The Desert at Lac Abbe in Djibouti

The sun sets behind limestone chimneys with steaming hot springs near Lac Abbe at the border between Djibouti and Ethiopia. Lac Abbe is a hypersalinic salt lake in the centre of the Afar Depression in the North of the East African Rift. The area is inhabited by Afar people herding camels, sheep, and goats.

Djibouti does deals with everybody, the exile Frenchman said. He’s living in Djibouti City for almost three decades, is married to his second Djibouti wife, and owns a transport company. Not being picky was probably born out of historic necessity, as Djibouti always was a spot of many interests. For thousands of years the Gulf of Aden…… Continue reading The Desert at Lac Abbe in Djibouti

Harvesting the Salt of Lac Assal

Aras harvests the salt at the shore of Lac Assal in Djibouti, a highly saline lake situated 155 metres below sea level. Depending on the wind, each segment of the shore produces its own shape and size of grains of salt. Aras' family sells the salt to tourists.

Trading with salt from Lac Assal in Djibouti goes back to bartering with Abyssinian caravans by local Afar and Issa tribes. The lake is situated 155 metres below sea level in one of the hottest places on Earth.

Chukudu Cargo Bikes in the Congo

Two men push a heavily loaded Chukudu uphill on the road from Goma to the North in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Chukudu transport bicycles are built from wood and spare parts of old disused cars. They are used for the transportation of loads of several hundred kilograms.

What looks like Picasso’s rendering of a bull is actually a Chukudu. These cargo bicycles are ingeniously built from wood from eucalyptus trees and spare parts of old disused cars. They characterize the street scenes of Goma in the Congo. Chukudu bikes can transport loads of several hundred kilograms. The wooden wheels are often wrapped…… Continue reading Chukudu Cargo Bikes in the Congo

Cargo bikes in Rwanda

Bicycles often mix spare parts of different brands. This chainring incorporates the manufacturer's brand name Phoenix, a large Chinese company exporting bicycles since the 1960s.

Cargo bicycles are widely used for the transportation of goods and passengers in Rwanda – the land of thousand hills. For a cyclist, these hills make riding strenuous as there is hardly ever a flat stretch of road. Many riders of Team Rwanda, the cycling team based in Ruhengeri, have started as taxi or cargo bikers.

Nyiragongo Volcano at Night

Glowing steam rises from Nyiragongo volcano (3'470 m) at night. Nyiragongo volcano in the Democratic Republic of the Congo contains the Earth's largest lava lake. The Virunga volcanoes are part of the Albertine Rift Mountains, the western branch of the East African Rift. In the Virunga region, two parts of the African Plate, the Somali Plate and the Nubian Plate, are breaking apart at a rate of 6 to 7 mm annually. Eruptions of Nyiragongo occurred in 1832, 1904, 1977 and 2002.

Nyiragongo volcano overviews the jungle in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. There’s glowing steam rising from the crater illuminating the passing clouds at the night sky.

Rwanda Cargo Bicycles

A cyclist gets a grip on a truck to let it pull him uphill. In Rwanda, the land of a thousand hills, cargo bicycles are widely used for the transportation of goods and passengers.v

In Rwanda, cargo bicycles are widely used for the transportation of goods and passengers. The bikes have to be robust as the cargo can reach a weight of 100 kg or more. They are often colorfully decorated and equipped with horns. In the land of a thousand hills, cyclists often try to get a grip…… Continue reading Rwanda Cargo Bicycles

After the Rain

Dusk in the hills at the foot of extinct volcano Mount Muhabura in the Virunga Mountains on the border between Rwanda and Uganda.

April 2014 marks the twentieth anniversary of the Rwandan genocide. The beauty of Rwanda’s landscape contrasts with the horror that happened in these hills.

Goose Steps in East Berlin, 1989

Changing of the guard at the war memorial Neue Wache at Unter den Linden in East Berlin, German Democratic Republic, August 1989.

As we move houses soon, I am constantly tidying up these days. Wrapped in old newspapers, I discovered two old black and white prints made from photos I took in 1989 in East Berlin, only months before the fall of the Berlin Wall. I was about 17 and dreaming of becoming a photojournalist. My favourite…… Continue reading Goose Steps in East Berlin, 1989

Two Years After Fukushima

Greenpeace protesters demonstrate against nuclear energy at a demonstration in Bern, Switzerland March 9, 2013. The event marks two years since the Fukushima nuclear catastrophe in Japan.

To mark the two-year anniversary of the earthquake and tsunami in Japan that triggered the world’s worst nuclear accident in 25 years, Greenpeace protesters demonstrated in Bern against nuclear energy and the nuclear reactor in Mühleberg in particular.