Here's why you should visit Ethiopia

On the shore of Lake Hawassa, fishermen pull in their catch, untangle their nets and hawk their tilapia and catfish as marabou storks and pelicans lurk around.
On the shore of Lake Hawassa, fishermen pull in their catch, untangle their nets and hawk their tilapia and catfish as marabou storks and pelicans lurk around.ST PHOTOS: BOON CHAN
The cool and lushly verdant Simien Mountains National Park is one of Ethiopia’s nine Unesco World Heritage Sites.
The cool and lushly verdant Simien Mountains National Park is one of Ethiopia’s nine Unesco World Heritage Sites.ST PHOTOS: BOON CHAN
The largest stele still standing – commonly known as the Obelisk of Axum – is 24m tall and intriguingly carved to represent a multi-storey building with motifs of windows and doors.
The largest stele still standing – commonly known as the Obelisk of Axum – is 24m tall and intriguingly carved to represent a multi-storey building with motifs of windows and doors.ST PHOTOS: BOON CHAN
Gelada baboons, at Simien Mountains National Park, are the only primates that primarily eat grass.
Gelada baboons, at Simien Mountains National Park, are the only primates that primarily eat grass.ST PHOTOS: BOON CHAN
The castles at the Fasil Ghebbi royal enclosure in Gondar are popular with the locals, who go there to stroll and take pictures.
The castles at the Fasil Ghebbi royal enclosure in Gondar are popular with the locals, who go there to stroll and take pictures.ST PHOTOS: BOON CHAN
The Mercato in Addis Ababa claims to be the largest open-air market in Africa, with 500,000 people thronging through it every day.
The Mercato in Addis Ababa claims to be the largest open-air market in Africa, with 500,000 people thronging through it every day.ST PHOTOS: BOON CHAN

From ancient ruins to bustling markets to thriving wildlife and nature, the African nation makes a fascinating destination to check out in the new year

Lucy and coffee: Ethiopia is the land that gave birth to humanity and, for good measure, also gave us a reason to wake up in the morning.

Discovered in 1974, the 3.2million-year-old fossil skeleton of everybody's common ancestor resides today at the National Museum of Ethiopia in the capital city of Addis Ababa - though what is on display is a plaster replica.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on December 29, 2019, with the headline 'Here's why you should visit Ethiopia'. Print Edition | Subscribe