The administrative capital of Tigrai, MEKELE is probably Ethiopia’s fastest-growing city, its present-day population of 250,000 representing a tenfold increase since the 1970s. The city’s initial rise to prominence dates to the reign of Emperor Yohannis IV (1871–89), who had ancestral roots in the surrounding countryside and built several churches there. More recently, Mekele has been accorded a comprehensive makeover under the post-Derg government, which is dominated by Tigraians. As a result, it now has an unusually neat, grid-like appearance, and while lacking in significant tourist attractions, it does form the main fly-in gateway to the rock-hewn churches of northeast Tigrai. It’s also a good base from which to visit the Danakil.

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Ethiopia features

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17 striking portraits of Ethiopia's Omo Valley tribes

17 striking portraits of Ethiopia's Omo Valley tribes

Renowned the world over for its decorated tribes, the Omo Valley is a stop on many a tourist route in Ethiopia. But visits to the area can cross ethical boundar…

20 May 2016 • Tim Draper insert_drive_file Article
Ethiopian Christmas celebrations in pictures

Ethiopian Christmas celebrations in pictures

Today Ethiopia is celebrating Christmas. Following the Julian calendar, this East African, Orthodox Christian nation celebrates Christmas on the 7th January eac…

07 Jan 2016 • Karoki Lewis insert_drive_file Article
Exploring Bale Mountains National Park, Ethiopia

Exploring Bale Mountains National Park, Ethiopia

In preparation for the new Rough Guide to Ethiopia, the book’s editor, Edward Aves, travelled to the remote and little-visited Bale Mountains National Park.…

18 Sep 2014 • Edward Aves insert_drive_file Article
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