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12/05/19 - Webb Camp - Day Two - Part Three

This part of the plain, on the far side of the waterfall, was colorful. There were nyalas. We stopped and watched them. Then we explored some more, climbing here and there for a better view. We weren't as ambitious as we had been the day before. We made our way back to camp and rested.


A touch of pink

A herd of nyala

Those nyala again


Green and blue

A band of red and orange

More scenery

It was probably like this during the Middle Stone Age, except even colder and with glaciers on the mountains.

We could see the effects of erosion everywhere.

As we headed back to camp

Keywords: ethiopia

12/04/19 - Webb Camp - Day Two - Part Four

We took it easy for the rest of the day. We weren't up for another hike, and, besides, we had to pack. We took it easy and explored the area around our campsite. We tried to spot grass rats. The ground was full of their holes. Now and then, we would see them, but they were never still long enough to photograph. We checked the rock formations for hyrax and actually spotted one. It resisted posing, but we did get a photograph of a sort.

Our last evening with the waterfall

Rocks around the campsite

More rock formations

Walls of stone

The winner of the rock-paper-scissors-flowers competition

Scanning the rocks

A hyrax tail

Keywords: ethiopia

12/03/19 - Webb Camp - Day One - Part One

We woke up early at Webb Camp. It was definitely the luxury camping experience. We each had a cot with a proper mattress, clean sheets, wool blankets and a heavy futon like blanket that was probably six inches thick. They even threw in a hot water bottle. We needed all of them, the hot water bottle included, and it was so cold that we asked for two hot water bottles the next night.

We had our own private bathroom out behind the tent. This included a siphon flush toilet - just add water - and an outdoor shower. There was also a bowl and pitcher of water for washing up. That was frozen over by morning. We were at over 12,000 feet above sea level, and it was cold out. The tent was around freezing in the morning and the camp was set up facing west. That meant that the sun wasn't going to reach us until it had risen over the hills surrounding the east side of the camp.

We settled in for breakfast and watched the sun rise, the shadow of the mountains sweeping across the plain to our west. It was dark and cold, but there was a brazier in the dining tent, hot coffee and a hot breakfast. We had a view of the waterfall, Fincha Habera. We watched as the shadow crept closer and closer to us. Eventually, it lit up the falls. By the time breakfast was over the sun had reached our tent. The frost on the tent was was melting.

We went out for a walk. We descended to the base of the waterfall, crossed a stream and headed south. We left the protected river canyon and were soon heading across the plain with its scrub vegetation and distant mountains.

Our camp in early morning shadow

The waterfall in shadow

A broader view

The sun rises

The sun on the distant mountains

The waterfall in sunlight

A warthog

White collar dove

The Webb or Web or Weyib River

The plains

Life on the rocks

River valley


Geese and goslings

More river and mountains

Plant life

Wide open space

Keywords: ethiopia

12/02/19 - Webb Camp - Day One - Part Two

We kept our eyes open for wildlife, but there was lots to see right at our feet and off in the far distance. For example, there were spider webs over holes in the ground. Those holes were made by grass rats and turned into excellent traps for eight legged predators.

There were also red wolves. We only saw them in the distance. They were beautiful creatures. They mainly hunted smaller animals, like those incredibly useful grass rats and elusive giant mole rats. The wolves didn't bother the cattle who were grazing on the plains. In fact, we were told they use the cattle like stalking horses to hide their scent and lull their prey into a false sense of security.

We spent hours walking across the plain, now and then climbing up to a rise, then down into a valley. Then we saw a distinctive silhouette in the rocks above. It was a nyala, an antelope, and we were to see many more of them.

Hiking the plains

A spider web

Another web

A red wolf, the smaller animal, not the cow

Another red wolf

Natural rock art

Plains and canyons

Plant life

More plant life

Shrubs and flowers

Another close up

Yet another red wolf

That red wolf again

An eagle

At our feet

A distinctive silhouette

A nyala

Another glimpse of the river

Another view across the plain

Keywords: ethiopia

12/01/19 - Webb Camp - Day One - Part Three

We kept on going for a good long while. The air might have been thin, but it was cool, moist and invigorating. The plain was green and wide open, and there was always something else to see. Eventually, though, we tired and made our way back to the waterfall and our camp.

Yet another eaglee

Purple flowers in the green

The Webb River

Another river view as we returned

And yet another

Back to the waterfall

An eagle near our camp

Keywords: ethiopia

11/30/19 - Webb Camp - Day One - Part Four

We drove out again later to look for Nyalas. We walked back to the road, and we crossed the river. We forded a shallow section and then crossed again above the falls. It was still well before sunset, but there were nyalas about. We only walked about a bit, but we had some great spotting.

