Archive for the ‘Karat-Konso’ Category

Jean Newbury writes:

Arba Minch

- Getting there on ‘level 1’ bus from Terra in Mercato, when buying ticket I insisted on a window seat and was given (with a chuckle) seat number 01. This is across from the driver and offers amazing views out of the windshield. Downside is you won’t be allowed to sleep, I received sharp prods every time I drifted off! View will keep you going though.

- Main draws – park and crocodile market – are very tough without a group, own transport or enough money to hire a 4×4 ($150 a day). I hung around the park entrance to try and join a group, but the shifty guides were most unhelpful and reluctant to allow this. Walk to 40 Springs is worth it.

- Lake Abaya jetty, 500m or so past the crocodile ranch, is not accessible. You can get to within 200m of the lake, but then swamp and marsh land block access. Don’t try and walk it – I saw a crocodile when I did, scary. Road there is pleasant, saw thirty or so baboons and white tailed monkeys.

- Avoid Kairo Hotel at all costs. Worst hotel I’ve stayed in to date and overpriced. Due to construction, it’s become the new Abaya Hotel – buses leaving early, condoms in drawer, might as well have slept in the church it’s so close and loud.

- Tourist Hotel does not sell pizzas.

- Arba Minch market is worth a wander, small but colourful (I saw it on a Wednesday).

- Really recommend walking to the hilltop church in Secha for the sunrise over the lakes. Go West at the Oil Libya roundabout (past hotel Roza), you’ll see the red, yellow and green coloured church on the hill straight ahead.

Dorze

- Guides are not mandatory for a visit to the weaving and potters cooperatives (100 bir for entrance to both).

- Local buses from Arba Minch leave when full and there are no minibuses running the route. The bus is 18 bir, don’t pay more.

Chencha

- Market doesn’t really kick off until past 11am.

- Buses leave to Arba Minch when full, reserve seat with bag and go for a walk.

- Easy walk from Dorze or flag a free lift with a passing bus.

Konso

- Simple day trip from Arba Minch with frequent minibuses (30 bir). Amazing scenery.

- For Konso village (Dekatu – 3km walk up hill, past museum), guide is not necessary

1) Abey Roads Travel (http://www.abey-roads.com/pages/index.php) is a highly recommendable tour operator run by a young, entrepreneurial Ethiopian. The service was friendly and reliable.

2) Gurasho Gumacho Masulo, the only licensed tour guide in Karat-Konso (Southern Ethiopia) who’s actually from Konso. He was very friendly and knowledgeable (Contact: email: gurgum33@yahoo.com; phone: 0910308997; mobile: 0467730391).

Ben and Rocio