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This is a rather unpretentious building, but is home to “Lucy”. That is the 3.5m year old skeleton of the oldest known “humanoid”. It’s discovery in 1974 turned human anthropology on its head, proving that we were up on our hind legs about 2.5m years earlier than previously believed.
The Ethiopians call her Dinknesh (which means “wonderful”), and I prefer that. The English name seems totally incongruous.
For some reason I chose not to photograph her. Invasion of privacy?
It was a timely reminder that this is where it all started for homo sapiens - Ethiopia I mean, not the museum.
The other exhibits are also interesting and informative - labelled in English as well as Amharic.
The museum is crying out for someone to invest some time and money in upgrading and modernisation, but that’s part of its charm - no pandering to tourism.
Written Jan 9, 2012
Address: Amist Kilo, Entoto Avenue, Addis Ababa
Phone: 011 111 91 31/ ext 7150
This church is also known as the Holy Trinity Cathedral. It’s not big - at least by European standards - although my guide book describes it as “very large”. Hmm...
It’s cornerstone was laid in 1933, so it’s not old either.
It is worth seeing, however. Emperor Haile Selassie laid the cornerstone, and his remains are now entombed there. They were elsewhere after his execution, and were moved in 2000. In addition, the “thrones” from which he and his wife worshipped in the church are still there - now unused.
For me it was also an informative introduction to the Ethiopian Orthodox Church, of which (not surprisingly) I knew nothing before. I had a guide from the church, organised and paid for by the company which I bought an afternoon excursion from.
Like a lot of what I saw that afternoon, it’s all quite informal. It was quite possible to go up and stand beside or touch Selassie’s tomb.
Written Jan 9, 2012
Address: See below
I found this great NGO working with families living with HIV. They have a workshop where the women make jewelry out of roasted coffee beans as well from local traditional beads. Its the nicest souvenirs I've found in Ethiopia and the money supports a great cause. Their place is a little hard to find but worth it if you want to see how they do their art and learn about the other programs they have. It is just up the hill from the Sidist Kilo University (where the Anthropology Museum is). Turn right at the Ethiopian Cultural Center, before you reach the American Embassy, and follow the signs for Cure Hospital. The road kind of forks but you stay on the right side. Its called Beza Entoto Outreach. Their gate is black and white, on the right side, and their sign is small. It is across from a brightly colored elementary school called Vikas Academy. Its a very interesting place to visit if you want to see something out of the usual tourist circuit.
Updated Sep 6, 2011
Address: Sidist Kilo
From the outside your first impression is that some of the lettering has fallen off and it could do with a bit of paint. The Tourist Office in Addis is ok. They are helpful and can give you just about any information you need on the city. They can also help you with information about other tourist destinations in Ethiopia. They are open 8:30-12:30 & 13:30-17:30 Monday-Thursday and 8:30-11:30 & 13:30-17:30 on Fridays.
Update: They got new signs in September 2007 and the office looks very nice now.
Updated Apr 4, 2011
On our 3 ½ week trip through Ethiopia we started with a 4-days-trek in the Simien Mountains. Back to Gondar for the Timkat-Festival we traveled on to Lalibela and Mekele. From there our route took us to the Danakil Depression, where we visited Dallol, the Saltplaines and Ert Ale. Then we drove to Awash National Park and further south to Arba Minch, Turmi, Omorate, Jinka and Mago National Park, where we visited all the different tribes.
Our group consisted of three people travelling with Liza, Christos and Wondu. We spent a wonderful time on a really well organized trip and had a lot of fun together.
Christos’ driving was very good and we felt always safe with him. He proved his skills when we were driving from Mekele down to Danakil. The dirt road along the sheer drop-offs was wet and very muddy. Even under these extreme conditions he always had the vehicle under control. In the desert we had to drive 80km through pure sand and we didn’t get stocked once. Chapeau!
Also the second driver Binjam (he drove with us to the south) was very good.
Liza took care of the cooking during the Danakil trip which was a real challenge. First of all the circumstances were not easy at all. Since two of us are vegetarians she had to prepare some adequate food for us. She did this with no problems and we enjoyed the quality of her meals very much.
During our trip through Danakil we were accompanied by Abu Hussein, our Afar guide. He is a very experienced Pathfinder and we were very lucky to have him with us when we crossed the desert during a sandstorm. With great security he led the way even though we couldn’t see further then a few meters.
Last but not least we want to warmly recommend our local guide Wondu Haile. He did a wonderful job as our guide. He has a comprehensive knowledge of the local cultures and of the different tribes too. He was very reassuring and patient and he is sensitive and diplomatic so we always felt comfortable in his company. He is a very nice person, always so polite and thoughtful and he takes good care of everything, sometimes even making the impossible possible. Thanks to his high education and the perfect knowledge of the English language we were able to have good conversations so we got a deep insight in the ways of life in Ethiopia and this made our journey an unforgettable experience.
The company’s Toyota Landcruiser was the ideal vehicle for the desert. In addition he was supplied with special suspensions and mud-tires, which made travelling through the desert very comfortable.
The camping equipment used by Pangeans Safari was of high quality and in excellent condition. We had big two-man tents (Coleman) one could stand up inside. There was even an outside covered space for the table and the chairs. They provided army camping beds and comfortable chairs and tables. Compared to what we saw other companies were using we can say the equipment of Pangeans is the best.
All in all Pangeans Safari did everything to make our trip through Ethiopa a fantastic and unforgettable journey. We can highly recommend this company. We want to thank Christos and Liza for everything they did for us.
Written Mar 17, 2011
Address: Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Yekatit 12 Martyr's monument on the Yekatit 12 Square commemorates the Ethiopians who was killed by the italians in February 19, 1937. (The name "Yekatit 12" is taken from the Ethiopian calandar which is different from the Coptic calendar. The date was Yekatit 12, 1929).
Written Jul 13, 2010
Address: Yekatit 12 Square
I took a city tour and asked the taxi driver to drive around Addis Ababa for a sightseeing. The taxis in Addis Ababa are old Soviet Lada's, and the cars are really in bad condition. But the drivers are friendly and funny. Remember to bargain the price before you enter the car. A 2-3 hour drive should be aprox 200 Birr.
The photo is the statue of King Menelik II on a horse to commemorate Ethiopia's victory over the Italians at the Battle of Adowa in 1896.
Updated Jul 13, 2010
Address: Adowa Square
Ethiopia is a poor country and you will see a lot of beggars on the streets of Addis Ababa. Would you like to help without causing social problems? HOPE Enterprises runs a feeding centre on Churchill Avenue. Just stop by the office and you can buy a book of meal tokens for very little money. For less than 10 US cents you can provide a recipient with a nutritious meal at their feeding centre. If you give beggars on the street money without knowing what you are doing, often the money is spent on something other than food. HOPE makes sure they get the nourishing food the homeless people need to survive. Buy several books.
HOPE also does developmental project including helping people get an education. You can donate in person or via their website.
(Please do NOT take pictures of the people eating – it would be terribly rude).
Updated Jul 10, 2010
Ethiopians like going to cinemas, especially on sundays. The cinema at Harambee Hotel in the downtown of Addis Ababa are among the most popular in Addis Ababa. On the picturers you can see the 50 metres queue in front of the cinema.
Written Jun 10, 2010
The Ethiopian National Theatre (formerly known as Haile Selassie I Theatre) was built during the Italian occupation with 350 seats, but expanded in 1955 to seat 1260 people. A process of giving a modern setting to Ethiopian traditional music should make the tradition survive.
Written Jun 9, 2010
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