The 12 Best Documentaries About Ethiopia

Aug 3, 2023 | Best Of, Culture, Lifestyle

From the mysterious obelisks of Axum to the bustling markets of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia is a land rich with culture and history. It is no wonder that filmmakers have been drawn to this ancient country for decades, creating some of the most insightful and captivating documentaries on its people, places, and traditions. In this article, we’ll explore the best documentaries about Ethiopia, from gripping love stories to inspiring tales of survival. So come join us on a journey through the vibrant lands and fascinating culture of this East African nation! From the award-winning film “Lamb,” which tells the story of an orphaned boy coming of age in rural Ethiopia.

1. Why is Ethiopia the African Eldorado?

Do you ever wonder why Ethiopia has been so historically resilient? This African country is a vast oasis of culture and history, much of which has remained relatively unchanged for centuries. From the ancient Ethiopian Orthodox Church to lush savannas full of wildlife and wide open plains, this landlocked nation has a lot to offer. One could spend days exploring all the wonders this country has to offer. The breathtaking Simien Mountains, which are part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site, feature snow-capped peaks and dramatic landscapes. Here, one can witness some of the most spectacular wildlife on the continent such as baboons and gelada monkeys as well as numerous endemic bird species.


2. Ethiopia: Addis Ababa‘s bustling Katanga neighborhood

This unique documentary focuses on the bustling Katanga neighborhood of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. From the hustle and bustle of the city streets to the ancient traditions and culture that have been held for centuries in this part of Africa, viewers get an up-close and personal look into a world they may never have seen before. From its vibrant city markets to its breathtakingly beautiful countryside, the film gives a rare and intimate glimpse into the lives of everyday Ethiopians, their unique customs, and their struggles.


3. Deadliest Journeys: Ethiopia

Travel to Ethiopia with the BBC Conservation Series, Deadliest Journeys. Encounter breathtaking wildlife from the highest mountain ranges to the lowest desert sands, and explore an ancient culture that spans thousands of years. Join intrepid adventurers on a journey through some of Africa’s most inspiring landscapes and meet local communities who have maintained their traditions despite a rapidly changing world. This new series is a must-see for the adventurous traveler and armchair explorer alike.


4. Ethiopia: Tigray Humanitarian Crisis

Ethiopia, an East African country with a vibrant culture and rich history, continues to face various humanitarian crises. One of the most pressing issues is the situation in Tigray. With ongoing armed conflict threatening regional stability, many innocent civilians have been caught up in this upheaval.In order to better understand what’s happening on the ground in Tigray, a number of documentaries have been produced to bring the stories of those affected by the ongoing crisis to life. Through powerful stories and artful cinematography, these films capture the horror and destruction that many civilians are facing in this war-torn region.


5. The dark side of agriculture in Ethiopia (1/2)

Agriculture in Ethiopia is often overshadowed by its poverty and human rights issues. But there is a darker side to this seemingly prosperous sector as well, with many small-scale farmers living in extreme hardship. Documentaries uncovering the harsh reality of rural life abound – from tales of famine to stories of brutality meted out by local authorities on those seeking help. Here we take a look at some of the best documentaries that explore these issues in depth and offer a glimpse into the lives of those surviving on the fringes. From tales of small-scale farmers struggling to survive, to stories of food insecurity and malnutrition


6. Journey Through Ethiopia

Journey Through Ethiopia is an incredible documentary about the stunning land of Ethiopia. Travelers will see a fascinating country full of culture, beauty and history. The film takes viewers on an immersive journey through the diverse landscapes, cities and villages that make up this unique nation. From its peaks in the Simien Mountains to the lowlands near lake Tana, we explore Ethiopia’s varied landscapes and uncover its fascinating history. We meet locals who share stories about the country’s turbulent past, ancient customs, vibrant culture and modern-day industrialization.


7. Ethiopian Wildlife

The ancient land of Ethiopia is teeming with a rich variety of native wildlife. From the iconic Gelada baboons to diminutive Ethiopian wolves, visitors can view an array of exotic species in their natural habitats while exploring this incredible country. An expertly crafted documentary will bring to life the extraordinary sights and sounds of the African savannahs, from endemic birdsongs to the thunderous roar of elephants. Get close to nature as you experience the fascinating behavior and adaptations of some of the most iconic animals that inhabit Ethiopia’s wild places, such as caracal cats and slender mongooses.


8. Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown | Ethiopia

If you’re looking for an exotic and thrilling journey, Ethiopia is the perfect destination. Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown takes viewers on a captivating ride as it explores all that this African country has to offer. With its ancient churches, bustling markets, and rich cultural heritage, Ethiopia’s beauty is unparalleled and cannot be found anywhere else in the world. As the crew of Parts Unknown discovers, Ethiopia is home to a variety of unique cultures and landscapes – including stunning mountains, gorgeous deserts, and wide-open savannahs.


9. Amazing Africa – Unique Wildlife in Ethiopia’s Highlands

Amazing Africa – Exploring the Wonders of Ethiopia’s Highlands Discover a land of mesmerizing beauty and extraordinary wildlife with Amazing Africa. This documentary takes viewers on a journey into the enchanting highlands of Ethiopia, a country that is home to some of the world’s most incredible creatures. From the soaring snow-covered mountains in the north to the rolling grasslands in the south, Ethiopia is a veritable paradise for animal and bird enthusiasts.


10. Ethiopian Documentary

Ethiopia is a country with a rich and fascinating history. It has been home to some of the world’s oldest civilizations, religions, languages, and cultures for centuries. From its traditional way of life to modern urban cities, Ethiopia is an interesting place to explore. Some of the best documentaries about this fascinating nation are listed below: “Tigray: The Real Ethiopia” is an eye-opening documentary about life in Tigray, one of the most isolated regions in Ethiopia. This film provides viewers with an intimate and honest look into a culture that has been largely undiscovered by tourists and media outlets alike.


11. Finding Ethiopia’s Lost Ark

For those looking to explore the rich history of this amazing country, Ethiopia’s Lost Ark is a must-watch. This captivating documentary takes viewers on a journey through the ancient lands of Ethiopia, giving an up close and personal look into its unique culture and heritage. From hidden caves to bustling markets, the documentary offers extraordinary visuals that are sure to mesmerize viewers. The documentary also delves into the country’s tumultuous past, exploring the numerous struggles Ethiopians have faced throughout history.


12. How do Hadzabe start their Morning day and what happens next

The sun slowly rises in the sky and with it, so does a unique tribe – the Hadzabe. A hunter-gatherer society that have remained largely untouched by modern life, they enjoy an idyllic existence on the grassy plains of Ethiopia. Each morning begins with a calm ritual for the Hadzabe: men collect their hunting gear and women prepare breakfast while the children play in the nearby hills. The men then set out to hunt for food, often stalking wild animals like antelopes, Gazelles or Warthogs with their bows and arrows.


Read On – Our Latest Top Documentaries Lists

David B