Yama Tours

Hi Philip

You have a few references on your site to Tariku W/Aregay. He set up his own tour company about 3 years ago (Yama Tours – http://www.yamatoursthiopia.com and +251911620635).

We have just arrived back from a wonderful holiday with Yama. We couldn’t recommend them highly enough. Our trip was tailored to our exact (and exacting!) requirements and our guides were knowledgeable and great fun to be with.

Many thanks also for your fantastic guidebooks – probably the guidebook I have most enjoyed reading.

Regards, Jennifer Barnett


12 thoughts on “Yama Tours

  1. Lady Linda says:

    I just returned from a 16-day trip organised by Yama Tours and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend them. We had a challenging itinerary: horse trekking in the Bale mountains, Dinshu National Park, Awash National Park, Harar, Tigrai/Gheralta, Lalibela, Addis. It all went flawlessly (except for Ethiopian Air’s changes of schedule) and I could concentrate on enjoying the country and its sights. Our guides were wonderful and good fun. Tarik, the owner, responded to everything with grace and flexibility.

    Enjoy, Linda Chang

  2. Hab says:

    We traveled to Ethiopia last November with Yama Ethiopia Tours: http://www.yamatoursethiopia.com

    The trip started in Addis Ababa and ran for 12 days, visiting Bahir Dar, Gondar, Simien mts, Lalibela, and finally Axum in the far North.

    This trip in a word was fantastic!!! Thank to Yama Ethiopia tours and their teams.

    There was so much to see, and enjoy, and the historical sites were great. The country has so much to offer, and is unspoilt.

    Yama tour , manager looked after us the whole way, which included some airport pickups etc, and we had no problems. So we highly recommend this company as we have wonderful experience with them.

    We would recommend Ethiopia to any travelers who want to get off the beaten track, and experience something different.

    Kelly and Hab

    North California, San Jose!

  3. Diana Massar says:

    In November 2012 we made the best trip ever!
    15 day trip Ethiopia!

    recommended for a fantastic trip to Ethiopia, yama tours.
    For years we were planning to return to Ethiopia. but where do you start? We, the children, all born in wonji, Ethiopia. ( sugar cane, metahara)
    So it was not only for the sights, although we of course wanted to see those aswell..:) Following proposals from yama tours and our own desires, we have the best trip planned out.
    Even when we were there, we asked for a little change, we wanted to go even more south, Yama tours was immediately on the phone to look if he can change hotels etc. and so we changed our plans again..:) 🙂 this is what makes yama tours extra special, nothing is too much and they really go all the way to your liking.
    We have been to the south, visiting several tribes; Mursi, Konso, Dorze,afar etc. yama tours doesnt go to the tribes were all the toerist busses go, he goes to special places, not visited by all the tourist! Of course depending where you want to go and see!
    yama tours arranged permits for the sugarcane plantation we lived on, the factory and wonji hospital!! My mother remembered all the houses and bar etc. We went to the north; lalibela, Gondar, Axum, bahri dar, etc.
    I can write a lot, how many times we had a laugh, how much we saw, how safe it was, how beautiful, all the culture and history, but probably you want to go! And do! People of Ethiopia are the friendliest of the world, the fantastic and amazing culture and history, all the tribes etc. etc…. If you are planning to go and want a fanatic time, feel home, just sent tariku an email, he will help you out planning the whole trip! Don’t go with the big tour companies, go with tariku, Yama tours.
    Tariku, thanks again for the best trip ever!!!! And we will come back!!!

  4. kevein b. says:

