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In collaboration with Franck Planete and Nativa Institute, Cursed Mountains Experience (Prokletije / Bjeshkët e Nemuna) is presented to French speaking visitors.
Nature enthusiasts and adventurers can experience a wide variety of activities in the mountains, rivers and lakes while culture lovers can enjoy rich and diverse cultural heritage and culinary offer in this beautiful off-the-beaten path European destination.
Inoa and our partners Precise Consult International from Ethiopia and SME Movement from South Africa have jointly presented their views on sustainable entrepreneurship in Ethiopia and other Sub-Saharan countries at the 8th Africa Day International Conference in Ljubljana, Slovenia, hosted by the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Slovenia. At the panel, our experience with Greening Ethiopian Manufacturing (GEM) project has been discussed.
The event is being attended by high level political delegations and entrepreneurs from numerous African countries and by the representatives of the European Commission.
Photo by Henok Assefa
Photo by Barbara Vtič Vraničar
We are pleased to announce that Inoa team will be co-creating Balkan Alps Experience in the cross-border area between Montenegro and Kosovo. Amazing Prokletije mountains, the highest mountain range in the Dinaric Alps, are located there, attracting mountaineers from all over the world.
Together with our clients, we will be working with local communities and tourism providers, jointly building on authentic, sustainable tourist experiences.
One year after its beginning, Greening Ethiopian Manufacturing (GEM) project is well on track, addressing topics of market access, sustainable product design and SCP certification. Altogether, 99 entrepreneurs are involved in GEM clusters.
During our last field visit, Inoa expert Tatjana Suhadolc provided advisory on sustainable product design to several enterprises from GEM clusters. Entrepreneurs were supported by new product design ideas, recommendations for quality improvement, creative usage of waste (zero-waste design) etc.
Ljubljana, 7 November 2018
Our team attended an annual meeting of “Africa Business Group” at the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Slovenia today. We presented the Slovenia Business Portal which is supporting Slovenian entrepreneurs to find and build opportunities to grow their businesses by connecting with each other and other businesses in over 83 countries.
The presentation was accompanied by individual meetings with entrepreneurs who are seeking new business opportunities in Africa.
Lalibela is one of Ethiopia’s most iconic destinations. The UNESCO enlisted rock-cut monolithic churches of king Lalibela have been built over 800 years ago. There are 11 churches located within this amazing cultural heritage complex.
Back in the early 4th Century, several Ethiopian ethnic groups were among the first ones that adopted Christianity. The four kings of Zagwe dynasty left some remarkable traces in ancient Ethiopia. The most famous of them was king Lalibela.
Festivals in Lalibela are immersive, wholeheartedly embraced by locals, rich in tradition, picturesque and vividly distinctive. In short, they are a must experience.
The legend says that all Lalibela churches were built by king Lalibela himself with the help of angels. An alternative interpretation by historians and scientists would be that it took anywhere between 10 to 40 thousand people to build 11 churches in 23 years.
These hand-crafting skills are still in the genes of Lalibelian people. Pottery makers, weavers, leather goods producers are spotted all around the place.
Leather products by Tadesse Crafts by St. Lalibela Association
Handicrafts by Desta Association
King Lalibela is also recognized for paintings which adorn some of the churches. Nowadays, Lalibela has an emerging art scene, waiting to be explored. We met numerous local painters who inspire with love and passion for their art.
Art by Hailemariam Tadesse
Art by Smachew Mesfin
Art by Tizazu
It seems that because of 800 years of continuous spiritual ceremonies, Lalibela is impregnated with peace, reflected in local people.
Our trusted guide Endayene Ayalew
We were particularly charmed by people of Lalibelia – hoteliers, receptionists, drivers, waitresses, guides, artisans, people on the streets, young and old, most of them radiating unique calmness, kindness and warmth.
Nature lovers will enjoy hikes to surrounding mountains, reaching over 3,000 m.a.s.l.. One of our favourites was the hike to Asheten Mariam church high in the mountains above Lalibela where king Lalibela’s prayers to locate the rock-hewn churches from his vision were heard.
Pictures speak for themselves.
Ethiopia is known to be the biggest producer of honey in Africa and Lalibela is its honey capital. The land of “honey-eaters” which is the meaning of the word Lalibela, offers delicious varieties of honey in all tastes and colours, from near-white through yellow, gold, amber, dark brown, either liquid or creamed. Delicious!
We tried several simple street coffee shops, decorated with grass on the floor and incensed with a pleasant odour of burning wood. Their coffee was without any exception always tasty.
We were also lucky to enjoy local cuisine at Honey Land Hotel, made from fresh ingredients, served with care.
Lalibela is one of those rare places in the world where tourism is still truly authentic, where moments are savoured and where inner peace is a value!
Good to know:
There are several morning flights to Lalibela from Addis Ababa, operated by Ethiopian Airlines. Lalibela and Gondar are also well connected. Special discount can be obtained, if your international flight is operated by Ethiopian Airlines.
End of September is a good time for visiting Lalibela. After the rainy season, the landscape turns green. October is one of the peak seasons. Lalibela is also very popular among Ethiopians for Christmas celebrations in January.
Foreign visitors’ entrance fee of 50$ to Lalibela churches is valid for 5 days. To comprehend the amazing story behind the churches, it is highly recommendable to explore them with local guides.
Cliffs of Moher are Ireland’s number one natural tourist sight, attracting more than 1.5 million visitors annually. Reaching the maximum height of 214 meters below the O’Brien’s Tower, they are truly a beautiful natural spectacle.
We were recommended to reserve half a day for exploring several walking trails on the cliffs which was fun.
On our way back we popped into a visitor centre where we were positively surprised by a dynamic and interactive exhibition, offering plenty of information for adults and children alike.
Nature conservation is a big topic there. Local conservators brought it to a very high level. Together with tourism service providers they are committed to making the area a premier worldwide destination for responsible tourism. They are effectively managing and communicating information about waste recycling, energy and water usage per visitor, promoting and educating about “leave no trace” ethics. Even the toilets are showcasing eco facts!
However, traveling to western Ireland only for a couple of hours of cliffs’ experience sounded a bit limiting to us. We were looking for a more authentic experience which would allow us to get beneath the surface of the destination.
And here comes the Burren! Together with the Burren, Cliffs of Moher were awarded UNESCO recognized Global Geopark status seven years ago. As they say, it’s about people, place, learning and livelihood.
The Burren Smokehouse was the place where we tasted delicious cold smoked organic Irish salmon with seaweed and a honey-glazed variation with whiskey and fennel. Mouth-watering!
The Burren Perfumery makes perfumes inspired by the local landscape. And there are many more inspirational stories in the Burren, such as: the Moher stone, the Doolin Chocolate Shop, Linnalla Ice-Cream, several exhibitions and thematic events etc.
Our beautiful planet is full of amazing natural sites. Memorable authentic travel is only possible when people and places go hand in hand together, treating each other with respect. This proves to be the critical link between authentic and responsible tourism.
Greening Ethiopian Manufacturing (GEM) project has been launched in Addis Ababa!
Inoa is partnering with Ethiopian Chamber of Commerce and Sectoral Associations (ECCSA) and Precise Consult International on this EU funded Switch Africa Green project. Over 100 Ethiopian micro, small and medium enterprises will be supported throughout the next 3+ years in seizing ‘green growth’ opportunities.
Ethiopia is one of the fastest growing economies in Africa.
Photos by ECCSA