Ethiopia to Cape Town 2013

8 months - with Gitane - Toyota Hiace 4x4 van

On the road #1

October 13, 2013  —  Ethiopia

In the north, Axum is well known for its huge stelae. However, other sites with more modest and less well-carved stelae are present in various sites around Ethiopia. We visited two of these sites.

Tuto Fela Stelae

Tuto Fela - Ethiopia

The Tuto Fela site contains 217 stelae. Some of them have been carved with interesting patterns. A stela marks the place where the members of the same family were buried.

It is fairly certain that the most beautiful stelae were raised for the richest people or members of the upper class (government, merchant, for example).

Tuto Fela - Ethiopia
Tuto Fela - Ethiopia
Tuto Fela - Ethiopia
Tuto Fela - Ethiopia
Tuto Fela - Ethiopia
Tuto Fela - Ethiopia

Our arrival didn't go unnoticed. A few minutes after stopping, it seems that all the village's children came to watch us.

Tuto Fela - Ethiopia
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Chelba Tutiti Stelae

Chelba Tutiti - Ethiopia

At the Chelba Tutiti site, stelae are not carved with patterns. However, many of them are bigger than those at Tuto Fela. Even though they are not all visible, the site contains more than 2000 stelae. There is very little certainty about the origin of these monoliths. The people living in the region have no oral tradition about the stelae. They could have been built by two different civilizations; at the 8th and 11th centuries.

On the following two photos, you may observe that a few stelae are very tall. The stelae are made from one piece of rock; imagine the work needed to carry a stela of a few metres.

Chelba Tutiti - Ethiopia
Chelba Tutiti - Ethiopia
The stelae can reach up to 8 metres in height.
Chelba Tutiti - Ethiopia
Chelba Tutiti - Ethiopia
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Ziway Lake

Ziway Lake - Ethiopia
Hamerkop.

The small Ziway Lake covers 424 km2 and has a maximum depth of 4 metres. It is a nice site for observing birds.

Ziway Lake - Ethiopia
Pelicans.
Ziway Lake - Ethiopia
Pelican.
Ziway Lake - Ethiopia
Lady preparing a meal.
Ziway Lake - Ethiopia
Transportation on the lake.
Ziway Lake - Ethiopia
Ziway Lake - Ethiopia
Fishing boats.
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Hare Shatan Crater

Hare Shatan Crater - Ethiopia
Hare Shatan Crater.

The Hare Shatan Crater means 'Place of the Devil' in the local Silti language. The site is very nice, and the children were friendly.

Hare Shatan Crater - Ethiopia
Gitane admiring the lake.
Hare Shatan Crater - Ethiopia
Hare Shatan Crater - Ethiopia
Hare Shatan Crater - Ethiopia
Hare Shatan Crater - Ethiopia
Our new friends... Always happy to see themselves on a photo.
Hare Shatan Crater - Ethiopia
Hare Shatan Crater - Ethiopia
Hare Shatan Crater - Ethiopia
The worst part is that this house has no electricity.
Hare Shatan Crater - Ethiopia
Traditional house.
Hare Shatan Crater - Ethiopia
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Adadi Maryam Church

Adadi Maryam Church - Ethiopia
Adadi Maryam.

Adadi Maryam is the first rock-hewn church that we have visited in Ethiopia. This old building is from the 12th or 13th century and is formed from a monolithic rock (hewn from a single piece of rock). The structure has been hewn on three sides; on the photo, one can see that a side is embedded with the original rock.

Adadi Maryam Church - Ethiopia
Hewn directly in the rock.
Adadi Maryam Church - Ethiopia
Inside the church.
Adadi Maryam Church - Ethiopia
Adadi Maryam Church - Ethiopia
Adadi Maryam Church - Ethiopia
Inside the church.
Adadi Maryam Church - Ethiopia
Well hidden.

There is really a church hidden under all this grass.

Adadi Maryam Church - Ethiopia
One of the priests... well, almost.
Adadi Maryam Church - Ethiopia
The front entrance.
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The countryside

Going to Adadi Maryam Church - Ethiopia

A few images of the Ethiopian countryside.

Going to Adadi Maryam Church - Ethiopia
Going to Adadi Maryam Church - Ethiopia
Going to Adadi Maryam Church - Ethiopia
Going to Adadi Maryam Church - Ethiopia
Adadi Maryam Church - Ethiopia