Danakil Depression Part Two

The journey to the Erta Ale Volcano started from Abaala as an easy drive on the newly tarred road leading to the Djibouti border. We stopped in Erepti to pick up two armed policemen and shortly after passing several road blocks we began to realise that it would be virtually impossible for independent travellers to visit this volcano, at least without being fleeced. Continue reading Danakil Depression Part Two

The Danakil Depression Part One

A glance at the guide book on the Danakil Depression in north eastern Ethiopia, with its tales regarding former castrations of unwelcome tourists by locals and recent killings of tourists by Eritreans, persuaded us that it would not be advisable to attempt to do this trip on our own. In addition, permits and obligatory security arrangements are complicated, involving police, army personnel and Afar tribesmen, all armed. Continue reading The Danakil Depression Part One

Discovering the Ethiopian highlands

From Addis Ababa we headed north towards Lalibela, passing at first through bright green pastures dotted with beautiful stone houses, most of which had a high stack of hay nestling next to them. We have learned that this hay is in actual fact tef, an Ethiopian grain which is fermented to prepare their staple carbohydrate, injera.

Picturesque countryside with stone houses and stacks of tef.
Picturesque countryside with stone houses and stacks of tef.

With its 91 million people, Ethiopia is one of the most highly populated countries in Africa. The rural areas are a continuous, terraced farmland; most of the people operating at subsistence level, using terraces that have perhaps been there for thousands of years, cultivating even the steepest slopes. We think that the extent of undeveloped countryside is why we have seen the most amazing bird life throughout. Continue reading Discovering the Ethiopian highlands