(Day 25) Day of Leisure at Addis Ababa – 24 April 2011
Distance for the day – 0 km Odometer – 8 740 km
Hours on the Bike – 00:00
Donations up to date for Adelaide Hospital – R 77 327.00
We had a wonderful day of rest to get up to speed again, have the washing seen to, gone through the bikes for the next phase of our trip. The initial plan was to maybe do a day tour of Addis, but things were rather quiet on this Easter Sunday and we all were just happy not to start the bikes.
Some interesting facts about Ethiopia are that this country is also one of the oldest sites of human existence known to scientists today. When Africa was divided up by European powers at the Berlin Conference, Ethiopia was one of only two countries that retained its independence. The country is a land of natural contrasts, with spectacular waterfalls and volcanic hot springs. Ethiopia has some of Africa’s highest mountains as well as some of the world’s lowest points below sea level. The largest cave in Africa is located in Ethiopia at Sof Omar, and the country’s northernmost area at Dallol is one of the hottest places year-round anywhere on Earth.
Currently, Ethiopia is the top coffee and honey-producing country in Africa, and home to the largest livestock population in Africa.
Ethiopia, which has Africa’s second biggest hydropower potential, is the source of over 85% of the total Nile water flow. It was ironic though that we experienced power cuts for the last two days and standby generators had to assist. Richard had a frightening experience when he got caught up in a lift, with a power cut. The whole Hotel knew where he was, by the way he shouted. He said that he even considered to try to climb through the roof of the lift, like they do in the movies, but luckily did not find the escape door.
Ethiopia has great potential in Agriculture, as it is one of the most fertile counties in Africa. The Ethiopian constitution defines the right to own land as belonging only to “the state and the people”, but citizens may only lease land (up to 99 years), and are unable to mortgage or sell. Renting of land for a maximum of twenty years is allowed and this is expected to ensure that land goes to the most productive user. Agriculture accounts for almost 41 percent of the gross domestic product (GDP). Ethiopia is Africa’s second biggest maize producer. Ethiopia’s livestock population is believed to be the largest in Africa.
Today Ethiopia has the biggest economy in East Africa (GDP) as the Ethiopian economy is also one of the fastest growing in the world.
Addis Ababa, where we stayed the last two days is often referred to as “the political capital of Africa”, due to its historical, diplomatic and political significance for the continent.
The next few days travelling through Ethiopia are going to be a wonderful experience with the most beautiful scenery and we are very exited to bring you all the pictures. We intend to view the Blue Nile Gauge today and spend the night at Dejen. We believe that Internet coverage is going to be a problem over the next few days, which would also affect our position feedback on “Where are we now?”