Ethiopia

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Overview

Of all the African nations, Ethiopia is most prone to misconceptions. The 1985 famine and the cracked barren earth of the Danakil Depression are not images quickly forgotten. But this fully updated guide refocuses the lens to reveal an ancient country that continues to surpass all expectations: from the ancient Judaic cultures of the fertile highlands to the colourful animist people of the South Omo Valley, from the Afro-pine moorland of the Bale Mountains National Park to the thundering Blue Nile Falls. This ...

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Ethiopia

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Overview

Of all the African nations, Ethiopia is most prone to misconceptions. The 1985 famine and the cracked barren earth of the Danakil Depression are not images quickly forgotten. But this fully updated guide refocuses the lens to reveal an ancient country that continues to surpass all expectations: from the ancient Judaic cultures of the fertile highlands to the colourful animist people of the South Omo Valley, from the Afro-pine moorland of the Bale Mountains National Park to the thundering Blue Nile Falls. This book also leads you further off the beaten track, so travellers can see more of the expansive beautiful land, believed to be the cradle of humankind.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“The Bradt Guide has almost everything you need to read about the country’s history, tourist attractions and hotels, and proves itself to be an invaluable companion while in the country." SX News

 

"Thorough and reassuring, it provides all the practical and background information to make readers leap from their armchairs and visit this vast, magical country." The Daily Telegraph (UK)

"Essential reading for anyone with the remotest interest in Ethiopia ... a complete reference book to Ethiopia as well as an excellent travel guide." Travel Africa

"Highly personal and informative guidebook ... his enthusiasm is reflected in every chapter." Business in Africa

"An indispensable handbook for anyone wishing to visit Ethiopia." The Guardian(UK)

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781841622842
  • Publisher: Bradt Publications UK
  • Publication date: 7/15/2009
  • Edition description: Fifth
  • Edition number: 5
  • Pages: 624
  • Product dimensions: 5.30 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Philip Briggs has been exploring the highways, byways and backwaters of Africa since 1986, when he spent several months backpacking on a shoestring from Nairobi to Cape Town. He first visited Ethiopia in 1994 to research the Bradt Guide and has since revisited it several times to update more recent editions. He has visited more than two dozen African countries in total and written about most of them for specialist travel and wildlife magazines including Africa Birds & Birding, Africa Geographic, BBC Wildlife, Travel Africa and Wanderlust. He still spends at least four months on the road every year, usually accompanied by his wife, the travel photographer Ariadne Van Zandbergen, and spends his rest of the time battering away at a keyboard at home in South Africa.

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Read an Excerpt

Chat

I don’t know where else to put this, and you do eat it! Chat is a mildly stimulating leaf that is traditionally popular with Muslims (who are forbidden from drinking alcohol) and is now chewed throughout Ethiopia. For readers who have visited Kenya, it is pretty similar to miraa, though I gather not exactly the same plant (and you see few Ethiopians with the manically glazed eyes I’ve come to associate with miraa-ed out Kenyans).

Chat ceremony is generally a social thing. The idea is for a few people to gather in a room, where you each grab a few branches, pick off the greenest leaves, pop them into your mouth one by one, mush it all up into a cud, chew for a few hours and then, with whatever strength is left in your jaw, spit out the remaining pulp. Ideally, you devote the afternoon to group mastication, then go for a few beers to neutralise the sleeplessness that the leaves induce. The leaves taste very bitter so a spoonful of sugar helps it all go down. Now, I must admit that to me the effort involved in spending the afternoon chewing myself into foul-tasting oblivion holds little appeal – especially when all sorts of cheap, pleasant-tasting, no-effort-required alcoholic substances are available in Ethiopia – but chat has its devotees among travellers. It must be said that not everybody will spend their spare Ethiopian afternoons dashing about towns, plotting maps and checking out hotel rooms. As an Ethiopian friend says: ‘chat ceremony is good for killing time’.

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Table of Contents

Introduction
PART ONE GENERAL INFORMATION
Background Information
Natural History
Practical Information
Health & Safety
PART TWO: THE GUIDE
Addis Ababa
Around Addis
Western Amhara
Eastern Amhara
Tigrai
Awash National Park & Afar
Harar & Dire Dawa
The Moyale Road
Bale & the Southeast
The Southwest
Western Highlands & Gambella
Appendix 1 Language
Appendix 2 Glossary
Appendix 3 Key Historical and Legendary Figures in Ethiopia
Appendix 4 Some Ethiopian Transcriptions of Place Names
Appendix 5 Further Information
Index

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