Posts Tagged ‘Arba Minch’

Nechsar Park

March 17, 2010

Today we took a tour of Nechsar Park located in Arba Minch, southern Ethiopia.  This included six hours of chaotic driving at 10 KM per hour through some terrible terrain.  But the payoff was huge.

We were able to see kudus, zebras, gazelles, and some strange birds.  Zebras were definitely the highlight. They are a lot larger than I had pictured.  They seemed like gigantic, horse sized donkeys.

We were escorted through the park by a guard and were told that every butterfly we killed (accidentally or otherwise) would cost us a dollar.  The sandflies however were free to kill, and we took them up on this offer.  They were the meanest incects I have ever seen.  One bit me, through my sock, and drew blood.  Evil, terrible bugs. We ended up driving through a good section of the park with the windows rolled up, during the hottest part of the day (there is video of this experience).

So, I am going to attach some pictures and let the photos tell the story:

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Somaliland Denied (Round 2)

March 16, 2010

We had our driver hired, bags packed, schedule set, and the Ethiopia visa office gave us the big “no.”  They refused to give us a visa while our current visas were valid.  We would have to apply for a multiple entry visa and wait overnight, thus throwing a wrench into our tight schedule.  So, we headed south toward the South Omo Valley. 

The first day we drove from Addis (after our awesome visa experience) to Awassa.  I really love the rural 3rd world.  One of my favorite experiences that everyone should have at least once is arriving in a city or town that has absolutely no power.  Because the entire city is dark, everyone is walking around the town, eating by candle light, and enjoying the chaos.  Surprisingly this brings out the best in everyone’s moods.  Smiles are everywhere and life is great. 

Day  two we headed from Awassa to Arba Minch.  There is an incredible national park located here and we dropped our things off and went straight to a boat to go see crocodiles and hippos.  This was one of the coolest things I have ever done.  Being 10 feet away from a 15 foot crocodile is amazing.  The hippos freaked me out a bit, but some great pictures are now mine. 

Tomorrow we will go spend the day in the national park to check out the zebras, kudus, and baboons.  We are staying at a great lodge on a hillside overlooking Lake Chamo.  I’ll upload pictures tomorrow hopefully…