Boeing 787 Dreamliner returns to service in Ethiopia flight

April 27, 2013

Addis-13 months in Ethiopia.docx-2
An Ethiopian Airlines 787 Dreamliner has flown from Addis Ababa to Nairobi, the first commercial flight by the Boeing aircraft since all 787s were grounded in January.

The 50 planes around the world were grounded due to battery malfunctions that saw one 787 catch fire in the US.

Over the past week teams of Boeing engineers have been fitting new batteries to the aircraft.

This was after aviation authorities approved the revamped battery design.

The Ethiopian Airlines plane took off at 09:45 local time (07:45 GMT) and landed in Nairobi, Kenya, some two hours later.

Engineering team

Each 787 has two of the lithium-ion batteries which caused problems.

In addition to new versions of the batteries which run at a much cooler temperature, the batteries are now enclosed in stainless steel boxes.

These boxes have a ventilation pipe that goes directly to the outside of the plane. Boeing says this means than in the unlikely event of any future fire or smoke, it would not affect the rest of the aircraft.

Boeing said it put 200,000 engineer hours into fixing the problem, with staff working round the clock.

On Thursday, the US Federal Aviation Administration issued a formal “air worthiness” directive allowing revamped 787s to fly.

Japanese airlines, which have been the biggest customers for the new-generation aircraft, are expected to begin test flights on Sunday.

A total of 300 Boeing engineers, pooled into 10 teams, have in the past week been fitting the new batteries and their containment systems around the world.

Boeing is expected to complete repairs on all 50 of the grounded Dreamliners by the middle of May.

In addition to the Dreamliners in service with airlines, Boeing has upgraded the 787s it has continued to make at its factory in Seattle since January.

The Dreamliner entered service in 2011. Half of the plane is made from lightweight composite materials, making it more fuel efficient than other planes of the same size.

The two lithium-ion batteries are not used when the 787 is in flight.

They are operational when the plane is on the ground and its engines are not turned on, and are used to power the aircraft’s brakes and lights
Flight ETH 801 between Addis Ababa and Nairobi wasn’t exactly a run-of-the-mill flight.

For starters, it was full of Boeing executives and the boss of Ethiopian Airlines. Several passengers on board asked me what was going on, why was the BBC on a routine flight in Africa?

Many didn’t realise that they were the first passengers to fly in a Dreamliner since it was dramatically grounded in January. There were plenty who knew about the safety scare surrounding the plane, although only a couple that we spoke to said it had made them a little more tentative about flying.

Boeing still has a huge job on its hands, convincing passengers that its most high-profile, most hi-tech airliner is safe.

Two senior Boeing executives went out of their way this week to tell me that they’d happily put their family on the plane. It’s the kind of quote that sounds good.

Still, Boeing will be desperately hoping that its Dreamliner nightmare doesn’t come back to haunt it

Source BBC

New Victoria Falls City to beef up tourism

April 24, 2013

ZAMBIA (eTN) – During a ceremony at Victoria Falls Airport, Walter Mzembi, Minister of Tourism, stated that land had been allocated for a new Victoria Falls City. The city was to be modeled on Niagara Falls City and be home to hotels, theme parks, and casinos. 1,200 has been allocated to the project on the road to the airport. There are also plans to develop Kariba and Masvingo for tourism.

I think we have heard all this before. When the UN World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) meeting was announced to take part at the Victoria Falls, to be shared between Zambia and Zimbabwe, the Zimbabwe government pledged to build massive infrastructure. It didn’t happen. It didn’t happen for two reasons. Firstly the government has no money, and secondly the private sector would not take on the challenge. The situation has not changed.

Until Zimbabwe sorts out its political situation and tourists feel comfortable visiting Zimbabwe, the tourism industry cannot be revived. So, the plan to build a new Victoria Falls City will be a pipe dream and maybe is just being mooted for political means.

Meanwhile Victoria Falls Town is gearing itself up for the UNWTO. According to reports, the private sector has spent around US$16million in upgrades for their hotels. The government is working on the airport and roads; electricity and waterworks have been improved, as has Internet connection and medical facilities.

Ethiopia Dreamliners first to fly again

April 24, 2013

Ethiopian Airline-2
Ethiopian Airlines is set to become the world’s first carrier to resume flying Boeing Co’s 787 Dreamliner passenger jets, with a commercial flight on Saturday to neighbouring Kenya, two airline sources said.

