Its topography ranges from deserts along its eastern border, the Choke and Mandebo mountains ranges in its central core, and tropical forests in the southern reaches.
Ethiopia is dominated by a vast highland complex of mountains, plateaus and lakes, all divided by the Great Rift Valley that's surrounded by lowlands and steppes.
Not to be missed are the toothy-edged Simien Mountains to the northeast of Gonder, one of UNESCO's World Heritage Sites, and the hot and fascinating sulphur fumaroles and lunar-like landscape in the Danakil Depression near its border with Eritrea.
Lake Tana in the north is the source of the Blue Nile.
The highest point of Ethiopia is Ras Dejen at 14,928 ft (4,550 m); the lowest point of the country is the Afar Depression at −410 ft (-125 m).