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  • Reviewed March 2019
    BARON-VAHL AMOS

    Out of breath

    Poor food, worse wine, fantastic scenery, friendly people, a plethora of birds, some unique endemic species of flora and fauna, some very dodgy hotel service and the worst Exodus arrivals procedure ever because the local Exodus guide is not allowed into the arrivals area!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Getting up close to Geladas without any sort of animosity/aggression being shown on their part was the best wildlife encounter. The iconic rock-hewn churches in Tigre provence came a close second and the cattle/camel market ranked with the walk through the everyday market with its vibrant colours and sometimes noisome smells and people watching both us and them reciprocating almost equally. The various churches and associated museums with priceless artifacts were everywhere. The unique history of the country and its relationship in the modern world made this trip superb. If there had not been the animal market visit it would have been better to have flown to Mekele instead of taking the road trip which became boring after a couple of hours and most people caught up on their sleeping.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Gebre was not there to pick us up at the airport on our arrival he only turned up about an hour after we had landed and this caused problems. I called the local office to find out where the guide was when I exited the arrivals area of the airport at just after 07:00. The office people told me the guide was on the way and was just minutes away, other people at the airport said there were two meeting points at the bottom of the stairs and at the end of the ramp. I waited at the bottom of the stairs until after 07:10 then went to see if the guide was at the other meeting point which was a couple of hundred feet away. At the other designated meeting point another person called the Magnolia hotel for me and the hotel staff said I should join their bus which was waiting for two Italians and come with them to the hotel. The bus waited until 08:40 and then departed for the hotel and after a ten minute check-in I was shown to my room. On returning to the hotel foyer to change money I found the rest of the Exodus group had arrived and they were being checked-in. I asked about the meet and greet meeting which I duly attended at which most of the information provide was changed throughout the course of the trip, some data given was happily changed later, where the hotels being used were important for location if not for facilities so said the guide. The information provided by the guide was that only the first hotel had been changed from what was in the original notes that turned out not to be true. The guide was capable but the English was a mite difficult to understand at times the odd turn of phrase needed to be interpreted and mostly he was understood. The restaurants we were taken to outside of the hotels all seemed to be of the same pattern with the same menus and on only two occasions did I see the guide put his hand in his pocket to pay for his own food or drink at lunch or dinner. The guides ability to steer us through potential hazards was not in any way detrimental to the trip. The offer of taking the road instead of the mule ride was not made until the departure day of the excursion and only mentioned in passing the previous night, the alternative was not mentioned in the trip notes. Getting out of the bus, the guide helped in chopping up a tree trunk that had fallen across the road on the very long journey to Mekele, which was only relieved by the camel market visit. The guide helped me with the purchase of stamps for my postcards none of which have arrived yet even though the first set was posted over two weeks ago this might be because the quantity might have not been sufficient for each card as each time the amount to be used for each card varied depending on the vendor of the stamps. Overall I have nothing bad to say about the guide he did his best and the driver was also very helpful to me personally by finding a drinkable wine and posting my cards at the post office.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    If you are likely to struggle at altitude it might be worth while getting some altitude sickness pills before going as some of the walking was at 3000 ft, I wheezed continuously. Buying give aways such as pens for the local children, some adults also wanted them, it is better to buy locally this puts money into the local economy and it is cheaper than buying at home and transporting to Ethiopia. A bic pen costs about 30 pence each here in the UK but for <£10 you can buy 50 locally. Ask what the Exodus supported charity would like to receive and perhaps purchase items locally. Shoes are a big item cost wise in Ethiopia taking a few old pairs for give aways to individuals might be useful, though embarrassing also. There are numerous stalls that sell plastic shoes beside the roadside ask the local charity if they would like a donation towards the purchase of shoes for the kids they sponsor at their school and or help towards the buying of materials for the school itself. Money is the practical item most appreciated at the charity since it takes a lot of determination and usable skills to become a volunteer on site. If you are not a pasta or pizza person normally then your diet is going to be assaulted by this food carbohydrate for most meals but better this and macaroni than the local fare, the indjera. The local wrap, Indjera, is made from the teff grain which seems to be endemic to Ethiopia its fermented for up to three days before being treated as floor and made into the slightly sour sponge-like and rubbery textured wrap called Indjera, an acquired taste which I hope I never acquire try it at least once! The fish is usually good and the meat overdone, western style dishes might be on the menu but they will not be a patch on the food you expect to get from the name. I'm not fond of larger but it was better than the local wine! Since the holiday does not include food other than breakfast a trip to the local supermarket is advisable perhaps a requirement if you have a delicate stomach and would prefer snacks to vast amounts of pasta or iffy local cuisine. The coffee and the frankincense are good purchases as are the basket work and cotton shawls, if you're looking for that t-shirt that says been there and done that, good luck, I tried but failed. Watch out for slippery floors in the hotels and the ironing scam where the price is exorbitant and the result questionable. In the major towns some of the wide boys will try to attach themselves to you with implausible stories about how they are looking after themselves their families and going to school all at the same time that people their age are at work or trying it on with the tourists! There are genuine cases of hardship but they are clearly visible and they are not the well dressed/heeled wide boys, the shoes and the condition of the clothes are the usual clear indicators of the scam artists. Do not be surprised by the casual cruelty meted out to the domestic beasts of burden and livestock in general, thrown rocks, lashes with sticks and fists or kicks are not unusual.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I mostly enjoyed the trip, my slip getting out of the shower and wrenched shoulder muscles as a result did not detract from the experience. Take your full first aid kit with you and remember the painkillers/diarrhoea/constipation prophylactics. Good shoes are a must even in the cities the wear and tear on your footwear will be high as the pavements are very uneven. help is always at hand but this might be unwelcome at times especially when going up the 60 degree climb the unbalanced grip on your elbow can be unhelpful. if you are able to use walking / hiking sticks then take them with you but only if you are adept at using them, as a new toy the would be a hindrance not an aid, they will be a boon along the rocky paths and uneven surfaces.

