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Birds heard or seen on waking up - always a good way to start a day:

Ross’s Turaco – at Riverside campsite, Iringa, Tanzania

Djibouti Francolin – on escarpment next to camp at Dittilou, Djibouti

Stone Partridge – at least 5 individuals woke me up on 1 January 2000

Yellow-fronted Parrot – very noisy over the campsite at Wondo Genet

Mountain Nightjar – in the bush near Robe

Simien Fox – noisily scuffling around my Landrover in the middle of the night on Sanetti Plateau

Views of animals and birds that I will remember for a long time:

General - the tameness of almost all birds due to the fact that Ethiopians rarely eat any birds other than chickens, so hunting is rare

Lammergeier - While I was watching over the escarpment of the Jemmu Valley, a Lammergeier approached me from behind and passed over only feet above my head.  It then soared round nearby - I presume hoping that it's "attack" on me had pushed me over the edge!

Djibouti harbour - the shear number of birds that were lifers to me

Walia Ibex - one of the rarest species in Ethiopia.  We saw one sleeping on its side on the ground, but after a few minutes it got up and then wandered off.  Although it was nearly a kilometre away, it seemed much nearer - probably because it was only 100m aware horizontally - and about 1000m  below the ridge where we were watching from

Simien Fox - four animals seen just after dawn on the Sanetti Plateau were of such a beautiful colour in the frosted landscape

Ruspoli’s Turaco - after a long search, it was such somehow the most memorable lifer that I saw on the whole trip

Elephant - not what one normally expects to meet when leaving the Zimbabwe customs office!

Scenic views that are hard to forget:

Jemmu Valley - walking along the top of the escarpment gave amazing views, comparable to the Fish River Canyon (Namibia) and Grand Canyon (US)

Fantalle Crater - although I arrived after dawn, the lava flows, the crater itself and the greenness of the vegetation were an unusual sight

Gulf of Tadjoura - the vegetation-free black lava flows reaching right down to the azure blue sea was unlike anything I have seen before

Blue Nile Falls - after a short walk, they were impressive, but not somehow not equal to the more accessible Victoria Falls, or the powerful Murchison Falls on the White Nile

Simien Mountains - it is impossible to describe the eroded escarpments - the road passed along a narrow col only a 100 metres wide.

Bale Mountains - the opportunity to drive up to a elevation of 4350 metres was something I wasn't going to miss.  The vegetation changes were quite extraordinary

People who will be remembered:

General - the Ethiopian people are incredibly friendly and pleasant as individuals, but soon becoming very wearing when in groups

Steve Spawls - letting me stay for three nights, even though we had never met before, and providing me with a huge amount of information on the country, its people, fauna & flora

Guard at Jemmu - this person, who was watching over my Landrover when I camped in the Jemmu Valley typified the rural peoples'  attitude.  He was armed with a rifle, with plenty of ammunition slung over his shoulder, but when I emerged from my tent, all he did was to walk down, shake me by the had, and then vanished off into the bush - we were unable to exchange a word due to our language differences

Truck drivers from Djibouti - who assisted me when I ran out of fuel

Eshetu Bedane - proved to be an absolute mine of information on the local history, and made my visit to Lalibela such a wonderful experience

Farmers at Negele - who wouldn't allow me to camp in the bush on the edge of their farm, but insisted I stay at their farmstead so they could guard me and the vehicle, while refusing any form of payment or gift.

Dave Moyer - who was prepared to lend me a considerable sum of cash to get me out of Tanzania (perhaps that was his motivation?) and on to Zambia where I could use my credit card

An Ethiopian trip: 27/11/1999 to 17/01/2000Giles Mulholland 31 January 2000

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