Get out your Indiana Jones hat and whip as the "Ark of the Covenant" can be found right here in Axum, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Axum is the best place to start your Ethiopian safari (in our opinion in any case), the start of the countries history and religion is right here.
The town and area are steeped in history, the Aksumite Kingdom was one of the four great powers along with Persia, Rome, and China. The Kingdom dates back to 100 BC and they ruled for some 800 - 900 years. It is the Aksumite Kingdom that built the "Stelae" that are on show near the town's centre and a must visit destination.
From a religious point of view, Axum is the home of the Church of St. Mary of Zion, the Ark of the Covenant as well as the site for the First Christian Church in Africa.
There is of course also the so-called "Queen of Sheba's Palace" and the "Queen of Sheba's Bath" although the ruins date some 1500 years after her time!
The Town Of AxumGetting to and from The Town Of Axumis best done via aircraft from any of the surrounding tourist destinations including Addis Ababa. The town is too far North for one to travel realistically here by vehicle from Addis Ababa. From Addis Ababa, by road will take you at least 2 full days whereas a flight is only about 80 minutes.
St. Mary of ZionAround 300AD the first St. Mary of Zion was built in the town of Axum by the first and largest Christian Kingdom outside of the Roman Empire. The church itself has been rebuilt several times over the past 1700 odd years, with the latest version (as you can see below) having been finished in 1964.
Queen Of Sheba PalaceThe Queen of Sheba who was an "exotic and mysterious woman of power" is one of the great religious figures who appear in the Old Testament, the Hebrew Bible and the Muslim Koran. And her Palace is found right here in Axum. Why would you not want to stop by here and take in the scenery and snap a few photographs?