    Reply from Exodus

    Reply from Exodus

    We would like to thank Baron-Vahl for his feedback. Whilst we are pleased that he enjoyed a number of aspects of the trip we are very sorry that he found the arrival set-up to not be as expected. It is true that no tour leaders from any organisation are allowed to enter the terminal hall, however, they will meet members of the group at either of the two meeting spots outside the terminal; we have confirmed that the tour leader was there and picked up all other members of the group who arrived on the group flight so we are sincerely sorry that Baron-Vahl and the leader missed each other. We have passed the feedback on to the local team in the hopes they can make the meeting spot more obvious in the future.

    John Penge - Product Manager for Ethiopia

  • Reviewed January 2019
    Wing Chan

    Amazing experience but challenging conditions

    This was a busy and varied trip through northern Ethiopia. I had a great time and met lots of friendly, interesting and kind people. We bonded as a group and with our guide, which made it really special. The Simien Mountains are stunning and we got to see them from the national park, during the long drives and on the mule trek and climb up to a church in Lalibela. Our guide let us stop frequently on the long drives to take pictures, which broke up the journey and made it interesting. The unique paintings in the monastery churches in Lake Tana were breathtaking when we first saw them and the rock hewn churches in Lalibela were a true wonder. When we were there, the Ethiopians celebrated their Christmas and we experienced the pilgrimage that thousands of people make to Lalibela for the Christmas Day service. On Christmas Eve, we went up to the church in the Simiens by mule and on foot, which was dangerous and crowded coming down, but which was an amazing and unforgettable experience. We managed because of paid helpers who were mostly young lads trying to earn money for their education and I did not begrudge this at all. Also, the Ethiopians were kind, understanding and allowed us to pass safely, amazed that foreigners were there at all. In the evening, at 10 pm, some of us went to the rock hewn church of St Mary and joined thousands of pilgrims who were spending the night there, some holding candle wicks and watching the night time service. It was really atmospheric. Thankfully, we went back to the hotel to sleep. Others got up at 7 am to make it to the Christmas Day service itself and were seen in the crowd on Ethiopian tv! The accommodation was varied, some ok and some below standard. The wifi is unreliable and weak, even if the hotels say that it is available. The functionality of the plumbing, general cleanliness and availability of hot water is varied amongst all the hotels where we stayed and were the main problems. The availability of clean and functional toilets outside the hotels during the day was sparse. Be prepared to tolerate all of this when you go on this trip.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The mule trek and hike to the church in the Simien Mountains and the hike down was one of the highlights. The other was Christmas Eve and being amongst the pilgrims at night time as they slept/waited for Christmas Day.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Gebre was fantastic. He is very knowledgeable, friendly and was pleased to answer any questions that we had. He made sure that we got to see everything, negotiating with locals and sorting out any problems with accommodation. He went out of his way to ensure that we got the most out of our trip.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be prepared to put up with poor toilets (generally everywhere), plumbing that does not work (no hot water in some hotels and toilets that do not flush well), lack of cleanliness, loose electrical wires and lack of functionality of mundane items (tv, hair dryer - if there is one) in some of the accommodation (in Lalibela, the seals on the shower cubicle had gaps in them and so the room was flooded each time we had a shower, but there was hot water). There is unreliable wifi, which is frustrating when the hotels say that it is available. In Lake Tana and Gondar, the hotel staff opened our windows during the day time, which let the insects and mosquitoes in and the mosquito nets in the windows had holes in them. Good walking boots are essential for most days. The steps to/ground around the churches are all uneven and sometimes steep, even in Lalibela. Some of the trip is exceptionally dusty, which is why the showering issue becomes important. There are early starts and long days in order to travel to see everything described. This is is a rewarding holiday but definitely not 'relaxing'. Read the trip notes. They are fairly accurate.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Our driver, Tegen, was also great. He was very skilled at driving us through the most challenging of 'roads', manoeuvring us through chaotic traffic jams and making the van do things that we did not think were possible. We were completely safe with him. 11/12 of us became ill at some point of the trip, all of us suffering from upset stomach and not feeling well. It lasted a day or two and did not spoil the trip.
  • Reviewed February 2018
    Anonymous user

