A Visit To Keren and Western Eritrea.

Keren and the Western part of Eritrea is home to the traditional and tribal part of Eritrea and home to the Bilen and Tigre tribes.

Most parts of western Eritrea are completely off limits to tourists. But there’s no limitation to Chinese mining companies, the only other non-locals you will see in this part of the country is Chinese people driving their big pickup trucks to and from the mines like you see in most other African countries these days.

When driving to this part of the country you will see old beaten up military remains from the civil war (like all over the country) and that locals still live in the traditional style of houses.

Scenery when heading west in Eritrea
The scenery when heading west in Eritrea.
Traditional house in western Eritrea. Adwelling in Keren (Tukul). A round hut with a cone shaped straw roof.
Typical village in western Eritrea

But what you can visit is Keren is the famous Monday camel market that I didn’t manage to visit since I arrived in Keren on a Tuesday.

Keren from the top of Hotel Keren.
Keren
Hotel Keren, remainders of a better time.
Normal streets of Keren
Keren
Some new buildings coming up in Keren, a new church next to an old one.
City view from the rooftop bar at Keren Hotel.
Sunset from the rooftop bar at Keren Hotel, a great place to enjoy an ice cold local beer or a glass of Gin.

The most famous site around Keren except for the camel market that I missed is the Holy Tree. Yes, A holy tree or better called “The Shrine of our lady of Dearit”. A small chapel that´s been built inside a huge hollow Baobab tree. The same kind of trees as the famous Avenue of Baobab trees in Madagascar.

The Holy tree of The Shrine of our lady of Dearit.
Walk into the tree
Inside the tree, the famous black statue is locked up

So what I did get to see and experience in this part of Eritrea, was the traditional way of living and the great hospitality. While the local´s in other parts of Eritrea were not to keen on getting their picture taken, the locals in this part of the country were more open-minded and always responded with a big smile when I asked to take their picture.

A Local woman from western Eritrea, notice the Christian cross tattooed on her forehead
A woman from the Bilen tribe in western Eritrea,

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Complete guide to western Eritrea, one of the least visited countries in africa
Complete guide to western Eritrea, one of the least visited countries in africa

 

2 Comments
  1. I’ve long wanted to visit Eritrea but as a Canadian I haven’t been able to find any current information about obtaining a visa.
    It appears to me that there is no Eritrean embassy or consulate in Canada. From what I’ve read online, Eritrea only grants
    visas to people who are citizens of countries in which Eritrea has diplomatic representation.

    Do you have any insights about the visa requirements for Eritrea?

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