Hello /trv/, have any of you been to Addis Abeba?
I want to visit Addis in May with a friend and spend about a week there. I am quite new to ninternational travel, so I'd be glad for any and all tips.
>Do you know a good hostel?
>Is it reasonable to take a taxi to the north, so we can climb Mt. Entoto by foot?
>Have you been to Ethiopia?
Hey anon, I've been in Ethiopia for 2 months now so I'm willing to answer any questions you have.
Personally, I found Addis to be an overcrowded and dirty shithole - can't recommend much to do out there that can be done elsewhere in the country. Got the fuck outta there after 2 days. With that said, the cheapest form of transport in Addis is minibus. You can ask your hotel about where to catch them towards the mountain.
Most tourists stay in Piazza. You can expect to pay around 200-250 birr for the cheapest/best price ratio accommodation.
If you're new to international travel I wouldn't recommend Ethiopia desu senpai. The sad part about the country is that wealthy people have come along and showed the people here large amounts of money for very little. I'm half habesha and can speak some Amharic so I get treated with a bit more respect, but I've heard tourists complain that they were getting fleeced everywhere they went.
One week is definitely too much time in Addis and not enough time to properly explore the country. The tourists who found the country difficult were on a tight schedule and constantly planning things ahead of time and desu that's really not how things work here. I personally wouldn't make a trip out here for less than a month.
Anyways, feel free to ask about anything.
Personally, I found Addis to be an overcrowded and dirty shithole - can't recommend much to do out there that can't be done elsewhere in the country for cheaper**
Also seconding what >>1068909 said. The women here are really fit. Disregard anything you might hear about it being a conservative culture. Even with my slight autism I find it easy to score.
Thanks for the advice! I'm gonna get a hotel in piazza, looks good.
>Got the fuck outta there after 2 days.
But did you go to the merkato? Or the museums and churches? Or Mt. Entoto?
>The tourists who found the country difficult were on a tight schedule
Nah, we're relaxed, but I just can't spend one or two months in Ethiopia.
> I've been in Ethiopia for 2 months
Are you there as a tourist or for business? Where is your home?
What place would you recommend for the duration of a week?
>But did you go to the merkato? Or the museums and churches? Or Mt. Entoto?
I think you have quite a romantic view on Addis, anon.. Merkato is a really dirty, smelly and overcrowded market. I've seen my fair share of markets and merkato is one of the most mental places I have been and not in a good way. The museums are quite small and can be seen in half a day while there are churches all over the country without being in a city where you want to kill yourself. I wanted to see the Mt. but decided against it. If you skip it, I don't think you'll be missing much. Air quality is really bad in Addis and I don't think you'll be able to see much from the top.
>Nah, we're relaxed, but I just can't spend one or two months in Ethiopia.What place would you recommend for the duration of a week?
If you realllllyyy want to see Addis, then by all means go ahead, anon. I would recommend spending 2-3 days max in Addis then taking the bus up to Bahir Dar - very scenic ride and you'll be able to see some rural life. Bahir Dar is a tropical, relaxed and clean by Ethiopian standards city. It has a lot of nature and architecture which seems to be what you're after. I also found it to be the easiest place to meet people and experience hospitality. Bahir Dar is also home to best and cheapest chat since it's grown right outside the city. If you're interested in crunching up some leaves, there's cool little chat cafes situated on the Nile where you can shoot the shit with the locals all day and watch the tropical birds fly by as you slowly get high as tits.
>Are you there as a tourist or for business?Where is your home?
I'm here as a tourist but staying with family. I made a loop around the north if you have any questions about those cities. I'm American.
I agree with the other anon, Addis Ababa is the least interesting place in Ethiopia and not the for newbies.
I travelled a week in the south, around Arba Minch, so feel free to ask anything about that area.
I can recommend Getts travel if you want to book tours in the country. Cheap and professional www.getts.com.et
Not talking about direct payment, like hookers, but how much, if any, did you come out of your pocket, and how much time and effort was spent? I'be always wanted an Ethiopian but chiefly came across them in the Middle East (never been to Africa) and could have hooked up with some, but there were always easier alternatives that made it not worth effort. I figured I'd be more motivated to pursue in Ethiopia where that's all that's there.
