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Bigfella heads for the 'Heart of Darkness'.....sorta

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  • #76
    Originally posted by Gun Boat View Post
    Stupid I know. I cannot believe how far my idea of this country has been off the actual reality. When I first saw your posts my immediate reaction was 'BF must have a death wish' thinking along the lines of my Blackhawk Down/constant civil war perception. I take it the deserts of eastern Ethiopia keeps much off the Somalian 'riff raff' out? Or does my perception of Somalia need an equal reality check? In my defence I did watch a Ross Kemp doco on Somalia and the place seemed a bit 'loose'.
    No, your perception of Somalia is about spot on. Well, to be more precise, your perception of Eastern Somalia is spot on. Somalia is basically 3 units at the moment. The Eastern bit runs from the Kenyan border to a line from the 'pointy bit' of the Ethiopian border to the Indian Ocean. It is about as fucked up as a place gets. That is where Mogadishu is, so it is the focus of struggles for control of the 'government'.

    Ethiopia has had troops there for years - the reason for the terrorist threat I mentioned. There is occasional 'spillover' into a relatively unpopulated bit of Ethiopia, and tourists are advised not to go east of a town called Jijiga. I landed there by plane on my way to somewhere else. There is nothing to see there, and the nothing gets bigger as you go east.

    The northern corner of Somalia in Puntland. It has been autonomous since 1998 and has been less fucked up (less), but it has had issues & it is the point of origin for most of the pirates. Dodgy but quasi-functional.

    Puntland - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    The top bit running to the border of Djibouti is Somaliland. It is roughly equivalent to the old British colony (if you want to go for cliche', all the worst governed bits of the Horn of Africa were ex-Italian colonies :) ). it has been autonomous since 1991. it is peaceful, prosperous & democratic. Peaceful elections & changes of government & all. Has its own currency, central bank, airline etc. They are pushing for independence but lack powerful sponsors. Hopefully they get there. I'd love to visit one day, but tourism isn't well developed.

    Enjoying the pics very much. So many things I would never associate with what was my idea of Ethiopia.
    Glad to hear it mate. That is one of the things I'm trying to do. Ethiopia is a place that is badly misunderstood. Such a great place. People should see it. Oh, some of the best pics are yet to come!

    I have a friend there who runs a tour company. he packages up Ethiopia/Kenya tours, so people can do the whole 'safari' thing but also get to experience a safe, friendly African country with a deep history. Great idea for mine.
    Last edited by Bigfella; 14 Dec 13,, 14:08.

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