Addis Ababa is Ethiopia's boisterous capital and Africa's fourth largest city. Many people consider their first encounter with the city overwhelming, but thanks to a comfortable climate, fine restaurants and some of Africa's most interesting museums, it's a real urban gem - a vibrant and culturally rich capital city.
One of man's oldest ancestors resides in Addis Ababa. Lucy, who was discovered in the Awash Valley, is a 3.2 million-year-old skeleton housed at the Ethiopian National Museum. The museum displays a great slice of Ethiopian history, from the squat skeleton of Lucy to works of contemporary Ethiopian art. The Ethnological Museum, too, has a wide collection of fascinating historical and cultural artefacts, from religious icons and scrolls and tribal handicrafts. Addis Ababa's Merkato - the central market place and one of Africa's largest markets - is a sprawl of stalls and traders, selling everything and anything, from semi-automatics to camels and cattle.