Some comments and contributions from Paul R. Woods:
1) Volcanoes I recall that somewhere in the guide (please use “Find” to locate it) there is a reference to the Longonot volcano in Kenya as being “extinct”. First: After an eruption in the 18th century that volcano is still emitting steam (at least in the 1990es). Second: compare the less than 200 years since the last eruption of Longonot to the several thousand years of being “dormant” of the Chaiten volcano in southern Chile, currently sending clouds 20 km high. In West Germany there is a volcano (“Laacher See”) which is active for over 3.5 million years with the longest break being 235,000 years. Its last eruption was 10,000 years ago but nobody considers it “extinct”, just the opposite – an eruption is expected at any time soon, based on an uplift of the surrounding area, which is topped only by the Yellowstone “super”-volcano. Finally: According to scientists studying volcanoes there is no such thing as an “extinct” volcano. Only the likelihood of a new eruption might be very low.
2) Hotels Dire Dawa: Dil Hotel 270 birr/night (29 April 2008) no generator, traffic noise, ceiling fan does not reach the bed, even at full speed. Selam Hotel (new) 350 birr/night (30 April 2008) air-conditioned rooms, but no A/C for the lobby and restaurant, lobby bar has draft beer, hotel operates a generator, hotel is located near the Dil hotel Harar: Heritage Plaza Hotel (new) 270 birr/night (01 May 2008) no generator, traffic noise hotel is located (page 400) on your map lower left of the Medical centre on the same side of the street Awassa: Taddesse Enjory Hotel (new) 418.50 birr/night (05 May 2008) incl. breakfast, quiet, no traffic noise, hotel is located (page 446) on your map in the middle of the left half, below “Telecom”, Western and Ethiopian food, bathrooms equipped with space-age facility including steam-bath, hot-water generated by solar power When on 07 May 2008 at 07.00 pm the power went off the hotel staff did not switch on the generator – therefore no hot drinks like coffee or tea for breakfast. Reason given: we do not like to disturb the hotel guests who are still sleeping.
3) Airlines: page 160 – KLM has an office inside of the Hilton Hotel
4) Money: page 75 – ATMs accepting VISA cards are at Dashen Bank at Debre Zeyit (Ras Bru), and at Sheraton Hotel, Hilton Hotel, and Hotel Ethiopia. Recommended: deposit fund with the financial institution issuing the VISA card to avoid being hit by withdrawal limits. There are two banks at the Hilton Hotel. One of them allows withdrawal of up to 500 US$/day by use of MasterCard and passport, but demands somewhat high charges, so this is good for emergencies only. Generally – according to a Dashen Bank’s manager in Addis Abeba all of its branches are prepared to give cash upon presentation of a VISA-card and a passport.