Boeing’s Dreamliners have been grounded since regulators ordered all 50 planes out of the skies in mid-January after batteries on two of them overheated. US regulators approved a new battery design on Friday, clearing the way for installation.

An Air India source told Reuters in New Delhi that commercial operations should start within a week or so, immediately after approval from the local regulator DGCA.

“Ethiopian Airlines will be the first airline company to resume 787 Dreamliner flights in the world. Saturday’s the date,” a senior Ethiopian Airlines source told Reuters. “We’re flying to Nairobi, Kenya on the normal flight schedule.”

Another source, who also declined to be named, confirmed the plan to resume flights on Saturday by the airline, the first African carrier to purchase Dreamliner planes. It ordered 10, has received four, and started flying them in August.

“It should be a matter of days, not weeks. I think one week or so,” the source said, without giving further details.

The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), which grounded the planes, is expected to issue an Airworthiness Directive on Thursday. This applies to US airlines, but other nations are expected to follow suit immediately.

The grounding has cost Boeing an estimated $600m (R5b), halted deliveries and forced some airlines to lease alternative aircraft. Several airlines have said they will seek compensation from Boeing, potentially adding to the plane maker’s losses.

Randy Tinseth, Boeing’s vice president for marketing, said in the Ethiopian capital that the planes for all airlines would be modified and they would then work with their own regulatory authorities to determine when flights would resume.

“Each airline will be a little bit different,” he told reporters, adding that Boeing expected to meet its target of delivering more than 60 of its Dreamliner planes in 2013.

“The timing will change a little bit but we will be able to meet our commitments to our customers in terms of delivery this year,” Tinseth said.

Ethiopian Airlines previously said its fleet did not suffer any of the technical glitches experienced by other Dreamliner jets, though it withdrew the planes from service to undergo special inspection requirements mandated by the FAA.

– Reuters

Exodus abandons Omo Valley tours

April 18, 2013

By Oliver Smith
The tribes, known for their tattoos, body paint and lip plates, are a big draw for tourists to the region, but Exodus said the recent construction of a new road has had a negative impact, bringing in too many visitors.
“In the past the Omo Valley was hard to reach, and only a handful of more adventurous tourists would make the journey to visit the tribes,” said a spokesperson. “Many more people have started visiting and tourism to the region is becoming negative – rather than going for a special experience, the Omo Valley has become a place for tourists to simply gawk at the tribes who live there, without respecting their lifestyle and traditions.”
Any holidaymakers with existing bookings will be allowed to complete their trip, but no new ones will be accepted, it said.
In an article written before the recent completion of the new road – which links the southern towns of Konso and Jinka – Susie Grant, a tour guide for Exodus, said: “[The road] will bring more infrastructure to the Omo Valley – better medical and educational facilities, trading and many associated benefits – but, of course, it will mean that some of the tribal culture will be lost.”
She added: “The tribes largely welcome us but unwittingly we can sometimes behave in a culturally unsuitable way. It is important that as travellers we visit sensitive regions like this in a responsible, open-minded way.”
The Omo Valley is home to eight different tribes numbering around 200,000 people in total. A number of other operators continue to offer itineraries to the region, including Wild Frontiers and Explore. Marc Leaderman, head of group tour operations at Wild Frontiers, said he understood Exodus’s decision, but said his company would continue to visit the area, offering tours that provide an “ethical” and “authentic” experience.
“The region has long been a concern,” he said. “Visitors to the Omo are often overwhelmed, and the trading of money for photographs can feel awkward. We’re running just one tour this year, and are working hard to offer something that takes visitors away from the busy villages, and that attracts tourists who are respectful.”
He admitted that a lack of regulation and growing visitor numbers meant “the tide is against us” but said pulling out entirely “would help no-one”, including the tribes who now rely on the income that tourists bring.
Justin Francis, managing director of Responsible Travel, an agent that specialises in ethical holidays, said: “Exodus has clearly given this a lot of thought and I respect their decision – many tourists and travel companies find this a difficult dilemma.
“The real question is what do the tribal communities want? This becomes complex as the communities often do not share the same opinion. Some see tourism as an intrusion from which they see little benefit, others see it as one of the only ways to earn an income and improve their lives.
“I would limit tourist numbers and consult with the communities to determine which would like tourism, and which would not, and on what terms.”
According to human rights groups, the welfare of the tribes is also threatened by the construction of the Gibe III hydroelectric dam and “land grabs” by the Ethiopian government.
Elizabeth Hunter of Survival International, which campaigns on behalf of tribal groups around the world, said: “The Ethiopian government rides roughshod over the rights of the Omo Valley tribes, and is now embarking on a disastrous programme to forcibly resettle them. The decision by Exodus to pull out of the region sends a strong message to the Ethiopian government and aid agencies that the world is watching.”
Source the Telegraph