Another nyala

The plain

Gray stones and tones of green

Wide open sky

Orange growth on the rocks

If we hadn't been s tired, we would have wandered more.

A distant mountain

White flowers

Purple flowers


More scenery

The kind of rocks nyalas like

Late day light

Two nyalas, most likely a mother and child

Those two again

The river again, deep blue

Evening light back at camp

Keywords: ethiopia

11/29/19 - Webb Camp Arrival

It was a long day. First, there was the drive from Limalimo to Gondar. There was no hail this time. Then there was the flight to Addis Ababa, followed by another flight to Goba. One of our bags was lost in transit, and the airport at Goba only had flights three times a week. Luckily, we had redundancy in our packing. We'd have to do some improvising and share a toothbrush. Then came the drive from Goba to Robe to Dinsho at the entrance to Bale Mountain National Park. Finally, there was the drive to Webb Camp which, might also be Web Camp or Weyib Camp, depending on the transliteration of the name of the river.

Webb Camp really was a camp. We had to walk the last hundred meters or so, but there was our luxurious campsite with our sleeping tent, a dining tent, a cook tent and tents for the staff. Counting our guide and our driver, there were probably eight people working there so that we could explore in comfort. We've tried camping on our own before, decades ago. The air mattresses deflated, the tent blew away and our safety lantern ignited a small grass fire that was only suppressed thanks to quick action by more experienced campers at the site.

Did we mention the waterfall? Our campsite looked out over a waterfall. The dining tent had an excellent view of the waterfall. Then, exhausted from travel, we went to bed.

En route to our campsite

We were really tired, too tired to frame this picture properly. That's the doorframe of our car.

More open country at about 12,000 feet.

Canyon walls

Harsh high altitude light, either that or JJ Abrams was playing with lens flares

An eagle

In flight

A view from where we left the car

Our campsite

A local cat, not a house cat

The waterfall

Keywords: ethiopia

11/28/19 - Simien Mountains - Day Two - Part One

This was a less energetic day, but we traveled farther and higher. Again, we drove into the park and went well past the end of our previous days journey. Instead of climbing to something over 10,000 feet, we climbed to over 14,000 feet in search of ibex.

As we climbed, the country changed. It was grassland and drier. The views were spectacular. We even had a little adventure getting through a muddy patch. We walked a bit to lighten the load, That patch was a problem for others as well. Many people in Ethiopia get around by minibus, but, here, they had to stop, get out of the bus, take the baggage off the roof and help push the minibus through the mud.

We climbed even higher, and there they were, the ibex. They were huge antelope, and the males had dark beards and massive horns. The country was grassland, and dotted with lobelia, tall plants that look like some kind of palm tree. The ibex were calm, so we had some great views.

Dawn, from our hotel room

Two thick billed ravens

We passed many geladas en route

Drier country

A sign of high elevation, red hot poker plant in bloom

Lobelia grasslands

Mountain faces

An ibex

Another ibex

A classic high country pose

Yet another ibex

Two more ibex

Peeking out at us

Another one

Two more

Are those the same two?

A close up

Enjoying the high country

Rocks and lobelia

Keywords: ethiopia

11/27/19 - Simien Mountains - Day Two - Part Two

Here are some more pictures from the high country of Simien National Park. Yes, there are more ibex.

More high country

What happens when one doesn't drive carefully

Getting the minibus through the mud

A young ibex

More of the family

Under a lobelia

Chowing down

Ibex among the lobelia

More ibex

Eroded hills

A view down

Another view down - The haze offers a clue as to distance.


A small river


Lobelia forest

A stream

More grassland

Probably teff, a grain crop

Keywords: ethiopia

11/26/19 - Simien Mountains - Day Two - Part Three

On our way back down to Limalimo Lodge, we stopped to enjoy the views and admire some waterfalls.

One of the views

Another view

A green canyon

Looking far

A small waterfall.


A close up of a waterfall


An eagle in flight below us

Silhouette framed view

Down to greener country

More flowers

Yet another view

Shadowed mountain

A view from near the edge

Keywords: ethiopia

11/25/19 - Simien Mountains - Day One - Part One

Limalimo Lodge was wonderfully comfortable. It had the best food of any of the places we stayed. We started every day with avocado toast and for lunch and dinner enjoyed the lamb shoulder, fool, meatballs in tomato sauce, chicken stew with peanuts and a version of sweet and sour fried cauliflower that reminded us of General Tso's chicken. The power was intermittent, but they ran the generator around mealtimes. We made a point of taking a shower early since they had solar heated water.

