Blogs from Southern Nations Region, Ethiopia, Africa


Africa » Ethiopia » Southern Nations Region July 3rd 2019

This morning’s visit to the Mursi tribe, the one whose women wear lip plates, was supposed to be a case of ‘leaving the best till last’, but in fact was a bit of a letdown. After yet another drive along a windy, corrugated dirt road, complete with potholes that were now filled with water after heavy overnight rain, we finally reached the Mursi village on the outskirts of the Mago National Park in just under 2 hours. It was a compact settlement comprising around three dozen grass huts, but very few people. Our guide advised that most of the men were out on cultivation jobs and children at school, so most of those we saw were older women. And of these, only one was wearing a lip plate (but not the bright shiny design you see ... read more
The is what the Mursi woman looks like in the glossy brochures ...
... and this is what the Mursi woman looks like in the flesh
... and this is how they look when they remove their lip plate

Africa » Ethiopia » Southern Nations Region July 1st 2019

Our third tribe visit took on quite a different approach - it was predominantly a photo stop. The Karo tribe live in a very isolated settlement overlooking the east bank of the impressive Omo River, with the 2 hour drive from our lodge at Turmi through pretty rough terrain and not passing through a single village or settlement. The main crops grown by them are sorghum, maize and beans. But their main claim to fame is their heavily painted bodies and faces, which was quite a change from the previous two tribes we visited, who had basically become westernised in their respective wardrobes. They prepare for ceremonies by painting themselves with chalk, which is mixed with yellow rock, red iron ore and charcoal to make its various colours. Face masks are worn occasionally as are clay ... read more
Huts in the Karo village
The group of 'apprentices' practicing their makeup skills
Sheltering in the shade beside the impressive Omo River

Africa » Ethiopia » Southern Nations Region June 30th 2019

Our first tour of the day was a brief 90 minute ‘cruise’ in a local fast boat on the nearby Lake Chamo to check out the local wildlife. That wildlife comprised half a dozen fresh water crocodiles (that we have often seen in Oz) and a few heads of hippos sticking out of the water (a poor relation of our sightings in Kenya), so I guess overall I would have to say it was pretty underwhelming, but this was all included in our travel package. Our second tribe visit was to the Konso village to learn about a tribe best known for its unique social life structure. It is built heavily on communities of which we were advised ... read more
They might be poor but they're happy
Example of a Waga belonging to a deceased chieftain
The Konso 'generation pole'

Africa » Ethiopia » Southern Nations Region June 29th 2019

We had some good fortune on the flight from Zanzibar to Addis Ababa. The scheduled four hour flight landed 55 minutes early (did you hear that, Qantas?). Despite the fact that we were seated half way down the aircraft, on landing we were required to catch a bus from the tarmac to Immigration and we just managed to be the last couple to squeeze onto the first bus. Now last on means first out, so we headed the queue at Immigration and given we had already obtained e-Visas, we went through pretty quickly. And lo and behold, guess whose bags were first off the conveyor belt? Add to that that the taxi office jumped us to the head of the taxi queue and we were in fact delivered to our pre-booked airport accommodation long before our ... read more
Happy Dorze kiddies
Communal gathering
As always, the women do the heavy lifting ...

Africa » Ethiopia » Southern Nations Region » Jinka November 16th 2015

Back in Addis Ababa I planned my visit to the south. Asking for information at the tour agencies was worthless, since they charge a ridiculous amount and they tell you that it’s almost impossible to go to the Omo Valley by yourself, which is a lie! I stayed two nights in Addis Ababa to rest, did some laundry and wrote a blog-entry. I also went to the Ethnological Museum, which used to be a palace of Emperor Haile Selassie. Today it’s part the Addis Ababa University that opened in 1949. The museum displays several old, (religious) artwork, handicrafts etc. This particular part of the museum displays everything in order, starting with birth and continuing to childhood and so on. You'll also get to see Haile Selassie's bedroom and bathroom among others. At the hotel in Addis ... read more
Lake Awassa
Bull-jumping ceremony of the Hamer tribe
With two rasta's from Jamaica at the Nyahbinghi Tabernacle in Shashamane

