Nechisar National Park close Arba Minch 056

Despite many warnings we decide to go to the Mursi people, the plate lip people. It’s a pretty long distance and a very bad road, but we want to go there. But before we visit Nechisar National Park.

We leave the Rift Valley and turn onto a dirt road towards Arba Minich. Here again, life changes dramatically. In Africa, progress and development takes place only along paved roads. Once you get on a gravel road, people live back 100 years. Donkey carts and huts dominate the landscape. This has to do with the distances. On a paved road you need an hour for 100 kilometers on a bad gravel road a whole day. This inhibits the transport of goods and merchandise, and also the way to educational institutions are in fact unattainable.

rural Ethiopia
rural Ethiopia

We drive along the lake Abaya and have only a few miles to Arba Minich. Since we cannot visit Nechisar National Park without 4×4, we join two Dutch couples and take a boat trip to the Nechisar National Park .

rural Ethiopia
rural Ethiopia

With a minivan from Toyota, we go to the shore of the lake where the boat men wait for us. The Dutch are as well on their way to Cape Town. We have a lot of fun with the two couples, so the tour promises to be quite funny.

Nechisar National Park
Nechisar National Park

The last few meters, we have to walk to the boat and the adventure begins here, because we need some kind of balancing over a wooden ladder that is just laid on the water. In each hand bags and backpacks, of course we get our feet wet, thank God there are no crocodiles around.

Nechisar National Park
Nechisar National Park

Quickly we are sitting in the boat and off we go. The boat ride is nice, because the scenery is beautiful and the temperature on the lake is not too hot, the breeze of the wind cools a bit.

After just a short drive, we see the first crocodiles. Impressive are the huge animals. Up to five meters in length, they can grow,explains the boatmen.

The boatsman sees hippos in the distance. We drive closer. Hippos are more dangerous than crocodiles for boats because if they feel disturbed, they sometimes attack a boat, dive under the boat and throw it over. There are frequent accidents with hippos report the locals.

Nechisar National Park
Nechisar National Park

Also impressive is a pelican colony, but the waves get higher and the nutshell rocks pretty hard. We must return to shore.

The trip was shorter than planned, but was a great experience and the boatmen were very busy to show us a lot of animals. Again wet feet, the rest of the day we spend on the terrace of the campsite, which is connected to a hotel. From here we have a great view of the park.

Campsite
Campsite

In Ethiopia, there is actually no camping, so it is customary, that hotels let their lawn for camping, usually you get the key for a room, so you can use the shower and toilet.