Zambezi Safari & Travel Company
Extraordinary journeys across Africa
Hadar on the southern edge of the Afar
Triangle known for its archeological
findings and sites. The famous Lucy
(Australopithecus afarensis) fossil and the "First Family"
fossil collection dated at 3.2 million years old was found in the
region which is part of the Lower Valley of the Awash
inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Harar Jugol contains 82 mosques and 102
shrines. It's recognized by Unesco as "an inland urban
settlement with a distinct architectural character and social
organization, which cannot be compared to any other town in East
Africa". Harar is said to be the fourth holiest city of
The Danakil Depression is one of the lowest and
hottest places on the planet in the northern part of the Afar
Triangle. Lake Asale and Lake Giuletti Afrera are
located 116m and 80m below sea level. Daytime temperatures
regularly exceed 50 °C.
Simien Mountains National Park in northern
Gondar zone of the Amhara region is home to a number of endangered
species including the Ethiopian wolf and Walia ibex. Now on the
UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites in danger.
Zakouma National Park is in
the Salamat area of south eastern Chad, between Am Timan and Sarh.
Chad's first national park established in 1963, it covers an
area of just over 3,000 km²
The annual migration in December
The migration started leaving Kenya's Maasai Mara in
November. It moves quickly south down the Loliondo boundary. The
rains have started and fresh grass covers the Serengeti
The annual migration in January
The migration is settled in the short grass lands on the
southern plains. Game moves into the Ngorongoro Crater. Zebra are
The annual migration in February
Over 2 million wildebeest, zebra, gazelles, eland and
predators are in the Serengeti plains. Wildebeest are dropping
The migration during March
The heavy rains are approaching and the short grass plains are
starting to take strain.
The annual migration in April
The migration starts moving slowly through woodlands
towards the western corridor as the long or heavy rains set
in. The wild flowers come out in full bloom.
The annual migration in May
The migration follows the Mbalageti river towards the
Grumeti Controlled Area where the long grass plains and woodlands
The annual migration in June
The rains are ending and the dry season is approaching as
the migration crosses the Grumeti River - the Grumeti crocodiles
enjoy their annual feast.
The annual migration in July
The migration moves north east through the Grumeti towards
the Ikorongo Controlled Area. Some migratory animals move towards
the Lobo area.
The annual migration in August
Most of the migration is concentrated in the Ikorongo area
where the Mara is crossed to get into the sweet grasses of the
The annual migration in September
The migration moves into Kenya's Maasai Mara in search of
water and fresh grazing.
The annual migration in November
The migration starts moving south in anticipation of the
new seasons rains which are usually about to start.
The annual migration in October
The Serengeti is near the end of the dry season, water is
available in the Maasai Mara.
The Luangwa Valley
Seronera - central Serengeti, is the airstrip
which most safari visitors use when they visit to see the annual
Tarangire National Park known for its
ancient baobab trees, large family herds of elephants, prolific
bird life and dry season concentrations of wildlife
Ngorongoro Crater is a World Heritage Site
and one of the world's largest inactive and un-flooded volcanic
calderas with a rich diversity of wildlife and the famous
paleontological site of Olduvai Gorge nearby
Lamai wedge a remote section of the
northern Serengeti across the Mara River which is especially good
towards the end of the season
Wokakuria plains a northern sector of the
park known for its oribi antelope and cheetah, usually devoid of
Mara River, Tanzania - dramatic wildebeest
crossings are most likely to witnessed towards the end of the dry
season during September and October
Manyara National Park lakeshore habitats
are home to large elephant and buffalo herds and over 380 recorded
bird species. The park's incredible fauna and flora have qualified
it as a World Biosphere Reserve.
The migration started leaving Kenya's Maasai Mara in
November. It moves quickly south down the Loliondo boundary. The
rains have started and fresh grass covers the southern
National Park created as part of the
Rungwa Game Reserve in 1964, it's now Tanzania's largest park at
20226 km2, best known for elephants, large
mammals and predators in the dry
Ruaha by PJ van Erp CCA-SA 2.5
Reserve originally protected in 1896 it's
now a UNESCO World Heritage Site covering over 54600
Rufiji elephants by Panii CCA-SA 3.0
Park created in 1974, it's Tanzania 3rd
largest park at 4471 km2,
extremely remote and less frequented by visitors
than other Tanzanian national park.
