Extra Treats in Ethiopia

Though visiting isolated tribal villages in Ethiopia is a unique experience (Hamar, Kara and others), I also enjoyed hanging out in areas that are a little more developed.   Barber shops (just to look), local bars (not just to look) and local markets or eateries are always  colorful, and even though I have visited quite of few of these places in my travels, I am always ready for new ones.

The images below are mostly from two areas: the weekly market at Chencha, about 35 km from ArbaMinch, and the daily fish market located on the shores of Lake Awasa (also called Awassa or Hawassa).

The Chencha market is held only on Thursdays and was quite busy when we showed up in mid-afternoon. People mostly from the Dorze ethnic group were there to buy, sell or barter goods and there were also many little shops to explore.   I was quite pleased to discover that it had everything I like to see.

After a quick stop at two very colorful barber shops, we spent a little time in a charming local bar that seemed to belong to an older lady who was being helped by her granddaughter. The older lady was happy to have us around. She and her few customers (it was still a bit early in the day for a cocktail) were eager to demonstrate their dance skills, which obviously none of us were able to imitate, much to her delight.


At the local eatery few doors down, many young ladies were working in the kitchen, a few of them making “injera” bread, a large, spongy in texture, flat bread that is a staple of Ethiopian cuisine. The textured walls, the smoke from the kitchen fire and the steam coming from the warm bread made the place look dreamlike.


Lake Awasa is quite a beautiful site, a fresh water lake with mountains in the background. It is also laden with tilapia and catfish which fishermen are busy catching all night. When we arrived at the fish market mid-morning, fishermen were gutting, scaling and filleting their catch to have everything ready for the local customers. What created excitement, however, were the huge marabou storks that surrounded the fishermen hoping for (and some of them getting) a piece of fish deemed unsellable.


One can also enjoy the fresh fish right on the premises as there are a number of food stalls ready to cook it many different ways. Grilled fish and fish soup seemed the most popular, at least at this time of the day. Here again, frail-looking bamboo walls and a lot of smoke from nearby grilles made the some of the indoor stalls look beautiful, but breathing could be difficult. It is probably better to stay outside to enjoy your early morning fish (and maybe share it with the storks or an eager monkey)!

What a treat,


P.S. For better viewing enjoyment, click on the title of the post to get to the website.

P.P.S. To see more of my images, follow me on Instagram at franceleclerc

This entry was posted in Africa, Ethiopia, Photography, Travel and tagged , , , , , , , , , .


  1. Jane Bradbear July 2, 2017 at 18:51 #

    Again, France, your photographs show the beauty and are most inspiring.

    • franceleclerc July 3, 2017 at 17:08 #

      Thank you Jane. I am glad you like them even though they are not B&W 🙂 France

  2. Lisa July 2, 2017 at 19:24 #

    Lovely France. Especially like the ones in the kitchen. Perfect light!

    • franceleclerc July 3, 2017 at 17:09 #

      Thanks Lisa. I agree, the kitchen was a blast. I could have stayed there all day.

  3. MICHELE ZOUSMER July 2, 2017 at 20:13 #

    Makes me miss Ethiopia. Love being brought back to the streets and shops. Great light! Michele

    • franceleclerc July 3, 2017 at 17:11 #

      Yes, the light inside was pretty magical! Challenging but magical!

  4. Kathy Hornsby July 3, 2017 at 06:45 #

    Another beautifully photographed and written post! The dreamlike images with the light filtering through steam and smoke are particularly captivating, France.

    • franceleclerc July 3, 2017 at 17:13 #

      Thank you Kathy. A different scene of Ethiopia. I like little dark places.

  5. Sally Bucko July 3, 2017 at 16:53 #

    Some of my favorite places as well. Beautifully photographed, France!

    • franceleclerc July 3, 2017 at 17:16 #

      Thank you Sally. And Dennis was the best at the local dancing 🙂 France

  6. Herb July 3, 2017 at 19:03 #

    So many terrific shots. You really captured the scene and the mood. The lady in the bar was loads of laughs and full of life. Ethiopia is so special.

  7. Bob Newman July 4, 2017 at 11:33 #

    Well seen, photographer, and described – you are a master storyteller!

    All the best,


  8. Elise Rosenbaum July 4, 2017 at 22:31 #

    Birds! You photographed birds!
    Light! You captured the light! Magical.
    Colors. Context. Personal spaces. Lives lived.

    • franceleclerc July 31, 2017 at 15:26 #

      Thanks Elise. Glad you like the light, that was the appeal. And not only did I photograph birds, but they were big birds!!!! Sorry for my late reply. I was photographing even bigger (heavier) birds, eagles in Mongolia (and a few people too). All the best, France

  9. John July 25, 2017 at 21:03 #

    This is so beautiful, your pictures are as amazing. Which Camera are you using? Keep up inspiring

    • franceleclerc July 31, 2017 at 15:21 #

      Dear John, Very sorry for my delayed reply. I am just back from remote Mongolia where I did not have internet access. Thank you for your kind words on my images, I am glad you like them. Currently I use a Fuji XT-2. After years of using a Canon, I switched two years ago as a way to reduce my load. It was a bit of an adjustment but I am enjoying it now. Best, France

      • john July 31, 2017 at 20:51 #

        Thank you so much for your response.