Russian Traveler Fyodor Konyukhov prepares for expedition to Ethiopia

Renowned Russian traveler Fyodor Konyukhov is preparing for an expedition to Ethiopia, which will start on March 20 and see him covering part of the 1,200-km route on camelback. The expedition will traverse the territory inhabited by five tribes, which are yet to be explored. Konyukhov said that he plans to repeat a route blazed by prominent Russian diplomat and traveler Alexander Bulatovich, who added significantly to upholding Ethiopia’s independence between the late 1890s and the early 1900s.

One hundred years on, Bulatovich is still remembered by many in Ethiopia, where an array of Russian geographical names appeared at the beginning of the 20th century, including the Nicholas II Mountain Range.

Bulatovich became the first European to provide a scientific description of the mysterious Kingdom of Kaffa, known nowadays as the Kaffa province. In the late 1890s, he was a military aide for Negus Menelek II of Ethiopia, who allegedly nominated Bulatovich for the post of a tribal chieftain. Bulatovich contributed greatly to the modernization of the Ethiopian army, which was appreciated by Menelek II, who granted 40 hectares of land to Bulatovich in a show of gratitude.

As for Konyukhov, he said that he had already discussed with the Ethiopian authorities the construction of the St.George the Victorious Cathedral in the capital, Addis Ababa.

The Russian Embassy in Addis Ababa helped us to meet with local building companies to discuss the matter, Konyukhov says. We plan to install an Orthodox cross at the construction site before we start our expedition, he adds.

Russian builders are already creating a Cathedral dome, Konyukhov explains, adding that his expedition’s main transport in Ethiopia will be camels.

I will be accompanied by two cameleers, two guards, an interpreter and a cook, Konyukhov says.

He has made six solo expeditions around the world aboard a yacht, climbed all the highest peaks, including Mount Everest, travelled to the North and South Poles, and sailed around the Antarctic.

He is making his 40-day trip across Ethiopia at the request of the local authorities so that he can blaze a convenient route for tourist groups.

Source: The Voice of Russia


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