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.
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.
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.
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.