Lake Tana

"Lake Tana" is located at an altitude of 1,786 m, making it the highest lake in Africa. In the lake there is an island, with the monastery of "Kebran Sankt Gabriel" with beautiful frescoes. The "Tis Isat" waterfall flowing out of "Lake Tana" is the source of the "Blue Nile".


Lake Tana


Addis Zemen Rock

On the way from Lake Tana towards Gonder near the village of Addis Zemen, there is a huge, towering cliff on the right side. The rock is a very popular photo opportunity among locals and tourists.


Addis Zemen


King's Palace of Gondar

The "Palace of Gondar" was built around 1632 by Emperor Fasilidas. Later rulers extended the palace district until 1769. There were other palaces, churches and a library. Gondar was by then the capital of Ethiopia and was surrounded by a city wall with 12 gates.


Gonder Palace


Pillars of Aksum

Another ancient capital of Ethiopia is Aksum (Axum). From the 2nd century AD until 1137, the city was the secular and religious center of the kingdom. The famous pillars called "May Hedja" were erected around 300 AD as burial place for the princes and kings of Aksum. Some pillars have fallen down and lie on the ground, others are supported by scaffolding. 


Steelenpark, Aksum


St. Mary's Church of Zion

The St. Mary's Church of Zion in Aksum was built around 400 AD and is believed to be the oldest church in the country. Since Aksum is the center of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church, a new large church was built in 1950. The round dome construction was commissioned by Emperor Haile Selassie. Because of its historical and religious significance, Aksum was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1980.


Tsion, Aksum


Ark of the Covenant

The "Ark of the Covenant" is a legendary chest in which the stone tablets with the "10 commandments", which Moses received from God, are stored. This chest was brought to Aksum by emperor Menelik from Israel. The "Ark of the Covenant" is to be located in this church in Aksum. But there is no scientific proof of the existence of the "Ark of the Covenant".


Ark of the Covenant, Aksum


Dungur in Aksum

The "Dungur" is an archaeological site west of Aksum, where a palace from the period between 300-500 AD was found. The palace is also attributed to the legendary "Queen of Saba", for whose existence, however, no evidence has been found. Who inhabited the building complex is not yet clear. 


Dungur, Aksum


Rock Church near Wikro

Around the small town of Wikro are many rock churches. The churches are located in crevices, in caves or on a plateau. The way to the churches is often adventurous. If you want to discover the churches you should not be afraid of heights. Especially in the steep rocks west of Wikro, you have to overcome deep abysses. Easier to access is the Church of Peter and Paul north of Wikro. (Photo)




Erta Ale Vulcano

The "Erta Ale" is a shield vulkan in the "Danakil" desert. The active volcano is only 600 m high, in its caldera there is a lava lake, which repeatedly breaks through the solidified lava plates. Especially at night a spectacular experience. Erta Ale means "smoking mountain".


Erta Ale


Map North Ethiopia


Travel Guide Ethiopia