Blogs from Ethiopia, Africa


Africa » Ethiopia » Afar Region » Danakil Depression April 14th 2024

In the morning, we woke fairly early and had a quick breakfast before setting back out to the salt flats. Here, we were heading to the opposite end than the lake and it was flat and open, so the cars hauled it. This was our last adventure in this area and the highlight. Dallol Hot Springs We stopped briefly for the sunrise (see previous post), and soon got to the base of the Danakil geothermal area: Dallol Hot Springs. As with the rest of the area, this is part of the Afar Triangle in the Danakil Depression, which is formed from the divergence of three tectonic plates. It's one of the lowest places in Africa, and the hottest place in the world regarding average annual temperature. It was indeed super hot. These springs probably formed from ... read more
Dallol Hydrothermal area
Dallol Hydrothermal area
Dallol Hydrothermal area

Africa » Ethiopia » Afar Region » Danakil Depression April 12th 2024

After driving through the long lava fields, we found a place for lunch. Shade was extremely limited here, so we took shelter in a washed out road culvert with essentially three parking bays that we shared with the other tourists. Very interesting case of 'use what you have.' We had some more pasta with that spicy tomato sauce and some sauteed spinach. Yum. Then we just hung out for a little bit. Our guide said we did not want to arrive too early because it would still be hot, so we would take some time here. We got through the town of Hamed Ela where we were going to stay the night. It was a small, mostly open hut and we would be sleeping on the traditional cots outside under the stars. I really enjoyed this ... read more
Salt lake
Wine at sunset
Salt flat

Africa » Ethiopia » Afar Region » Danakil Depression April 11th 2024

After leaving Lalibela, we had to fly back to Addis Ababa to connect to Mekele. Thankfully, we just hung out in the domestic terminal, even though we did have to go back through security again - strange set up. Other than that, fairly smooth flight to Mekele, a proper city of around 300,000 people. We were picked up from the airport by the owner of the travel company who drove us to Homeland Hotel, our place for the evening. We were checked in fairly quickly and then we all met for a dinner at the hotel to discuss the next phase of our trip. The owner told us that we would be picked up early the next morning and, due to security concerns in this area still recovering from the Tigray war, just to do what ... read more
Erta Ale Volcano
Erta Ale Volcano
Erta Ale Volcano

Africa » Ethiopia » Amhara Region » Lalibela April 10th 2024

My next adventure with Trekkup was during our week-long Eid al Fitr holiday. This was kind of a bucket list of Ethiopia adventures, starting with Lalibela, which is known for its World Heritage Site rock hewn churches. I have wanted to come here for years and it was finally happening! Flight from Dubai to Addis Ababa was fine, very crowded. I have avoided Addis Ababa airport for the last few years because there is always something that happens to me there. At least on this connection, it was ok, just had trouble finding the domestic terminal, which was about a 15-minute walk away. They are clearly doing a lot of renovations on the international terminal there, which we were able to see on our way home. For now, it was just to get through customs and ... read more
St Gabriel and St Raphael churches
Beyaynatu - delicious!!!!
Asheton St Maryam Monastery

Africa » Ethiopia » Addis Ababa Region January 8th 2022

The line for Ethiopian Airlines going to Addis Ababa did not look promising. Chaos ensued when the flight was called for boarding. One of the passengers was asking people in line if they could carry a bag for her. It was chocolate for her kids and she was over the limit so she couldn't bring them into the plane. I had a seventeen-hour layover in Addis Ababa before my flight to Cairo. I intentionally chose this long layover because I learned that if you had a layover in Adis with Ethiopian Airlines that's longer than eight hours, they'll give you a hotel room in the city. A visa is required for Filipinos to enter Ethiopia but I read somewhere that if it's just a layover that's less than 24 hours, there would be no need for ... read more

Africa » Ethiopia April 9th 2020

Epic beauty beyond the dusty roads. True riches beyond the hard-hitting poverty. Genuine warmth and welcome beyond the touristic trappings of souvenir shops and birr begging children. Spiritual authenticity beyond the physical structures of chiseled ancient churches. Peace and security beyond the undercurrent of political uneasiness. Ethiopia is a world beyond our western imagination and preconceived notions. 14 days of travel and just a scratch on the surface of the myriad of wonders Ethiopia has to offer. A short flight out of Addis Ababa lands my travel pals and I within an hours’ drive of the imposing Gheralta mountains of the Tigray region. Our first multi-day stop in our exploration of the northern region of the country. Hidden within the mountains are numerous 4th-6th century Orthodox Christian churches hewn out of rocks and caves. Many believed ... read more
No jokes mama
Salt Caravan
Protected in the Simiens

Africa » Ethiopia February 8th 2020

We were up early to go and see some more of the amazing churches in Lalibela cut into the rocks. We had a little trouble finding it as we think all the guides take down the signs so you have to pay them for their services. Anyway we eventually found a way in and it was a great labyrinth of caves. I’m not entirely sure we should have gone down all the tunnels we found, but the lack of any signs worked in our favour and we had a great time exploring 1000 year old tunnels. Eventually we headed back to the truck and drove James to Lalibela airport, which was rather small but did have a café and restaurant to keep James occupied as he waited to fly to Addis and then back home to ... read more
Mucking around in tunnels
Mucking around in tunnels
Dinner at the truck stop

Africa » Ethiopia February 7th 2020

For once a leisurely start (about 0730!) and we made our way to Lalibela. Now there is probably a tarmac road to Lalibela from where we were but we most certainly didn’t find it. Instead we travelled 120km on a track where we saw NO other cars and passed over many mountain passes and drove on ridges cut out of the rock and climbed over 4000m up and down over a mountain range peaking at 3500m. It was without doubt our most spectacular road but about halfway round it dawned on us, what if we get stuck or breakdown? Thankfully we didn’t and the track came to a village in the middle of nowhere but atleast there was some civilisation, which we followed for at least 1km on tarmac before heading back to track. As a ... read more
Sneaking out of a Church in Lalibela
Amazing rock cut Church Lalibela
Alain blessed by a priest

Africa » Ethiopia February 6th 2020

We had to get up at 03:30 to meet our guide in his car to drive us to the Cradle of Humanity, we would pick up our armed guard on the way as the Afar tribe are in dispute with the Ethiopian government so it is mandatory to have armed protection to visit the region. We followed a tarmac road for a surprisingly long way into the middle of nowhere as it got dustier and hotter. Along the way the sun came up and we stopped for breakfast in a very small cluster of huts in the middle of nowhere and at the same time picked up a man with an AK47 rifle that looked a little antique but he would be our guard. With our guard and car in the 4x4 in front we drove ... read more
Roof surfing
120m below sea level
Walking on a salt lake

Africa » Ethiopia February 5th 2020

It was our first cold night and there was also a heavy dew so departure was delayed a little while we tried to dry out the roof tent. The sun soon came up and it was roasting before long and we were on our way into the heart of the Tigray region of monasteries. Our goal was the most inaccessible one up a rock face. We left and remained on good tarmac despite leaving the main road which was a great bonus and much appreciated. However on passing through a town a lorry driver rolled a tyre out of his cab onto the road thankfully narrowly missing us. There would seem a complete lack of awareness of other traffic and people walk out into the road throw things but mostly livestock wonders into the road with ... read more
The rock we climbed to find a monestary

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