>Not talking about direct payment, like hookers, but how much, if any, did you come out of your pocket, and how much time and effort was spent?
I hooked up in a mekele club. Paid for my own beers (~20 birr a bottle), which i gripped tightly, and the the girl paid for her own. It seems that most Ethiopians lack any inhibitions whatsoever, so as long as you're not afraid to make an ass of yourself - aka shoulder dance - you can live like a king here. Honestly one of the best feels is having your chick hand feed you injera w/tibbs desu.
The current girl I'm seeing took little effort which may be a good thing or a bad thing depending on who you are. She works in a restaurant/bar next to my hotel and all I needed to do was flaunt a lil Amharic and buy a few drinks for her. I think I've spoken to you in another thread. If your resume is all it is cracked up to be, you shouldn't have any probs senpai.
>I think you have quite a romantic view on Addis, anon..
Yes, I know. I'm a bit naive, but my friend is a bit scared, so we balance each other out ;-)
>It has a lot of nature and architecture which seems to be what you're after.
Exactly. Thank you for your tip, this seems to be the town we've been looking for. Would you take skybus or a private bus for getting from Addis to Bahir Dar?
It all depends on your level of comfort breh. I personally roll with the local bus - make sure to bring headphones in case you don't like the drivers music!
Abay or Salam bus are both comfy and about 300 birr. You can buy the tickets around the central stadium. Try to by them at the latest the day before you depart.
O yeah, Ethiopian time is 6 hours behind! When the ticket says the bus leaves at 11, it usually means 5am! Make sure to double and triple check the day before you leave, but most busses depart before 6am.
>Ethiopian time is 6 hours behind! When the ticket says the bus leaves at 11, it usually means 5am!
huh? I don't get it
Six hours behind which time? Why would they not print local time on tickets?
Sorry, I meant 6 hours behind international time.
Most countries start the new day at midnight, right? Unlike convention in most countries, the start of a new day in Ethiopia begins at dawn. So 6:00am in East Africa Time, Ethiopia's time zone, is 12:00am in local Ethiopian time. 7am EAT is 1 am Ethiopian time, etc. Am I making sense?
It can be a bit confusing since some people will convert the time to international time to accommodate foreigners and some people will use Ethiopian time. Make sure to double check.
Hi, not OP but I'm very interested in first-hand experiences on Ethiopia. I'm currently in that point where I don't know whether to book a flight or not due to several doubts that I have been reading here and other forums.
I planned to do the north loop and Harar during three weeks next November traveling completely independently and solo. I got a bit scared as I read that Ethiopia can be really frustrating/mind demanding because traveling there as a european white solo independent tourist I will be constantly overcharged, harassed and even kids are gonna throw stones at me. I also read that from the safety point of view Ethiopia is a breeze i.e. no robberies, your live is not at stake and so on.
I would really like someone's two cents to make my decision.
I'm not in a budget constraint but I generally don't like being overcharged dishonestly and I always carry my DSLR with me. So really paying a bit more wouldn't be a problem for me as long as it is something kinda agreed.
Basically I am open to read any first-hand experience on Ethiopia especially if solo travel and/or independent travel. Cheers.
Honestly, Addis isn't the best place to be a tourist. I was there for about 5 days and that was more than sufficient to do anything and everything that a tourist would want to.
2-3 days there is probably the best amount of time.
If you were planning on getting a local sim card, remember that they are only sold in the government ethio telecom shops. You'll need your passport and 15-60 minutes.
In Addis it comes in really handy, since you can rely on meter taxis instead of haggling. Adika really makes life easier, if you aren't that comfortable with the minibuses. You'll pay a little more than a local probably would with a normal taxi, but it's so much easier for you.
Fuck that, don't be a pussy. Jump in the minibusses like the locals do. A taxi will cost you about 200 birr where the minibus will be 2-10 birr at most
I agree with the sim card part, they only 35 birr and you can top up your phone for cheap cheap cheap.
I fucking hated the way their buses always left at 5 or 6 in the morning. Waking up at 4:30 and trudging through deserted, shitty, stinky streets while it's dark and freezing and hoping those packs of wild dogs don't decide to eat me is not a nice way to start the day.
