DANAKIL DEPRESSION - One of the most important features of this region of Africa resulted from faulting and cracking on its eastern side. This has caused the Great Rift Valley, which extends from the Middle East to Mozambique, passing in a north-south direction right through Ethiopia. This shearing of the earth's surface occurred at the same time that the Arabian Peninsula, geologically a part of Africa, was sundered from the rest of the continent. Volcanic activity, which has continued until today, finds expression in volcanoes in Ethiopia's Danakil Depression, as well as in the hot springs in many parts of the country.
Earth tremors are often felt, and exposed cones of old volcanic plugs are seen throughout the plateau. After the Rift opened, much of this area was flooded by the inrushing waters of the red Sea, a flood that was subsequently stemmed by fresh volcanic activity that raised barriers of basaltic lava. Behind these barriers the trapped inland sea that had formed began to evaporate under the fierce heat of the tropical sun - a process that is almost complete today. Only a few scattered, highly saline lakes - Gamarri, Affambo, Bario, and Abbe remain. Elsewhere, there are huge beds of natural salt - which, at points, are calculated to be several thousands of metres thick.
ERTA - ALE This imperative site is also important as it has an immense ground of salt dipostion which is the source of income of the Afar,since they skillfully mine the saline to supply the country with edible salt. benize this wide carpet of salt is an extensive source of volcanic hit that results babbles of hot water to rise through layers of salt and anhydrite deposit. the never tiring nor non-cooling lava lake at Erta-Ale, one of the stunning place in Afar,boiles it self and at times it spew out small amount of lava to fall shield volcano with an enjoyable colorfull land scapes of reds, browns and yellow, that form captivating fumaroles, amazing rock formations of crystal and mineral deposits across the land. Studies record that the place had experienced large volcanic irruptions until about fourty years ago, yet the continues activate of the lava prevents explosive irruptions. Situated the North east of Ethiopia in a regoin specially in the Afar region, Denakil Depuration is supposed the most challenging site in Ethiopia.
AWASH NATIONAL PARK - Lying in the lowlands east of Addis Ababa, and striding the Awash River, the Awash National Park is one of the finest reserves in Ethiopia. The Awash River, one of the major rivers of the Horn of Africa, waters important agricultural lands in the north- eastern part of Ethiopia and eventually flows into the wilderness of Danakil Depression. The dramatic Awash Falls as the river tumbles into its gorge is the site not to be missed in the national park. A special attraction is the beautiful clear pools of the hot springs (Filwoha). Awash National Park, surrounding the dormant volcano of Fantale, is a reserve of arid and semi-arid woodland and Savannah, with reverie forests along the Awash River. Forty-six species of animals have been identified here, including Beisa Oryx and Swayne's Hartebeest. The bird life is prolific especially along the river and in amongst the 392 species recorded.
SIMIEN MOUNTAIN NATIONAL PARK - The simien mountain massif is one of the major highlands of Africa, rising to the highest point in Ethiopia, Ras Dejen (4543m), which is the fourth highest peak in the continent. Although in Africa and not too far from the equator, snow and ice appear on the highest points and night temperatures often fall below zero. The national park has three general botanical regions. The lower slopes have been cultivated and grazed, while the alpine regions (up to 3600m) were forested, although much has now disappeared. The higher lands are mountain grasslands with fescue grasses as well as heathers, splendid Red Hot Pokers and Giant Lobelia. The park was created primarily to protect the Walia Ibex, a type of wild goat, and over 1000 are said to live in the park. Also in the park are families of the Gelada Baboon and the rare Simien fox. The Simien fox, although named after the mountains, is rarely seen by the visitor. Over 50 species of birds have been reported in the Simien Mountains. The Simien Mountain massif is a broad plateau, cut off to the north and west by an enormous single crag over 60 kilometers long. To the south, the tableland slopes gently down to 2,200 meters, divided by gorges 1,000 meters deep which can take more than two days to cross. Insufficient geological time has elapsed to smooth the contours of the crags and buttresses of hardened basalt. Within this spectacular splendor live the Walia (Abyssinian) ibex, Simien red fox and Gelada baboon - all endemic to Ethiopia - as well as the Hamadryad baboon, klipspringer and bushbuck. Birds such as the lammergeyer, augur buzzard, Evreux’s eagle, kestrel and falcon also soar above this mountain retreat. Twenty kilometers north-east of Gondar, the SIMIEN mountains N.P covers 225 square kilometers of highland area at an average elevation of 3,300 meters. Ras Dashen, at 4,620 meters the highest peak in Ethiopia, stands adjacent to the park. The Simien escarpments, which are often compared to the Grand Canyon in the United States of America, have been adopted by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site.