Ethiopia offers the intrepid traveler a historical experience. The only country in Africa to escape colonization, it is primarily Orthodox Christian and politically stable. You can visit many of the country's religious sites, most notably the UNESCO World Heritage town of Lalibela. Eleven churches carved from solid rock in the 12th century hold valuable artistic and religious treasures. You can also visit Bahir-Dar on the shores of Lake Tana, the Blue Nile Falls, the castles and palaces of Gondar and Axum, the home of Queen of Sheba and the magnificent pillars left from the church built in the 4th century. The Arc of the Covenant is said to reside in Ethiopia. If you have extra time, you can head south to visit the villages of the Omo Valley. Many of the cultures that decorate themselves with tattoos, lip plates, intricate hair platting and body art in incredible National Geographic images are of the Omo valley. One of the highlights to see and experience in Ethiopia is the annual Timkat celebration, the epiphany of Christ. People from all over the country join in this colorful celebration. This event takes place the second week in January.