Safety in Ethiopia

Hi, In answer to those who ask if Addis is safe or not, I can certainly offer some advice.
I lived in Addis for three years and traveled extensively throughout the country on both public transport and by four wheel drive.
Addis is safe and the Ethiopians really friendly. I would offer some caution though.
Be careful in the evenings. Remember that post people here are very very poor and will take any opportunity to rob you if they see an opportunity.They are not in the business to hurt you, just to take from you because they are so desperate.
Do not walk alone at night and avoid the main market area-Mercato,unless you want hassle.My advice is to get friendly with a local and ask him to accompany you.This works very well, and you will see things you would never see in any other situation.
Be kind to those that need your help. I never ever saw beggars being pimped like in India.The nightlife in Addis is excellent, many late bars and nightclubs with good music and dancing until 4 or 5 am.Take taxi’s at night, and arrange price before getting in.Take doggie bags from restaurants whenever you eat out and give to those living on the streets.Always goes down well!
Outside addis, it’s very different, and you need to be very careful of accidents and stay away from large groups of people.There is definitely’ Ferangi histeria’ around, and this can be very frightening at times.There are no hotels but ‘pensions’ very basic accommodation and only for experienced travelers.
There is mainly Ethiopian injera on the menu and of course nile perch.
The country is wonderful but there are very few travelers, hardly anyone outside the main towns speak other languages and you will be on your own.
Enjoy!

Alistair Emery

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