Ethiopia: Lalibela’s underground churches

February 22, 2013


By Chris Pritchard

Awe-struck visitors often call Lalibela’s underground churches the most impressive sight in all of Africa. They’re also arguably Africa’s most mysterious attraction.
Ruins such as Cambodia’s Angkor Wat and Peru’s Machu Picchu spark intense speculation about how they came to be built – along with unabashed amazement at the ancients’ architectural abilities.

Such destinations are firmly on tourist trails, with multitudinous hotels and diverse attractions to complement exploration of the ruins themselves.

But Lalibela is far less widely known.

Tourists occasionally boast of encountering no other visitors.

Egypt’s pyramids are commonly considered Africa’s top constructed attraction. However, some who’ve eyeballed Lalibela maintain it’s even more memorable than the pyramids of Giza.

My low-level flight from Addis Ababa to Lalibela crosses semi-arid countryside more reminiscent of Australia’s outback than the lush jungles of equatorial Africa. Long ridges extend like giant’s fingers over a harsh landscape. Some farming families’ homes perch precariously at cliff edges.

Lalibela lures foreigners to Ethiopia, a regionally important Horn of Africa nation.

It’s still visited mostly by intrepid backpackers and upmarket tourists (some on escorted packages). Mid-market tourism is in its infancy.

The town is named after King Lalibela, a revered 12th-century monarch. Why were the underground churches built? The answer is a mix of oral history and local legend.

The story goes like this. A prince was miraculously unhurt after being covered as a baby by a swarm of angry bees. It was an omen that he’d one day rule a vast swathe of what is present-day Ethiopia.

However, his brother, the king, was jealous of Lalibela’s popularity and tried poisoning his younger sibling with a herbal potion. Against all odds, the prince survived. But, while drugged by the poison, he was taken to heaven to see a complex of churches. Angels instructed him to build similar structures on earth.

So, when Lalibela became king he assembled a vast army of workers who built 11 churches in three clusters on a patch of land, roughly one square kilometre in size, alongside the town.

The still-used complex remains sacred to just over half of Ethiopia’s 90 million people – followers of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church, one of the world’s oldest Christian denominations which traces its history to the fourth century.

The churches occupy pits, roughly the size of squash courts, scooped from surrounding red earth to expose giant rocks.

Each large church – a few of which are linked by tunnels – is, in fact, a big rock.

Expert carvers painstakingly hollowed the rock to create big chambers complete with ornate religious sculptures.

The end-result looks as if the churches were dropped into the pits that contain them. Though called “underground churches” the sky is visible above.

Priests in ornate robes sit reading Bibles or praying quietly inside churches largely devoid of pews. Instead, the faithful stand – usually leaning against T-shaped sticks.

Some churches are filled with religious art – including gory portrayals of the spearing or impaling of non-believers – as well as elaborately carved relics of gold, brass and wood.

Priests show visitors goatskin bibles, with monks’ handwritten text in distinctive Amharic script interspersed with colourful religious art.

Outside the churches, monks live in caves in the pit walls, relying for survival on donations from local residents and visitors, and spending their waking hours praying or reading religious texts.

A monk invites me to inspect his small cave, signalling me to stand on a wooden box to peer into the dim interior.

It is empty except for a little crate containing all his worldly possessions – and a skeleton in a corner.

An English-speaking guide tells me later that the bones are those of another monk who died many years earlier. These bones, believed holy, were exhumed – and the monk keeps them next to him.

On a mule’s back I make a seven kilometre journey to a small church and monastery called Na’akuto La’ab. It is one of several in the area – natural caves that, over the centuries, have had their mouths covered with stone and doorways constructed.

Water drips from the cave’s roof into a jug. A priest tells me it’s holy water, capable of curing most ills.

To reach the cave we cross farmland, following narrow paths between fields planted with teff (a staple grain common in Ethiopia).

