Welcome to Gambela
Set on the banks of the sluggish, chocolate-brown Baro River, at a lowly altitude of 526m, Gambela (ጋምቤላ) is muggy, swampy, sweaty and utterly removed from everything else you’ll have come to associate with Ethiopia. This carries over to its people too, many of whom have stronger cultural ties with neighbouring South Sudan than they do with the rest of Ethiopia. Long-horned cattle, trailing clouds of dust and led by tall, elegant Nuer and Anuak tribesmen, sweep through the wildlife-haunted savannahs that surround Gambela. In the town itself people loll riverside under the spreading branches of giant trees. All up it’s one of the more exotic (and least-visited) corners of Ethiopia.