I visited Ethiopia – Addis Abeba and Lalibela – in June 2018 at the start of the raining season. There were very few tourists, a pity really because it was a good time to visit as long as you take into account the daily 4 pm deluge. The rain lasts for about half an hour then all is back to normal, the air refreshed.
I stayed in the Zan-Seyoum hotel ‘on the edge of the town. It’s not in the 7th edition but I hope you will include it in your next edition. It was very clean, with airy and bright rooms.It falls between mid-range and budget in price. The manager Abebe Demshah, a guide himself, was extremely kind and a source of knowledge & information on all sort of matters not just restricted to Lalibela and surroundings. There is a restaurant/bar and the food is yummie especially the fasting food, injera with vegan toppings! Local tuk-tuks can take you to the church-sights for the foreigner price of about 40 -50 ETB.
Be warned that there are some major roadworks going on in Lalibela at the moment until the end of the year and the roads become a bit of a mud bath after rain!
I used an Addis-based tour operator, Explore Ethiopia Tours, which provided an interesting programme and knowledgeable, reliable guides. They organised an unforgettable 3 day trek from Lalibela to mount Abune Yoseph. It included a family stay in a highland village for 2 nights. Basic but great, giving some insight in the daily lives of the people in the highlands and helping the local community gain some additional income. Had some of the best coffee here! Also saw some local wildlife, baboons, and birds of prey en route.
With a day or two altitude acclimatisation in Lalibela anyone who is reasonably fit should be able to do the trek, though the start is hard work!
(Explore Ethiopia Tours Mob tel:+251 911 98 33 34 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
All my questions/suggestions were dealt with promptly).
I had read in the 7th edition about TESFA trekking but this organisation seems to be in some sort of hiatus now – I couldn’t get a clear answer from anyone about it.
In Addis Abeba I came across the Entoto Beth Artisan Fair Trade Gallery on Cape Verde Street near the Desalegn Hotel. The organisation provides fair wage employment for women and families on mount Entoto affected by HIV/Aids. It was an excellent place to find some reasonably priced traditional gifts.
Bambi’s Supermarket on Haile Gebresellasie Ave. has closed down.