In regards to our trip to Ethiopia – we had a great time. Tiring, but fantastic. We were lucky with our guide and driver – they really helped make the trip unforgettable. We were pleased we were driven rather than fly in some instances as this meant we saw so much more of the stunning scenery and the villages where people live.
The trip was well organised – everyone turned up when they should have, we stayed in the hotels and visited the sites as per itinerary. Both the transport in Addis and the vehicle that was used during the rest of the holiday were clean and comfortable and plenty big enough for 4 people and luggage. Our guide was great – we couldn’t have asked for a better one. His English was very good, he was very knowledgeable about the history, geography and culture of his country and very interesting to talk to. He re-arranged the visiting of sites to times he knew they would be less busy (something we really appreciated) and when he found out we like to walk, he managed to incorporate 60 mins walks most days (and all in interesting places). He also showed us ‘everyday’ places in the towns and not just the tourist sites. We have visited many countries and experienced many guides and I can honestly say Amanuel is one of the best guides we have ever had. Our driver was also very good. He is a safe driver and knew his way about. His English was good, which was lovely because it meant we could enjoy his company for meals (and he was great company!!). Some hotels and lodges were better than others (the Sheraton Addis, Kuriftu Resort and Limalimo Lodge were all exceptionally nice) but all accommodation was acceptable. We were disappointed not to get the lodge that was booked in Gheralta initially but understand your Ethiopian partner did their best to find alternative accommodation once the first one fell through. It meant we did not see as much of Gheralta as hoped since Agoro lodge was a very long distance from the churches. The scenery was absolutely stunning with the Simien mountains and the drive from Mekele to Lalibela being the highlights. But it was also very interesting to see the agricultural landscape and the way this is farmed. And we will not forget the millions of locusts that landed on the crops with the people trying to chase them away. It was truly amazing to see the historic sites. It must be the best kept secret in the world since not many people in the Western world seem to know about it. Once this secret is out Ethiopia will be overrun with visitors (and they won’t be disappointed). We loved seeing the wildlife in the Simien mountians ( Gelada baboons, Ibex, Klipspringers, columbus monkeys and numerous birds including the Lammergeyer vulture), but we also saw many monkeys, baboons and lots of birds in other places on our trip.
A big THANK YOU to you and your Ethiopian partners for this trip. We will recommend it to many.