Blogs from Gambela Region, Ethiopia, Africa


Africa » Ethiopia » Gambela Region May 31st 2017

Good times, here I was alone leaving a tiny bus station in the far west of Ethiopia quite close to South Sudan. As we left Gambela town in the early morning light, the bus passed over the big Baro river. In three days, I had come to know it fondly. It truly is the lifeblood of this town and area. We sped through town on the other side of the river, still cool morning air. I dozed a bit, woke up after 30 minutes or so. In the not so far distance, I saw some fairly large mountains, vegetation started to change quickly to fairly lush trees. I was invigorated, we climbed higher, around some tight curves and up into the misty mountains. We passed a few police roadblocks, they exist around this country. It seemed ... read more

Africa » Ethiopia » Gambela Region » Gambela December 15th 2011

Sinking into his chair, Haptu, a corpulent Chinese buddha looking Ethiopian, lifts his steaming cup of tea and smiles broadly. “What we do is go look at those people”. Haptu smelled opportunity. In Ethiopia, tourists follow the highland ‘historic circuit’ to Gondor, Axum, and Lalibela or go south to see the tribes of the Southern Peoples. Western Ethiopia, bereft of historical-mythical ties to Christianity, ancient architecture, or people with plates in their lips, has, so far, largely escaped attention. However, outside of Gambela, near the Sudanese border, there are villages inhabited by traditional tribes, the Anuak and the Nuer. We were going to look at them. Haptu’s company, Vast Ethiopia Tours (, would blaze the tourist trail west, but first, he needed to assemble the A-team. (cue music: Nico,... read more
hand picked shade grown organic coffee
the State's operation
jeff, nico, & the sor waterfall

Africa » Ethiopia » Gambela Region February 10th 2010

Not quite. "13 Months of Sunshine." Everywhere in Ethiopia I see this slogan promoting tourism here; in hotels, immigration departments, cafes and tourist offices. There is not much tourism in the west of the country however, which is what attracts me. In the two weeks I spend wiggling westward from Harar all the way across to Gambela and then back again to Bonga (my last stop before heading south) I don't see a single white face. If my previous blogs have sounded at all negative this is unintentional. I'm not on here to complain, but to relate what happens as articulately and entertainingly as my limited ability will allow, and often the relatively mild problems I face from time to time make for a better tale. After all: "happiness is an allegory, unhappiness a story." However, ... read more
Funky cathedral
Washing and watching
Swooping in

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