The birthplace of humankind. A frontier wilderness on the edge of a continent that is still fairly wild, but growing less so by the day. Ethiopia is not for the first-timer to Africa—there are few of the magnificent beasts here that are the typical safari prompt. But what you do find in Ethiopia will engage an intrepid explorer: the continent’s highest concentration of highlands, which create a landscape like no other; huge populations of unusual mammal and bird species, such as the bleeding-heart baboon and the white-tailed swallow; and the medieval Christian rock churches that are now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The country is new to tourism, particularly of the high-end variety; if you’re not careful, you’ll have a better chance of finding bedbugs than a well-cooked meal. Few travel planners know Ethiopia in depth, but those who do understand where the pockets of excellence exist, how to get around most efficiently despite the poor roads, and how to interact with the local people respectfully—not as a kind of human zoo. Up for adventure? Let Wendy put you in touch with an expert who can open your eyes to a different side of Africa.