Just returned from a trip from Ethiopia yesterday. Not for the faint-hearted. I found it more challenging than the less developed Malawi, primarily due to language and tourist infrastructure. However, I must add that your section on Cultural Etiquette and responsible travel was especially pertinent and succeeded in shifting our attitude and therefore experience.
1.) Prices- prices have increased quite significantly since the last edition of your guide-sometimes up to 100%. The monasteries on the islands of lake Tana now charge between 50-100 Birr per monastery as apposed to the 20-40 Birr quoted in the guide book.
2.) Harar- had fantastic stay at Ras Hotel wonderful staff, also enjoyed a guided tour of the old city and insights into contemporary ethiopia with a guide organised by the Ras Hotel. Very disappointed in Fresh Touch Restaurant- bad food and service, several disappointed and upset customers. However there is a new Juice Bar called Tesh Juice- best juice in the whole of ethiopia:). Mmmm banana with a squeeze of lime…
3.) Addis- Outside of the main building the rooms at the Taitu are awful. Definitely worth extra to stay in the main building. The Jazz bar Jazzamba, on the Taitu property is pricey- 80 Birr entrance, but so wonderful; try it!
4.) Gonder- stayed at the Belegez Pension- small, cheap (115 Birr d shared bathroom) friendly and clean- recommended!
5.) Bahir Dar- Culture Club about 100m passed Ghion, just passed Wudie Coffee the ambience and dancing absolutely fantastic. Also ate delicious fish goulash (30 Birr) at bar on the lake front to the right of the Ghion.
We fell in love with music, dancing and food and learnt a lot about ourselves and our continent.
Thanks for your guide it was a much enjoyed companion.
Nic and Nikki