We stop to chat to friendly farmers who are keen to show off their few English phrases.

The locals’ huts resemble those in much of Africa – except that they’re double-storeyed. It’s peculiar to parts of Ethiopia, with a different family occupying each level.

My recalcitrant mule transports me back to Lalibela for repeat visits to several churches. Bete Medhane Alem is the world’s biggest monolithic church; Bete Maryam, according to archaeologists, is the oldest of Lalibela’s holy places; Bete Giyorgis is most visited and in best condition; Bete Golgotha is most sacred, containing a tomb believed to hold King Lalibela’s remains.

But there’s something missing. There’s no-one trying to sell me postcards and guidebooks. Not yet.


Ethiopian Air grounds Boeing 787s as precaution

January 17, 2013

Ethiopian Airlines on Thursday grounded its four Boeing 787 Dreamliners following a decision by the Federal Aviation Administration to take the planes out of service in the United States because of a risk of fire from its lithium batteries.

The Ethiopian airline said its 787s have not encountered any of the problems experienced by other airlines’ Dreamliners, but that it would ground its new Boeings “for precautionary inspection,” the company said in a statement to The Associated Press.

The FAA on Wednesday grounded Boeing’s newest and most technologically advanced jetliner until the risk of battery fires is resolved. That order applied only to the six Dreamliners operated by United Airlines, the lone U.S. carrier with 787s. But the order placed other airlines and civil aviation authorities under pressure to follow suit.

Earlier this week Ethiopian Airlines announced that it had successfully integrated its four 787 aircraft into its fleet with record-length flights.

Ethiopian Air said it had become the only carrier in the world to reach the design range capabilities of the Dreamliners by flying the aircraft from Washington D.C. to Addis Ababa, a distance of 11,500 kilometers (7,145 miles), Ethiopian Air’s longest-ever flight.

Ethiopian is the first African and the third airline in the world to operate the Dreamliner.

The 787 is the first airliner to make extensive use of lithium-ion batteries to help power its energy-hungry electrical systems. The batteries charge faster and can be better molded to space-saving shapes compared with other airplane batteries. But the batteries have been prone to catching fire.

Ethiopia: Lalibela Price Hike Angers Some Visitors

January 14, 2013


By Tamrat G. Giorgis
Foreign visitors to Lalibela were in for a nasty surprise on January 8, 2013, when they arrived at the holy churches and were told entrance fees had gone up by 160pc overnight.
The fee went up from 350 Br to 910 Br to visit the Lalibela churches in the Amhara Regional State, an hour’s flight from Addis Abeba.
The town of Lalibela was buzzing, with numerous people making a living from the tourism industry bracing themselves for the impact of the price increase, amidst concerns over how foreign visitors would react. Over 56,000 foreign visitors were reported to have arrived in the town, 636Km north of the capital, in 2011/12.
Lieuwe Bos, 24, a medical student who has just finished his studies and was travelling across Ethiopia with his girlfriend, was unable to pay the fees last week and did not go in.
“This is a rip-off,” said Bos, a visitor from the Netherlands. “How can they increase it just like this? This is more than three times what you pay at the Louvre in Paris, and that is the best museum in the world.”
Church officials vehemently defended the price hike, whilst hotel owners, tour guides and other tourism dependents denounced the increase as a ‘greedy grab’ by church officials, unconcerned about their livelihoods.
“I would not suggest for anyone to come here,” Bos said. “At least they could allow us to visit the churches individually, or give a student discount.”
Those opposed to the increase said that to keep within their budget, foreign visitors would simply spend less on other services in town, such as; buying souvenirs, hiring guides and staying at better hotels.
Adriana Bahar, Bos’s girlfriend, said, “I am very disappointed. We are at the end of our trip and we have used all of our money. We simply don’t have money for the entrance.”

One critic, involved in the tourism industry in the town, said that the head of the church in Lalibela was a powerful figure who kept his superiors happy by sharing the rich revenues that come from tourists.
“There is no accounting for the money,” he said. “The government has no say how they collect and use the money, because they say it is a church matter.”
Habtemariam Baye, who is in charge of the ticketing office at the churches, defended the price hike as long overdue.
“When it went from 50 Br to 100 Br, they said the ferengi are not going to come,” Habtemariam said. “When it went from 100 Br to 350 Br, they said the ferengi won’t come. They are now saying the same thing again, and they will be wrong again.”
The entrance fees for all of the 12 rock hewn churches of Lalibela have gone up by 160pc to 910 Br.

