Blogs from Southern Nations Region, Ethiopia, Africa - page 2


Africa » Ethiopia » Southern Nations Region » Awasa April 13th 2012

I got a bus from Autobus Terra to Awassa, or so I thought. After about half an hour, they gave me some of my money back and said it was only going as far as Shashemene. The change in the landscape was very noticeable the further south we got. It began to look a lot more like the African savannah you would usually associate with Africa. It was really slow and 5 hours later, we arrived in Shashemene. I transferred to a minibus to Awassa easy enough, but it was night time when I arrived. I got a room at the Midre Genet hotel, which was possibly the best value room I had in Ethiopia. I got some amazing pizza at the Dolce Vita restaurant - apparently the owner has had a special pizza oven imported ... read more
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Africa » Ethiopia » Southern Nations Region February 7th 2012

After hours on the narrow two track 4x4 trail, dashing in and out of dry washes, spinning across the flat expanse that is punctuated only by the towering termite mounds, we roll into Murelle, one of three tribal villages of the Karo people. We are high above a massive bend of the Omo River with a view that stretches forever. I gasp at the incredible view, thinking ‘these people know the old saying - location, location, location’. But before I can even let my breath out from that same gasp, the 4x4 is surrounded by the people of the village. Soft, understated voices insistently implore, ‘my photo, 3 Birr’. Again and again. Thats about 20 US cents, one fifth of a US dollar. And there you have the heart of the dilemma that the rich cultural ... read more
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Africa » Ethiopia » Southern Nations Region » Jinka November 28th 2011

Painted in white and wearing animal skins. Decorated with bones and walking on stilts. Carrying spears and wondering naked. You have been transported back in time. A time when the first adventurers stumbled across African tribes. A time when food was gathered by painted warriors, a time when only the strongest survived. Intimidated into paying a bribe for a bogus guide you head deeper into the Omo valley trusting only your driver. As an Ethiopian soldier jumps in the vehicle to offer protection, you can’t help but laugh at the poor state of his AK47. Carrying no bullets and speaking only Americ, he sits and smiles, expecting payment for his services. Driving through mountain terrain and stunning fields, its hard to believe you are in Ethiopia. A country that once struggled to feed its people. A ... read more
New Age Warrior
Tribal Stilts
Carrying A Bowl Of Food

Africa » Ethiopia » Southern Nations Region » Konso November 6th 2011

THIRSTY IN ETHIOPIA...THE BEERS. I've told you about our "Coffee Tour" of the the South...and also in the Centre...served in small cups, black, strong, clean, one sugar...not muddy. "Did you perchance try the amber fluid...of Ethiopia..? you ask. As it turns out, Mike brews his own Toowoomba, one assumes he is partial to "a cool one...or two." And so it was in Ethiopia. Being a patriotic Aussie...prepared "to take one for the team"...well...I decided to join him. Before Mali...we'd be watching T.V. in our hotel in Bamako of the Queensland floods...horrified at the devastation in Mike & Ros' home town. Mike didn't talk about it much then. He said his house should be being on a hill. He was concerned for his we all were. ... read more

Africa » Ethiopia » Southern Nations Region » Arba Minch September 25th 2011

ETHIOPIA...Nech Sar & Arba Minch. 514 sq miles of savannah, dry bush & groundwater forest in SW Ethiopia...a haven for 104 species of mammals and over 189 species of birds...welcome to Nech Sar (Nechisar or White Grass) National Park. Accessed from Arba Minch...along one of the roughest tourist roads in Ethiopia...the isthmus between Lakes Abaya and Chamo...known as "the Bridge of God." Stunning scenery...but with a bloody history. In November 2004, 463 thatched huts of the Guji-Oromo people were burned down by Ethiopian park officials and police...forced relocation. But why? In 1965 after spending 3 months surveying wildlife areas in Ethiopia, a UNESCO team proposed a game reserve to the east of Lake Chamo for the protection of the Swayne's Hartebeest & other wildlife. In 1967 Nech Sar National Park was proposed but was not established ... read more

