Wend your way through the sprawling city streets of Addis Ababa and you might notice beyond the grubby roads, goats, markets and wattle-and-daub huts, a profusion of art deco architecture; Ethiopia may be the only African country never to be colonized, but it was occupied by the Italians for a time and their legacy lives on in food outlets and the fascist era facades. And in antique espresso machines – a fitting match for the original home of coffee. Addis is a place to introduce Ethiopia’s immense contrasts. The city might be relatively young, but it also houses one of the earth’s oldest inhabitants at the National Museum; the famed hominid remains of the 3.18 million years-old Australopithicus ‘Lucy’ reside alongside other archaeology and anthropology displays. Delve into human evolution and your ancient past in the ‘cradle of Africa’ before getting amongst Ethiopia’s strong pulse in the present.