Mahale Mountain National
Park opened in
1985, arguably the best and most reliable place to see
wild chimps anywhere in Africa
Central Kalahari Game Reserve
Chobe National Park
Camp Kalahari is found on Brown
Hyaena Island on the edge of the salt pans. A homely base for David
Foot's horseback safaris. Good for meerkats and southern Africa's
largest zebra and wildebeest migration at the start of the rainy
Xau Xai Fly Camp is a full day's ride
from Camp Kalahari
Xini Camp is a good days' worth of
game-drive time from Maun
Maun International Airport
) is located 5 km from the town
centre. It's the main scheduled gateway into
Botswana from Namibia and South Africa with easy charter
connections from Victoria Falls.
Moremi South Gate
Moremi North Gate
Motswiri Camp is located on
the banks of the spectacular Selinda Spillway, an ancient
watercourse linking the Okavango and Kwando-Linyanti
Victoria Falls International Airport
ICAO:FVFA) is located 18 km
south of the town centre in Zimbabwe. It's
the main gateway into the main safari areas in Zimbabwe, Zambia,
Botswana and Namibia from South Africa.
Hwange National Park founded in 1928,
proclaimed in 1961 is 14,651 km² in extent
and considered for inclusion in the 5
Nation Kavango - Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation
The Hide Safari Camp built in 1992 by the
Preston family is located within the park between Kennedy 1 Pan and
the railway line
Davison's Camp named after Hwange's
first head warden, Ted Davison, this Wilderness Safaris camp is
located in the south-east Linkwasha Concession
Camp Hwange opened in April 2012 under
management of Dave Carsons, one of Zimbabwe's top Professional
Hwange National Park Airport
FVWN) is used for charter and scheduled flights
between Victoria Falls and Harare
Map of the Mana Pools - Sapi - Chewore complex
which is recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage Site also included
within the Middle Zambezi Biosphere Reserve(MBZR)
and designated a Ramsar wetland
of international importance
Nyamepi is the site of the National Parks
Warden's office and a communal campground on the Zambezi
Ruckomechi Camp is the Wilderness Safaris
flagship safari lodge on the lower Zambezi. Also start and end
point for our Mana Pools canoe trail.
Kanga Pan provides a permanent water
source in the south west of the National Park.
Chitake Springs is some 70km away from the
Zambezi River and only 8km from the rugged escarpment. A very wild
place which becomes the focus of survival to hundreds of
thousands of creatures during the dry season.
Chikwenya is located at the
confluence of the Sapi and Zambezi rivers. The concession includes
5km of river frontage with a substantial area of exclusive walking
territory on the National Park border.
Kariba town is starting point for the full
10 day canoe safari from Kariba to Kanyemba
Jecha Point at Chirundu is the pull-out
for the 3 day canoeing leg of about 56km from Kariba to
Chirundu. It's the start point for the Tamarind trip that runs down
to the lower end of Mana Pools.
Kanyemba is the end of the full 10 day
canoe trip. It's at the confluence of the Zambezi
and Luangwa rivers, the extreme northernmost point of Zimbabwe
where the border abutts
Mozambique and Zambia. A hot and
dusty 7 hour drive back to Kariba follows.
Mupata Gorge where steep and rocky hills
fall into the Zambezi. One of southern Africa's secret hideouts of
the rare Taita Falcon.
Makuti is a quick tea break and refuel
from Kariba or Harare before dropping down into the valley for the
Trichelia Island is the final overnight
campsite on the 4 day Tamarind trip.
Kakomarara Island, approximately 45 km
worth of canoeing from the Chirundu put-in lands here for an
overnight camping stop.
Lone Acacia Island is the first overnight
island stop after 18km worth of canoeing from Chirundu.
Chewore River Mouth marks the start
of one of the largest, most remote, least populated and
undeveloped safari areas in the north. Accessible by light
aircraft, 4x4 or canoe.
