Archive for the ‘Jimma’ Category

Jean Newbury writes:

Arba Minch

- Getting there on ‘level 1’ bus from Terra in Mercato, when buying ticket I insisted on a window seat and was given (with a chuckle) seat number 01. This is across from the driver and offers amazing views out of the windshield. Downside is you won’t be allowed to sleep, I received sharp prods every time I drifted off! View will keep you going though.

- Main draws – park and crocodile market – are very tough without a group, own transport or enough money to hire a 4×4 ($150 a day). I hung around the park entrance to try and join a group, but the shifty guides were most unhelpful and reluctant to allow this. Walk to 40 Springs is worth it.

- Lake Abaya jetty, 500m or so past the crocodile ranch, is not accessible. You can get to within 200m of the lake, but then swamp and marsh land block access. Don’t try and walk it – I saw a crocodile when I did, scary. Road there is pleasant, saw thirty or so baboons and white tailed monkeys.

- Avoid Kairo Hotel at all costs. Worst hotel I’ve stayed in to date and overpriced. Due to construction, it’s become the new Abaya Hotel – buses leaving early, condoms in drawer, might as well have slept in the church it’s so close and loud.

- Tourist Hotel does not sell pizzas.

- Arba Minch market is worth a wander, small but colourful (I saw it on a Wednesday).

- Really recommend walking to the hilltop church in Secha for the sunrise over the lakes. Go West at the Oil Libya roundabout (past hotel Roza), you’ll see the red, yellow and green coloured church on the hill straight ahead.

Dorze

- Guides are not mandatory for a visit to the weaving and potters cooperatives (100 bir for entrance to both).

- Local buses from Arba Minch leave when full and there are no minibuses running the route. The bus is 18 bir, don’t pay more.

Chencha

- Market doesn’t really kick off until past 11am.

- Buses leave to Arba Minch when full, reserve seat with bag and go for a walk.

- Easy walk from Dorze or flag a free lift with a passing bus.

Konso

- Simple day trip from Arba Minch with frequent minibuses (30 bir). Amazing scenery.

- For Konso village (Dekatu – 3km walk up hill, past museum), guide is not necessary

Chuck writes:

I’ve lived in Ethiopia (in Bonga, just 3 hours past Jimma) for most of 2011 and 2012 and can share some tips:

Both Selam Bus and Sky Bus travel the route between Addis and Jimma, but stick to no consistent schedule and frequently cancel buses the morning of departure (and expect you to just stick around for another day in Addis, as they offer no refunds). They use their most decrepit buses for this journey, but reserve their nicest buses for the North.

In Addis: Selam’s ticket station is across from Meskel Square down an alley. Sky Bus’s ticketing is done next to Taitu Hotel in Piazza. Both buses depart from Meskel Square. Selam only departs in the morning, but you may find that Sky Bus alternately departs at 1 pm in the afternoon (as it tries to do a round-trip journey to/from Jimma).

In Jimma: Selam’s ticket office is in same building as Central Jimma Hotel. Sky Bus office is next to Syf Hotel. Both buses depart from these ticket offices.

I could write in which days which bus travels between Addis and Jimma and vice versa, but that information will be completely obsolete by tomorrow. I’m dead serious. Your best bet is to get to the ticket offices two days in advance and check both Sky and Selam. My guess is that these luxury buses don’t understand the first thing about customer service: that you stick to a schedule and maintain reliability and consistency over the loss of a few birr here and there. Instead they would rather inconvenience you as much as possible.

I have to make the trip between Jimma and Addis quite often and will always try to avoid Selam and Sky bus if possible.

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

News from Jimma

Posted: December 23, 2009 in Jimma

Hi I have just been in Jimma for 10 days and lived in Central Jimma hotel. The price was the same as on the price list (169 Birr for a good, clean room with private shower). There was electricity nearly every day. They have email in the reception. Food in Central Jimma is excellent. In the moment they are making new main roads in Jimma, so it is a little bit dusty. The road from Addis to Jimma is very good. The way back to Addis I wanted to drive with Selam bus – but it is not driving every day. So i went with public bus – it was o.k. (8 hours).Flight costs 640 birr -every day without monday.

