Many thanks to Ray and Joyce for this very detailed trip report from their 9th (!) trip to Ethiopia, using the new 7th edition of the Bradt Guide
Caravan hotel; good hotel with shuttle bus pickup service from the airport
Lake View Hotel had no room available when we arrived at 20:00 in spite of our booking.
Oasis hotel; okay for 733 birr for a large room incl breakfast and wifi
Hawassa – Aposte – Negele Borena
Take the road from Hawassa further south and take the junction at Aposte direction Negele. Till Aposte there is roadconstruction going on, after Aposte till Negele is a very good new asphalt road with beautiful scenery.
Saturday market in Bore.
Bongo: best tibbs ever, restaurant on the right side with a small butcher shop attached.
Turaco hotel was fully booked.
Maereg hotel; room for 805 birr, no breakfast available, incl wifi, no water to flush the toilet, shower oké, staff not friendly.
Gooshi restaurant is the place to be.
a little bit further than Gooshi are very nice and busy breakfast restaurants (we were there at 7:30) seating outside.
Bassufigaad hotel; 90 birr for clean room, nice staff, cold water shower, no toilet in room. Diner/breakfast available.
Breakfast; direction Bale Mountains, at the end of the town, on the left side of the road, you find the best ambesha (local bread) we found during our trip. Just ask around. It is behind a metal plated fence.
Bale Mountain lodge
Beautiful but expensive lodge. The rate in high season is $ 290 + 10 (park bed levy) per person per night and not per room, so for 2 persons it wil be $ 600 for a night, incl guide, food and drinks. When you haven’t made a reservation you can always ask for a last minute rate.
Made a 2 hour walk to Mt Gushuralle with a wide view, 1,25 hour walk back to the lodge.
Wabe Shebelle hotel; the rates are higher then published in the 7th edition. We paid $ 40 after negotiation, they first asked $ 45. I noticed no difference to the rooms from our first visit in 2006………..
Restaurant; Baltina, ask for directions, it is of the mainroad.
Nice horse riding excursion from Dinsho to the Web Valley, 7 hours incl rest.
Walk excursion from Dinsho to the Gaysay grasslands with close encounters with Mountain Nyala’s, warthogs, wattled ibis, klipspringers etc.
Goba – Goro – Sof Omar – Ginnir
Road was bad but at the moment road construction is going on.
Sof Omar; entrance fee of 300 birr pp, we argued and walked away (we have been there before), then were allowed for 150 pp excl 50 birr for the guide.
Ginner; decided to overnight in Ginner because the trip took longer than expected.
Bale Tourist hotel; truckers hotel, 100 birr, incl wifi, lot of chat chewing going on, no toilet, shower full with mosquito’s.
Ginnir – Sheik Hussein – Wabe Shebelle Gorge – Asbe Teferi = 366 km
Long road, preferably overnight at Sheik Hussein
Sheik Hussein; 80 birr entrance fee pp + 150 birr for a English speaking guide (former teacher).
Wabe Shebelle Gorge; Beautiful scenery
see for more information: http://balemountains.org/multi-day-driving-itineraries/
from Sheik Hussein to Hawi Gudina we there was no traffick, but we saw several people and small settlements.
Sheik Hussein – bridge 1 7 km
Bridge 1 – bridge 2 27 km
Bridge 2 – bridge 3 26 km
Bridge 3 – Hawi Gudina 17 km
Hawi Gudina – Mechera 68 km
Mechera – Gelemso 35 km
Gelemso – Bedesa – Asbe Teferi 73 km
Burka hotel, 200 birr, rundown room, bathroom with toilet and warm shower.
Hotel Buffet d’Aouache, new well maintained annex, very nice room for 308 birr. Restaurant is in the old building (walkingdistance across the railway).
Awash – Doho lodge – Duleche – Ankober
This route is described in the 7th Edition, from north to south. We did the route the other way and had a hard time finding the startingpoint of the route and ended up at the new Doho lodge. The manager new the road we had to take: back to the asphalt road, turn left direction sugar factory. Ask there for the right turn to Duleche.
The route was harder to travel than expected, especially when we came across junctions and had no clue which one to take. It’s Afar territory and they don’t have a good reputation, but we found the Afar very helpful. It’s a beautiful trip but think twice before going with only one car and without a guide.
Ankober Palace Hotel; the first night we were the only guests, $ 65 for single, $ 85 for 2 persons, incl breakfast. Beautiful rooms with warm shower and spectacular views.
Sometimes no electricity, no generator. Excursions expensive.
Very nice Thursday market in Aliyu Amba.
Eva hotel has a new name, telephonenumber and owner:
Getva hotel Tel.nr: 011-6375040
Rates new wing: single 629, king 834, twin 1047
Rates old wing: single 335, twin 587
Debre Birhan – Tarmabir – Guessa plateau -Mehal Meda
The road from Tabernat to Mehal Meda is bad, near Mehal Meda it is under construction.
Guassa Community Lodge; 300 birr pp + 100 entrance fee for park pp. Nice rooms with common shower/toilet.
They are building 2 tukuls with private bathroom, will be ready in a few months.
Aryam Hotel in Mehal Meda is closed at the moment. The other hotels in Mehal Meda are very basic.
The new road to Ataye is open en a very recommended scenic drive.