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Jingles Bells In Arba Minch

At a cattle market, near Arba Minch, Omo Valley, South Ethiopia

At a cattle market, near Arba Minch, Omo Valley, South Ethiopia

Even in Egypt and Ethiopia we could not escape from these nerve-raking Xmas tunes we tread so much. “Holy Night Silent Night” was on the top charts at the hotel in Cairo and also the Paradise Lodge in Arba Minch figured that the Faranji cannot do without it. A decorated Christmas tree and fake presents wrapped in glossy paper dominated the dining room. Even so-called Christmas cookies were served. Continue Reading →

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Trading A Day In Addis Abeba For The Pyramids

Great Sphinx of Giza, Cairo, Egypt

Great Sphinx of Giza, Cairo, Egypt

Instead of relaxing at least one day in Addis Abeba before heading towards the Omo Valley, we were determined to make the most of our day in Cairo. Even though this stop-over came as a total surprise, we did not have to think twice about what to do there. More challenging was to get a feeling for prices so quickly. We were constantly approached by cab drivers who offered to take us to the Great Pyramids, the Bazaar and the Archaeological Museum. Soon we figured that about 25 Euros was the going rate for newly arrived tourists to be sped to all this sights in one day. Continue Reading →

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Travelling Under The Weather

Heidi in a Dorze Village, Lower Omo Valley

Heidi in a Dorze Village, Lower Omo Valley

The days previous to our departure for Ethiopia, we spent in Paris celebrating the 100th birthday of Gilles’ grandmother. As well covered by the media, this very weekend some European airports resembled disaster zones rather than first world transit hubs because of a few centimeters of snow. Going to Paris took us 10 hours, coming back to Vienna turned into a 35 hour journey with a night in Zurich! Continue Reading →

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Ethiopia -“Tierra Incognita”

Camel caravan carrying salt from the mines in Dallol, Danakil Depression, Ethiopia,

Camel caravan carrying salt from the mines in Dallol, Danakil Depression, Ethiopia,

We are used to our friends rolling their eyes when we spell out the next travel destination. “Colombia? But that is dangerous!” or “Mali? Where is that?” Ethiopia triggered remarks like “Why do you go there?”, “What is there to see?” or “But it is only a desert!” This country is still often associated with the horrible images of the great famine in 1985 – 1986 and the war against Eritrea. Continue Reading →

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Going Where? Facing Many Dilemmas!

Dorze people, near Arba Minch, Omo Valley, South Ethiopia

Dorze people, near Arba Minch, Omo Valley, South Ethiopia

Ethiopia was very high on our “traveling list” for some years. Besides, we were craving to go back to Africa, a continent we both love to travel. For a while, we were even contemplating to dare Eritrea, but the hassle of getting permits for every town made it undoable in the 17 days we had. Naturally, our first plan was to do the Historic Circuit, visiting the countless churches and monasteries as well as discovering the glorious past of the Abyssinian Empire in Bahir Dar, Gonder, Lalibela and Axum. This route promised an intact tourist infrastructure but little adventure. Continue Reading →

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17 Days in Mali

The biggest mud building in the world: the Mosque of Djenne at dawn on a market day, Mali

The biggest mud building in the world: the Mosque of Djenne at dawn on a market day, Mali

We spent 17 days in Mali during Christmas 2005 & New Year 2006. Although we had only a bit more than two weeks to visit this huge country, we managed to see most of Mali’s major attractions. Continue Reading →

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A Safari In The Serengeti

Lion (Panthera Leo), Serengeti National Park, Tanzania, Africa

Lion (Panthera Leo), Serengeti National Park, Tanzania, Africa

To do a Safari through some of the most known National Parks in the world is the experience of a life time! After arriving in Arusha, near the Kilimanjaro, we toured the northern national parks of Tanzania for one week: Lake Manyara, the Serengeti, the N´gorongoro Crater and Tarangire. Continue Reading →

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Saint Louis & North Senegal

Streets of St. Louis ... Where else would you see a banged up Renault 18 or Peugeot 505?

Streets of St. Louis … Where else would you see a banged up Renault 18 or Peugeot 505?

Since our first trip to Senegal left such a strong impression on us, we decided to discover more of this country, this time heading north for 12 days over Easter in April 2004. We only stayed one night in Dakar, at the Hotel Al Afifa, in our opinion the best deal in town. Then we immediately headed for St. Louis, the old colonial center of the very first French administration, with a Taxi Brousse. There we treated ourselves to the Hotel Cap St. Louis, a very pleasant place and a heaven of quietness on the Langue de Barbarie for an absolutely acceptable price. Continue Reading →

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