Ethiopia travel info
Somalia- Ethiopia 18
days, Sept- Oct 07
Kind of travel:
Alone in a 100% independent travel
27th Sept- 14th Oct 2007
Ethiopia is huge so I had to take 4 flights (flights
fares). No buses are allowed to travel after 6.00 pm, hence
any long-distance-bus leaves at 6.00 am (at least 5.30 am at
the station to fight for the seat) and most of the travels take
2 days. Otherwise gathering a group you can ride your own jeep,
but that's not my way.
Nice mild weather (16C- 28C). Though in Dahar Bar and Dire Dawa
warmed up, still bearable. Anyway most of the time cloudy and
everywhere in the late afternoon it never missed a shower.
There's no lack of cheap guesthouses (3- 10 euro): even they
promise you, don't count on the hot water (few times also the
cold one in buckets) and on the 24h electric power. It'll happen
to share the bed (but not the bill! ) with the bugs, bring your
Cheeeeeeap beeeeeeer!!!!! (0.5 euro/ bottle). I appreciated
the Muslim- Cristian atmosphere in Harar and Lalibela with its
surroundings won't disappoint you!
What I disliked:
Hanging around in the towns can be a hassle and I ended up getting
quite fed up: "Faranji, Faranji!!" (foreigner= white
man) it'll echo
in your ears. Fighting for your seat on the bus at 5.30am it's
not fun. I found the food terrible.
If you have time to travel by bus, Ethiopia can be relatively
cheap (15- 20 euro/day). Otherwise, with averagely 100 euro
per flight, your budget'll soar, let alone renting your own
"Faranji, Faranji (foreigner)!!"can be really unbearable,
anyway the real danger will be your minibus to get smashed against
something while rallying on the way.
a sweater, bug/fleapowder, a small umbrella and a lot of patience
IMPRESSIONS ABOUT ETHIOPIA
I'm sorry to say, but for a traveller Ethiopians
are more a hassle than a help. Walking around means put up with
an endless: "Faranji, Faranji!! (white man)" I know
there could be many justifications: poverty, lack of education,
just curiosity, mostly are kids
I can even agree with
them, but at the end, it turns out so bothering, that you think
twice before wandering aimlessly. The worst places were Lalibela,
Addis Ababa and the Blue Nile waterfalls.
If you want to hear more points of view on such hassle, this
forum post is very interesting.
There some things I still don't understand and have nothing
to do with the fact of being poor. Getting a bus at 6.00am means
to fight with a crowd of peasant when the bus station opens
at 5.30am. Then you have to find the right bus, getting mad
asking around. What does it cost to sell always the ticket one-day
in advance and put a sign indicating the destination?
And above all, can somebody explain me why Ethiopians are so
scared to open the windows even slightly on buses despite it
stinks like the hell? Sometimes I tried to open the window but
few cm were enough for an immediate uproar.
Many times to me seemed that it would need so little effort
and zero money to have a lot of things working better.
Furthermore for an independent traveller without a vehicle it
is not easy to draw an itinerary in Ethiopia unless you don't
fly or you haven't plenty of time. In fact bus trips take from
one to two days. Hence for a wanna-to-get-the-bus like me, it
turned out a torture to spend most of the time getting to/ from
On the other hand I found the north of Ethiopia greener than
I thought, temperature was perfect and the landscape around
Lalibela was amazing also for some trekking.