By Teis Feldborg Gregersen
Located in southern Ethiopia beside an enormous lake is the city of Hawassa. Around 140,000 people live there, surrounded by the most beautiful and exotic nature I have ever seen.
Monkeys are sitting in every single tree, eating or grooming each other and no matter where you look in the sky, colourful birds will be seen, especially the very characteristic Marabou Stork, which is a very common sight around the lake. Hawassa was the destination of a journey out of Addis Ababa, a short vacation, making it possible to experiencing the exotic nature of Ethiopia that the capital cannot provide.
I travelled along with a group of fourteen volunteers and interns and we left Addis Ababa early on Friday morning for an extended weekend in Hawassa. The hotel where we stayed was located right beside the lake and the area around it served as a park where the Guereza and Vervet monkeys as well as exotic birds live side by side. From chairs placed at the lake shore people can examine the entire lake while relaxing, the view and the atmosphere were all perfect – it truly felt like a vacation. Around the hotel area, the monkeys live in the trees and they are all very used to seeing humans, allowing us to feed them with snacks, which they gladly grabbed from our hands. The only downside of the monkeys being so tame was that we had to be very aware of our food while eating in the restaurant, or else they would simply steal it as soon as we looked away.
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