Welcome to the update website for the Bradt Guide to Ethiopia by Philip Briggs

For recent reader updates, consult the posts or categories opposite, or search on the topic that interests you.

To add your own news, views or update material, fill in a reply below or a comment form, or send me an email, and I’ll generate a new post as soon as I can.

Posts on this update site are mostly culled directly from reader feeback and I have not verified them first-hand. All opinions and assessments are those of the individual correspondent, and their inclusion should not be mistaken for a direct endorsement by Bradt.

The update website is a free service to readers and can be used without obligation. However, travellers to Ethiopia are encouraged to contribute their impressions and updates for the benefit of those who follow in their footsteps.

Finally, if you do find Bradt Ethiopia useful, you’ll be doing me a big favour by posting a review on http://www.amazon.com, http://www.amazon.co.uk or a similar online bookseller.


29 thoughts on “

  1. John Drendel says:

    I’m leaving for Ethiopia in 1 month and reading your guide intently. I will post my reactions to Amazon after my return, but I have already found it to be very well written (compared to the lonely planet which is the only other book I’ve read so far.)
    John Drendel, Departement d’histoire
    Universite du Quebec a Montreal

  2. Anthony says:

    How are you doing Philip?

    I bought the first two publications of the Ethiopia travel guide, an excellent read. In some parts made me laugh hard, very witty! I have been traveling to Ethiopia once a year since 2004 love Ethiopia very much.

    I would recommend these books to travelers on a budget like myself. Hotel information, daily budget guide very helpful and informative. Issues like the Jamaican Rastafarian community in Sheshemane, Hailie Salessie and related information.

    Handled sensitively without being patronizing being British with Jamaican parents I appreciated it, though I’m not a Rasta myself.

    United Kingdom

  3. Bernard Leeman says:

    This book served me extremely well in the three months I spent in Mekele and its surroundings with two trips to Addis and one to Aksum. One point – some of the sturdier beggars were collecting compensation for manslaughter by a relative. I hope Philip can extend his writing to many more countries. I am from Tanzania and his Guide is fascinatuing.

  4. Ned says:

    The book will be my bible as I prepare to explore a new interest by spending most of this coming January in Ethiopia.

    I’ve read other books, histories, trying to satisfy a curiosity. How did it come about that Ethiopia — or the leaders of what became Ethiopia — chose the small kingdom of Solomon as ally, friend, and model? Even in the 11th to 9th centuries there were larger, more powerful, and more advanced societies. One of them, of course, was much closer — Egypt.

  5. Ken Merriman MD says:

    going to Ethiopia on Oct 2 ,2011 to visit an old friend whom I met in Eritrea several years ago .
    I have found your guide to be well written and very informative , a bit of a cut above re the other guides in my posession .
    I will be kind of a medical tourist without agenda or formal group I plan to visit several sites mostly in Addis but prehaps Gonder regarding orthopedic issues and a bit of real tourism . Prehaps I’m getting a bit old for this sort of thing, certainly not the interpid traveler I once fancied myself to be , BUT I do believe that your guide will help me have a good trip.with no big surprises.

  6. Ken Merriman MD says:

    planning to leave for 10 day Omo valley tour with Adimasu Tours on Monday
    kind of looking for any traveling companions to help defray transportation costs
    I will be at Ghion Hotel as tomorrow or email I do not have a cell phone here in Ethiopia
    or call Adimasu at 0910326002

    • philipbriggs says:

      Hi Ken,

      Thanks for the message but this website functions more as a source of guidebook updates than a place to look for travel companions – a good place for the latter is lonely planet’s ThornTree, I suggest you try there!

      You could also put up a notice at the Taitu Hotel in Addis.

      Cheers, Philip

      • Ken Merriman MD says:

        thanks Phil will try this am traveling with Adimasu he says he remembers you well and says hello

  7. Ken Merriman MD says:

    presently staying at Ghion hotel it is OK, people very nice food fair elevator busted today but was working /certainly much much cheaper that Sheraton even at inflated $79/day single, my room is more than adequate for my needs
    the gardens are very nice and relaxing to stroll in
    did a visit to Red Terror Martyr’s museum on Meskal Square it was very interesting and pretty disturbing especially as it seems to be happening all over again in Eritrea so I am told

  8. frank rispin says:

    COUNTERFEIT 100br notes

    Be aware. Counterfeit green 100br notes are circulating. At least 8 ( ie 800br ) of these were issued by one of the forex offices in the Hilton to a tourist late August when she changed 300 pounds. At least 800 of the 8000 plus br she got were counterfeit.

