10 things about Ethiopia that might surprise you

By Emma Mann

Gheralta MountainsThanks to sensational media and lack of public knowledge, Ethiopia has to have one of the worst tourist reputations going. Thanks to Bob Geldof’s fabulously publicised famines of 30 years ago, the country has this poverty-stricken, war-ravaged  dustbowl reputation that we’re sure they’re keen to kick.

In actual fact Ethiopia is a country rich in tradition, with a staggering diversity of landscape and a kaleidescope of culture and history, tracing back to the very beginnings of our species. This all makes for one heck of a surprising travel destination.

Let us dispel some more rumours for you…

1. 13 months in a year: There are a multitude of cultures that prefer their own calendar to the universally accepted Gregorian one, but most run their countries based on the 12 months in a year rule. Ethiopia said heck no, in typical trend-bucking fashion, and continued to count 13 months every year for several thousand years. Which technically means it’s still 2006 there, and tourism boards can actually boast 13 months of sunshine a year. Leave the gloom of a European winter behind, head to the warm sunshine of Ethiopia!

Read more at: Africa encompassed