Gunmen kill Austrian tourist in Ethiopia

January 8, 2013

Reuters) – An Austrian man was shot dead during an apparent robbery of his travel group that was rafting down the Blue Nile river in Ethiopia, the foreign ministry said on Monday.

Three other Austrians accompanying him were unharmed in the incident that occurred on Sunday in remote country near Bahir Dar, about 570 km (350 miles) from the capital Addis Ababa. The gunmen attacked the men as they camped on the shore, a spokesman said.

Ten Austrians in all were taking part in the tour.

The survivors alerted the Austrian embassy by satellite phone about the fatal shooting of the 27-year-old victim. The gunmen eluded a search party.

The ministry’s website carries a travel advisory warning about the risks of terrorist attack in Ethiopia and the danger of kidnappings in some border areas, but has no warning for the region where this attack took place.

Five Europeans, including an Austrian, died a year ago when their travel group was attacked in the Afar region near Eritrea.

(Reporting by Michael Shields; Editing by Alistair Lyon)

In Ethiopia, faith of centuries, carved in stone

November 20, 2012


By Michael Fabey

The van progressed at a pilgrim’s pace, rattling along the rutted Ethiopian mountain road past the hamlets of huts and bouncing alongside the stream of donkeys, cows and schoolchildren making their daily journeys.Swarms of people played and watched games of table tennis on boards propped up on the uneven, dusty footpaths, next to little stalls where grizzled men and women sewed and weaved and watched the traffic of people, beasts and vehicles.These mountain masses of Ethiopians were quite used to vans of tourists making the trek from Lalibela Airport to the rock-hewn churches dug, chiseled and sculpted in the hills above in the mystical days of the medieval millennia. Ethiopia’s remote mountain enclaves have been Orthodox Christian strongholds for centuries.Our guide Wondefraw Girma, in true Ethiopian tradition, weaved tales and legends of magic, of how the Queen of Sheba journeyed from these hills to seek Solomon because, as the queen said in the Kebra Nagast, Ethiopia’s national epic, “Wisdom is the best of all treasures.”

But the queen returned with more than the wisdom of Solomon. She also bore him a son, who brought back the “true Ark of the Covenant” to these hallowed hills — where, many in the country believe, it still rests.

It may sound like the stuff of an Indiana Jones movie, but for Ethiopians, these religious precepts are serious business. The country is an island in a sea of Islamic nations, and for hundreds of years, Christianity, Islam and even native animism have all shared the same faith space.

A sense of history and tradition is inescapable here. At restaurants like Yod Abyssinia in Addis Ababa, the nation’s capital, local troupes contort themselves to traditional dances like the eskista as diners enjoy foods such as kitfo, a beef dish, and injera, the pancake-like flatbread that’s a staple of the country. Tej, the local honey-wine, makes you smack your lips and lose depth perception rather quickly.

But it’s about 400 miles north of the capital that Ethiopia’s sense of history really takes hold. Watching the sun sinking below the western rim of Lake Tana, coating the still, blue water with an orange sheen, I recalled the many battles waged around its now placid shores.

This lake fills a thousand square miles with a drainage area five times that size. It is the source of the Blue Nile, and, some believed, it provided the realm with special powers: The Egyptians thought Ethiopians controlled the river’s flow. The river and its source were, in the words of historian Alan Moorehead, “cloaked in mystery” until only a couple of centuries ago.

From here, Emperor Tewodros tried to create order from chaos in the mid-1800s, with a tyrant’s hand. The English disposed of him with an invading force, but the Brits didn’t stay. Italy tried to rule here, too, just before the advent of World War II. They didn’t last long, either. Other than Liberia, Ethiopia is the only African country never to be colonized.

With wars, as with real estate, everything is location, location, location. And these mountains surrounding Lake Tana and the region, home to early Ethiopian capitals, served as a natural fortress against invaders, African or European. The mountains were ideal, too, for hatching and growing, like those surrounding the rock-hewn churches.

King Lalibela, the story goes, was poisoned by his half-brother about a thousand years ago. The ancient monarch slipped into a coma and visited the heavens, where he was ordered to return to Earth and build the churches, to create a New Jerusalem.

