Ethiopia, located between Eritrea, Somalia, Kenya, and the Sudan, is undoubtedly one of the most impacting destinations in Africa. It's a land of contrasts, both in terms of geography as well as culture and traditions. While we visited the north and south, this post is about the south. Many of the peoples of southern Ethiopia, especially around the Omo River Valley, are considered among the oldest peoples on Earth and still maintain some of their original identity, lifestyle, and customs from a distant age. To visit is to enter a life that's totally different from anything else in the world. You can't help but feel strange at first, but you'll be lulled by the locals' grand hospitality and disarming kindness.
We visited in September and everything was vibrantly green. There were colorful markets full of colorfully-dressed people and the sunsets were simply incredible.
The Erbore tribe is the most money hungry of all the Omo tribes. You've barely arrived to town and they are already asking for money. They follow you and hit you to get you to give them money. They see the camera in your hand and you have a whole village asking you for money. Actually it was a burden to visit this tribe which must be the distant cousins of the Mursi for as unkind as they are. Of all the tribes of the Omo the most genuine are the Banna, the Hamer and Karo in my opinion.
The monastery of Debre Birhan Selassie is located less than 2 kilometers to the northeast of the town of Gondar. It was built in the seventeenth century under the reign of Emperor Yohannes I. Inside is the church you'll find arguably the most famous part of Ethiopia, translated as "Trinity in the Mountain of Light". The importance of this church lies not only in its exterior architecture, but on the treasure inside and more specifically on the roof where we can admire the winged heads of 80 angels or cherubs on the beams. They are smiling and observing the visitor with an enigmatic expression. Each face has a unique feature that sets it apart from the rest. These extraordinary frescoes were made in the late seventeenth century and are undoubtedly one of the most important mural paintings on the continent. The dim light entering inside the temple, the loneliness of the enclosure, walking around barefoot (required in all Ethiopian churches) and a number of attached elements are the ideal setting to bring the visitor a feeling of wonder. Also the historical and religious scenes portrayed on the side walls are worth a look.
Windy Point is the English name given to one of the most beautiful parts of Ethiopia, although that is not really what it is called. This is a wonderful location very near Omo Park, east of the country, it is stunningly beautiful, especially the impressive gorges and precipices. It is not very well known and is rarely visited for two reasons, because Ethiopia still not a major tourist destination, and least not this part of Ethiopia, and because the only way to get here is via a few dirt roads that are quite complicated and inaccessible in the rainy season (they become really muddy and impossible to drive). This area separates the valleys of the Kivish and the Rift through a very narrow passage, it has some impressive courtyards of more than 500 meters. When you look out these cliffs seem to just be the world, really, you feel incredibly dizzy (even those who do not suffer from this phobia). Reportedly, in the military era dictator Mengistu came here to charge people, something incredible. In this area the vegetation is completely wild, everywhere you look you find hundreds of different greens that create an idyll, like out of a science fiction movie. The fauna is very diverse, and you can see all kinds of animals, the most prominent being vultures.