Eritrea Photos

See Tag Cloud of Eritrea Photos
See location of some of the photos on the map

Below are Eritrea photos.

If you ask anybody about Eritrea, I think 90% of the time the reply will be “what’s that?”. Somehow, the youngest African nation is almost completely off the world news radar. To be honest, I didn’t know anything about it either before I decided to go.

It is difficult to travel in Eritrea. Outside of Asmara, foreigners must have travel permits and we could only get these for travel to Masswa and Keren.

Though the country is truly amazing, we didn’t see any other independent travellers while we were there.

Asmara has the highest concentration of Italian modernist buildings in the world. Most of them are in their original, unrestored condition, but are fairly well preserved nevertheless. Sitting in a cafe for 10 minutes will most definitely make you forget that you are in Africa in the 2010s. It feels like Italy in the first half of 20th century (or at least how I imagine it). The 1930s movie theatre with its original wooden squeaky chairs, or the cafe with its 60 year old Italian coffee machine are something straight out of a Fellini movie.

The people are also amazing. They are friendly, helpful, dignified, considerate and discreet.

Keren is only 3 hours or so from Asmara by bus, but it is a totally different world. The Monday market with its firewood sellers, women in the brightest dresses you can possibly imagine, men dressed all in white, camels and bulls for sale… It is no longer Italy. It feels like the real Africa. The Italian heritage is still present though, somewhere in the background…

Massawa is very different again. It is the hottest place with the highest humidity in the world. You feel like you are in a sauna, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The water in the Red Sea was 42°C. The town is mostly in ruins, though it has nevertheless retained some of its original Mediterranean feel, with some Egyptian and Turkish touches.

The Dahlak archipelago is a place without civilization. Despite its pristine beaches, there are no 5 star hotels (to be honest, there are virtually no hotels at all)… No electricity, no mobiles, no boats, no tourists… Nothing… In exchange, you have islands to yourself, water at body-temperature which allows you to snorkel for as long as you like, untouched corals and marine life, and stars at night unlike anywhere else in the world…