The 11 churches, a Unesco heritage site, stand as a monument of human forbearance, fervor and spirit. Climbing through the rock passageways and grottos past crypts and polished stone walls towering to the sky is like taking a trek back through time.

It cost a bit more than $12 to visit the churches and another $6 to capture them on video. A local guide costs about $9, and because shoes are not allowed, visitors should factor in a small tip for the “shoe bearer” who will watch their footwear while they venture inside.

The most striking church is Bet Giyorgis, built to honor St. George, the nation’s patron. Looking at the church — shaped like an enormous Greek cross with its roof, walls and windows intricately carved and chiseled with ornamental flourish — and listening to priests chant in the background, I couldn’t help but wonder how the medieval Ethiopians performed such a task with the most primitive of tools.

Ethiopia’s forgotten attraction

October 9, 2012

BY Tsegaye Tadesse

The crocodile ranch lies almost hidden and largely forgotten behind the  airport in Ethiopia’s southern town of Arba Minch.

The country’s first crocodile farm, it was built by an enterprising  government official in the 1980s to generate foreign currency in one of Africa’s  poorest countries, where people mainly live from subsistence farming.

But the ranch has since fallen into disrepair, its decline a symbol of the  challenges facing Ethiopia as it seeks to lure more tourists to its mountainous  ranges and seemingly endless plains.

At the end of a narrow path, the crocodiles laze in deep pools, their eyes  glittering as they stare down nervous visitors. Separated according to age, the  crocodiles feast on horse meat twice a week.


Thousands of the reptiles are reared in these cement-floored pools, but the  paths leading to the ranch’s star attraction are covered with weeds and hidden  in the dense overgrowth.

Metal fences meant to protect visitors from the crocodiles’ jaws are rusted  and broken in places.

“The place would have been a gold mine, if it had been privatised to a  commercial-minded investor,” one visitor said.

Ethiopia may struggle to reach its target of attracting one million tourists  a year within the next decade.

It’s not that the country — labelled the cradle of mankind after the  discovery of ancient human remains — lacks attractions but its infrastructure  is creaking, with poor roads and a lack of hotels. A 1998-2000 border war with  Eritrea also hit tourist earnings.

Nonetheless, the government aims to promote Ethiopia as one of the top 10  tourist destinations in Africa by 2016, hoping to reap $US650 million ($A873.50  million) a year in much-needed foreign receipts.

Last year, the Horn of Africa country hosted around 227,000 tourists, earning  $US156 million ($A210 million) in foreign exchange, compared with the $US134.5  million ($A181 million) earned from 184,000 visitors the previous year,  according to ministry of tourism figures.

Like many other potential money-spinners, the crocodile ranch is crying out  for investment to improve facilities and boost earnings.

Ethiopia boasts medieval cities, rich in ruined castles, palaces and  churches. One of its holiest cities, Axum, offers teetering stelae, underground  tombs and ancient inscriptions, while the 13th century rock-hewn churches of  Lalibela feature carvings of saints and mystical symbols.

The country has eight UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

But most visitors would never come across the Arba Minch crocodile farm,  which generated a paltry $US48,000 ($A64,503) from visitors in 2000 — far below  its overhead expenses.

Some 500km south of the capital Addis Ababa, Arba Minch is studded with  glistening lakes formed from bubbling streams that flow through the tropical  forests on nearby slopes.

The lakes give the town its Amharic name which means “40 springs” in  Ethiopia’s official language.

Estifanos Endeshaw, one of the ranch’s guides, said some 5,000 crocodiles are  fished out of Lakes Chamo and Abaya each year to be reared on the farm.

Scouts from the ranch scour the lakes’ sandy beaches in search of the hidden  nooks where the crocodiles lay their eggs.

Three months after the eggs hatch, the baby crocs are transported back to the  ranch where they spend the next year in a nursery pool. It takes up to 15 years  for a crocodile to develop into a full-bodied reptile.

Twice a week huge chunks of horse meat are thrown to the crocodiles. The  horses are bought at a nearby market and kept on the ranch before being  slaughtered and fed to the crocodiles.

Some of the crocodiles are killed on the ranch, their skins destined to be  used to make expensive shoes, handbags and belts, mainly for export.

“The crocodiles being reared in the ranch are mostly for tourist attraction,  although those which are old enough are shot for their skins,” Estifanos  said.


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