Shamashanga G Camp, the old hunting and
fishing camp in the Sapi Safari Area.
Mupata Gate near the entrance to the
Mupata Gorge, Chewore Safari
The ORIGINAL Zambezi Office
Where all the fun began in October 1995 (photo courtesy Jeremy
Opuwo is the main settlement in Kaokoland in
the northern Kunene Region. One of the wildest and least populated
areas in Africa, with a population density of one person every 2
km². The most represented ethnic group is the Himba people, that
accounts for about 5,000 of the overall 16,000 inhabitants of
Epupa Falls (also known as Monte Negro Falls in
Angola) are created by the Kunene River on the border with Angola.
The river is 0.5 km wide and drops in a series of waterfalls spread
over 1.5 km with the greatest single drop being 37 m.
Möwe Bay is the northern end-point on the
C34 road into the Skeleton Coast National Park just 10km north of
the ephemeral Hoanib River mouth. It serves as the park's HQ
approximately 80km north of Terrace Bay and is strictly off-limits
to casual and independent travellers.
Möwe Bay houses a small museum recording the history of local
shipwrecks with artefacts and skeletal remains of wildlife found in
the area. Remnants of the Suiderkus wreck are found on a nearby
beach which is strewn with semi-precious stones and pebbles. The
local seal colony provides rich pickings for scavenging hyaena,
jackal and on occasion desert-adapted lion.
Several springs forming part of the linear oasis system with in
the Hoanib valley are located nearby within the National Park.
Kunene region as defined on Google Map
Skeleton Coast National Park includes 16,000
square kilometres of coastline from the Ugab River to the
Kunene. The northern half of the park is a designated wilderness
area which includes the clay castles of the Hoarisib, the Agate
Mountain salt pans and the large seal colony at Cape Fria. The
remainder of the coast is the National West Coast Recreation
Hoanib Skeleton Coast Camp
managed by Wilderness Safaris is located at a classic
spot straddling the Palmwag Concession and the Skeleton Coast
National Park in one of the most remote areas of the
The Suiderkus ran onto rocks and was wrecked on
her maiden voyage from Cape Town in December 1976. A small remnant
of this old trawler serves as a perch for passing cormorants.
(special permit required for access)
The Hoanib River mouth marks the end of a
270km long journey into the Atlantic from a
vast 17,200 km² catchment area. Every few years
heavy rain in the hinterland causes a massive flood wave to pass
through the valley. Most of this seeps into a large sub-surface
aquifer but in really wet years the river flows into the Atlantic.
(Special permit required for access)
Swakopmund is a beach resort and an example of
German colonial architecture. It was founded in 1892 as the main
harbour for German South-West Africa, and a sizable part of its
population is still German-speaking today.
Serra Cafema is one of southern Africa's
remotest premier camps. It's located on the edge of the Kunene
River within the Marienfluss Conservancy. The only alternative to
proper exploration of the Hartmann Mountains and the conservancy is
on a well planned mobile expedition.
Etosha National Park, Namibia's premier
wildlife reserve, a haven for 114 mammal and 340 bird species
Andoni is the northern most
waterhole, close to the Nehale Lya Mpingana Gate. Especially
good for birds.
Klein Namutoni waterhole - the best place
to see black-faced impala
Fischer's Pan near Namutoni is
excellent for birds, good for springbok and wildebeest.
The best spot for large flocks of flamingo during wet
years when the pan is full.
Batia waterhole (between Halali and
Namutoni - near Springbokfontein) dries up during the
late dry season but is extraordinarily good for elephant, blue
wildebeest and springbok
Okaukuejo is the site of the Research
Station 17 km from the southern entrance of the park.
A good place for black rhino under the floodlights at
Halali Rest Camp is a well
shaded camp site in an area of dolomite outcrops. It
was opened in 1967 and is located midway between Okaukuejo and
Fort Namutoni is the
former imperial German fort 123 kilometres (76 mi) from
Okaukuejo. You'll find a good view from the ramparts
Ongava Game Reserve is the private
reserve at Andersson gate on the southern boundary. Night drives
and game walks are a feature. The white rhino here are particularly
Ongava Lodge is a small and exclusive
Wilderness Safaris property. One of the more luxurious places to
stay with great guides, good walking territory and the opportunity
to do night drives.
