Ethiopia: On The Road

4'30 podcast on the road in Ethiopia through the Rift Valley

Ethiopia’s roads are a tangled spiderweb around the capital city, Addis Ababa, but as you drive out of the city, the highway gives way to lush greenland, the smell of wild strawberries and little shops dotted along the streets selling freshly ground coffee beans and avocados from nearby plantations.

Mulugeta holding forth at a coffee plantation in the Rift Valley

This week, I made the three-day journey to the Rift Valley in Southern Ethiopia. I had been warned the roads were bad, but I wasn’t quite prepared for what was in store.

Luckily, I had two colourful characters to entertain me on the road: Binyam, our fixer and Mulugeta, an agronomist and seemingly a bit of a poet.

Along the way, we ate injera and mashed lentils, drank a lifetime supply of coffee and met farmers harvesting their crop and planting out groundnuts for the summer.

On the Road with stunning views of the Rift Valley

For the rest of the week, I’ll be in the Rift Valley with the Borena tribe, an agro-pastoral clan who work on their land and travel to find pasture for their animals. I’ll be visiting a local market, meeting an astrologer and finding out how tribes in this part of Ethiopia predict the weather patterns. Spoiler: some sacrifice their livestock to find out when the rains will come.

The rocky road south to Yabelo

If you have any questions, drop them in the comment box below or tweet me @mllenicolakelly. Hopefully I’ll be able to get Internet access again soon.

Speak to you next week!

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