Tigray is the northernmost of Ethiopia’s nine regions, bordered by Eritrea and Sudan. It is a rugged land dotted with historic settlements such as Axum, one of the oldest continuously inhabited places in Africa, which is home to towering 1700 year old obelisks and the Church of Our Lady Mary of Zion, said to house the original Ark of the Covenant.
This proud Christian heritage is embodied by the Tigrayan people, a minority group in Ethiopia who make up almost all of the population here and whose nobility traditionally trace their ancestry to back to legendary king Menelik I, the child born of the queen of Sheba and King Solomon.
Other important sites include the rock-hewn churches, some older than those found in Lalibela, found in a number of clusters atop cliffs and hills in the region and often reached after some spectacular hikes. Tigray’s capital, Mek’ele, is a hub for the north and the usual jumping off point for trips into the Danakil Depression.
When to Go
Daytime temperatures hover between 22˚C and 28˚C with evenings often being cool enough to warrant an extra layer. The rainy season runs between June and late September, with July and August being the wettest months.