Africa » Ethiopia » Southern Nations Region August 19th 2014

Stigao sam u Megu. Grad se nalazio u sjeni dva brda i sastojao se od praktički 2 ceste i par uličica. Još uvijek sam se nećkao dal želim ostati ovdje pa sam se krenuo raspitivati ako mogu odmah dalje za Moyale, ali nitko nije bio siguran. Jedan „Big Taxi mi je rekao da sjednem na suvozačko mjesto, pa kad se skupe ljudi će možda krenuti za Moyale. Ostavio sam manji ruksak (s bitnijim stvarima) neoprezno na suvozačkom mjestu i stao pored taxija zapaliti cigaretu. Oko mene se skupila grupica mladića koji su znali ponešto engleskog pa smo se bacili u razgovor i sjeli na obližnji zidić. No u jednom trenutku pogledam i vidim kako moj taxi odlazi prazan. Trčim za njim, ali već nestaje s mojim ruksakom. Trčim nazad do dečkiju koji kažu da poznaju vozača ... read more
cesta 2
deve u daljni

Africa » Ethiopia » Southern Nations Region » Jinka January 26th 2014

Ethiopia is going to be difficult to write about. We spent the best part of a month there and I was lucky enough to see a lot of the major sites. I should've written this sooner! October 23 After a couple stops en route to the tribes, we arrived at a lovely campsite alongside a dry riverbed. We set up tents under the shade of the trees and then it was back onto the truck for the drive to the village in the late afternoon. Three young boys stood staring at us as we pulled up and our fixer greeted Suse and took the group into the village. Everyone from the village as well as nearby villages were gathered together in a shaded area and a lot of them gave us nothing more than a glance. ... read more
Hamer village
Kevin sharing his photos
Also sharing my photos

Africa » Ethiopia » Southern Nations Region » Awasa July 7th 2013

Resumo: 7 dias de viagem, muitas imagens, muitos sentimentos, exaustão, estou bem. Um dia peguei um ônibus de uma cidade para outra aqui na Etiópia (Ziway a Sheshemene) e percebi que existia durante quilômetros diversos vilarejos. Pensei como seria bacana apenas andar por horas e horas e dizer “Salam!” (Olá!). Neste instante surgiu a ideia de fazer isso por alguns dias. Gostaria de compartilhar isso com alguém. Lembrei da frase “Happines only real when shared”. Neste outro instante pensei então em doar o presente de aniversário que ganhei de alguns amigos do Brasil ($). Eles disseram para eu gastar em algo legal para mim. Isso seria algo legal! Decidi realizar esta viagem na semana do dia 25/Junho. Neste dia eu comemoraria 1 ano de viagem. Parti com o intuito de comprar coisas de pessoas/comunidades simples e ... read more
Hamer Village
Hamer Woman
Guta & his family

Africa » Ethiopia » Southern Nations Region » Turmi October 30th 2012

Hundreds of bodies litter the killing field. Many still twitch as the cherry red blood bubbles out of slit necks and pools in the mud. Blood-splattered butchers hunch over the bodies, their axes methodically rising and falling as they hack through flesh and bone. Others peel away the skin with long curved black bladed knives. Cows that had fifteen minutes before been chased across the field by squealing children are now fat marbled slabs of meat laid out on eucalyptus leaves for sale. Near a pile of steaming entrails and flesh covered skulls, a woman squats in front of a plastic bucket churning blood, allegedly for drinking. Perhaps this, like kort, as the raw meat dish is called in Ethiopia, is a delicacy. The hecatomb is to celebrate Meskel, the Ethiopian Orthodox Christian holiday commemorating the ... read more
dorze blood lady
mursi warrior
mursi woman

Africa » Ethiopia » Southern Nations Region » Dila April 15th 2012

The minibus from Awassa to Dilla took about 2 hours, but seemed a lot longer with it seeming to stop every 10 minutes loading people on and off. The conductor didn't seem to have a clue what he was doing and tried to charge me double, saying I had to pay for my bag. This had been tried on me before and after calling him a thief enough times he gave me the correct change back. Matt met me off the minibus in Dilla, where he is working for the Peace Corps. Dilla is a town of about 80,000 people and he is about the only faranji living there. He was certainly something of a local celebrity as everywhere we walked there were people shouting his name. It was Ethiopian Easter today, which, I am told, ... read more
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