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Ethiopia January 2019 Trip Report Part 4

  • Written by Harry
  • May 6th, 2019
  • 14 min read


The next day (it was in fact our third day but would be our fourth night, we would stay in Hawassa for 6 nights) we had a good day again at the lake and made a plan to go for a boat trip on the lake to go and see the hippos and the birdlife.

I had forgotten to mention that the previous day we had had to leave our hotel because a group had booked our rooms. Actually, just across the side road from the hotel we found a guesthouse (not technically a hotel) which was very newly constructed (just had started operating the last year as the manager told us). We decided to check the rooms there, it was only like 40 metres from the government hotel. The rooms were very nice, new furniture, nice carpet and spacious. Much better than the government hotel, clean and with a big spring bed, what a delight compared to the bed in the government hotel. We had not asked about the room rate yet but I guessed it should be expensive because the rooms were very superior compared to the 600 birr government hotel.

But what a surprise, they only quoted 300 birr per night. We had made a big mistake not to book immediately into this guesthouse, this would prove a good lesson for the rest of our journey, to try checking out the new guesthouses in other towns also, instead of just booking the first hotel we saw.

The rooms also were equipped with a nice balcony where you could sit down to watch the sunset over the lake (yes the lake was visible from our rooms since we had booked into the top floor (5 floors) of the guesthouse, and with view of the lake. The guesthouse was weirdly enough almost empty, no customers, so we had our pick of the rooms. The Guesthouse actually started on the first floor of the building. The ground floor was occupied with boutiques and a restaurant.

At noon it is customary for the locals to go strolling around the Piazza. This starts around 5 PM but really picks up after 6 PM when the universities go out and the university near the lake are also emptying out into the piazza (many of the students are girls of course). It continues until about 7:30 after when most people leave and the Piazza becomes empty again.

The time between 6 PM and 7:30 is prime time to walk up and down the Piazza street to try to meet some local girls, preferably students. Most of the student girls studying and staying in town do not hail from Hawassa (it’s the same in other student towns of which there are many in Ethiopia because every major town has one or more popular universities), so they just live there in rented rooms or dormitories far away from parents or other problematic relatives. Therefore many feel free to do what they please and that is of course a great thing.

I had also noticed already that the girls in Hawassa were different from the ones in AA. During daytimes and evenings when we had been around lake side or Piazza I had gotten many smiles and looks from girls but we had not done anything with it so far. Also I found the girls here looking a bit different (on average) compared to AA, they look a bit darker, with nicer faces and more curvy compared to many Amharic girls. Of course this is not true for all of them since there are also many Amharic girls in Hawassa, but of course also more Southern girls whom I seem to prefer physically.

On this fourth evening S told me we would go and try to find a nice student girl. He instructed me to look interested, and try to put a smile on my face and try to greet the girls and other people while strolling because as a Ferengi (local name for Farang or white guy) you will be judged by your actions and approach because even though we would not realize it many girls (they tend to walk up and down the piazza sometimes) would observe my actions beforehand.

We walked around and quite soon bumped into two girls who showed real interest, shouting “Hiiiii Ferengi, where you going?” So S decided to stop them. I was probably not in the right frame yet because I acted a little weird, non smiling, keeping a distance while S was talking to the girls. I introduced myself, and one of the girls told us her friend (a pretty one actually and my type) spoke English, which was a clear sign they were interested to hook up but I just reacted like “Ahhh I don’t believe you”, or something. So this was a failure due to my actions and the girls went their way and we ours. S told me to stop acting like this otherwise we might as well go back to the guesthouse immediately. So I tried to man up and forced myself to try to be cool and good.

