Gondar is a highly populated semi-urban area. It is known for its historic castle and as a gateway to the Simien Mountains. It is also known for its Timkat festival.
Africa: Egypt and Ethiopia
1/18/2011: The moment we arrived at the Gondar airport, it was clear that there would not be much birding here. Every hilltop as far as I could see had been either stripped of its trees or planted with eucalyptus.
Of course, Barbara would say that we were here for the cultural treasures. We cut our trip to the more interesting parts of Ethiopia short in order to watch the Timkat festivities. And really, there was no way to not watch the festivities. Around noon, the gangs of teenage boys with sticks starting running around town. The activity continued to increase until mid-afternoon, at which time the Ark of the Covenant replica was pulled out of the church, complete with red carpets, for its journey to some swimming pool a few miles away. Pretty much everyone in town was wearing white and singing and clapping.
The party continued in the early morning, but I missed it due to an unfortunate instance where I was locked in my (bad smelling) hotel room for several hours.
Overall, though, I would rate Gondar as a pleasant place to spend half a day en route to the Simien Mountains.
Previous Visit (Awash National Park: 1/16/2011)
Next Visit (Simien Mountains National Park: 1/20/2011)