If you’re traveling to Africa, no doubt you’ll be passing through Addis Ababa at some stage. Those who reach Ethiopia by plane will no doubt be flying into Addis Ababa’s Bole Airport, located just a few km outside of town which means it’s also possible to visit Addis Ababa on a layover, provided you have a few hours to spare.
Addis is a lively, youthful place. It’s a city on the go – from dawn, when locals head to the hills for their morning run, to the night when the action moves to the dance floor of many clubs around the city. The city is not just the capital and economic heart of Ethiopia, but it is also the political capital of Africa. The country is going through a period of fast economic development, with double-digit growth most years since 2007.
Addis Ababa Meskel Square & Churchill Rd-City Hall
Addis Ababa, whose name literally translated in Ethiopia’s official working language Amharic as “new flower” witnessed rapid development in recent years, has a paramount attraction with its precious and diverse natural gifts, day to day cultural activities of its dwellers as well as its historical tract and the process of the establishment of the city and its long history which makes it unique. Beyond these, the geographic location of the city with its sumptuous climate condition becomes another comfort to the tourists who visited the city before. Most tourists witness that the hospitality of the people and delicious foods in the cultural restaurants are really unforgettable.
The newly inaugurated Addis Ababa mega projects are changing the livelihoods and immensely contributing to the reviving tourism industry. Recently, the Meskel Square was inaugurated after being renovated to become one of the most standardized huge open squares in Africa. During the inauguration of Meskel Square, Deputy Mayor Adanech Abebe said that the inauguration of numerous mega projects in Addis Ababa has brought about significant outcomes for residents and the economy of the metropolis.
“The Meskel Square-Municipal project is not only a project but it is a showcase to demonstrate our ability and perseverance to discharge such a mega project in a timely manner. The Square would host various political, social, economic, and religious events including sports activities.”
Ethiopian History at Unity Park
Unity Park is the newest thing to do in Addis Ababa, and it is located on the premises of the Grand Palace and is composed of various historical, natural, and cultural sites. The name of the park is also said to reflect the horizontal and vertical Medemer (synergy), representing the history of the country and the geographical linkages in the country. The Grand Palace, where Unity Park is located, was established in 1887, and without counting Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed (Dr.), the palace served as the living and working space of seven Ethiopian leaders. The palace covers an area of 40 hectares and contains myriads of historical buildings and plants that date back to the time of Emperor Menelik II.
The Unity Park of Ethiopia has natural, cultural, historical, and heritage tourism attractions all in one place. The five billion birr Unity Park was inaugurated in the presence of the regional head of government at a ceremony held at the historical mansion of Atse Minilik II. The compound initially was established by Queen Taitu Bitul, who initially frequently visited the hot spring that is adjacent to the current Jubilee National Palace. The historical site including the Banquet Hall was built during the reign of Emperor Menelik II in 1898 – 1899, the “Throne Hall” or “Throne House” which is about a hundred years old, and the Menelik II’s Palace Complex.
The construction of Unity Park was initiated by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed (Dr.) in 2018 and officially inaugurated and opened to the public on October 10/ 2019
The Indigenous Garden offers a brief look into local house-building techniques and numerous indigenous plants. There are plants of medicinal and aesthetic purposes, as well as plants used in making spices, food, and beverages. Some of these plants are also used in woodworks. The visitors also get a glimpse into the lifestyle, unique architecture, and overall landscape of the rural areas in a way that is pleasing to the eye. Houses built in the shapes of two camels and a turtle, which have educational videos and activities for children. In addition to these houses, there are large, handmade, modern art-inspired pieces, sculpted from trees that have grown and aged over the years right here in the palace. What makes the Indigenous Garden stand out from the other attractions is the fact that every aspect of it is handmade and no machinery was used in this part of the Park.
The unique natural attractions of Unity Park are zoos with 37 mammals, various birds, which is the first of its kind in our country. This zoo has nine exhibits, namely Meerkat, Aquarium, Peacocks, Cheetah, White Lions, Wild dogs, Gelada Baboons, Aviary, Safari, and the Black Mane Lions’ that are found only in Ethiopia. The first aquarium in Ethiopia is found within Unity Zoo and features over thirteen species of aquatic animals in three different exhibits. The other attraction in Unity Zoo is the Aviary, which has a stunning array of different species of birds, big and small. The Safari exhibit houses nine types of animals, namely Giraffes, Zebras, Kudu, Impala, Eland, Gemsbok, Nyala, Wildebeest, and White Rhino.
The Green Development Project at Friendship park
The Addis Ababa Riverside Green Development Project, otherwise known as the “Sheger Beautifying Project”, is a project sponsored by the Ethiopian government and backed by the Chinese counterpart. The project aims to clean rivers and create public works in Addis Ababa, the capital city of the East African country. The first phase of the project was completed last year, which was constructed on 27ha of land across from the Sheraton Hotel was launched by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed. It incorporates the construction of a “Friendship Square,” the “Central Axis of Etiquette,” a waterfall belt on Banteyiketu River, a central rally plaza, a lakeside fountain, a music square, five amphitheaters, and an artificial pond. The project was executed by First Highway Engineering Company, a subsidiary of the state-owned China Construction Company (CCCC).
The second phase of the project is nearing completion, which is being undertaken by Jiangsu Nantong Sanjian Construction Group Co., a subsidiary of the Jiangsu Nantong Sanjian Group Corporation of China. It mainly involves the construction of a central square including a science and technology museum, a children’s amusement park, a sports center, a waterfront, auxiliary buildings, and a domed theatre as well as supporting facilities such as roads, pavement, ornamental lighting, and landscaping, etc.
The entire “Sheger Beautifying Project” is estimated to cost close to one billion dollars to fruition.
Entoto forest park, which is found in the northern part of Addis Ababa, covers around 1300 hectares and is found 3200 km above sea level. Its attitude ranges between 2800 and 3100 meters. Entoto Natural Park is a unique place to discover the most breathtaking ancient mountain nature with streams flowing from clear springs and waterfalls. Surprises here are regular with both exciting places for relaxation and fantastic water activities. Winding streams here gently curl and are then hidden mysteriously in high stone arches. Enclosed by Junipers’ fragrance, the view of the Capital opens up in delight through dizzying ravines and waterfalls. Experience the Park with its ability to produce a genuine and powerful creative joy where many families can reunite and rejoice in being free from stress and regaining health, and creating irresistible inspiration.
As Fascinating and captivating as Entoto Natural Park is, it lacked the necessary infrastructures and stayed underdeveloped for long. To establish these necessary infrastructures and to make it a world-class visitor experience Prime Minster Abiy Ahmed initiated The Entoto Project alongside The Sheger Riverside projects. Built with great imagination and ingenuity, the planning and construction of the park were undergone by only Ethiopians in terms of Knowledge and finance. In many respects, Entoto Park’s relaxing activities capture the family’s fundamental need for dramatic adventures. Yet, this Park is a golden gateway, intriguing and alluring, stimulating to explore the Ethiopian Highland’s unknown wilderness.
Thus this majestic view of Entoto’s mountain massif’s original Nature, allure with its proximity to the secrets of Nature’s phenomenon, and here delivers this unique opportunity to explore. Concealed within the foundation of the world’s ground pillars fulfills the essential purpose of creating an eager will for learning, thanks to the Park’s closeness to natural science. Thus, it delivers a captivating understanding for the family about creating natural and healthy water and other vital biological processes with their scientific background. However, this Nature’s scientific context is crucial to intellectual processes that form the basis for civilizations’ development.