We did the Northern Cultural circuit plus Awash NP and Harar. Each day was wonderful and surprising. Ethiopia has an epic landscape and a unique culture and history. It is a society both medieval and modern strongly rooted in tradition but moving slowly to become a modern African country. The Ethiopian people are friendly, helpful and polite. Most are very poor, but are welcoming and very proud of their country and culture. We felt privileged to be able to share this.
Good, knowledgeable and conscientious guides at all locations visited. Well planned itinerary. Flexibility within the itinerary. Knowledge of local conditions. The itinerary worked well with no hitches.
On arrival in Addis no instructions were provided for the following morning. Suggest instructions are left with the hotel. Considering the distances travelled the vehicle could have been more comfortable. Our 4x4 was 6 years old and showing its age with maintenance issues evident e.g. windscreen wipers and wash facility. The A/C, necessary when crossing the Awash desert, was inadequate. The vehicle could have been given a clean inside and out (especially the windows) on a daily basis.
Good, knowledgeable and conscientious guides at all locations visited. Special mention for the guide at Lalibela (Deacon Desay). Good, helpful and friendly driver who was with us for the whole trip of 3000 miles. (Sofi)
The northern churches are a must, however people suffering from vertigo should investigate carefully. Take shoes/boots with a really good grip. Travelling in Ethiopia can be tiring. You need to be able to walk one to two miles a day over tricky terrain at times to access churches and other sites. A reasonable level of fitness and mobility is required. Get your inoculations and take a basic medical kit. Ethiopia is wonderful but the tourist infrastructure is work in progress. In Ethiopia when there is a toilet opportunity take it. Be prepared for basic hotel accommodation at some locations e.g. Woldiya. Awash Falls Lodge is looking pretty tired although it is an amazing location. Ethiopian cuisine is an acquired taste. Western menus are offered and are satisfactory but may be limited.
Hard to choose - Lalibela, Axum, Gondar, volcanic landscapes, Simien Mountains and Harar. The two nights at the Limalimo Lodge which is superb. The Ethiopian people.