Little Ongava is the smallest of the
Wilderness Safaris lodges in the private Ongava Game Reserve. This
premier camp has only 3 suites for a more exclusive
Anderssons Camp is the site of the
original farmstead owned by the Swedish pioneer Charles
Andersson. The camp has 20 elevated tents.
Hobatere Concession adjacent to
western Etosha is accessible on a self-drive basis
Dolomite Camp, opened in 2011 offers restricted
access to the west of the park via the Galton Gate.
Mushara is a friendly collection of properties
owned and managed by the Pampe family.
Sossusvlei is a huge ephemeral
pan amid red sand dunes that tower as much as 300 metres above the
Kulala Desert Lodge is a
family friendly adventure camp within the private Kulala
Wilderness Reserve. With a private gate it offers the
closest point of access to the iconic dunes of
Little Kulala is a luxurious
premier camp with 11 climate-controlled, thatched
"kulalas" (the word means 'to sleep') which merge into the desert
Sesriem Canyon, about 4km from Sesriem is
a narrow fissure in the sandstone carved by the Tsauchab
Damaraland Camp in the Huab
Valley is a successful joint venture with the people of the local
Torra Conservancy. It's located in one of the most stunning
wilderness areas in the country.
Desert Rhino Camp is classic
tented camp in the remote Palmwag concession. One of the better
places to track free-ranging black rhino.
Windhoek Eros Airport
ICAO: FYWE) is located
about 5 km (3 mi) south of Windhoek's
central business district. All regional safari charters
operate from Eros.
Hosea Kutako International Airport
(IATA: WDH, ICAO: FYWH) The main
international airport serving the capital city of Windhoek.
Located 45 km (28 mi) east of the city.
Twyfelfontein has been inhabited for 6,000
years, first by hunter-gatherers and later by Khoikhoi herders.
Both groups used it as a place of worship. In the process of these
rituals at least 2,500 items of rock carvings have been created, as
well as a few rock paintings. Displaying one of the largest
concentrations of rock petroglyphs in Africa, UNESCO approved
Twyfelfontein as the country's first World Heritage Site in
Walvis Bay has for
centuries been a haven for sea vessels because of its natural
deepwater harbour, protected by the Pelican
Point sand spit. Attractions here include
Bird Island, Dune 7 and the city
The Brandberg is a spiritual site of great
significance to the San Bushman tribes. The main attraction
is The White Lady rock painting, located on a rock
face with other art work, under a small rock overhang, in
the Tsisab Ravine at the foot of the mountain. The ravine contains
more than 1 000 rock shelters, as well as more than 45 000 rock
The Spitzkoppe are a group of bald granite
peaks or bornhardts located between Usakos and Swakopmund. The
granite is more than 700 million years old and the highest outcrop
rises about 1,784 metres (5,853 ft) above sea level.
Doro Nawas is a small adventure style camp used
as a base for exploring the local rock engravings, Organ
Pipes, Burnt Mountain, Doros crater and Petrified Forest.
Camp Kipwe originally known as Francolino Fly
Inn has sweeping views across the Aba Huab
Zimbabwe/Botswana borderpost, Kazangula
The Fish River Canyon is the largest canyon in
Africa, as well as the second most visited tourist attraction in
Namibia. It features a gigantic ravine, in total about 100 miles
(160 km) long, up to 27 km wide and in places almost 550 metres
Etambura Camp perches on a marble
outcrop just beyond the Onuwa plains and south of Red Drum in the
Orupembe Conservancy. Despite having found its way onto TripAdvisor
would-be visitors still run the risk of getting lost whilst
searching for this gem! Endemics galore.
Comatum valley aerial with the road heading
south from Puros down to Sesfontein. The river bed carries seasonal
flood waters down into the Hoarusib valley.
Sesfontein, the site of the old German
military outpost and fort originally built in 1896. Last fuel stop
when heading north to Puros and beyond.
