En route from Addis Ababa towards the Danakil desert in northern Ethiopia
December 25-26-27, 2010
Danakil is a remote region which can be reached from Addis Ababa by driving along a paved road for a couple of days. Along the way, we take the opportunity to visit the interesting markets of Senbete and Bati, a crossroads of different cultures and ethnic groups, where people sell, buy and exchange everything ... from a pair of slippers to a camel.
The journey to Danakil starts from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia's capital, a city placed at an average latitude of 2500 meters. The first day is spent purchaseing part of the food needed for the expedition to the Danakil desert and preparing the equipment.
The next day we start early in the morning from Addis Ababa, driving to the north, along the paved road that heads towards the town of Kombolcha. The road crosses mountains and valleys at elevations between 2000 and 3000 meters, where there are numerous farms.
The group reaches Senbete town, for the visit to the interesting Senbete market held every Sunday, where different ethnic groups, such as the Oromos, the Afar and Amhara, meet all together to buy, sell or exchange any type of goods.
Senbete market pictures from Ethiopia. The women wear colorful clothes.
In the vast and chaotic Senbete market, there is an area designed to trade animals, especially camels (the average cost is equivalent to approximately 400 Euros), cattles and donkeys.
People and animals washing in a stream at the edge of Senbete market.
The journey continues north, crossing mountains, valleys and small towns made up of very humble homes (just little more than huts).
After an overnight Kombolcha, we visit the Bati market, the second biggest market in Ethiopia after the one in Addis Ababa, which is held every Monday. Here, like in Senbete, people belonging to different ethnic groups merge all together to sell, buy and exchange things. The market is huge, chaotic and covers an entire hillside. It is one of the most interesting market in Africa.
Tailors at work and women selling seeds and pasta.
A Bati market area dedicated to cereals, whose seeds are scattered on the ground amid the dust raised by walking people and animals .
Selling cereals for just a few Birr (Ethiopia's national currency)
Other Bati market pictures. Photos of women in their colorful clothes.
A Bati market area dedicated to vegetables and spices.
Like in most other african markets, of course, there is an area to trade animals.