    They are very difficult to spot visually.

    The paper is more shiny than the real notes , more gloss than matt. Paper is also stiffer than real notes.

    Serial number on all of the ones i have seen is BC7327060.


    . Having praised Dashen Bank in the past for introducing ATMs here i Must point out theirs are becoming very unreliable.
    Recently I went to a part of town with 3 Dashen ATMs in 400 metres. ie Dashen BranchMedhane Alem, Edna Mall, Harmony Hotel 0845 – none of them working.( Exactly the same experience last June) Went back to Dashen to complain – to find ATM there being refilled…

    The ATMs of the CBE/ Commercial Bank of Ethiopia are now much more reliable. Better software/touchscreens.

  9. Ken Merriman MD says:

    when I got back to Addis from Omo my trusty driver Tsefue set me up with a guy to get me around town which was a friend of his who drives a blue cab ( this one a Toyota not Lada)
    This Driver is Yared and I would like to recommend him to anybody who wants to get where you are going in good time and he was able to explain to this farangi where in God’s name I was at any given minute in this confusing and polluted city .
    My time to leave here draws close but he has been a good help to me here
    Yared may be reached at 0911542536

  10. Ken Merriman MD says:

    Adimasu Tours can be reached at any time at http://www.adimasu-tours.com
    I would definitely plan to use him again for future travel arrangements in Ethiopia
    he was and is very helpful along with those people who worked with him particularly Tsefue our excellent driver and ace mechanic
    the only thing that stopped us was the Kaska River which flooded over night making it impassable even for Tsefue and the trusty Land Cruiser
    my time here is short now with a bit to be accomplished so I probably won’t be traveling out of Addis this trip BUT I sure will look forward to future road trips (as well as the off road parts) with these guys.

  11. Ken Merriman MD says:

    Greetings from Addis
    have been staying here in Addis at the Astara Hotel which is on Debre zeit road just about a kilometer and a half south of Meskel Square
    Have been here about 2 weeks while work around Addis and have enjoyed the stay.
    The hotel is clean and very friendly the food is good TV/ lights /water etc all work ( occasionally the free wifi internet is a bit slow to kick in but it is free)
    I have a small suite here for $60 us per day this is less than Ghion
    the Ghion has that lovely garden and a good location but internet is 170 Birr/ 24 hrs
    There are an almost limitless # of places to stay in this city BUT I would well consider the Astara on a return trip

  12. Meira says:

    I am departing for Ethiopia, 19 Feb., is anybody travelling to South Omo 19 Feb to 5 Mar? A solo tour is cost prohibitive. Feel free to comment here or email me. Thanks.

  13. Jeanette Sundseth says:

    I have enjoyed your book so much ! I bought one for my son ,one for myself and one for my daughter-in-laws brother. He lives in Addis and he was so excited when I gave him the book. I loved Ethiopia and someday I would like to return ! We were there for two weeks ! Jean

  14. Bridget says:

    Hi Phillip and all the readers of this site,

    I wonder if anyone knows about the Internal Flight discounts in 2012. I have managed to get discounts in the past if I travel with Ethiopian Airlines on the international leg.
    I think I recall somebody saying last November that the different prices on the airline might have been on its way out.
    Does anyone have recent experience on getting the internal flights discount and what is the best way to get it. I am organising a small group to travel and can’t just risk it because I have to work out the budget.

    Many Thanks

    p.s. People in Addis a little longer might want to check out Couch Surfing its a good meeting people site and can get you a place to sleep. Obviously stay safe, stay sensible.

  15. Jod says:

    Enjoyed Bradt guide book so much. Pleasantly surprise with Ethiopia. Everything has been much easier, more beautiful and more interesting than expected. We hope it continues for the rest of the trip! Follow us http://jtgertz.posterous.com/
    Thank you for Ethio Travel and Tours in Ethiopia.

