Culture The Beauty of Africa

Bad Facts About Ethiopia

Bad Facts About Ethiopia
Avatar of Teresa Mwangi
Written by Teresa Mwangi

The land of sweet-smelling coffee, beautiful women and a rich cultural history draw you to Addis Ababa. However, under this tourism rich veil, the unthinkable bad facts about Ethiopia exist.

Here is a teaser. There are men who feed howling group of hyenas in the city of Harar. There are infamously known as the ‘Hyena Men’.

Harar, located in eastern Ethiopia for this mysterious, yet fascinating reason. The people here feed bands of wild hyenas in a set up rivalling the famous Maasai Mara grassland in Kenya.

The dedicated men feeding the hyena often speak in Oromo, an Ethiopian dialect, plus a little bit of English, both of which the hyenas comprehend.

Tourists gawk in astonishment as the beasts are fed by their masters outside the city gates. Tourists are so captivated by the activity that some of them pay to give the animals their favorite treat—meat. Others choose to participate in this historic exercise in exchange for payment.

Talk of the coffee tradition bull-jumping among other customary traditions and you’ll wonder if bad facts about Ethiopia exist. The truth is, there’s nothing good without blemish.

What are the Dangers in Ethiopia?

Bad facts about Ethiopia

Tigray Way. Photo by Financial Times

Ethiopia is fascinating in almost every corner you walk into but there is always some blemish with what’s good. It is nature’s way to strike a balance in life.

So, the next time you are en route to Ethiopia for a holiday, be alert on the following shortcomings.

Armed Conflict in Tigray

Civil unrest and armed conflict is rife in the interior parts of Ethiopia. The most popular area where conflict is still on fuelled by political and tribal inferiority.

Ironically, Tigray is the birthplace of Ethiopian culture. Numerous landmarks from its past scattered across its landscape dot every part of the region.

The three major monotheistic religions of the world—Judaism, Christianity, and Islam— camped first here via the Red Sea. However, violence between Tigray and federal forces that started on 3 November 2020 and ended 16 months later is a thorn in the flesh.

Tigrayan security forces attacked ENDF Northern Command facilities and headquarters in the Tigray Region. Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Mohammed called for counterattacks by the ENDF government forces against the rebels, Tigray Defense Forces (TDF).

The outlawed rebel group linked to a string of human crimes and terrorism came to be in 2020 at the height of Tigray War.

This war makes Tigray region a dangerous place to visit and one of the bad facts about Ethiopia. Other dangerous places with civil unrest and/or terrorism you shouldn’t visit include:

  1. Region around Amhara
  2. Afar
  3. Border with Somalia, Sudan and Kenya due to terrorism and ethnic clashes
  4. Wollega and Oromia zones

Danakil Depression

Danakil Depression

Danakil Depression. Photo/Fodors Travel

Danakil Depression in Ethiopia is one of the world’s hottest and lowest places, located at an altitude of just 100 meters below sea level. The African Rift, which includes the Danakil Depression, extends from Lake Tanganyika and Malawi to the Red Sea and on into the Dead Sea in Jordan and Israel.

Danakil’s harsh environment causes all incoming water to evaporate, thus the region is devoid of any running water.

Separatist violence is endemic in this part of Ethiopia inhabited by the Afar people. And yet, despite the harshness of the environment, the Afar live here.

They depend on flora vegetation and camel farming as a major source of income. Camels are the main mode of transport for the scanty population here.

What are Ethiopians Known For?

Coffee is what Ethiopia is famous for because the origin of this cash crop traces its origin here. There at least 15 million coffee farmers in Ethiopia.

Secondly, medieval gold medalists from this area, as well as the cathedrals hewn out of the rock are another reason behind Ethiopia’s fame.

Thirdly, Ethiopia’s diverse tribes pioneered distinctive musical genres. One of them is Ethio-Jazz that is internationally recognized as Ethiopia’s most successful musical export.

Ethio-Jazz genre started in the 1970s courtesy of Mulatu Astatku. He fused the traditional five notes of Ethiopian music with the 12 tones of jazz. These three factors wash away the bad facts about Ethiopia.

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About the author

Avatar of Teresa Mwangi

Teresa Mwangi

Teresa is a journalist with years of experience in creating web content. She is a wanderlust at heart, loves travelling and telling stories about tour and travel in Africa by every angle.

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