Africa » Ethiopia » Southern Nations Region » Dorze September 17th 2011

ETHIOPIA...Ensete Culture...THE DORZE T'was quiet a climb up into the Guge Mountains...dirt roads all afternoon then up & up. Then at the top there is a its own little region... rolling green hills up here... bamboo... views of Lake Abaya...isolated from the lowlands below. But dangers lurk at every we zig-zag up... "Watch out's a rump-shaker" someone screams. Hit the brakes... squeeze past..."That was close!" Next corner twice as many... another close call... phew. Welcome to the home of the highland Dorze people... Orthodox Christian... own language... predominately farmers... exponents of the Ensete Culture. And the rump-shakers?...young children...gymnasts all... somersaulting, gyrating, shaking their booty... hands outstretched... demanding benevolence. Was late afternoon so straight to the ma... read more

Africa » Ethiopia » Southern Nations Region » Awasa September 9th 2011

ETHIOPIA...Prehistory to Awasa...The Ascent of Man. The Ascent of Homo presented in many ways...ascent from the dust of the earth... creation... evolution... and drinking coffee. We drank coffee first...well at the end of every repast ...after all we had advised our Guide we thought it was a coffee tour...and he did not disappoint. Served in small cups, black, strong, clean, one sugar...pure Ethiopian. Not muddy like Turkish or Middle Eastern. In the North, Ermias had led us to the finest coffee houses...the best being in a hut of banana leaves in the jungle on the banks of Lake Tana. Now that we are heading South from Addis Ababa with Gobeze, we are taken to prehistory and archeological sites...but will there still be good coffee??? Now for the history lesson. In about 1894 , Emperor ... read more

Africa » Ethiopia » Southern Nations Region » Turmi August 26th 2011

ETHIOPIA...Jumping with the HAMAR All roads lead to Turmi...but only if you are heading that way...I surmise...but if you travel in another direction...well it may go anywhere...but there. "That's a Desert Rose...I've seen those in Central Australia...but how can they be Southern Ethiopia?" So Mike was given the task of finding we scoured the scrub for others...and then we saw it...a substantial specimen...shapely...well endowed... golden firm trunk...lightly clad in pink flower...let's stop and take a photo? Look left...the Desert Rose...but I can only see the lustrous brown Desert Rose leaning on the stick gate opposite... shapely...well endowed... firm breasted... clad only in a cow skin skirt...a smiling young mother...a child on one leg...another wide eyed and gazing. So Mike & I photograph the pink Desert Rose...then... read more
A Hamar mother smiles

Africa » Ethiopia » Southern Nations Region » Turmi August 12th 2011

ETHIOPIA...THE KARO...Handsome is an Art Form. I am not a Rainbow Warrior...I am not even a warrior...but I inadvertently walked into a major World ecological impacting controversy on 25 January 2011 when I visited the Mursi...when the President was in Jinka (see last blog)...and then the Karo and Hamar and other tribes...and I am not yet ready to walk out. Welcome to the Karo...a true jewel of African tribes...the smallest of the South Omo River Valley tribes...possibly the friendliest...whose lifestyle and survival is very much in question. While Mali was pure adventure...West African...serendipity in overdrive...quirky stories...mesmerizing music...poor, handsome, honest, friendly a harsh but diverse locale... Ethiopia was a complete contrast. A country with "a growth rate of about 11% over the last 5 to 6 years" as also advised by my economi... read more

Africa » Ethiopia » Southern Nations Region » Jinka July 22nd 2011

ETHIOPIA...Stretched Lips & AK47s...THE MURSI 25 January 2011 was an important day in Jinka, capital of the South Omo Zone of the Southern Nations, Nationalities & Peoples Regional State...not because we passed through that day on our way to see the Mursi...but because the President of Ethiopia was in town...for the 13th Annual Pastoralists Day Celebrations... and the news he brought will have far reaching consequences for the exotic tribes of the Lower Omo Valley. The President had cancelled all pre-booked accommodation for Western tourists in Jinka, so we suddenly had nowhere to stay...ended up in Konso, a few hours drive early start that day...breakfast in Key Afar...with Ethiopian coffee...after all we are on a "coffee tour" of Ethiopia...soldiers everywhere...then onto Jinka...possibly my favourite name for a destination. Flags everywhere...there'... read more

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