Tag Archives: Lalibela

Top African destinations for your 2017 bucket list

Africa is a continent rich in diversity, with a lot to offer. Each country has its own unique beauty and cultures and if you really want to explore the continent, you will need a few months. However, if you have to pick just one or two places to visit in 2017, make sure that one of the following are on your bucket list for the year! Continue reading Top African destinations for your 2017 bucket list

Ten reasons to visit Ethiopia

During our seven month overland journey from Cape Town to Ethiopia in 2015 I discovered that this must be one of the most varied, interesting and unique countries in Africa, with awe-inspiring scenery! There are at least ten reasons why you should put this extraordinary country on your bucket list.

  1. Danakil Depression and Erta Ale Volcano

The Danakil is a geological depression which is situated at the junction of three tectonic plates that are drifting apart at about 10 millimetres a year. The Danakil Depression is known for being the hottest place on the planet year-round, holding the record high monthly average temperature for any inhabited area on earth at nearly 47 degrees Celsius. The temperature often rises to well into the 50’s. It’s also one of the most remote places on earth and the 4th lowest at around -130m below sea level.

In the northern part of the Danakil Depression the Dallol area is extremely interesting and includes salt mines, sulphur springs, a salt pool in which you can float, Lake Asala (a solid salt lake) and a salt mountain. The salt originates from infrequent flooding by the Red Sea, which last occurred about 30 000 years ago. This produced about 1,200 square km of salt deposits which are mined; seismic studies have shown that the salt extends to a depth of around 2000 metres. Continue reading Ten reasons to visit Ethiopia

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