    Ethiopia in Depth

    Overall it was an excellent trip for those who enjoy exploring history, current culture, scenery and wild life and who are happy to spend at times many hours riding in mini buses sometimes over dirt roads. Welcome from local people was genuine, some begging, some bartering but never felt under pressure to buy or give money. Mountain scenery was amazing, historic churches and pre christian sites were fabulous and with relative few visitors competing for space, views and photos. Local food was interesting and European particularly Italian options were available for those less adventurous. Tour description of climbs to some of the Rock churches and mountain walks under-estimated the toughness but were worth the challenge for those who were fit enough. Hotels generally pretty good except in Harar and there were more cash machines available than tour description suggested. We saw no sign of political unrest although aware of difficulties due to government cutting off wi-fi as several points in the holiday.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    No one highlight. Walking in the Simien mountains, seeing the monasteries at Lake Tana, seeing the Stellae at Axum, seeing the castles at Gondar. Attending the camel market on route to Lalibela. Seeing the Lalibela rock churches.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Both leaders were good, in particular the overall leader who was very experienced and supported the group throughout the trip. Young leader in Harar was patient and new local area intimately. Given more opportunities he could eventually become an overall tour leader.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    If you are happy to take each day at a time you will have a wonderful trip. Debatable if best to travel between Axum and Lalibela by flight or by 12 hour mini bus ride?

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    18 in the group was really too large just in terms of the logistics but the group were all committed to punctuality and mixing so it was manageable. Ideally groups could be reduced to a max of 14 even if this meant increasing cost of the holiday.
  • Reviewed February 2018
    GRAHAM CLARKE

    ETHIOPIA IN DEPTH

    Kipling wrote of Burma to the effect that it was like no other country you have seen. Had he visited Ethiopia, and there is no evidence that he did, he might well have come to a similar conclusion; I did. Overall we had a very comprehensive insight into the country; taking in the fabulous and varied scenery, the religious settlements, the wildlife, food, markets and the way people live.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    There was a WOW factor to most days even the 12 hour drive between Mekele and Lalibela which was punctuated with stops for photos and a visit to a camel market. We passed through some fabulous scenery at 11,500 feet. The trip on Lake Tana to visit monasteries, the walk amongst baboons in the Simiens. The rock churches of Lalibela were just amazing particularly when you consider when they were done and how. The mule trek up to Ashatan Maryam. We were a happy group: everyone got on with everyone else.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Gabre was excellent. A font of knowledge. He was communicative, patient, very much a people's person. Not forgetting our bus driver. I don't remember his name, but in addition to his excellent and safe driving skills ( he took the bus to places I would think twice about in a 4x4 ) he was similarly cheerful and communicative.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Get your visa either before you set off: the queues were long an slow. Do your homework. Read up as much as you can before you go on the various rock churches and other places of interest, you may find it difficult to absorb so much new information. I did and was glad I did. Take home some coffee.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    It was a great and memorable trip.
  • Reviewed February 2018
    Suzanne Thorne

    Ethiopia in depth

    This was the most amazing holiday. Our guide Gabre was excellent. Scenery was beautiful. We had a very good driver who negotiated some terrible roads with great care. Hotels were good considering it is such a poor country,pot luck sometimes . People were so friendly, which made the holiday for us. It is cool in the evening, jacket needed.Good strong trainers or walking shoes for very uneven surfaces around churches. Ethiopian airways were excellent. Ethiopian food is an acquired taste. !! One of our most memorable holidays.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The camel market ,the churches, the galada baboons and many more.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Excellent.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Make sure you have all jabs. Protect yourself against food Bourne illnesses. Take good shoes a WALKING stick. Jacket for the evening.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    This was a memorable holiday in every way. Ethiopia has everything, I wish the country well in the future.
  • Reviewed February 2018
    hanna woskoboinik