Obias wild camping
Ganamub wild camping
Möwe Bay is named after the German cruise ship,
The Möwe, noted for log book recordings of the first official
sightings of Cape fur seals off the coast of southern Africa in
1884. The Bay is approximately 10km north of an ephemeral river -
the Hoanib, which doubles up as the unofficial border between
Damaraland and Kaokoland. (Not accessible on a self-drive trip)
Hoarusib River Mouth is the exit point for this
300km long ephemeral river.
Huab River Mouth
Ugab River Mouth
Auses Spring is part of the linear oasis
system in the lower reaches of the valley
The Oasis, one of the larger springs found in
the linear system of oases in the Hoanib dunefields
Mara National Reserve
Offers easy access into the Classic 7-day Kenya Safari
and the Spirit
of Kenya Safari.
Offers easy access into the Classic 7-day Kenya
Safari and the Spirit of Kenya Safari.
Amboseli National Park renowned for its
stunning views of Kilimanjaro and its elephant herds
Vamizi Island one of the archipelago's
remotest island lodges is located here on what is arguably the most
stunning island in the north
Island is an uninhabited island
paradise surrounded by the pristine waters of a marine
Pemba Town is the closest
major city and airport for those who wish to visit Quirimbas
Island lies just 4
kilometers off the mainland and boasts two secluded
beaches, a lake and beautiful coral reefs.
Ibo Island with
its 200-year-old ghost town and 16th Century forts make
for a fascinating journey to an era long forgotten
Medjumbe Private Island a small (800x350m)
and exclusive sandbar island
Metundo Private Island has four
main beaches two lagoons and a saltwater lake protected by more
than 5 km of coral reef
Vilanculos gateway to 4 islands in the
southern archipelago - Bazaruto, Benguerra, Santa Isobel
and Santa Carolina. Has an international
airport serving daily flights to
Bazaruto Island largest island in the
southern archipelago covered by the marine national
Island 2nd largest island in the
archipelago lying just 14km offshore
Gorongosa National Park includes just
over 4000 km² of savannah, woodlands and rainforest
Niassa Game Reserve
covers over 42000 km2 part of the
Trans-Frontier Conservation Area and links to the
Tanzanian Lukwika-Lumesule Game Reserve
Island a 20-minute
flight away from mainland Pemba the island is just 8 x 3 km in
Ulumbwa river mouth and
fishing villages spread along the Indian Ocean shoreline.
Sandbar islands are found offshore.
Benguerra Lodge has some of
the best beach views from its beachfront rooms
Azura Retreat with 16 villas is the
smallest and most luxurious and exclusive beach lodge on Benguerra
Bazaruto Lodge is a large and affordable
beach resort owned by the Portuguese Pestana
Anantara Resort at Indigo Bay is well suited to
active people and family groups
Queen Elizabeth National Park
Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
Kibale National Park
Hout Bay is a historic
and still-working fishing village. Its beautiful scenery makes it a
popular tourist attraction among both local and international
Hout Bay panorama by Kay CCA 2.5
Camps Bay, an affluent suburb
renowned for its white sandy beaches fringed by palm trees and its
Camps Bay from Lion's Head by Warrick Ball CCA-SA 3.0
City Bowl, is a
natural amphitheatre-shaped area bordered
by Table Bay and defined by the mountains
of Signal Hill, Lion's
Head, Table Mountain and
City Bowl by Andres de Wet CCA-SA 3.0
Cape Town International Airport
ICAO: FACT) is the primary airport serving
the city it's the second busiest airport
in South Africa and third busiest in
Cape Point, is situated within
the Table Mountain National Park, within a
section of the Park referred to as Cape of Good
Hope. The light of the new Cape Point lighthouse is the
most powerful on the South African coast, with a range of 63 miles
(101 km; 55 nmi) and an intensity of 10
megacandelas in each flash
"Kap-der-guten-hoffnung" by Bernhard Hecker CCA-SA 2.0
HQ and largest park camp with large camping terrain has
sites for caravans, motor homes and tents plus a variety
of bungalows to large
Skukuza also has 2 swimming pools, a
golf course, library, minor motor repairs, police station, post
office and even a bank.
