Archive for the ‘Ankober’ Category

Yves Stranger of Equus Ethiopia writes:

I wanted to introduce the first exploratory ride on the new Zara Yacob Trail, a horse trekking route that will link Ankobar and the forest of Wof Washa to the forest of Menagesha Suba, 40 km to the west of Addis Ababa.

The trail will highlight the historic Emperor Zara Yacob who first passed edicts protecting the forest of Menagesha Suba in the 15th century, bringing seedlings from the forest of Wof Washa some 250-300 km away.
It is hoped that the Zara Yacob Trail will:
* Develop eco tourism in Ethiopia
* Create employment opportunities
* Create an indigenous story of environmental protection
* Boost Ethiopia’s positive image
You can find some more information about the Zara Yacob Trail here:
and more information about who Emperor Zara Yacob was here:
For more information please contact Yves Stranger at yvesmariestranger@gmail.com or info@equus-ethiopia.com
Ankober Palace Lodge has let us know that the road from Addis Ababa to Debre Birhan is now completed and the road from Debre Birhan to Ankober is has been upgraded, so ou can now use ordinary sedan cars to get there.  The total driving time from Addis Ababa to Ankober is now less than three hours.
They are also offering low season tariffs, which extend to the end of August 2011. Single rooms are now at $40 for weekdays and $50 for weekends. Double rooms are $50 weekdays and $60 weekends, breakfast Vat and service charges included.

Ankober Palace Lodge review

Posted: May 1, 2011 in Ankober

We were a bit disappointed with this hotel. The cheapest daily rate for a double room is USD85 per night including breakfast (the price in the Bradt Guide is USD 35/45). It was our honeymoon; so we were a bit disappointed to find out all rooms have two single beds and not at least one double bed. The rooms are simple but nice. Also, they had quite a few guests during our stay and placed them right next to us, although there were other rooms available not so close to us.

The place is basically run by two members of staff who do everything from reception to waitressing, reception and acting as guides (guided tours and coffee ceremonies are charged separately though, and are not particularly cheap).

On the first night, we were greeted by the owner, who gave us a lecture on how he is just breaking even (which I doubt), and how he wanted to help the community by setting up the hotel where the ancient Menelik Palace was. On the same night, the chicken we had ordered was virtually inedible. It was quite embarrassing, as we had to leave it right in front of owner (he was eating with us).

On the second day, though, we went for a walk to town, only to find lots of children asking for money, a young boy who appointed himself our guide, until we told him were didn’t need one and were not going to give him any money. There is no indication that Ankober Palace interacts with the locals as most guests do not even leave the hotel and a security guard by the front door does not allow locals to come in (though the staff are at least employed from amongst the local population).

To complete the experience, their menu is really quite expensive, comparing unfavourably with restaurants of a similar quality in Addis. Most disappointing of all, their ‘international’ food is practically inedible. After ordering two overcooked and impossibly tough meat dishes, we started ordering local food, which was actually very good (and much cheaper than the international dishes, though still rather more than one would find in most Ethiopian restaurants). Having said that, there are only 3 local dishes available in the menu and 2 of them are vegetarian.

The hotel offers guided tours and visits, for which one pays separately. My husband did a trek that cost 650 Birr, in which one of the two principal members of staff acted as the guide. On day 3, we paid 150 Birr to visit Aliyo Amba on the market day. In the hotel description it said “Drive 14km by car to Aliyo Amba to visit the market etc…”. When we booked, we thought it was a bit cheap and asked if the ‘car’ was included, which we were told it was. On the day, the guide/restaurant lady/member of staff told us to be ready at 7am and meet her at the gate. It turned out that the ‘car’ was the local bus, which was actually full and didn’t stop for us. Luckily, some guests who were staying at the hotel and had their own 4WD gave us a lift to Aliyo Amba. We did the market thing (our lady guide was very nice and helpful) and took the local bus back to the hotel, which was NOT included in the 150 Birr we had paid and was 25 Birr per head for the 3 of us (lady guide, myself and my husband). The 150 Birr apparently covered her fee – a not unreasonable rate at all and far cheaper than the 650 Birr option the prior day, but not at all clear in the guidance notes and price list.

At the market, we bought mangos and papaya. The hotel kept running out of juice, so we thought it would be nice to get our own fruit for them to use to prepare juice for us. Once back at the Lodge, we realised that they only offer papaya juice because papaya is much cheaper than mango. When we asked the kitchen staff to make the mango juice for us, they didn’t know how to do it and I ended up doing it myself in the kitchen, which was actually worth it as the mango was really nice and sweet.

Members of staff were very nice to us all the time, the place has a fantastic view, and is peaceful and quiet (apart from the couple with a baby placed in the room next to ours on day two of our four-day visit).

Debora Chobanian

Ankober & Koremash

Posted: December 19, 2009 in Ankober, Koremash

KOREMASH : it is really a wonderful place and it is possible to pitch a tent in the police compound, which is the most impressive place in the village. From this spot, one can organize walks with a guide, even into the large valley (which is not the Awash River but the tributary Kassem.  

ANKOBER : Ankober Palace Lodge is a pleasant place but the restaurant is overpriced and the rooms cost 80/95 $ for single/double. When we showed the Bradt guide to the person in charge of the staff, he laughed and told us you made a big mistake with the prices. He didn’t want to make a discount, even during weekdays, though he had only 2 or 3 customers!!!!  On top of this, we had to pay 32.10 Birrs for 2 people as an entrance fee just to visit the lodge, look at the landscape and a wall of old stones! We decided to return to Debre-Birhan for the night. Shoestring hotels are very dirty in the town.

The walk from Ankober to Aliyu-Amba is about 3 ½ to 4 hours. It goes downhill through beautiful country with friendly people everywhere. There are some basic hotels in the village but the Wabit Café has clean rooms with common shower, it charges 20 Birrs for two. The local cook is good. No farenji tariff is applied here and the owner is amiable.

Yolande and Jacky BOTTINI

Ankober Palace Lodge

Posted: September 29, 2009 in Ankober

Ankober Palace Lodge  - great place ,been twice BUT

1.       Customers need to be aware you have to leave your car at the bottom of the conical hill on which lodge is built and climb steps/footpath for 5/10minutes to reach reception. Not the place to take the elderly or immobile..

2.       You are some 9000ft plus – you need warm clothes in the evenings -  restaurant has a fire but rooms chilly.

3.       As at 09/09 Addis  to Debre  Berhan road under repair 2009 – ie new tarmac being done…

BUT   Don’t be put off by these facts… it is a magical place —you will probably get photos with the clouds  below you in the valley…..

Frank Rispin