Various updates

– After a negative experience with the staff there, I would not recommend Queen Taitu Pension in Gonder to solo female travellers

– Minibuses between Gonder and Bahir Dar now run regularly from the bus stations in each town, costing around 65ETB

– Entrance fees in Gonder are now 100ETB, 75ETB students

– Axum also offers a student discount, and price has not changed since previous edition

– It is no longer necessary to reconfirm domestic flights a day in advance

– prices of most Lalibela hotels have increased by 50-100% from the book; admission to the churches is now 350ETB

– While safe, Bahir Dar does seem to entail more hassling and cat-calling for solo female travellers than most other towns in Ethiopia

– For vegetarians: it’s true that Lent is the best time of year to travel, when getting food will be easy, cheap and delicious. However, the time immediately following Lent is the worst, as Ethiopians stop fasting altogether (even on Wednesday and Friday) for a period and it becomes very difficult to find vegetarian food beyond the default shiro or firfir, if that.


Vegetarian food

I have just returned from Ethiopia, where I used your 2009 guide, and thought it was worth making a comment on vegetarian food. You do refer to this on page 101 (para 2) but we felt this implied we might have trouble getting vegetarian food on days other than Wednesday & Fridays. As it turned out, Ethiopians fast on nearly 200 days a year and their ‘fasting food’ is always vegetarian. We found that asking for ‘fasting food’ always produced a vegetarian meal regardless of the day of the week. The concept of vegetarianism was not always fully grasped but the concept of fasting food was always recognised. Great guide by the way, keep up the good work. Regards Hugh