It is now a little more than a week ago that I returned from and unforgettable journey to Africa. It’s been such a journey that expands horizons, gives new perspectives, creates new visions and changes beliefs and values. During my stay I worked for a month at local hospitals, an experience that was different in so many ways from what I had expected.
As the sun set it lit up the skies from below and turned everything red. We put on music and we were having a great time with the whole staff, listening to Dimmi, Promesses (the Obama song) – the speach that says:
“it doesn’t matter who you are, where you come from, what you look like or where you love…”
One of the guys told me he gets the chills everytime we listen to it. We agreed that we would listen to it every evening on the rest of the trek.
The guys on the pictures include Agapit, Rashiti, Kalisti, Thomas, Calvin, Gofrey, Hilary.
People around here believe it is the gateway to hell…
Sure enough it’s an intimidating experience: Its in the middle of the night and just few meters away waves of lava are splashing into the mountain side spraying lava up into the horizon in front of us.
Located at 160m below see level the Danakil Depression is the lowest, hottest and most hostile place on earth. The vulcanically active areas found in this desert are surreal: they look like something from a different planet. Some friends I have shown these pictures thought they were manipulated. They are not.
The Danakil region is inhabited the Afar people and their salt miners go here to chop salt blocks from the flat grounds. Caravans go from Afar Salt Mines to Mekele, the nearest large town, where 5 kg blocks of salt are sold for 22 Ehtiopian Birr, the equivalent of just one American dollar.
In September (2014) I went to the Lava Lake at Ert Ale (smokey mountain). The following days we saw a salt lake, a sulphur lake, salt mountains, an oil lake and the salt miners of the Danakil.
See more photos on the page for the Danakil Depression.
So here I am am on the road to Mekele in Ehiopia, a beautiful but really long drive. All of the sudden Halo comes on in the car radio, everybody is cheering, and I can’t help thinking “is there any place in the world where people don’t love this?”
This video shows my humble experience with the Matatus of Kenya: My friend Tekwane told me, that some of the of even more lighting and that these are sometimes joined by disco balls, posters, pictures, special seats – apparently, some have even installed used flightseats in their Matatus.
The greatest thing however, is that every day there is a new musical theme: there is reggae day, pop day, oldies day, party/dance day (friday), and so on… and the funny thing is, that traffic is so slow in Kenya that the driver has time to do proper DJ’ing while driving.
From ‘Maya ya Simba’ the rock where simba was born to baboons finishing off a Leopard, the wildlife in the Serengeti was so much more eventful than what I have seen in any other national park (Ngorongoro, Tarangire, Manyara). We had three days in Serengeti, which allowed for a full day game drive followed by an early-morning game drive the next day. We were able to go to distant areas to see wildlife play out with no one but us being present.