  16. Vivian says:

    Dear all,

    I am planning to travel alone to Ethiopia (historic route, west and up north from Addis) in two weeks. I am an experienced traveller, 25 years old, female. Now, I think this is completely fine, but the opinions defer as to whether this is a good idea or not. I was wondering if anyone on this platform has up-to-date experience he/she would like to share?

    Many thanks, Vivian

    • Ian SPENCE says:

      My wife and I recently travelled in Ethiopia with Yigo as our guide. He has recently set up his own tour business, the web address of which I have listed below.
      Yigo is young but experienced. He went out of his way to fulfill our every wish. He has enthusiasm for his job and is well informed on Ethiopian history and culture. You could not travel with a better guide. I am sure that his prices would be moore than competitive. I recommend that you at least consider him as your guide.
      My sister-in-law (my wife’s sister) is condisering travelling to Ethiopia, perhaps with Yigo as her guide early in the new year so there is a possibility that you could travel together and halve your costs. Yigo has her contact details.
      As far as safety is concerned, we had no troubles whatsoever. We found the people very welcoming and friendly. We travelled for 17 days on the historic route, then across to the east to Harar (well worth the trip). If you were to choose Yigo as your guide, I’m sure you would be completely safe.

  17. Stuart Dickson. says:

    Moyale border update- all is back to normal. Road open and traffic moving both ways.Good news- 60 km before Marsebit there is black top road. Still 140 km south of Marsebit before you hit black top though. Jey Jey Hotel in Marsebit now 1200 for single 1500 for double.Happy Travels,

  18. Mesfin Bogale says:

    Dear Philip,

    I am very happy by your book and ideas you are giving an awareness to new tourists planning to come to Ethiopia. I like your book very much than the other guide books. Because it comprehensively covers all the parts of Ethiopia in detail. Additionally you are such a good person to take comments after their visit and post them on your web without changing the words they write so that others know about it.
    Mr. Mesfin Bogale (Tour Guide Ethiopia)

  19. Natalie Dickson says:

    I have a question please – is there a way to book the discounted domestic flights before arriving in Ethiopia. We had no luck at our local office, online or with an Ethiopian travel agent as we didnt book our international flights with them. Any ideas ? We are a family five so the discount would be significant and we cant wait until we arrive as time too short.

  20. philipbriggs says:

    In theory I suspect there is no limit to the number of discounted tickets. If everybody on a domestic flight is eligible for the cheaper rate, they will all get it. So I don’t understand what your local office means. But still if they are not going to help, then you will need to look elsewhere, Are you using a ground operator in Ethiopia? If so, maybe they could make the bookings for you?

    • Natalie Dickson says:

      Thanks … we now realise the benefit of going through an operator ! Thanks for the confirmation that our understanding is correct. We will now keep persevering.

      • Natalie Dickson says:

        Thanks for your
        assurances that the information we had was correct regarding discounted tickets. We finally had success using an Ethiopian Airlines call centre number in the US. Appreciate your time.

  21. frank rispin says:

    Addis MINIBUS TAXIS, price drop, location changes.

    . PRICES

    Due to world oil thing prices have been cut thus….these are for trips of different length starting with shortest

    SHORT 1.50 birr down to 1.25…………In Amharic………and birr k haya amist

    MEDIUM 3.00 birr down to 2.50 eg Arat Kilo to Megananya..

    LONG 4-00 birr down to ???? not sure if 3.50 or 3,25………eg Bole to Piazza,

    Stadium to Kaliti Bus Station 12 km out to southern outskirts of Addis is still 10 birr…(for those busing south)

    2. As the Addis Light Rail system nears completion many minibus starting points are back to normal…..ie as in Bradt Guide 6th edition maps. BUT many also still different……..especially on eastern section of the Metro Rail between Maskal Square and Megananya…..which has many hotels…. LOCALS will always be most helpful in telling you where a particular route currently starts.

    3. For those aiming to save money by using minibuses…….see relevant page on how to use Addis minibus taxis in Bradt (6th edition only).

    Addis Light Rail network will open later this year……..

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