Travel Vaccines and reflections of Africa – The Simien and Bale Mountains, Ethiopia

Adventure, Africa, Personal, photography



If you have travelled to Africa it is most likely you would have been required to have a yellow fever vaccination – still required in many countries

I got my Yellow Card, proof of vaccination 20 years ago on my first trip to the African Continent.

Being in the Melbourne, Australia COVID 19 lockdown it is a good chance to reflect on the need for vaccination and travel and the relationship between the two.

The Simien Mountains


The Simien Mountains are a World Heritage alpine area in the North of Ethiopia

Its also called the water tower of East Africa providing the source for the Blue Nile

The Blue Nile provides 80% of the water that reaches Egypt, flowing through Sudan where it meets with the White Nile to form the Nile River


With peaks up to 4,550 metres within the vast sprawling alpine range


A range of deep gorges, rugged peaks and waterfalls plummeting thousands of metres


The Simiens have unique flora and fauna

Such as the Giant Lobelia


The endemic Gelada (or bleeding heart baboon) and Olive baboons

And if you look closely a Walia Ibex

gosi137 (2)

It was a three night trek through the Simiens


Camping in the Alps

Amazing sunsets and the high plateau


And watching the moon rise over the cliff tops from the gorges


The Bale Mountains

The Simien Mountains are in the North East of Ethiopia and the Bale Mountains in the South East

Almost bookends at each end of the Ethiopian Central Highlands

The Simiens in the Amhara Region and the Bale in the Oromia Region

The Bale Mountains are drier less dramatic that the northern bookend

These mountains are the catchment for the Jubba River system

Which flows across Ethiopia and Somalia to the Indian Ocean

The Bale Mountains are more easily accessed than the Simiens

Far better for catching sightings of the Ethiopian Wolf

And the amazing bird life

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Also In the Bale Provence toward the Somalian Border is are the Sof Omar Caves

Its well over a decade since I travelled in these mountains with my family.

And yes a vaccine for Yellow Fever was compulsory

Maybe compulsory vaccinations will be more widespread for travellers in the future given COVID-19

Colour and Light

Adventure, Africa, Poetry, travel




and light

stands alone

often in the wilderness

the boundless plains

the culture of different peoples

The colour

of a land

of the wildlife

the people

are the constant

like a beacon

colour and light

like life itself

cannot be diminished


This poem was inspired by travels in Kenya and Ethiopia

The colour and light of the animals

The People

The Land



Death of a Passport

Adventure, Africa, Asia, India

It was only 10 years old

Im sure looking

at the picture

I hadnt changed

Still the same person I was

10 years ago

Not the first passport

I have had to put down

But the nature of the passport

like life

is changing

the passport of the future will be more electronic

less stamps

no ornate visas pasted in

but with a wave of scissors it was dead

barcode cut off

chip card snipped


no longer able to see me safely across borders

Many borders there have been

So let me reveal some of the adventures in those old ornate visas and stamps


Singapore, and India

Singapore the bustling humid city state.

Centre of trade between the hemispheres for centuries

The city  a mix of colonial and bustling modern edifaces

India the ancient history

Sights and smells that are almost overwhelming

Colour vibrancy and activity everywhere.

Ethiopia, Thailand and New Caledonia


Ethiopia the cradle of civilisation

An ancient culture

Home of coffee

Dramatic landscape from high mountains to desert planes,

Many tribes, and diverse wildlife.


Thailand- the kingdom in Asia

long held traditions


New Caledonia the French called it the Riviera of the South Pacific

A place of beauty

But with the tense undercurrent of colonisation bubbling beneath the surface

Vietnam baring the scars of the American war

An ancient culture its capital a city over 1000 years old

Bustling streets markets and waterways




The last stamps on the page are Schiphol Airport, Amsterdam.  The start of my recent European adventures but they have been documented in my recent posts.

Ten years of travel outside Australia, my home country recorded on the pages.

Vale passport!!!!





Art, Craft , Engineering – sometimes separated by a thin line

Africa, Australia, Motorbikes, Poetry, Sailing, Victoria

I often think of art in nature

or is that

nature and art

the beauty

lines and curves


colour and light

I remember in Kenya




Flamingos at Lake Nakuru

Such colour


Crowned Crane

In art we try and capture such things often beautifully

but art in many ways is static

so is there a place where art meets craft

is there a place in manufacturing where the elements of motion

reflect art

Sometimes a yacht can walk that line

craftsmanship in wood,

Finely shaped

Art in motion


Futura painted to go back in the water

I also see this practical art in manufacturing

In this pair of beautiful Laverdas


Laverda SFC 750s



Reflection on the land, nature and the spiritual notion of wandering

Adventure, Africa, Australia, Poetry, travel








We all wander

restless exploration of the land

of ourselves

Wander on the earth

wander in our dreams

There is a museum for nomads

In Ethiopia

The nomadic tribes of east Africa

The Maasai

piecemeal adventurer preparing to jump laike a Massai

piecemeal adventurer preparing to jump like a Massai

The Mursi

Mursi women

Mursi women

The nomadic pastoralists of Southern Sudan

The Australian Aboriginal walkabout

Wandering for Centuries

And we still wander

Me motorised

On my bike

Over centuries we have signposted

Aids to the wanderer




Modern sign post for wanderers

Modern sign post for wanderers

Ancient signpost to water and food (kangaroo)

Ancient signpost to water and food (kangaroo)

So the wanderers continue to wander

over the globe

and wanders take different shapes

different scales

different complications

in the modern world

but the wandering is in its essence the same

A market in Ethiopia

Africa, Poetry, travel

The Key Afer market ( is the hub of the tribal area of South Eastern Ethiopia. These tribes spread across the southern areas of Ethiopia and over the borders into South Sudan and Kenya.

The land and the people are wild, beautiful and primal in their nature.

The market trades in spices, wares and animals in a vibrant bustle that appears unchanged for over 1000 years.

There is a Savage Beauty in Key Afer

A savage beautyEthiopia-Thailand Album137

beauty savaged





by the primal instinct

that must be quenched

the base desire

stripped back


unrelentingEthiopia-Thailand Album144

uncomplicated by complex morality


the essence

of life

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