveler.nationalgeographic.com/.
African travel expert Redding offers these curious and little-known facts about Ethiopia:
1. Ethiopia is green. The central part of the country sits on a high plateau with rich farmlands and stunning mountain vistas. The national grain is the highly-nutritious teff, the main ingredient in injera, a flat, spongy, pancake-like bread that serves as both plate and utensil in Ethiopian cuisine.
2. You are seven years younger in Ethiopia. While most of the world uses the Gregorian calendar, which dates from the 16th century, Ethiopia stuck with its traditional calendar, which has 13 months and New Years day in September. Until September 11th, it is 2002 in Ethiopia.
3. Ethiopia is the Cradle of Mankind. Many people are familiar with Lucy, the early hominid skeleton found in Ethiopia’s Afar region in 1974. Since then there have been even earlier hominid discoveries. In 2009 Ethiopia reclaimed the title when details were published about Ardi, a female skeleton dating back some 4.4 million years.
4. Ethiopia is a center of cultural diversity with more than 80 different ethnic groups, some with fewer than 10,000 members. The national language is Amharic, which is the native language of the Amhara people. The Oromo people make up the largest ethnic group; the Tigrinya people in the north are also influential.
5. Ethiopia has castles. The town of Gondar is the famed site of the Fasil Ghebbi, a royal enclosure of castles dating from the 16th and 17th centuries. During this period each successive ruler built his own castle next to that of his predecessor. The castle designs reflect Hindu and Arab influences, as well as Baroque elements brought to Gondar by Jesuit missionaries.
About Africa Adventure Consultants
“We have an edge doing business in Africa as an American company because we serve as a bridge between these two distinct cultures. Our staff knows what North American travelers expect and can deliver on target. We know the travel obstacles and best practices as well as those very special places off the tourist track.”
—Kent Redding, Africa Adventure Consultants
Denver-based Africa Adventure Consultants, Inc. (AAC) organizes exclusive, customized, 100% carbon-neutral safari adventures throughout East and Southern Africa. The company conducts business only in destinations they know intimately and offers Africa’s best local camps, lodges and guides. They are definitive experts with years of relationship building and travel in the countries where they orchestrate safaris. This in-country expertise and depth of knowledge differentiates ACC from other safari providers. AAC offers full service trip planning, from flights and safaris, to travel insurance and safari gear.
AAC organizes safari adventures in 13 countries across East and Southern Africa: Tanzania, Kenya, South Africa, Uganda, Namibia, Botswana, Malawi, Mozambique, Rwanda, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Ethiopia, and The Seychelles.
For more information please go to: http://www.adventuresinafrica.com/ or call 303-778-1089, toll-free at 866-778-1089 or email [email protected]