Greetings from Austria, Martin

Wenchi & Jimma

Posted: August 3, 2009 in Jimma, Wenchi, Woliso

 

Negash Lodge in Woliso now charges 506 birr and above for their rooms, it seems that the place has been privatised and the prices almost tripled from what you mention in your guidebook

I

 did an overnight trip to Wenchi. It is really beautiful. I stayed in

Ambo at the Abebech Matafaria Hotel and paid 140 birr for a single (with a queen size bed). Full breakfast at the hotel was 25 birr.

The hotel is also building at lodge at the entrance to the Wenchi crater lake. Looks like it should be finished before the end of the year.

Gudar falls charge 10 birr entrance for foreigners and 10 birr for the camera. 3 birr for Ethiopians.

 

In Jimma I stayed at the SYF hotel (the only place with a room, as it was graduation weekend), very much overpriced at 200 birr, water only occasionaly, mostly bucket showers, electricity only every other day (like most places in Ethiopa at the moment) There is nice juice in Jimma, but I (with my verymuch africanised intestines) still caught some bug and was pretty sick for about 24 hours. The restaurant at Syf has good national dishes (excellent shiro tagamino) and decent pasta (a bit greasy, but tasty), but it sharges more if you order from the English menu.

 

I almost missed my plane in Jimma on the way back, as there was a schedule change (and the flight lest 1 hour earlier than planned). I never got the call (what with the network being really bad, it is no wonder). I would suggest that even if you are told in Addis that your return has been confirmed, you should check with the EA the day of your flight, or the night before. 

Liza Debevec

We’ve just had news of two companies offering luxury coach services (or what passes for luxury in Ethiopia) along several major routers. In both cases the coach are meant to provide a compromise between expensive flights and rough local buses, and they are aimed at middle class Ethiopian as much as tourists, so not madly expensive.  Both have useful websites, if you want to explore further.  

Sky Bus started up in Dec 2008 and offers services from Addis Ababa to six major cities, namely Bahir Dar, Gonder, Jimma, Awassa, Harer and Dire Dawa.

Selam Bus runs services to Bahir Dar, Gonder, Jimma, Harer, Dire Dawa, Jijiga, Dessie and Mekele, and even has an online reservation system.

Any feedback from travellers who use these services will be greatly appreciated!

Sodo-Jimma Road

Posted: March 5, 2009 in Jimma, Uncategorized

Hi Phillip

Not sure if this is useful information for the upcoming edition, we recently spent some time in Ethiopia.

One thing we did was get the bus from Sodo to Jimma on the ‘new’ road that opened a few years ago.

There isn’t, as far as we could make out, a direct bus between the two towns as yet (August 08). You need to ‘hop’ on local buses as follows:

Get a local morning bus to Sodo to Wukka (89km, 4-5 hours, 26Birr) which is a small, high-altitude village at the end of the route with the National Hotel looking ok for an overnighter if needed.

From Wukka, you should be able to get another local bus through to Tulcha (17km, 30 mins, 5Birr), which is set in beautiful, verdant humid, valleys. It’s a pleasant enough place to spend a day and night and walk around, as the bus onwards won’t be until the next morning.

The options for accommodation are pretty good, with the newly built Engeda Hotel the pick of the bunch (40Birr double with ensuite, bar, restaurant) on the road up out of town, as well as the Kenean Hotel (yukul style rooms, great views) also looking good.

The through bus to Jimma leaves first thing in the morning, and takes about 5-6 hours, about 40Birr. Get’s to Jimma early afternoon all going well.

The trip is the usual visual feast, and very worthwhile. They are trying to build up tourism in the area, to capitalise on the Omo-onslaught, and it’s a great way to get to Jimma and beyond.

Cheers
Chris Sibree