In this podcast, Africa expert Herbie Rosenberg talks Ethiopia.
Ethiopia is the oldest independent country in Africa and the second-oldest official Christian nation in the world after Armenia. It remains the only African country which has never been colonized (except for a brief occupation by Italy during World War II.
In fact, historians believe that Ethiopia may well be the beginning of humankind. The fossils of the oldest once-living humans or “Lucy” were discovered in the northern section of Ethiopia. The remains of the fossil are said to be 3.5 million years old.
Highlights in Ethiopia include the towns of Axum, Gondar, Harar, as well as the rock churches of Lalibela and Gheralta. Spectacular outdoor activities are rafting on the Omo River. And several national Parks offer gold opportunities for multi-day hiking in a spectacular landscape, partly with good chances to spot wildlife animals. The Danakil Depression is one of few places worldwide where one can descent to an active volcano’s lava flow.
Ethiopia uses the Ethiopian calendar, which dates back to the Coptic calendar 25 BC, and never adopted the Julian or Gregorian reforms. One Ethiopian year consists of twelve months, each lasting thirty days, plus a thirteenth month of five or six days. The Ethiopian new year begins on 11 or 12 September (in the Gregorian calendar) and has accumulated 7-8 years lag behind the Gregorian calendar.
One of the reasons Herbie Rosenberg talks Ethiopia is because he believes that it will be the next popular destination in Africa, particularly for Australians.
Herbie represents many fantastic destinations and experiences in Africa through his company Africareps. He has clients in ten countries there, and the continent is one of his passions.
As mentioned earlier, Ethiopia has a very interesting history. The Queen of Sheba, who is mentioned in the Old Testament, hailed from Ethiopia. She had a son to King Solomon, called Menelik I who is said to have taken the Ark of the Covenant to Ethiopia where it is said to be enshrined in the Church of St. Mary of Zion in Axum.
Ethiopia is a stunningly beautiful place and with the great Rift Valley dissecting the country it is still geologically active.
Herbie is very enthusiastic when chatting about Ethiopia and you can be whisked away to this magnificent country just by listening to the podcast below, which was recorded as part of the Travel Bug which airs each Friday night on Perth Tonight with Chris Ilsley on Radio 6PR Perth.