Addis really is a shithole. I had to spend a month there because of reasons. You can make good local friends, but to be honest the majority of them are just trying to get money/drinks out of you. I've visited a lot of countries and Ethiopia is by far the worst for that. On the other hand, you can be influenced by khat/weed/wine 24/7 for next to no money, so that's a plus.
I've heard that more than once. I really read that Ethiopia is very safe by african standards and actually even by SEA standards but very annoying at the same time. A little bit more insight would be appreciated
Nah. I got mine in Addis when I arrived for like a dollar. Hell, I didn't even get any vaccinations before I arrived since the country I was traveling from didn't have any lol. I ate the raw meat and drank the water without any issues. I didn't visit the south however where you prob wanna get some malaria pills.
I'm the anon who posted above about Ethiopia. Don't feel like making a big post, but I feel the bad reviews you hear about Ethiopia come from tourists who speed through the main touristic cities. I felt constantly harassed in Gonder, Axum and Lalibela, but I was able to tell them no and to piss off since I knew a bit of the language. Unfortunately a lot of rich tourists, my Ethiopian dad included, come in and show these folks a lot of money for very little. This sets an expectation that every tourist is an opportunity to make money.
If you take your time while going through the cities and mix in with the locals, you'll find that they're very hospitable.
Dunno how helpful my post was, but I'm going to sleep. I'll try my best to give you some tips about Ethiopia later if you have any questions regarding anything.
I understand that but in other countries with the same circumstances I felt really safe and left alone. How about security/safety? One thing is getting harassed/bothered but if the place is actually safe and people don't mug you I guess it would be fine. Or at least I would be more willing to decide going. In the end I'm a white guy going solo with no language so that scares me a little bit. I have travelled a lot around the world bit have little experience in Africa.
I would also like to know if such an itinerary is doable in three weeks. I intend to fly to addis, then do the complete north tour including Danakil and Erta Ale and in the end of the trip (or in the beginning depending the connections I can get) do one day in Harar.
It's good to have someone knowledgable here, just what I need to get convinced I guess
I wouldn't call the country dangerous so long as you keep your wits about you. Don't walk around at night alone, don't carry anything flashy on you that might attract attention, etc.. Ethiopians are p friendly so they'll be glad to help you out and make sure you're safe, just look out for the ones who are trying to get money out of you. In this case I would say to be wary of strangers who walk up to you in the street.
Your itinerary seems doable, but I wouldn't spend too much time on making a strict plan. Take a few days to chill out and take things easy the Ethiopian way. Have a few cities in mind and go with the flow as the meme goes.
Feel free to ask anything about prices, transportation, drugs, whatever.
>don't carry anything flashy on you that might attract attention
Well, as I mentioned I always carry the DSLR
I think I have a good instinct/insight and street smarts but if somebody is determined to go at you then there is little you can do about being alone in an unfamiliar country. That's why I want to know if it's just like any other place in say asia/south america or really a tourist is in jeopardy.
I'm glad to hear the itinerary seems OK. I'm thinking on doing everything on ground transportation apart from the Harar part where I would take a flight in and out.
How much would you budget a day with a normal to shit-tier accommodation and ground transport. Including fees and stuff?
>Well, as I mentioned I always carry the DSLR
Right. I can't speak for Asia or South America since I've never been, but I doubt anyone is gonna mug you in broad daylight. Seen a few people around here carrying their big cameras and they seemed to be managing alright. Just be careful at night, use common sense and you should be good.
>How much would you budget a day with a normal to shit-tier accommodation and ground transport. Including fees and stuff?
I got around with the local busses and it is very cheap. A ticket to the next big city is somewhere between 50-90 birr, with the bus out Addis being the exception. The bus conductor might try to rip you off and quote a higher price, so ask the locals with you how much it is. Someone in there will be able to speak English.
Also be careful with hotel managers as many times they will lie to you about there being no buses available. Very common trick to get foreigners to travel to the next city in their 4x4 jeep. Ruck up to the bus station with a tuktuk and ask around. It's a bit chaotic but you'll find someone shouting out the city you need to get to. Buses run till late in the evening, but if you're covering a long distance it's better to check things out in the morn.
