The easiest and quickest way to get to around Ethiopia from Addis Ababa is to fly. Ethiopian Airlines currently connects 20 cities across Ethiopia. Many flights leave Addis early in the morning, and return early in the afternoon. Not all routes offer a daily service though. Tesfa Tours can assist by reserving and booking flights through our partner travel agency. See Ethiopian Airlines local flight network
Instead of relying on buses it is also possible to hire a vehicle to take you around. Tesfa Tours can arrange this for trips to Meket from Lalibela, Gondar, Bahir Dar or Mekele (or even Gheralta Lodge). Habtamu Baye has been working with us in Lalibela for a number of years and his company (Treasure Transport) operate a number of vehicles based in Lalibela. Tesfa Tours also has a fleet of landcruisers and minibuses too and we are able arrange pick up at Addis Ababa airport, a tour of Addis itself and trips out of Addis.
Those with more time and who want to see more of the surrounding countryside may chose to do all or some parts of their journey by road. The roads are improving, the main East west road that dissects Meket (the ‘Chinese Road’) is now asphelted, as are the main arteries from Addis heading north. Local buses ply all major roads in Ethiopia and vary from uncomfortable to hellish. However good buses leave Addis for Dessie, Gondar and Bahir Dar, and the buses from Dessie and Weldiya to Gondar and Bahir Dar can be OK and pass close to many of the sites south of Lalibela.
It is a good idea to bring good boots. The going can be rocky and there are times of year when you might encounter rain. If you climb the mountain (Abuna Yoseph) it can also be cold. However the most important thing is that you do not wear brand new boots for a hike that are not broken in as blisters are the worst outcome. Also do not wear old boots that are likely to fall apart.
We recommend wearing 'zip-off' walking trousers. Good socks to go in the boots are important. A collared short sleeve shirt keeps the sun off more of the neck. Do bring a fleece/jacket/top for cold evenings, and a rain/wind jacket for showers. Remember the sun is harsh at altitude so have a sun hat.
It comes and goes, some places have good reception others none. You might want to buy an Ethiopian Telecom SIM card in Addis Ababa if you want to stay in touch.
Not essential as the communities provide beds with mattresses, sheets and blankets. However, if you want to feel snug and cosy there is no harm in bringing one along. The higher places can be cold at night.
Unfortunately not. We suggest bringing enough spare batteries or a solar charger.
No. There are donkeys provided – they can carry a maximum of 40kgs. So one donkey per two guests means they can carry a 20kg bag. Please use soft bags for the donkeys.
I was amazed at how much we did in 11 days and this has to be the best holiday ever. Back in London, I have some rich memories to keep me going over the winter, and for the rest of my life. Unusually I came back from holiday a couple of pounds lighter and quite a bit fitter that when I left. Thank you Tesfa, I don't know what else you could have done!'