Believed to be the cradle of human civilization, Ethiopia is one of Africa's most beguiling destinations. The only country on the continent never to be colonized, it wears its ancient past with pride and has largely shrugged off a turbulent recent history, although unrest persists along the South Sudan border and other remote regions. The modern capital, Addis Ababa, is home to world-class museums and hectic streets that redefine the word bustling. Aksum, the ancient capital, is UNESCO protected and has a wealth of churches and tombs. The castles of Gondar are among East Africa's best-preserved archaeological sites, although travel to the area can be unsafe.