Wanderlust

Literary journeys for the discerning traveler

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Exploring Ethiopia by Helicopter

By GeoEx Staff | 8/12/16

Helicopter landing on the Danakil depression salt falt in Ethiopia with GeoEx.

Ethiopia is an ideal country to explore by helicopter. How else could you journey from the electric palette of the Danakil Depression at 410 feet below sea level, to the scrub-covered spires of the Simien Mountains, to the sheer cliffs of the Tigrai Mountains pocked with rock-carved churches, to a rite of passage bull-jumping ceremony in the Omo Valley? These sites are only half of what GeoEx experts Kate Doty, Starla Estrada, and Urs Hofmann saw as they traveled across Ethiopia by Eurocopter AS 350. The photos and videos below illustrate a small sampling of their adventures in Ethiopia, a country Starla calls “one of the most interesting and complex countries I've visited–challenging, fascinating, and endlessly rewarding.”

Exploring the Danakil Depression in Ethiopia with GeoEx.
The otherworldly Danakil Depression presents a steaming cauldron of colors. Photo: Starla Estrada


A caravan driver rests on the helicopter in Ethiopia with GeoEx.
In the Danakil Depression, a camel caravan driver sits beside the helicopter for a moment's rest. Photo: Urs Hofmann


Salt caravan camel drivers rest on our helicopter in the Danakil Depression with GeoEx.
Caravan drivers in the Danakil Depression pose with the helicopter. Photo: Starla Estrada


Watching camels carrying salt along the Danakil Depression in Ethiopia with GeOEx.
A camel caravan plods through the Danakil Depression on the way to load up with salt slabs. Photo: Urs Hofmann


In the Danakil Depression, the only noise was the slow sauntering of the camels bound for the salt slabs. Video: Urs Hofmann


Meeting women walking down the street of old town, Harar, Ethiopia with GeoEx.
In Harar, women walk on a street near their home. Photo: Urs Hofmann

 

Walking down Birbir Street in Harar, Ethiopia with GeoEx.
Via Birbir in Harar's old town gets its name from the sound of the sewing machines that line the streets. Photo: Urs Hofmann


Observing market negotiations in Harar, Ethiopia with GeoEx.
Women sell vegetables along Harar's Via Birbir. Photo: Urs Hofmann


Running in to some of the local wildlife in the streets of old town Harar, Ethiopia with GeoEx.
Donkeys rest on a quiet street, away from the market, in Harar's old town. Photo: Urs Hofmann 


Meeting camels in Hara, Ethiopia with GeoEx.
Camels pose at a market near Harar. Photo: Urs Hofmann


Visiting a rock carved church in Lalibela, Ethiopia with GeoEx.
Lalibela's spectacular treasures include eleven churches carved from rock. Photo: Starla Estrada


Watching the sunset over a rock carved church in Lalibela, Ethiopia with GeoEx.
Visitors and residents watch the sunset over one of Lalibela's rock-hewn churches. Photo: Urs Hofmann


A priest at a rock carved church in the Tigrai Mountains, Ethiopia with GeoEx.
A priest sits outside his cave church in the Tigrai Mountains. Photo: Urs Hofmann


Looking at the Tigrai Mountains from the helicopter in Ethiopia with GeoEx.
Traveling by helicopter offers a bird's-eye view of the cliffs in the Tigrai Mountains. Photo: Starla Estrada


A priest shows his manuscripts in the Tigrai Mountains, Ethiopia with GeoEx.
A priest holds a bible written in Ethiopian script (Ge'ez) inside a cave church in the Tigrai Mountains. Photo: Starla Estrada


Visiting a tribal home in the Omo Valley in Ethiopia with GeoEx.
In the Omo Valley, the Dorse tribe's huts are built of bamboo and false banana leaves. Photo: Urs Hofmann


Hamar tribesmen dance in the Omo Valley. Video: Urs Hofmann


A guide paints the face of a friend in the Omo Valley in Ethiopia with GeoEx.
A local Omo Valley guide paints the face of a trip leader, Kelly, for the bull jump ceremony. Photo: Urs Hofmann


Hamar tribesmen get ready for the bull jump ceremony in the Omo Valley, Ethiopia with GeoEx.
Hamar tribesmen prepare for the bull jump ceremony. Photo: Urs Hofmann


Hamar people at a market in the Omo Valley, Ethiopia with GeoEx.
Hamar women sell goods at the Dimeka market in the Omo Valley. Photo: Urs Hofmann


Met a Mursi woman in the Omo Valley, Ethiopia with GeoEx.
A Mursi tribeswoman decorated for the bull jump ceremony poses in the Omo Valley. Photo: Urs Hofmann

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Ready to board your own chopper over Ethiopia? GeoEx's Africa expert Starla Estrada will gladly help you plan your journey; give her a call at 888-570-7108. You can also learn about our overland trip here: Ethiopia: The Island of Africa




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