Timbavati Private Game Reserve Established
1956, 533.92 km2 in extent,
6 hour drive from Johannesburg, 4x4 not necessary. Contains 10
lodges and 5 camps.
Thornybush Private Game Reserve proclaimed
in 1993, 140 km2 in extent, 5
hour drive from Johannesburg, 4x4 not necessary. Contains 9
Kapama Private Game Reserve established
1986, 130 km2 in extent. Contains
Sabi Sand Game Reserve is a grouping of
game reserves, 650 km2 in extent
sharing a 50km unfenced boundary with Kruger NP. Contains over 23
exclusive concessions and lodges.
Hoedspruit serves tourists
visiting private game reserves (such as Sabi Sands, Manyeleti,
Kapama, Timbavati and Thornybush) & provides access to
the main Park via the nearby Orpen Gate
Park well known coastal reserve for
its indigenous forests, dramatic coastline, and
the Otter Trail. Now amalgamated with
the Wilderness National Park and other areas to
form the Garden Route National Park.
CC SA 3.0
Hermanus Famous for southern right whale
watching during the southern winter and spring
CC BY-SA 3.0
Cape Agulhas is the geographic southern
tip of Africa and the official dividing point between the Atlantic
and Indian Oceans
CC BY-SA 2.0
De Hoop Nature Reserve One
of the components of the "Cape Floral Region Protected
Areas" World Heritage Site. Southern right whales can be seen
CC BY-SA 2.5
Mossel Bay where the first
Europeans landed on South African soil (Bartolomeu Dias and
his crew arrived on 3 February 1488)
several world class golf courses including
Pezula Golf Course, Simola Golf Course and Knysna Golf Course.
If you visit during July you'll catch the Oyster
Southern Right whales are a common sight from July to
December. Humpback whales migrate past
during July and December. Orca and Sei
whales are occasionally sighted.
Bloukrans Bridge Bungy is the
world's highest commercial bridge bungy at
216 metres (709 ft) above the Bloukrans
Jeffreys Bay is one of
the five most famous surfing destinations
(No.2 on the "Best in the world" surfing list)
Addo Elephant National Park is a
diverse wildlife conservation park situated
close to Port Elizabeth. It's the 3rd
largest of South Africa's 19 national
Elephant Addo by Brian Snelson
CC BY 2.0
Reserve 250 km2
in extent. Animal Planet series titled
"Shamwari: A wild life" ande British TV series
of Safari School were filmed at
the game reserve
Zebras by Kwang Cho CC BY 2.0
Kwandwe Private Game Reserve sits on 30 km
of privately owned Great Fish River frontage
Constantia - The
Winelands one of the oldest suburbs 15km south
of the city centre is famed for its wine
"Groot Constantia" by Tjeerd Wiersma CC BY 2.0
Stellenbosch - The
Winelands established in 1679 50km east of the
City this is the 2nd oldest European settlement in the Cape
Paarl - The Winelands South
Africa's 3rd oldest town 60km north-east of the city is famed on
the Cape wine route
"Paarl mountains" by Nick Boalch CCA-SA 1.0
Franschhoek - The
Winelands the Cape's "French Corner" 75km from Cape
Town is famed as the food and wine capital of South Africa.
"Huguenot Memorial Museum" by Dewet CC BY 2.0
More Quarters Luxury Apartment is owned
and managed by the More Family and an incredible family of staff
who take great pride in ensuring guests will have an experience
filled with passion and personality.Top Rated on Trip Advisor.
River Manor Boutique Hotel and Spa
is a graciously restored retreat at the leafy heart of
historic Stellenbosch in the Cape Winelands.Top Rated on Trip
The Omo Valley is home to some of the oldest
tribes in the world. We have access to four different cultures - as
unique to each other as the cuisine is to the Western palate. The
area is inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage Site list as
the Lower Valley of the Omo. Fossil findings associated with
Homo gracilis are located at a prehistoric site near Lake
Mago National Park has over 81 large mammal
species and a bird list of 237 species. The park is bisected by the
Mago River. Hammer, Benna, Mursi, Ngagatom, Ari, Karo, Body,
Kwegu communities here are known for their traditional culture,
body decoration, ceremonies, festivals, rituals, and other
Lalibela is an active Christian place of
worship with 11 monolithic rock-hewn churches inscribed on the
UNESCO World Heritage Site list. With white-robed hermit priests
making the ground breath with their music, this settlement is also
at 2,600m above sea level with inspiring views as a backdrop to the
Bahir Dar, (ICAO: HABD, IATA: BJR) is the 5th
largest city in the country with tourist amenities and easy access
to over twenty monasteries and the attractions of the Blue Nile
makes it a popular destination for budding explorers.
