Any student of history will tell you there's much more to Ethiopia than drought and famine. One of the world's earliest Christian nations, Ethiopia's history goes as far back as humanity itself. Its early Christian history produced the astounding churches of Lalibela, hewn from bedrock in one solid piece – a kind of African Petra. Although getting around can be wearing, mountainous Ethiopia boasts waterfalls and high plateaus, while the multicoloured lakes of the Great Rift Valley are a Mecca for birdwatchers. Plus, the locals are friendly, and Ethiopian cuisine has spawned restaurants around the globe. Best of all, thanks to years of bad press, it's still off the beaten track.