Updated 27 March 2008                          Page  13

The exploration of Awash river by Wilfred Thessiger from Michael Asher's book.      
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The Awash river exploration through the Danakil country, was achieved when Thesiger was only twenty three years old making his reputation as an explorer!   Three or four expeditions before him had been exterminated by the Danakil... It was a challenge that he could not resist...  
  Wilfred Thesiger
Crossing Awash river,  during Thesiger's exploration in 1933 / 1934

 Traveling through the scrub with his caravan, Thesiger was obliged to take an armed escort of soldiers and forest rangers.  At the Awash train station Thesiger began his first great adventure! Twenty two camels and thirty nine men, some Somali cameleers, fifteen soldiers dressed in khaki uniforms with their famous 'sun hat' and an Afar hostage to help them pass through the territory of his tribe!

The packed camels lumbered to their feet spitting and snorting escorted by white clad Somalis, soldiers cursing as their poorly loaded camels flung off their load and finally after threats from the headman Omar, Thesiger's great caravan moved out of Awash village in a trail of dust and flies! 


Afar (Danakil) tribesmen by the Awash river valley, during Thesiger's exploration in 1933 / 1934. 
   Below, how they are  ...today !
A waterbuck in Danakil country
Lake Adobad (or Abe), Awash final destination !
>   The Awash train station  
The Awash train station as it is today... 
Our team visited Awash on 22 June 2005 on our way to Harer!
 The map on the left is showing the start of River Awash exploration!
  A red arrow is showing the Awash train station where Wilfred  Thessinger started his journey to explore the Awash river on 1932 !
If you can get hold of Michael Archers book, it's worth reading how Thessiger crossed the Danakil country ignoring all dangers and found on behalf of the British Royal Geographic society the end of this mysterious river!

 At the far back, enclosed in a thick white wall lays the famous 'Buffet', a Cafe,  restaurant and guest-house where Thessinger stay while waiting for his caravan to arrive ! It is really worth visiting, as it is a living museum, left as it was constructed by the French railway company at the end of the 18th century... 

The 'Buffet' is having a guest-house with clean rooms and a spacious covered outdoors restaurant serving European food, well prepared and served hot!

 At the open space restaurant many things are kept since its construction : all electrical switches, along the new tables and chairs you will be able to spot the original wooden round tables and indoors the comfortable arm chairs! (chaiz-long in French!)


 At our recent trip to the Awash train station we checked the train in order to organize a future trip to Diredawa and Harer!

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