Lake Tana, source of the Blue Nile and largest
lake in the country has bright blue water created by copper
rich deposits. With 17 endemic fish species and a bird watchers
paradise, the lake has an other worldly atmosphere enhanced by the
papyrus boats still in use after hundreds of years of history.
Blue Nile Falls, also known as the Smoke of the
Nile, this 45m high, four-course waterfall is formed just after the
Blue Nile leaves Lake Tana. The river is 400m wide at the top, and
the narrow gorge is estimated to be 37m deep. Best viewed when the
nearby dam is in maintenance mode.
Addis Ababa (IATA:ADD, ICAO:HAAB) is the
"political capital of Africa" and 3rd highest city in the world.
Most visitors will get a fleeting glimpse of Addis as they travel
through to the rest of the country. The city has a distinctly
African vibe, and may feel other-worldly to the first-time
It's the entry point for both the historic tour to the north and the southern
safari to meet the tribes of the Omo Valley.
Several feeder stream flow into Lake Tana but the sacred source
of the Blue Nile is regarded as a small spring at
Tiya is the archaeological World Heritage
Site with 36 monuments, including 32 carved
stelae covered with cryptic symbols.
Rift Valley Lake Langano, 200km south of the
capital with its 1600 km square catchment is brown in colour and
bilharzia free. Birding is good in the area.
Arba Minch, named after abundant springs in the
area. Around 500km south of the capital at the base of the
western side of the Great Rift Valley near Nechisar
Jinka is a market
town approximately 275km south of Arba Minch. Located in
the hills north of the Tama Plains it's the capital of
the Debub Omo Zone.
Dimeka is the main town in Mamer country about
20km north of Turmi and 55km south of Key Afer. It's on the
southern end of Bena territory and is known for its busy Dimeka
market which attracts villagers every Saturday.
Turmi is the small but important market town
where Hamer from the nearby traditional villages congregate every
Omorate (or Kalem) is the end of the road for
regular travellers on edge of the Omo River. Dasanech villages are
found in the area or better still across the river.
Weita is a small settlement within Tsemai
territory. The people here are mixed subsistence farmers who
practice flood irrigation on the west bank of the Weita River.
Arbore is the small town around 50km south of
Weita where several tribal boundaries converge. There's a track
leading off here which runs down to Lake Chew Bahir. The Abore
people have traditionally acted as trading middlemen between the
lower Omo valley and the Konso up north.
The Konso Cultural Landscape, a UNESCO World
Heritage Site features 55km of
stonewalled terraces and fortified settlements. The Konso are known
as the people of wooden totems. They're largely
agriculturalists and weavers.
Mount Damot Gale
Yabello is known for the exclusive presence of
two of Africa's most range restricted bird species. The
white-tailed swallow and Streseman's bush crow. The route from the
west passes by a number of Erbore villages.
Awassa is the largest city in the Ethiopian
Rift Valley, capital of the Southern Nations, Nationalities,
and Peoples Region.
Axum or Aksum was
the original capital of the Kingdom of
Aksum. One of the oldest continuously inhabited
places in Africa dating from the 1st
to the 13th century. It was once the "most powerful state between
the Eastern Roman Empire and Persia". The deep history
of Axum is demonstrated in a number of sites including the stelae
field, museum, cathedrals and tombs.
Gondar, the "Camelot of
Africa" was home to a succession of Ethiopian Emperors in the 17th
and 18th centuries. The city holds the remains of of several royal
castles, including those in Fasil Ghebbi (the Royal
Enclosure) which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It's the best
place to act as a base for trips into the Simien Mountains.