Axum to Gondar/Debark via Shire Inda Selassie

Roland writes:

I am travelling through Ethiopia individually and am very happy with the Bradt guide. My trip would have been impossible without it. So, thank you and well done!

There is a small update I would like to inform you about. I chose to go from Axum to Debark (or Gondar) via Shire (Inda Selassie) by minibus. Just as suggested in the guide,
I stayed the night in Shire and took a minibus early in the morning to Debark. I arrived at the bus stop a bit before 5:30am, the minibus left around 6am. But instead of taking 7-10 hours, the ride took me only 4.5 hours, arriving in Debark at around 10:30am.

“Expect it to take up to 7–10 hours in a private vehicle.”

This was made possible thanks to a recently asphalted road. I was told that it was about a year old. Only a fraction of the drive (maybe 1 hour) was not asphalted. Therefore, the drive was spectacular in the sense of the nice view but not of the bumpy road.

I think that a 4-6 hour drive on a smooth road makes a big difference compared to a bumpy 7-10 hour ride and that this insight might influence the decision of some travellers.

Note, however, that people told me that I have to stay at Shire over night to catch the only bus, which leaves at at 5:30am.

Also, we arrived in Axum after midday when there was no minibus to Shire anymore (maybe after 3pm?). Thus, we arranged a “contract” minubus at the Axum bus station to drive us at 7pm for 500 Birr.
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