Sunday, October 28: We stay for 2 nights at the Bishangari Eco-Lodge at Lake Langano, Ethiopia. Here, we explore the wetlands, the beach and lake, the forest, an otherworldly pumice rock landscape and an acacia shrub zone replete with birds, horses and baboons . We eat the Menus of the Day, posted before each meal with curlicue writing on bark signs. We go birdwatching in the dewy forest as the sun rises, encountering multitudes of birds, Colobus monkeys, and baboons, as well as children walking to school with books in their arms. We get relaxing oily massages. We walk along the beach and then swing in hammocks beside the lake. We sit on the porch of our cabin and peruse bird books, jotting down the birds we identify. We take a hippo-spotting hike where we don’t spot any hippos, but we encounter a simultaneous sunset and moon rise over the wetlands in a glowing blue light. We watch the staff while the hours away by playing checkers using bottle caps. And at the end of each day, we share Gonder Ethiopian wine at the lovely Tree House bar with the sounds of birds twittering, chirping, chanting and singing all around us.
The weather is a fabulous 70 degrees Fahrenheit (21 degrees C) during the days. At night I burrow under blankets and sleep like I’ve never slept before.
From the Bishangari Lodge website:
Imagine a natural retreat of outstanding beauty that combines five unique ecological zones, a secluded setting that is host to over 400 bird species, a diverse range of wildlife, spectacular array of plant life and un-spoilt biodiversity. Bishangari Lodge is less than 250 kms South of Addis Ababa, situated on the shores of Lake Langano, Bishangari’s secret has been safe thanks to its inaccessibility.
The lodge has been designed on sound environmental principles utilizing solar power and biogas for energy. The lodges have been constructed using natural materials and traditional techniques, without compromising on the quality and luxury of the accommodation. It is a natural retreat of outstanding beauty that combines five ecological zones;- wetlands, beach and lake, the forest, the dry pumice rocks and the acacia shrub.
I’ll feature each of the ecological zones in upcoming posts.
Click on any of the images below for a full-sized slide show.