German photojournalist Mario Gerth has captured the incredible, dramatic landscape of northern Ethiopia in this collection of stunning black and white images.
It includes shots taken in the Simien Mountains and the rock-hewn churches of Lalibela. Mario trekked more than 350 miles by foot and donkey through one of the Africa’s remotest regions. He found monks praying with 600-year-old Bibles, and farmers and shepherds whose methods haven’t changed in thousands of years.
I trekked in these mountains a few years ago, and the vast emptiness is captured perfectly. You can walk for miles and only see roaming troops of Gelada baboons, and then suddenly meet a young boy with a herd of goats, miles from any village.
But although beautiful, the region is incredibly poor. Deforestation and soil erosion is plainly visible, and life on these hills is hard. The Fred Hollows Foundation is one organisation working in the area to improve health and eyesight.
If you ever travel to Ethiopia, take time to visit the Simien Mountains, but make sure your visit is benefiting the local community and environment rather than exploiting it. There are few other places on earth so silent and awe-inspiring.