We walked on and received some more smiles and looks from girls going the other way but it all went a bit too fast so we did not stop them. We kept walking and after a while S had suddenly disappeared from my side. The street was very busy by now and I suddenly spotted him talking to two girls who were both carrying a lot of books and ledgers. He told me to come over and I came. On first look the girls did not look very spectacular to me but when I looked closer I saw that one of them was actually very nice looking. Slim and sexy and not ugly. The other one had a bad set of gums when she was smiling, but also had a good body. I immediately decided the nice looking one (without the gum problem) would be for me. I put on a big smile and said “Salam nu?” to them. We had a nice chat with them but they had to go home first because they just came from the Uni and wanted to go home to fresh up, but they gave S a mobile number and promised we could meet them later that night.

“Mission competed”, S told me, let’s go back to the guesthouse. Actually I would have liked to try to meet more girls (more options etc), but S told me better not do that because the girls may secretly follow us for a while from a distance to see what type of guys we are, since Ethio girls can be like that and they never miss a thing, they see everything.

Ethio girls are actually wired a little bit different compared to for instance Indonesian girls. Indo girls really like bad boys usually, the more a guy is seen with different girls in tow every night the more the other girls want to meet him also. Also Indo girls often like aggressive and pushy guys, they like the guy to tell them what to do and how to do it (even if they meet a guy for the first time), they love confident guys and if a guy flirts with other girls while he is with her, she will even love him more for his confidence.

Ethio girls are not like that, they seem to like guys who are modest, friendly, quiet and polite. They prefer guys who are romantic and not acting like playboys. They certainly don’t like to be pushed around and told what to do. Perhaps and probably the higher class girls in Ethio (ethio girls are actually called Habesha) will be different, they may and will probably more be like the Indo girls. On this trip I did not meet any high-class or even middle class girl (save one in Bahir dar around the end of my trip), so I don’t really know how they are.

Around 8:30 we had an appointment with the girls (they had messaged S) to meet them in a lakeside open cafe where we could drink beers and have food with them. We went there and had a good time with them. My girl was a bit naughty and she immediately took my hand when we walked back from the cafe to our guesthouse 1.5 hours or so later, we even kissed a few times on the street. I was getting really turned on by her actions and behaviour, this seemed to be a really carefree girl who was up to anything I thought. By contrast S and his girl just walked together sometimes embracing or holding hands while walking but never kissing.

But I was proven to be wrong. Even though my girl seemed ready for anything she was not. We came to our guesthouse and the girls went up with us. The girl with S had no problem going with him into his room but my girl was very hesitant to follow me. S spoke to her and tried to persuade her, probably telling her what a nice guy I was etc, just bullshit stuff.

Finally she decided it was ok and S went in his room with his girl, and the door was closed and shut down and my girl came into my room. She requested me to keep the door open (not a good sign at all). She sat on the chair while I was lying on the bed hoping she would join, after a while she actually did but I did not get further than kissing her and feeling her up, she would not have more.

After one hour or so we heard the door of S opening (he was staying next to mine). The girl immediately got up and left my room to see them coming out. They told us they had to leave back home because the next day they had an exam (it was indeed exam time in Ethiopia for students), and they wanted to be fresh and study a bit more.

We (or rather I) gave them a few hundred birr and off they went with a Bajai (Indian style Bajai you also see in Indonesia in red color and in Thailand, in Ethiopia they are painted blue). They actually call them something like Bajich in Ethiopia.

S asked me about the girl I told him not much had happened but I had noticed she was very nicely built, slim body and nice boobs and a great ass but I had not been able to do more than kissing. He told me he actually had had sex with his girl, which explained the big grin on his face. I actually started to get frustrated again and depressed, why did he get it and why not me? But S told me we would meet them again the next evening around 5. He had made an appointment with them to join us on a boat tour on the lake to watch the Hippo’s birds and sunset on the lake, and they had happily accepted. I would have another chance the next night.

It was getting quite late by now but we decided to go to the same club again like last night. While we were walking to that club, which is on the Piazza, we met a few girls who later after we had gone in the club mysteriously also made an appearance in the same club. They kept giving us the eye while we were standing near the dance floor and they were dancing but we decided not to go for them. S told me these girls were really after us it was no coincidence they had shown up in the same club, they must have been following us after we had talked to them in the street, as we had not told them we were going to that club.

