Archive for the ‘entrance fees’ Category

Gabriella writes:

On Feb 24, 2013 we wanted to visit the three rock-hewn churches at Teka Tesfai in Tigrai. Entrance fee to Petros & Paulos, Medhane Alem Kesho and Mikael Milhaizengi was increased to Birr 150 per church per person (!!!), for a group of 15 no discount of any kind could be reached thus we decided to skip Petros & Paulos and visited only the other two. Since visiting these churches requires substantial walking in the villages, we were surrounded by local kids who soon started to demand money – Birr 10 for showing a nice view, Birr 10 for helping to walk 20 meters on the rocks. During the walk they started to throw stones. The two local guides also demanded more money than the pre-agreed fee (Birr 30 per guide was agreed, Birr 40 was given voluntarily, Birr 100 was demanded for no English and no factual guiding). By the time we reached the bus after visiting the other two churches it became almost dark. As we said goodbye to the two guides after a fierce battle over their fee and turned left to the
main road to Wukro, after a few hundred meters two stones hit the bus, one of which crashed a side window. Luckily the lady sitting by the window could jump away but the window crashed. We placed a police report in Wukro. While the churches are astonishing and are must-see, locals are very unfriendly. It would be great if Bradt could figure out what happens with those thousands of Birrs handed over to the priests on a daily basis and warn future travellers of the aggressive locals.

Suzanne writes: Prices have all gone up, some by more than 100%. Below I’ve listed the page number (5th Edition) , hotel and new price in order as we travelled around.

553       Ambo            Abebech Matafaria Hotel                        Twin Room            295 B

575       Across the street from Classic Café – new Hotel called Desalegan Hotel      Twin 330 B, Manager      Ms Tigist      0911 820 175     reception 0576 616 262.

560      Jimma            Central Hotel                                                Twin Room            304 B, The swimming pool was clean – my 9yr old happily swam in it.

153      Addis  Ababa  Mr Martin’s Cozy Place            Family Room                        340 B, Internet  35c per minute ( not 50c). Extremely clean and extremely well run by Dawit ( no longer German owned). Extremely good value and was NEVER loud ( we stayed there 3 times over 5 nights)

204        Bahir Dar            Ghion Hotel ( the darkest , dingiest place I have seen)    Twin/ triple 400 B

225        Gonder                        Queen Taitu                        Twin            280 B

226/7       Gonder Golden Gate Bar and Restaurant does not offer Chinese food, Tuscany no longer exists – now called Habesha (groovy place), Roman Hotel does not sell icecream

238       Debark                        Simien Park Hotel            Triple            400 B

256        Axum                        Africa Hotel                        Triple            300 B

268        Yeha                        Entrance                        100 B

290        Gheralta             Gheralta Lodge            EXCELLENT                        Triple            $70 (inc Breakfast), 120 B  for a 5 course Dinner

291         Abuna Yemata Guh                                    100 B entrance

291         Debre Maryam Korkor                        100 B entrance

292        Abuna Abraham Debre Tsion                        Horrible Priest – wanted a 50 B tip and was not going to open the church door. We gave him 15 .Only bad experience we had with the priests and the churches – all the others were fine and took a tip after our visit

356/7      Lalibela            Seven Olives                        Poor value – dark + musty rooms            Twin            $42;  Timkat Twin $100;  Asheton            Better value            Twin            500 B for 3, ohers reported paying 350 B for a couple

444           Hosaina            Heme Hotel            Twin            276 B

511            Arba Minch            Bekele Mola              800 B for db room + dinner (2 course) + breakfast; Paid extra 100 B for mattress. We really didn’t like this place – very isolated and apart from the view – nothing special. The meals were some of the most expensive that we saw in Ethiopia and since our fee only included 2 people , we had to pay extra for our daughter to eat and it was expensive ( so were the drinks). I would not recommend that place to individuals – OK for big groups but just stuck out in the middle of nowhere. Had to go to the doctor in Arba Minch and was recommended to go to Abaya Medical Clinic ( near the bus station) by an English nurse who works in Arba Minch. Good service.

516            Chencha + Dorze            Obligatory 150 B entrance fee to Chencha market. Initially said that it included entrance inside Dorze home as well and then asked for more money so that needs to be clarified. We did not pay more money. Dorze homes are 100% made of bamboo + grass – they are not made of enset ( false banana) leaves. The guides were adamant of that. The market in Chencha is Tuesday  ( not Monday) + Saturday. Meskel is celebrated in Dorze on 27th September ( not 1st October)

552            Konso    Strawberry Fields Eco Lodge                        Looked like a dump; Ate the worse meal I had in Ethiopia at the restaurant; It was so bad that I refused to pay for it. Karat Konso Villages – Drivers tend to take tourists to a closer village called Gamole (7kms). Obligatory   150 B  Guide  + 60 B per vehicle + 50 B per person entrance

532            Key Afar + Dimeka markets            Obligatory 150 B guide

536            Buska Lodge in Turmi            Double US $100 ( including breakfast); Twin  $ 105; Double camping with spring mattress  $ 50 ( no breakfast); Double camping with mattress on ground $ 15 ( good value); Single camping with spring mattress $ 35; Single camping with mattress on ground $ 10

541            Kolcho to visit the Karo tribe 350 B village entrance + 150 B guide (obligatory)

504           Yabello            Yabello Motel                        Large twin            863 B ( book says 200 B)

533           Arbore Tribe Wanted 200 B village entrance + 150 B non English speaking guide (didn’t stop)

463           Wondo Ganet            Wabe Shabelle Hotel                        Twin            606 B week day

That’s a

- After a negative experience with the staff there, I would not recommend Queen Taitu Pension in Gonder to solo female travellers

- Minibuses between Gonder and Bahir Dar now run regularly from the bus stations in each town, costing around 65ETB

- Entrance fees in Gonder are now 100ETB, 75ETB students

- Axum also offers a student discount, and price has not changed since previous edition

- It is no longer necessary to reconfirm domestic flights a day in advance

- prices of most Lalibela hotels have increased by 50-100% from the book; admission to the churches is now 350ETB

- While safe, Bahir Dar does seem to entail more hassling and cat-calling for solo female travellers than most other towns in Ethiopia

- For vegetarians: it’s true that Lent is the best time of year to travel, when getting food will be easy, cheap and delicious. However, the time immediately following Lent is the worst, as Ethiopians stop fasting altogether (even on Wednesday and Friday) for a period and it becomes very difficult to find vegetarian food beyond the default shiro or firfir, if that.

Stella