10,000 Flamingoes Lodge, Abijata-Shala NP

It has been drawn to our attention that the write-up for 10,000 Flamingoes Lodge in Abijata-Shala NP focusses almost entirely on the impressive location rather than the amenities on offer. So please note that rooms here are somewhat more basic than might be expected for somewhere in its price range, and while this is justified to some extent by the difficulties associated with operating a lodge in a remote location in a national park, these latest reports suggest the accommodation is also poorly maintained, and subject to sporadic problems with solar power (water is brought in by tanker from Shashamene when there is a local shortage). Overall, while 10,000 Flamingoes retains a fantastic location and it is far less pricey than other accommodation in Ethiopia’s national parks, it might not be suited to people seeking the comfort levels one might normally associate with a lodge listed in the Bradt Guide as “Moderate”.

In addition, through no fault of the lodge, the 14km feeder road has deteriorated in recent times (one correspondent notes that it is now “a narrow track with very thick sand-like dust making negotiation incredibly difficult” and another that “as we slowed down in the village on arrival, we had dirt thrown at our car and one young boy held a stone ready to throw”. However, lodge owner Jan Jackers notes that “while the road is not suited to low-slung saloon cars such as a Toyota Corolla, it is still used on a daily basis by public transport minibuses (which start in Shashemene, Hawassa or Addis Ababa) as far as the village of Sembete, 4 km before the lodge. These same minibuses sometimes transport tourists on request to or from the lodge itself, and any minibus or 4×4 can easily reach the 10,000 Flamingoes in 25-30 minutes from the main road.

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