Ethiopia, with friendly people, an ancient and fascinating culture, and amazing food (and coffee), is truly a fantastic country to visit.
While I mainly travel to eat, people are also a major contribution to the greatness of any country.
1. Boys in Lalibela
Unfortunately, plenty of kids will ask you to take their picture and then ask for money. But when kids asked, I would kindly tell them “no money” with a smile, and many of them would still ask for a photo just to see themselves. These four boys were on their way home from school and wanted a photo.
2. Meskel Festival
I didn’t catch the full Meskel celebration, but I did see a few parades marching down the street in Addis Ababa.
3. Priest at Yemrehana Krestos
In an ancient cave church known as Yemrehana Krestos, about an hour from Lalibela, the priest held out the original ancient bronze cross.
4. Happy Girls
These girls were extremely excited to see themselves in the screen!
5. Walking through Lalibela
Lalibela is one of the tourism capitals of Ethiopia, and there are so many friendly people.
6. My Fruit Man
I’m afraid I can’t remember his real name, but he has one of the many delicious fruit stalls in Addis Ababa. I purchased 1 kilo of avocados (among other fruits) from him nearly everyday.
(And despite his not so friendly face that I caught on camera, he was a really nice and friendly guy)
7. Lalibela Pilgrims
Lalibela is one of the most important Ethiopian Orthodox towns, and the churches attract many local pilgrims from around the country.
8. Funeral Attendees
While touring the churches of Lalibela, our guide walked us through a local memorial service, where the entire village seemed to be in attendance. At first I wasn’t going to take any photos, but they said it was alright.
Despite plenty of Ethiopian vegetarian food, livestock is a huge part of Ethiopian culture and its economy. Everywhere from the countryside to the center of Addis Ababa you’ll find shepherds tending their flocks.
10. Ethiopian Orthodox Nun
This Ethiopian Orthodox nun was sitting on the ledge of St. Georges stone hewn church in Lalibela, Ethiopia.
11. Roasting coffee
Step into a closet sized shop in Addis Ababa and you’ll be enchanted by the aroma or roasting coffee beans.
12. Pounding coffee
Coffee is so good in Ethiopia, it’s impossible to resist.
Nearly every restaurant you go to, you’ll be able to have either a machine made coffee (such as espresso or machiato) or a traditional cup of buna (Ethiopian coffee made in a clay pot known as a jebena).
13. Man and Son taking a breather
Lalibela (and also Addis Ababa) is located at a very high elevation, 2,630 meters to be exact, and walking around you’ll lose your breath quickly – but don’t worry, many locals do too.
After walking up a hill, this man and son needed a break, as did I!
14. Addis Mercato
The Mercato, or market, in Addis Ababa is a bustling shopping district that’s continually packed with action. It’s a lot of fun to watch the men who distribute massive loads, often on their heads, around the market.
15. Streets of Addis Mercato
You could walk around and people watch all day at Addis Mercato!
16. Entoto Hills
One of the best things to do in Addis Ababa is take a drive (or hike) up to the Entoto Hills. Along the way you’ll get incredible views of the countryside, of Addis skyline, and you’ll also see people carrying huge loads of branches and wood back home to use.
17. In the Countryside
While driving through the countryside of Ethiopia, not far from Lalibela, we came across this young boy who wanted a ride in the back of our truck. We gave him a ride, and I took his photo when he got out.
Ethiopia is amazing, and it’s surely one of the most memorable countries I’ve visited, mainly due to the food and the people. I hope this may inspire you to travel to Ethiopia someday!