Add a visit to the Ethiopian Opal fields to your Bucket list

Ethiopia is an amazing place to visit with friendly people, unique food and of course Ethiopian opals. We have gathered some of the best things to do while there and some interesting facts about the country.

Quick Facts and Myths about Ethiopia

  • Its where theLegendary Queen of Sheba lived
  • A myth that itis the resting place of theLost Ark
  • First to discover the use of Coffee beans locally known as “Bunna”
  • Opals were mined in Ethiopia around 4000 BC

Things To Do In Ethiopia

  • Visit rock hewn churches dug into solid rock
  • Visit volcano at Dallol
  • Visit Axum for theworlds tallest and oldestMonoliths or Obselik (1700 years old)
  • Visit Lower Awash for fossils and stone age tools where they found the oldesthuman skeleton ever found named ‘Lucy’ who lived3.2 million years ago.
  • Ethiopia has 60 different ethnic cultures
  • Opal Tours need to be booked well in advance

The Famous Ethiopian Opals

Ethiopia is famous for itsWelo opals which were only discovered in 2008.The opal can be just as bright but their opal differs from Australian opal in that they are white andtranslucent withno black whereas in Australiathe highest quality opals are black

The Ethiopian government seeing the opportunityhas involved itself inthe industry with plans toreduce the supplyof rough stones. The government originally wanted to stop the export of rough stones so as to create a domestic cutting and polishing industry but were unable to do so cutting a deal with India for export.

The Wollo province opal deposit is one of the most famous producing some ofthe sturdiest and most beautifulgemstones typically selling at a 30-50% discount compared to Australian opals. They can also be found atYita Ridge in the Menz Gishe District of Shewa Province around 150 miles northeast of Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia

The opal field lies around 12 miles north of Mezezo and extends for several square kilometers along the northern side of the Yita Ridge

Tourists require visitors passes from local government and should book well ahead as it takes time to organise

Dallo volcano in Ethiopia. The eruptions took place in 1926 nearby salt flats resulting instriking bright colours though make sure not to take a bath asthey can discharge brine and acidic liquid.

Ethiopian History and Myths

The Queen of Sheba to most Ethiopians is the founder of their civilization. She appears in the Bible and Quran. Myth has it that the Queen upon visiting Jerusalem was seduced by King Solomon producing a son called Menelik. Menelik became the first emperor of Ethiopia and laterreturned to take the Ark of the Covenant to Aksum where it was held at the church ofSt Mary of Zion.



Axum worlds tallest Monoliths or Obselik

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