A trip to Western Ethiopia
If you ever want to experience the Wild West in Ethiopia, this is your lucky day. Western Ethiopia has some of the best tourist attraction sites in the country from the Danakil Depression which is the hottest place in the world, the awash valley and all that you can find here and the stone city of Harar. The trip to western part of Ethiopia can be arranged so that you visit all the places in one visit to Ethiopia and you get to enjoy all this with the help of an experienced licensed tour guide.
Exploring the Danakil Depression
Exploring the Danakil depression must seem like the hardest thing to do since it is considered to be the world’s hottest place but a visit to the area is worth it. It is part of the Eastern tour travels in Ethiopia and since it is an extremely hot place, you need to pack appropriately and do not forget to take lots of water. Getting to the Danakil Depression, you will need a four wheels drive because the roads are not that conducive and you do not want to get stuck along the way. Some of the tourist attractions to visit while in the Danakil Depression are:
The Dallol is a volcano in the Danakil Depression and it is the only volcano on earth that is not covered by water and is found above sea level. It has an average temperature of about 34 degrees and it is very hard for one to stay there but it is a good experience that you cannot pass up.
A visit to the Asale and Afrera Lakes
This s where the salt is mined and distributed to the rest of the country after being refined. It is a fine place for you to visit as you will get to know more about how salt is mined and this way you will also get to meet up with the locals and interact with them.
Exploring the Erta Ale
This is a volcanic Mountain that is located in the Danakil Depression and it can be viewed from a distance. You can trek around the Mountain and the best part comes at night when you get to see the boiling Lava that is at the top of the Mountain and the beautiful scenery that it creates at night. There are two camps around the Erta Ale where you can rest after a long day and although they are just basic accommodation facilitation, you get a good rest while watching the stars.
When visiting the Danakil depression make sure that you go with plenty of water as the water is not safe to drink, body wipes because you will not be able to get bathing water and protective gear for your mouth and nose so that you do not inhale the deadly fumes from the volcano. Despite all the heat, you get a chance to get a camel ride through the Danakil as it is the best means of transport in the area and it is a onetime experience that each one of us has to get.
Exploring the Awash valley
Lower Valley of the Awash is where the famous fossils of Lucy were discovered. It is believed that these are one of the oldest fossils in the whole world and when they were excavated, the researchers believed they were remains of a woman and that is why after the remains were pieced together and put in the national museum, they were named Lucy. Visiting the place will give you an insight on how the early people lived and you never know you might find a few fossils of your own. It is not that easy to get to the Valley but with the help of a tour guide, you might get there safe and sound.
Exploring the Awash National Park
The Awash National Park is located just 200 kilometers from the capital city of Ethiopia Addis Ababa and it is a good destination for all those that want to go for animal viewing and trekking. There are a lot of things that you will get to see and many activities that you can carry out when you visit the Awash National Park and these include:
Visiting the Awash Falls
The Awash Falls are located in the Awash National Park and it is one of the few things that will make your trip to the Eastern part of the country worth it. It is a good place for all those that want to rest after a long day while trekking through the Park. Around the Awash Falls, you will find a canyon and they provide a good back drop for photographs and they are also a perfect place for one to watch the different bird species that habitate around the falls.
Watching the wild life in the National Park
The Awash National Park has a variety of animals that you can get to see while trekking through the National Park. Some of the animals that you can find in the Park include the wild cats, monkeys, the lesser Kudus, the Anubis monkeys, the gazelles, the Ethiopian’s Swayne Hartebeest, leopards, golden jackals, the caracals, lions, black backed jackal, the Dikdik, the Beisa Oryx, the servals, the greater Kudus, the Defarsa waterbuck and many more others.
Birding in Awash National Park
The Awash National Park has some of the best spots when it comes to birding. Some of the endemic bird species in the Park include the Banded Barbet, the thick billed raven, the white winged cliff chat, the golden backed woodpecker, the Wattled Ibis and the white tailed Sterling. Some of the birding spots in Awash include:
The Gaysay grasslands is one of the best bird spots in the Awash where you get to see the different bird species that habitate within the Park and these include carmine bee-eaters, secretary birds, ostriches, the Abyssinian ground hornbill, the Abyssinian roller and the hawks.
The other birding spot in the Awash where you can view the bird species is the wooden vegetation area and some of the bird species that you can see here include the green wood hoopoes, the Emerald spotted wood dove, the yellow barbet, the silver cheeked hornbill, the coucal Turaco, the Go away bird, the red Barbet and many more others.
Exploring the Harar city
Harar city is the 4th largest holy city in the world having a large population of Muslims living in the area. It is famous for its old gates that lead you into the city which were built centuries ago and their old state makes the town have a century’s old look which makes it beautiful. When you visit Arthur’s museum which is located in the city center, you will find a painting of the old town and the most amazing bit of it is that the town still looks the same way as it was captured in the painting. Getting to Harar is not that hard and with the help of a tour guide, you will enjoy the town to the fullest by visiting the following.
Visiting the heritage sites in the Harar city
The city is filled with many heritage sites in form of churches, shrines and mosques and these see numerous pilgrims every year who come to either seek blessings or to just explore the town. The largest mosque in the Harar city is the Jamia mosque which can hold more than 1000 people and it can be found next to the St Mary’s Catholic Church which also receives a lot of visitors.
Get a taste of the Harar coffee
The Harar region is one of the few cities in Ethiopia that grow coffee and your trip will not be complete if you do not get a taste of this wonderful coffee. A tour guide will take you through the coffee farms where you will learn more about how the coffee is grown, harvested and brewed before you are served with a fresh cup of coffee.
Feeding the hyenas
The Harar city is known for the large number of hyenas that can be seen in the hills that are found in the area and framers in the area started an initiative of feeding the hyenas so that they do not attack their livestock at night and this has become a favorite time for the tourists. But when you are trying to feed the hyenas make sure you are with the experts so that they do not get to bite you while feeding them. The hyenas are mostly fed at night and therefore you need to dress up accordingly for the night.
Feeding the birds
Many locals and tourists also visit the meat market place just to go and feed the kites that are always flying around. This is done with the help of a guide because sometimes the kites swoop down when trying to pick their food and you might get scratches from them.