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Ethiopia: Awassa

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Awassa > Ethiopia > Africa

[Visited: August 2010]

When we arrived at the fishmarket, we were initially greeted by the marabou, a large stork so ugly it made us feel sorry for him. A huge tree was full of them, but they were also walking the ground on their high legs, as tall as a child, sometimes flying overhead with their remarkable shrieks - but we would find most near the fishermen. A small group of women was selling other stuff under a tree, and from here, we saw the place where the fishermen bring their catch. They were ordering their nets, some were cleaning their freshly caught fish, or feeding marabous and pelicans some of the leftovers.

Picture of Awassa (Ethiopia): Just after the catch: African fish eagle taking off Lake Awassa

From the busy part of the fishermen, surrounded by many marabous, we walked to the area where the fish were actually being cleaned, filed, and cut. Some boys were even filing the fish with their teeth, a strange sight. Close to this place, we found several stalls selling fish, and we tasted some of the fried fish that we knew had to be very fresh; it was, indeed, delicious. A short drive through Awassa from here took us to the shore of Lake Awassa. The shore seemed pretty shallow, with reed growing on all parts, which men with long sticks were harvesting. Renting a boat was easy enough, and we sailed along the shore towards the north.

Picture of Awassa (Ethiopia): Reordering their nets: fishermen at the Awassa fishmarket

Here, we found a group of hippos. The boatman stopped the engine, and we stayed in this place to watch the giant animals float, go under (always wondering where they would get up!), blowing water into the air and rotating their small ears very fast whenever they came up, opening their enormous mouths, and some even getting into a fight. Apart from the hippos, we saw and heard plenty of birds in this attractive area for animals. Going back to Awassa, we noticed that the African fish eagle we had seen before, was still sitting on top of a bare tree, and just as we passed, the mighty animal with its white head started a dive towards the water that turned out to be deadly for a fish just ahead of our boat. We almost could not believe it happened so close to our eyes: the eagle flying away with his catch in his right claw while returning to his tree for a nice lunch. It was a lucky end of our visit of Awassa.

Picture of Awassa (Ethiopia): Sigh - a pod of hippos in Lake Awassa
Picture of Awassa (Ethiopia): Ethiopian girl with a small goat near the fishmarket in Awassa
Picture of Awassa (Ethiopia): Filing fish with his teeth: Ethiopian boy at the fishmarket of Awassa
Picture of Awassa (Ethiopia): Smiling boy at the fishmarket of Awassa
Picture of Awassa (Ethiopia): Fisherman preparing one of his fish at the fishmarket of Awassa
Picture of Awassa (Ethiopia): Fish being prepared at the fishmarket of Awassa
Picture of Awassa (Ethiopia): Fishmarket of Awassa
Picture of Awassa (Ethiopia): Pelican landing near the fisherboats moored on Lake Awassa
Picture of Awassa (Ethiopia): Harvesting reed on Lake Awassa
Picture of Awassa (Ethiopia): After the catch: Ethiopian fishermen on their boats at the shore of Lake Awassa
Picture of Awassa (Ethiopia): Inlet of Lake Awassa where fishermen and marabous gather
Picture of Awassa (Ethiopia): Egrets having a break on a pipe over Lake Awassa
Picture of Awassa (Ethiopia): Enjoying the shallow waters of Lake Awassa: Ethiopian men having fun

Around the World in 80 Clicks

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