We set off for the national park. We stopped by the office in Debark to pay our admission fee. Our guide knew everyone there, and they knew him. We drove to the park entrance where we picked up our guard, armed with an AK-47. We climbed higher into the park and had teasing views of one of the escarpments, a canyon wall, surprisingly green.

We took a good long walk. Our plan of working our way up from Addis Ababa at around 8000 feet to the Simien Mountains at 10000 to 12000 feet meant we were comfortable enough with the thin air for hiking. As we walked, we were surrounded by a familiar scent. We looked down. We were walking on wild thyme, a common ground cover.

We wandered a fair ways, across fields, into wooded valleys. We had spectacular views of the escarpment and the valley below. Then, there were geladas. There was an entire field of them. They didn't seem to be bothered by us, so we watched as they whole troupe ate and groomed and did the usual primate things. There were horribly cute babies and rambunctious teenagers. We felt right at home in the Simien Mountains.


The morning scene

Across the fields

Wild thyme

One of the birds

A bit of a view

Wild trees

A melon like fruit

A thick billed raven

More green fields


In the distance, geladas

They were totally unperturbed.

A baby leaping off of mom's back

Some of the gang

One of the old males

They're sometimes called lion monkeys.

Another view of the group

Mainly eating

Keywords: ethiopia

11/24/19 - Simen Mountains - Day One - Part Two

We walked further down the trail and, following a section of the road, we ran into another group of geladas. They were heading along the trail. Most took the easy route, but some of the younger ones preferred to scramble up an eroding section of the hillside, sometimes slipping and sliding.

We headed on, and there were even more spectacular views. The Simien Mountains are canyon country, but there is a lot of rainfall. Everything is lush and green, all but the steepest canyon walls.


Another old male gelada

Scrambling up the eroded cliff

Mom and baby

Another ride

Green country

Ground cover in bloom

One of the views

A view off the edge

Another view

A green tangle


Another view

More scenery

The trail

A teasing view

Yet more of the trail - We covered a fair bit of ground.

Another look

More ground cover

Keywords: ethiopia

11/23/19 - Simien Mountains - Day One - Part Three

We drove back to the lodge through Debark. There was a farmers' market in progress, but it was hard to photograph much of it. Still, the streets were busy with people and livestock and stores and stands selling just about everything.

Back out the lodge, we spotted an eagle perched on a tree. He or she was most cooperative, so we have a few good photographs including one in flight.

Then, we heard some commotion outside. We had visitors. A group of geladas were right outside our room. Geladas like to sleep at the base of canyons to discourage birds of prey. These were heading down and paid a call while passing our perch.

Debark, a market town

Fussball is surprisingly popular with young men in Ethiopia.

A poor photo of the farmers' market

The view waiting for us back at our room

That eagle

That eagle again

That eagle in flight


On the retaining wall

In the trees

Heading down the hill - There's a reflection of another primate there.



Keywords: ethiopia

11/22/19 - Simien Mountain - Sunrise

We woke up to an impressive sunrise at Limalimo in the Simien Mountains.

Morning color

More color


You can see a bit of the escarpment

Good morning!

Keywords: ethiopia

11/21/19 - Simien Mountains - On to Limalimo

We landed in Gondar and drove into town for lunch. It was a buffet serving traditional Ethiopian food and catering to tourists. Since we were tourists and hungry, we greatly enjoyed it. We had injera with wonderful beef tibs and tried the lentils and beets. There were just too many dishes for us to try many of them.

Then we headed on to the Simien Mountains. Our road quickly took us out to the countryside. We headed into the hills and quickly gained elevation. The skies turned gray. We kept on our way, through towns and through countryside. Then, as we neared Limalimo Lodge, where we would be staying, the rain burst into hail. It clattered on our windshield. The driver turned up the heat in our car.

Our lodge was welcoming. We arrived late, in time for the sunset light and the dramatic moonrise.

The restaurant in Gondar

A woman roasting coffee at the restaurant

The buffet

The darkening skies - in a rather dark picture

The view from our car

Terraced fields

A town scene

A mosque

Traffic jam


Evening light

The view from our room at Limalomo Lodge


Our welcoming lodge


Keywords: ethiopia

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