The Old Testament makes no fewer than thirty references to Ethiopia ("Cush" to the Hebrews). Moses wed an "Ethiopian" woman (Numbers 12:1). According to tradition, the Ethiopian nation was founded by Etiopik, great grandson of Noah, and Axum (Aksum) was founded by Etiopik's son, Aksumai.


Queen Makeda of Sabea (Sheba) would have been a member of this dynasty; she ruled a vast area that included Yemen, and in her reign Ethiopians traded with peoples as far as Palestine and India. Makeda ventured to Jerusalem to visit King Solomon, by whom she bore a son, Menelik (from Ibn-al-Malik, Son of the King).

Thus was established the Solomonic dynasty, which tradition identifies with various lines amalgamated into the dynasty that ruled until 1974. It is believed that Menelik visited his father in Jerusalem for three years as a young adult, learning the Mosaic Law, and returned to Ethiopia with the Ark of the Covenant.

Ethiopia is a land of unique and diverse history, present-day culture and environment. It offers sites that will engage and intrigue travelers of all interests.

From world-renowned discoveries in physical anthropology, like Lucy at the National Museum in Addis,

Ethiopia holds: - present-day churches of the ancient Ethiopian Orthodox church,

Breath-taking wildlife in the Simien Mountains, a UNESCO World Heritage Site,

Aksum, center of the powerful ancient Aksumite kingdom (400BC-200AD), where pre-Christian tombs underlie splendid 1800-year-old stelae.
Christianity was introduced in Ethiopia as early as the beginning of the 4th Century. The Ethiopian Orthodox church possesses a set of unique rituals and iconography that reflect an ongoing ancient practice. Travel north and visit the 12th- and 13th-century rock-hewn churches in Lalibela, and the 17th-century castle ruins in Gonder.

The natural beauty of Ethiopia amazes the first-time visitor. Ethiopia is a land of rugged mountains (some 25 are over 4000 meters high) broad savannah, lakes and rivers. The unique Rift Valley is a remarkable region of volcanic lakes, with their famous collections of birdlife, great escarpments and stunning vistas. Tisisat, the Blue Nile falls, must rank as one of the greatest natural spectacles in Africa today. With 14 major wildlife reserves, Ethiopia provides a microcosm of the entire sub-Saharan ecosystem. Birdlife abounds, and indigenous animals, from the rare Walia ibex to the shy wild ass, roam free. Ethiopia, after the rains, is a land decked with flowers and with many more native plants than most countries in Africa.
Ethiopia is generally considered Africa's oldest continuously identifiable nation. The beautiful country covers well over a million square kilometers; Ethiopia is about twice as large as Kenya or Texas, or Three times as large as France or Four times Italy or about five times as large as the United Kingdom.