    Ethiopia- You never Know What You”ll See Next

    My wife and I went to Ethiopia for 18 days, December 16, 2012-January 2, 2013 with Yama Ethiopia Tours (Haile G/sellasse Ave., Haile Building 6th floor, P.O. Box 14673, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, phone 251-116-62-87-10, fax 251-116-62-51-19, e-mail: yamatours@yahoo.com, e-mail: yamatours@gmail.com, web site: http://www.yamatoursethiopia.com The cost of the tour was $3,900 per person. The price included all sightseeing entry fees on the itinerary, breakfast, hotels, and one special meal with a show. I felt this was a very fair price.
    My wife and I have organized tours with a driver and guide in numerous countries. This was probably our best-organized tour. Tariku of Yama Ethiopia responded promptly to all of my requests and worked with me to tailor an itinerary that fit our interests. One thing that I especially appreciated was that Tariku said that we could modify the itinerary during the trip if there were other things we wanted to see or do as long as it fit in with the timing of the tour. We did ask to go to Christmas Eve Mass on Dec. 24. The driver, Genaye, came back at 10:30 p.m. to pick us up from the church. He then had to drive home and get up early the next day to pick us up for the day’s tour. That was definitely going above and beyond the call of duty.
    Genaye was an excellent driver. It is important to have an expert driver because, although the roads are in surprisingly good shape, vehicles share the road with cows, sheep, goats, donkeys, dogs, camels and people, all of whom wander along the road. We had some extremely long driving days, some back-to-back, but Genaye was never annoyed or flustered. Ethiopians in general do not raise their voice or get angry. Anger is never a good way of solving a problem in Ethiopia. People have to put up with difficult conditions on a daily basis. Maybe that is why they are so gentle.
    Our guide, Getnett, was a fountain of information about the country and was wonderful in explaining the frescoes in the churches and the tribal groups we saw in the museums. Getnett handled all of the arrangements flawlessly. Since my wife doesn’t walk well, he always arranged to have our room near the reception or the restaurant, whichever was more convenient. Getnett and Genaye were both very solicitous of my wife and helped her up and down the stairs. Both of them were more than guide and driver. We all really liked each other. It was like traveling with friends.
    Our itinerary included Addis Ababa (the National Museum and the Ethnological Museum were fascinating), Bahir Dar for the Lake Tana Monasteries, Gonder, Axum for the obelisks, Lalibela for the rock-hewn churches, and the Simien Mountains for the gelada baboons. For the Simien Mountains, I recommend staying two nights in Gonder and taking a day trip to the Simien Mountains. We then went to the east and spent the night at the Awash National Park. We saw the beautiful Awash Falls and some animals, especially the oryx and lots of birds. Ethiopia does not have wildlife like Kenya or Ethiopia but the mixture of culture, religious sites, and nature is what makes the country so wonderful to visit.
    The big festivals in Ethiopia are Christmas and Epiphany (both in January for the Orthodox Christians). Since we would not be there then, I arranged to see the Kalubi Gabriel Festival on Dec. 28. This festival celebrates the Archangel Gabriel. It is in the small town of Kalubi. Getnett and I walked with the pilgrims towards the church. There were probably 200,000 people. It was amazingly orderly overall. Some travelers we met were put off by the crowds. I, however, thoroughly enjoyed it. I think it is interesting to see how people celebrate holidays. It gives a real insight into the culture to see the very strong faith of the people. Maybe that is what gets them through the difficult living conditions that many people still have.
    We also went to Arba Minch in the south. For those who go there, I highly recommend a side trip up into the Guge Mountains to see the Dorze people. They are expert weavers of cotton and other materials. We went to the market there and loved it.
    While in Arba Minch, we took a boat ride on Lake Chamo, The boat itself was great but we also saw some crocodiles fighting each other. One seriously wounded the other. We have seen crocodiles before but nothing like that.
    Another highlight for us was going to the Hope Enterprises in Addis Ababa. For $10, food coupons can be bought to feed 200 people. They are given a nutritious meal of injera bread and stew. Many of the people who come for the meal are the disabled and elderly. It was a privilege to be able to help.
    We also arranged to visit the Holy Trinity Catholic Church at Debre Zeyit (45 minutes from Addis Ababa). We had brought two suitcases full of clothes, school supplies, and stuffed animals which the priest, Fr. Brehanu, could distribute to the needy. Fr. Brehanu hosted us to a lunch and showed us his school and retreat center. He could not have been more gracious. I have never drunk so much coffee in my life. Coffee is the pride and joy of Ethiopia.
    I encourage everyone with a sense of adventure and an appreciation of unique cultures to go to Ethiopia with Yama Tours. You will not be disappointed. If you need further information or just want to talk about Ethiopia in general, please e-mail me at: janekev86@aol.com

    Kevin O’Brien
    Savannah, GA

  5. Savin Dmitry says:

    We used Yama tours servise in Ethiopia 3 weeks in April 2013. we booked full servise and i can say it was excellent.

    Personal thanks for CEO mr. Tariku and all his team. mr. Tariku helped us to plan all our trip and all our wishes. we ve been all places in Ethiopia and got support in everithing. The program we chose was balanced . Hotels better than we expected. The most exiting things to us Danakil, Erta ale and tribes. These places are difficult for arrange but Yama team worked really as a team. I ve been many countries and know than your impression about country first of all are people hwo help you, specially if your language is different from native people.

    if you decide to visit Ethiopia i recommend use Yama tours service. You will be happy as we are.

    thank you again.

    Savin Dmitry and Stas Naumov from Russia.

