Awash Valley Where It All Began

UNESCO registered world site, Lower Awash Valley earned its global fame for several anthropological discoveries which date million years back. Situated 300 km in northeast of Addis-Ababa, near Afar depression Awash valley is one of the most important global heritage sites.

The most spectacular finding came in 1974 when 52 bone fragments were reconstructed to create “Lucy”. Lucy stood about one meter tall weighing up to 30kg. There were several indicators which predicted her age as young but fully matured adult when she died. Her remains are now kept at the National Museum at the capital city. This finding influenced the perception of human evolution changing the history of mankind.

Several anthropological wealth and ancient tools still await discovery and scientific study. The place has been reportedly targeted by travelers looking to score some great souvenirs. Currently, the open site is protected by the public in the Afar regional state.

The historical site of lower valley of Awash derived its name from one of the biggest rivers in Ethiopia, the Awash River. The valley encompasses a 1,200 km long River which flows downstream of Addis Ababa falling into the Rift valley. With upper and lower valleys characterized by different fauna and flora as well as fascinating humid weather conditions. The middle valley is the most significant scene and is most renowned for its attributes of groundbreaking scientific studies.

When to visit

The best time to visit is in the morning to avoid the afternoon sun.

What to expect

Afar people are very friendly and charming. They exude a unique level of warmth and sense of style. It is their culture to carry rifles and protect their guest, who is considered as family, from danger at any cost. They are respectful and quite accustomed to hosting thousands of foreigners.

How to travel within

Travel should be accompanied by local guide to avoid being lost in the valley. Such arrangements are facilitated by local travel agents who are accustomed to the place.


There are many hotels and guest houses in Mekele, Tigray and Aksum which are close to the site. The hotels offer affordable price ranges and world class services.  It’s easier to access all the hotels and services in one stop shop at getting best negotiated price and guaranteed booking.

What to Wear

The visit requires walking and hiking up at the valleys hence wearing comfortable shoes and light clothes is beneficial. Water and food will be supplied by your travel agent but it’s good to pack hat to cover from the harsh sun.

Fun Fact

If you enjoy ‘meet and greets‘ along with VIP treatment there is no better place you can get it than at the site neighborhoods. Travelers are always accompanied by armed guards who give visitors VIP treatment and protection. These are just a few of the perks that Afar people use to woo visitors into having adventures.

Country code

+251 – SIM cards (2G, 3G, and 4G ) allow visitors to make local and international calls.


Flight to the destination takes an hour. There are also comfortable buses also taking you all the way to the historical destination.


Foreign currencies are accepted at all hotels daily exchange rates can be accessed at

Visa Requirement

Some countries citizens such as USA are allowed to have visa upon arrival however all visa application and requirements can be found at

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