Chencha is a lovely day trip or overnight stay. Cool, misty, moist and with great views of Arba Minch below. Of most interest is that Chencha is the home of the Dorze people, renowned for their cotton weaving skills and the distinctive, tall beehive shaped dwellings unseen in the rest of Ethiopia. The shami cloth that is woven there is said to be the finest in Ethiopia. The plain white gabbi robes and brightly coloured scarf-like netalas are sold on the roadside. There is also a 30 metre high waterfall set in lush green vegetation and very tall bamboo that is worth a visit. The Dorze houses are quite an eyeful, built 6-7 metres tall initially, they are gradually ‘shrunk’ by termites eating them from the ground level. When this happens, the whole structure can be moved to a new location, or another house is build and the now dwarf original becomes a spare room or kitchen. The Dorze house has internal rooms on two levels. All functions of day to day living happen inside, including the housing of animals.
Geographically Ethiopia is stunning. The landscape is dominated by the dramatic Ethiopian Highlands with peaks of 4000m or higher. The country is bisected by the Rift Valley, which starts at the Red Sea, to the North East, and continues south to Mozambique in southern Africa.