Saturday, January 1


Ethiopia has a very different culture to the rest of Africa and was never colonised. It is very mountainous and not relaxing. Avoid the border with Eritrea and Somalia. A stamp from Eritrea in your passport will be a problem when trying to go to Ethiopia.

For South Africans, tourist visas can be obtained on arrival and are valid for one or three months at a cost of between US$20 and US$40 depending on length of stay and multiple or single entry visa status.

- Moyale - border entry
- Turmi - market town
- Omorate
- Omo Region - Mursi lip stretchers, body-painting Karo, Omo National Park
- Mago National Park
- Arba Minch - University town on the shores of lake Abaya
- Awassa - another university town, on the shores of lake Awassa
- Rift Valley Lakes - Ziway, Abiata, Shala (volcanic, trails), Langano (swimming, birds)
- Shala Lake - set within the Abidjatta Shalla National Park, surrounded by hot springs, flamingoes
- langano lake - the only one in the Rift Valley without Bilharzia, so you can swim
- Bale Mountains National Park - wolves, looks like it gets pretty cold in winter. Lower hills are covered in wild St John's Wort - should be helpful if we are getting depressed :)
- Addis Ababa - interesting and shambolic. The merkato is the largest outdoor market in the world. We'll eat cake & drink coffee in the many cafes along Bole Road! We will need to get Sudan visas here.
Once again there is a loop that might be missed if it's too dangerous
- Awash National Park - oldest and most developed wildlife reserve in Ethiopia, Fantalle Volcano, extensive mineral hot-springs, extraordinary volcanic formations
- Harar - like Arabian Nights, feeding the hyenas, old walled city, alleyways, spiritual. Founded between the 7th and the 11th century.
- Dire Dawa - grid pattern streets, Kafira Market
- Addis Ababa
- Lalibela - medieval, rock-hewn churches, hidden cripts and grottoes carved into red volcanic rock (Zagwe dynasty), UNESCO, Coptic Christian ceremonies
- Danakil Depression - 100m below sea level, one of the hottest places on earth, Dallol volcano, colourful sands and interesting shapes. ** Also quite near a conflict zone along the border with Djibouti so might not be able to go**
- Axum (Aksum) - Ancient pre-Christian tombs, Obelisks, inscriptions, UNESCO
- Simien Mountains - baboons, overlook Abyssinian abyss, UNESCO
- Lake Tana & the Blue Nile Falls
- Bahir Dar - Lake Tana, palm boulevards
- Gondar - Italian Art Deco, castles, palaces

National Geographic Photos - http://travel.nationalgeographic.com/travel/countries/ethiopia-photos/

these are some teaser pics from the internet...

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