Rewilding: 1. the act of letting human shaped landscapes return to a natural state with minimum human intervention.2. Reintroducing indigenous animal and vegetal species into ecosystems where they were found before human impact. Gefersa Lake (Buffalo Lake, in Oromiffa), a … Continue reading →

Kaizen – ካይዘን

        Kaizen will most immediately bring to mind the Zen philosophy of the Zen School of Buddhism in Japan. Zen Buddhism has won a lot of converts in the west in the last few decades, with its … Continue reading →

Camembert d’Ethiopie

          A ‘Camembert d’Ethiopie’ from a homage to Jean-Michel Cornu de Lenclos, part of the presentation I gave last week at the Alliance Française of Addis Ababa on French writers in Ethiopia. The Camembert d’Ethiopie was … Continue reading →

L’ Ethiopie est un roman… better read in French!?

    Conference at the Ethio-French Alliance of Addis Ababa Wednesday March 25 by Yves-Marie Stranger at 6.30 pm: ‘French Travelers and Writers in Ethiopia.’   Avec un hommage à Jean-Michel Cornu de Lenclos – Ecrivain, artiste et editeur – vous … Continue reading →

ሆሞ ቱሪስቲካ (Homo Turistica)

Last week I went to Debre Libanos, where “Near the turn off to the monastery is the so called 16th century Portuguese bridge…” (Lonely Planet guide to Ethiopia). On a walking tour in southern France I was amazed at the … Continue reading →

Pêro da Covilhã, gentleman traveller and tourist

      [500 years ago the first Ethiopian embassy reached Portugal – and five years later (in 1521) the first Portuguese embassy made it to Ethiopia. These diplomatic voyages – and the search for Prester John ‘of the Indies … Continue reading →

The Old Ways of Ethiopia

    Robert Macfarlane’s The Old Ways takes us on a pleasant stroll down the geographical memory lanes of the British Isles. In recent years cheap flights, ease of access and rising global interconnectivity – think smart phones and 24/7 … Continue reading →

A Seven Kilometer Long Sea of Cobbles

  Drive up the Gojjam, Northern, or Bahir Dar Road, from Piazza, past the Semien Hotel and into the Entoto Hills and you soon reach the customs/security checkpoint found on the col known as Kela, that forms the watershed between … Continue reading →

Itegue Taitu Hotel እቴጌ ጣይቱ ሆቴል

    The እቴጌ ጣይቱ ሆቴል, or Itegue Taitu Hotel – often affectionately simply referred to as ‘the’ Taitu – and also, during the military Derg regime, as the አውራሪስ / Awaris (Rhinoceros), in an attempt to uproot its royal … Continue reading →

Barara is Entoto is Barara?

    When Menelik chose Entoto as his residence he did so because his 19th century forebear, King Sahle Selassie of Showa, had once lain in the shade of a sycamore tree on the ridge above what is today Addis … Continue reading →

W on top of the ወorld

    The humble letter W – or ወ in Amharic – doesn’t seem to pull its weight in dictionaries and encyclopedias, sometimes seemingly just an added page or two in which to park weary words such as wagon and … Continue reading →

Ethiopia Engraved New Edition/short review

Ethiopia, from the 6th century Greek traveller Cosmas to the 19th century London Illustrated News depictions of the noble Abyssinian king Theodoros reclining amidst his tame lions, has long incited the imagination of artists – and from Theseus delivering Andromeda … Continue reading →

ኢትዮጵያ በሰማያዊ እና ነጭ አጭር ዕይታ (Ethiopia in a Blue and White Nutshell/Amharic)

(Translation by Samuel Asfaw) አንዳንድ ጊዜ ባህል እንደ ሹፌር ጋቢና ወንበር ላይ ተቀምጦ እና በሹፌር ሊገለፅ ይችላል። ለምሳሌ በእንግሊዝ እና በፈረንሳይ መካከል ያለውን የትራፊክ አደጋ እንመልከት።በየመንገዱ ጥግ የሚቆሙ መኪናዎች በማይበዙበት፤ የመንገድ መጥበብም እንደ እንግሊዝ በማያስቸግርበት በፈረንሳይ ውስጥ በመኪና አደጋ የሚሞተው … Continue reading →

Uthiopia on The Guardian Cities World City Challenge

Uthiopia is on The Guardian City Challenge Fri 9.36 GMT ( ) with new Addis Ababa Light Railway:     Uthiopia has written (in a wayward fashion) about Addis Ababa’s urban development (and transport) before: Ethiopia in a Blue and … Continue reading →

Addis Ababa (& Ethiopia) at the Crossroads

The Guardian is featuring today a series of articles on Ethiopia – 30 years later: Ethiopia, 30 years after the famine Government and Geldof help transform village at center of famine Addis Ababa’s Changing Landscape And, the last to pull … Continue reading →

Gudu the Highland Horse Market

When I first went to Gudu just a few years ago, there were a few mud houses, and no electricity. Today, Ethiopian pop blasts out of three or four coffee houses – and they even have espresso machines. A hotel … Continue reading →

Le Syllabaire Abyssin

    Contes d’Abyssinie à la manière de Schwob et sous la forme sibylline d’un fidélaire abyssin – (33 chapitres correspondant aux 33 symboles majeurs de l’alphasyllabaire g’eez). Un homage à Jean-Michel Cornu de Lenclos (Saigon, Indochine, 13 juin 1956 … Continue reading →

Meskel Adebebey – the Square of the Cross

  Meskel Adebebey – the Square of the Cross – has long been the symbolic crossroads to Addis Ababa. In the early days of the city, and until quite recently, the square marked the beginning of ‘Asmara Mengued’ – the … Continue reading →

ባቡር Babur

    The  onomatopoeic word for train in Amharic – you can distinctly hear the chug-a-chug of the steam engine racing down the tracks toward the Red Sea port of Djibouti – is in fact not onomatopoeic at all. ባቡር … Continue reading →