  6. Dorine Bronkhorst says:

    We highly recommend Yama Tours. We spend a week with Tarik on a tour to the Awash National Park, AWassa, langano and the Rift Valley lakes. It was EXCELLENT in every aspect! Tarik is great company, an excellent driver, a perfect guide and a very nice person to be with. I allready make plans to go back to Ethiopia to see more of this fascinating country. Again with Yama Tours.
    Dorine Bronkhorst, The Netherlands

  7. Holli Omori says:

    Yama Tours and Tariku are great! I just took a group of high school students from the US to Ethiopia and Tariku made sure we had a great tour. Tariku accommodated our group in every way possible including french fries at dinner each night, stopping along the roadside to buy fresh mangos and bananas, stopping for an impromptu game of soccer and volleyball with the locals and donating the sports equipment. Tariku is knowledgeable and professional. We could have not asked for a better guide or experience. I definitely recommend anyone going to Ethiopia to book a tour with Yama Tours and Tariku. You will be happy you did so.
    ~Holli Omori, Santa Monica, CA USA

  8. Hannah Wasserman says:

    My brother and I traveled with a group of US highschool students using Tariku and Yama Ethiopian Tours throughout the Omo Valley. Our trip was enhanced by the wonderful Tariku and his friendly drivers that accompanied us on our tours. They anticipated our needs and desires. I felt safe and taken care of at all times. As we traveled to multiple native tribes i began to feel at home around the drivers and Tariku. The cars were comfortable and reliable. Tariku was full of knowledge. The once in a lifetime experiences that were presented to us on this wonderful tour encourage me to recommend Yama Ethiopian tours to all travelers of the Omo Valley.

  9. Eunice says:

    The friendly staff over at Yama Ethiopia Tours were not only one of the most reliable and responsible people I have ever met, but more importantly, they made my group and I feel safe throughout the entire experience. They are great for first-timers and also for those who are determined to catch the essence of Ethiopia but have little to no direction. Our tour leader gave us nightly recaps and the next day’s schedule so we were never out of the loop during the trip. The cars were all safe and durable along with the drivers who were kind enough to attentively slow down even when certain animals were spotted. Our driver especially was very understanding in that as tourists, we wanted to stop and take lots of pictures during the duration of the trip. Although there is alot of driving involved, I believe it was necessary for us to gather experience from all the different sights that Ethiopia had to offer. They led us to meet the different and fascinating tribes and the language barrier was not an issue because of the tour guides. I was able to keep a peace of mind, which in my opinion, is the very start for a pleasant travel. I highly recommend Yama Tours if you are even remotely thinking about visiting Ethiopia. They weren’t just regular tour guides. They knew alot of people from the community, they had a great sense of humor, and they accommodated my group to whatever needs we had, however specific or minute they could be. Thumbs up for Tariku!

  10. Andrew says:

    We were working in Ethiopia for a month and traveled with Yama Tours for all our trips and had a fantastic experience!!
    We were a group of 12 and all wanted to see different things 🙂
    Yama Tours managed to accommodate all our needs and provided an amazing service!
    I got the opportunity to travel to Awassa, Harar, Lalibela, Gondar and Bahir Dar all with Yama tours and had the time of my life. Tarik (the owner) is a great guy and will always try and help you out – even if you have the craziest plans :)))
    We also noticed that the prices were very competitive. All in all I would definitely recommend Yama tours it’s a great way to get around the country and live the Ethiopian experience!

  11. Andy says:

    I was in Ethiopia for 5 weeks on a corporate philanthropic trip with IBM, and had some weekends to take tours with my group of twelve people. I contacted many tour operators – Yama was by far the most responsive and most reasonably-priced and best value. Tariku is customer-oriented and personally ensured our tours were wonderful. With Yama you can expect a personal touch that’s hard to find elsewhere in the Ethiopian service industry. Tariku grew up in the Awash National Park where his dad was a scout. He’s been around tourists and nature his entire life, and shares his passion with visitors to his amazing country.

    If you find yourself in Ethiopia and don’t take a tour with Yama Tours, you’re making a mistake. Even if you’re only in Addis Ababa for a day, take a tour of the city. If you’re there for more than a day, you need to call or email Tariku and his capable staff to arrange a tour of any or all of Ethiopia’s fantastic sights.

    His staff reflects Tariku’s ethics and capabilities. From any tour operator, you should expect responsiveness, clearly-spoken English, deep knowledge of each area, flexibility, value, and personal safety. In fact, those attributes are not the norm in Ethiopia, but with Yama, they deliver on all points. Do yourself two favors: first, go to Ethiopia, and second, book a tour with Yama.

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