They were not my taste anyway, both older and not really slim, otherwise I would probably have tried since I was up for some fun for sure.

The fourth day more of the same thing, Lake fish (with good corn bread) lunch at the lake followed by coffee and spriss juice in town. I really liked Hawassa it is a relaxing place I my opinion and I was not yet getting bored.

Around 5 PM we were back at the lake and the girls showed up a bit later. We booked a boat and went up the lake to spot the hippo’s and birds with them. On the way to the area where the hippos are lounging about, which is about 4 km from the boat landing place we saw lots of birds, ibis, small colorful birds, all kinds of ducks and water birds and a few fish eagles in a tree who would let us come really close so we could film them. They did not move an inch while we were just a few metres away from them, probably they are used to tourists in boats filming them and know they are not up to any harm.

I failed to mention the Marabous living around the lake. There are lots of marabous there. Big (black and white colored) ugly (stork-like) looking birds with huge bills walking on long stilts. They sport a red pouch up front where they store food. When the pouch gets full it becomes quite inflated, making the birds even look more ugly. They parade around the lakeshore looking for people eating at the open air fish restaurants throwing fish waste at them. They always manage to catch that out of the air, they never seem to miss catching food being thrown at them. The workers at the restaurants don’t like them and always scare them away by throwing stones to them or threatening to hit them with sticks, then they fly away only to come back after one minute or so.

We saw the hippos and got quite close to them so we made some nice films. They were in the low water near the shore on the other side of the lake at a big grassy area, away from town so occasionally we could see their whole torso when one was standing up in the grassy environment where they were eating and lounging about. Also a few calves where there, vigorously protected by the group as a whole. There are like I said no crocodiles present in Awasa lake. Hippos are plant eaters, they do not eat meat. Related as they are to the horse, but much much bigger with big yawny mouths where a few big tusks can be seen sticking out when they yawn. They are very territorial, get angry very easily and are very protective towards their young ones. Not just the mother but the whole group (usually they live in family groups) sees it as its task to protect the vulnerable youngsters. They are so strong that Nile crocodiles (who can grow as large as 6 metres) that live in the same environment as hippos do not regard them as prey. Crocodiles only occasionally snag a young hippo if they have the chance and the mother and relatives are not to be seen, or an already dead hippo. But hippos are much feared by crocodiles in general and Nile crocs will go to great lengths to avoid confrontation with them.

Hippos can also be very dangerous to humans (they are regarded as the most dangerous animal for humans in Africa) and have been known to chase people even on land and if they catch one they easily snap a person in two. It is never safe to swim near hippos as they could just appear from underwater and clamp you down to kill you in one second. They are even known to capsize (small) boats if they are angry enough and kill anybody who falls in the water in a mere second.

So the girls were a bit scared one can imagine, especially when suddenly a hippo’s head emerged very close to our boat they started screaming. Luckily enough the hippo seemed to have a good mood just moving around with his ears and watching us, then it disappeared again.

After the nice boat cruise we went back in town (it had gotten dark by now) and we went for a nice local dish (I forgot the name) but it consists of beef mince, spicy and fried with injera. You can get these mince served raw (not a good idea in my opinion because of potential worm eggs etc) or fried. I opted for the fried version.

After that we took the girls to the bar area where we drank and danced (dancing on Ethiopian music is actually fun and easy) after that it was back to our guesthouse. This time my girl had no issues coming into my room and she stayed all night, no problems anymore we had a great night together.

Next day would be our last day and last night in Hawassa, we met the girls again that last night but just for dinner and drinks as we wanted to go to bed early to be ready for our next trip the next morning to Arba Minch. There was even some discussion about them joining us to Arba Minch but for some reasons I forgot that was canceled.

Arba Minch is about 200 Km located south from Hawassa. Its located between and around 2 rift valley lakes: Lake Abaya and lake Chamo. Especially lake Chamo is very scenic and interesting. Here you will find Nile crocodiles (a large group of them) and Hippo’s together in one lake.

This concludes the fourth part.