Normal quality accommodation is about 200-300 bir. Comes with a big clean bed, shower with "hot" water, TV with 4 channels and """" WiFi"""". No need to stoop down to shit-tier accommodation since normal is already fairly cheap and those rooms are used for fuggin prostitutes, which can be bought for 200-300 birr of that's your thing ;)
Food is deliciois and cheap if you've got an adventurous stomach and decide to eat outside of the hotel. A fish curry or a land dish with injera can be found for under 40 birr. You're most likely not gonna get a menu in this place, so it's a good idea to learn the names of some of the dishes.
>You're most likely not gonna get a menu in this place, so it's a good idea to learn the names of some of the dishes.
Well, I was planning to get along with my english... How about the language barrier?
This thread has legit convinced me to visit ethiopia for 9 days in a few weeks time.
I really enjoy hiking, was thinking of flying in, taking some kind of bus to a national park and spend five days hiking or so. Any recommendations?
was thinking of the simiens park, but don't like the fact that it is mandatory to hire a scout. anywhere else? to be honest, not even looking to do much touristy stuff or 'see the sights', I just enjoy visiting quiet little villages and going for long walks.
in terms of gear, I usually carry enough stuff to be self sufficient, but obviously visiting little towns for local food and stuff is welcome.
I've heard nothing but bad impressions of Ethiopia from experienced African travellers I've talked to.
If it's OP's first visit to Africa, you can't can't go wrong with anywhere in East Africa from Uganda through to South Africa.
You'll be fine, ordering food might be a problem but you can just go to where the locals are eating and point to what they have if it looks appetizing to you. If you've got balls you can try some raw meat.
I'm glad to hear that anon. In my opinion the touristy stuff wasn't that interesting for me since I don't have a raging hard on for churches. I can only speak for the north, but I found Bahir Dar to be the chillest place to mix in with the locals, see a few churches and has the best nature for major cities in the north. There are villages situated around lake tana you can go out to and visit and possibly even camp out at.
I've heard good things about Awasa and Arba Minch in the south so they're worth looking into.
>was thinking of the simiens park, but don't like the fact that it is mandatory to hire a scout. anywhere else?
2bh I felt the same about the Simien mountains when I read up that you needed a mandatory scout. The park association makes it mandatory in an effort to create jobs for the local villagers and 2bh I found it that it was worth it to have a homie around who lived in those mountains. Just know that these guys are purposely selected to not speak English. The landscape and wildlife are absolutely breathtaking, so don't let a few dollars a day be the reason why you don't go.
There are also lots of mountains in-between cities and villages, not sure what's stopping anyone from setting up shit and camping out there propah like.
>in terms of gear, I usually carry enough stuff to be self sufficient, but obviously visiting little towns for local food and stuff is welcome.
I brought my own tent, sleeping bag and cooking equipment since I knew I would be camping out. The equipment you can rent out from the park office is proper shite. You can also stay in the lodges up in the Simien mountains for the first 4 camps for only 130 birr a night. You can also buy simple dishes up there like lentils or spaghetti for 30-50 birr.
I think it depends on what kind of traveler you are. If you're going to have your head burried in your Lonely Planet guide book bouncing from one tourist site to the next, you're probably going to get the impression that everyone in Ethiopia is trying to take your money. I believe that if you take a few days just to chill with the locals, you'll have a great time and experience authentic Ethiopian hospitality.
The Ethiopian restaurant in my city is fantastic. The food is usually very basic but flawless, spicy as a motherfucker, and served with that sourdough pancake stuff.
Wonder how it compares to food in the actual country.
Thanks for the feedback. I guess with all your answers you convinced me. I just booked my flight for 3 weeks in November. It was pretty cheap
Thanks for the info bro. I don't think hiring a mandated scout is a make or break situation for me anymore but I'm still doing my research.
I fly out feb 18th and will have a trip report written up in this thread soon thereafter.
Goddamn, this is why I like /trv/; had I not seen this thread I would have just flown out to northern india and done the same old mountain trip I've done countless times already.
Sounds great anon. I'll still be around Bahir Dar farting around with the family members and local friends. If you make a trip through Bahir Dar, it would be cool to meet up for some brews.