Barentu, 237km west of Asmara (alt 1015m) is the capital of Gash Barka region. The trip to Barentu takes you through Keren and then Aqordet with its beautifully serene landscape. Barentu is in the fertile plains of the Gash Barka and is the heart of the Kunama ethnic group territory. For those interested in Kunama folklore Barentu is the perfect destination. The Kunama are one of the most colorful people in Eritrea. For the sociologist or anthropologist the Kunama present an abundant array of cultural characteristics to be seen and studied. The artifacts, traditional food and drinks and their celebrations are all to be richly enjoyed.
Tesenei (alt 602m) 356km from Asmara has a real frontier feel to it, especially now that the border asphalt road with the Sudan is open. It is the last major town before you reach the border with the Sudan. In the main square in front of the mosque, there is a real cultural melting pot. The town is abuzz with many kinds of different trade, including tailors, cafes, bars, and other shops. A great variety of trade is carried on here and in the surrounding market place. The town and its surroundings are very beautiful, especially after the rain when everything is lush and green.
Mendefera, 54km south of Asmara (alt 1970m) is the capital of the Southern region. The new regional offices have been built and dominate the town on the eastern side, giving a rather grand civic feel to the town. The town itself is a pretty garden town with plenty of greenery and flowers giving the place a delightful air. The town is dominated by two hills on either side of the main road. On the western hill site the old Catholic Church school, with its white bell tower, which looks a little like a miniature version of Asmara. Facing this, on the eastern hill is the more modern Orthodox St. Ghiorgis Church.
Source: Tourism Information Booklet 2013