Tag Archives: Africa

The Danakil Depression, Ethiopia

Visited in January 2015.

With average annual temperatures of 34-35 degrees Celsius, the Danakil Depression close to the Eritrean border in Tigray, Northern Ethiopia is known as the hottest (barely) inhabited place on Earth. Arid and inhospitable as it is, this part of the country offers some of the most unforgettable and unique landscapes and experiences in the world. To give you some idea, imagine the Gates of Hell complete with a lake of fire, as a brightly colored lunar landscape. If this makes your imagination run wild – start packing your bags, this may be that one trip of a lifetime that all others will be measured against.

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Meeting the Fulani Bororo in Chad

Visited in September 2016

I’ve spent 4 years working in Chad on rotation and despite my best efforts to the contrary, have not seen as much of this fascinating country as I’d like. Chad is beautiful and while it is neither cheap nor easy to get to or travel around, it there is enough to see here to make the trip worthwhile for the avid traveler.  Meeting the Fulani Bororo people is easily one of the highlights of my Chad experience.

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Konso Cultural Landscape

UNESCO World Heritage List Inscription Details

Last visited June 2016

Konso lies on the main road from Arba Minch to Jinka and the tribes of the Omo Valley. The town is less than a couple of hours drive from Arba Minch, so most travelers stop for coffee or lunch before going on to Jinka. But there is actually enough to see here for a nice half-day visit at least, and if you can spare the time, it’s worth an overnight stop on the way back from the Omo Valley.

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Arba Minch and Nechisar National Park

Last visited June 2016

Translated as “forty springs” for some hot springs in its vicinity Arba Minch is the gateway town to the Omo Valley region of Ethiopia and most visitors fly or drive here on their way to the tribes of the Omo. The town itself is nothing to write home about, it does have a couple of things going for it and is worth a day or two on the way to the Omo or on your return trip. Continue reading Arba Minch and Nechisar National Park

Bwindi Impenetrable National Park

UNESCO World Heritage List Inscription Details

Visited in July 2014

Bwindi is home to 340 or more than a third of the world’s remaining 800 mountain gorillas and  gorilla tracking is without a doubt one of my most memorable travel experiences. I highly recommend it to anyone. However there are a few things to keep in mind when planning this “trip of a lifetime” : you have to plan far in advance, as permits are limited, the trip is not  cheap, and there is no guarantee you will actually see the gorillas, although the park estimates your chances at 95%. In my view however, this trip is definitely worth the expense and risk of disappointment.

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Notes from several trips in 2014, 2015 and 2016

For many people of my generation, the first thing that comes to mind when Ethiopia is mentioned is the horrible famine that ravaged the country in the 1980s, the worldwide relief effort, “Live Aid” and “We are the World”. While Ethiopia today is still very poor, it’s developing fast and is a much more prosperous place, than these stereotypes would have one believe. Furthermore, the country is wonderfully diverse and incredibly rich in history and culture, with some sites that truly are wonders of the world. But it’s greatest asset are the gentle and hospitable people who live here and make all visitors feel welcome and at home. When I first visited in summer of 2014, I immediately fell in love with the country and came back for a longer trip in 2015 with friends, and then again in 2016 for a photography workshop. I am sure I will keep coming back and I wholeheartedly recommend it to all travelers who value excitement and beauty over comfort.

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