    Ethiopia

    the trip was well organize and the tour leader was very good. I understand that u contract a local tour operator and I wished u would have checked the hotel before. I understand it is not a luxury trip and this is my 4 trip with Exodus but i must say theta i was very disappointed with the some of the accommodation. Lake Tana is beautiful but the hotel is the worst I ever stay and I travel the world. the hotel had mold wholes in the walls could not wait to get out of the place. you should check the hotels before u accept a tour operator. even in Ethiopia there are better hotels. some of the hotel did not have hot water like in Gondar and when i complain the Luke warm water was for them hot water after a day of travelling one wants a shower not a cold one. I wish u would have given the option to fly to lailibela as it was a waist of a day in horrible conditions. i will have to think hard if i will take another trip with Exodus.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    the churches

    What did you think of your group leader?

    excellent

    Reply from Exodus

    Reply from Exodus

    We would like to thank Hanna for her feedback, however we regret that she was disappointed with the accommodation in Ethiopia. We do mention in the trip notes that Ethiopia is a developing country and that there may occasionally be no hot water. While we endeavour to manage expectations that the accommodation may be basic in places on this tour, at the beginning of each season we use client and staff feedback to review each property with our local manager; if any concerns are raised by clients throughout the year these will be addressed and dealt with accordingly. We have discussed Hanna’s concerns with our local manager and will keep an eye on feedback.

    John Penge – Product Manager for Ethiopia

     

  • Reviewed February 2016

    Ethiopian Odyssey

    This was a fascinating journey through northern Ethiopia. We saw churches and monasteries galore, each one interesting for its paintings or architecture, often hewn out of the living rock. The road journeys were long but the scenery and the sheer engineering feats involved made it worthwhile. Accommodation throughout was much better than I'd anticipated; we had en suite facilities in all hotels and hot water was usually available.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    It is difficult to pick out one - the Stelae of Axum; the rock-hewn churches of Lalibela; the climb up to the monastery on the way to Wukram just before sunset; the camels, cattle, sheep and goats heading to the cattle market on our way to Lalibela; our final meal in Lalibela at Ben Abeba as the sun went down.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Genre was wonderful throughout. He was the fount of all knowledge on the history of the country and its religion and politics while also helping Jane and I to identify birds and flowers en route. He always seemed to anticipate when breaks were needed and remained unflappably and good tempered at all times. I must also mention our tremendous driver, Ananya, who seemed to know every inch of our route intimately and was totally indefatigable..

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    In February, the temperatures were between 25 and 29 degrees all day and warm clothing was not needed. Ladies should bring scarves for the churches. In restaurants, portions were more than ample and it might be an idea for those with less than enormous appetites to share dishes. It proved to be very easy to get our visas at the airport in Addis. Queues were short and photos were not required. In all, much easier than going to the embassy in London.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    My only hitch at the very end of the holiday was getting a bottle of duty free gin out of the country! Though we had already gone through two full security checks, when I took my gin (bought at the airport duty free) through the final one, I was told I could not take it in my cabin baggage. I had to send it to the hold In my rucksack while I put other things for the flight into another bag.
  • Reviewed February 2016
    Sally Wade

    Ethiopia in Depth

    A thoroughly enjoyable holiday with many memorable moments

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    walking at 10,000ft in the Simien mountains over a carpet of thyme. the rock churches in Lalibela the mule trek

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Gabre was a very attentive and informative leader

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    go with an open mind

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I don't think so
  • Reviewed February 2016
    Amanda Sutton

    Ethiopia in Depth

    Fascinating trip learning about a culture I didn't know much about. The West has a distinct impression of Ethiopia and is was great to challenge those ideas.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    I really enjoyed the rock hewn churches in the north and Lalibella. We were lucky to be there at Christmas and could watch all the pilgrims.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our group leade (Gabre) was very good. He had a lot of passion and his country and its potential and was also able to answer any questions we had. Our group was quite mixed in terms of interest and physical capabilities and Gabre ensured everyone was included and could participate at their level.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be prepared to cover up in churches, fasting days and travel days in the bus.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    We had a great driver who looked after the minivan very well. However bigger transport would give everyone a bit more room on long travel days and assist with the unsaved roads, which are of course an avoidable.
  • Reviewed February 2016
    Peter Rogerson

    Ethiopia in Depth - Timkat Depature

    A very enjoyable trip in a very interesting country. Ethiopia is a fast growing and exciting country, and within Africa, a population second only to Nigeria. The infrastructure is improving fast and its mainly young population are starting to enjoy the freedoms of an education and an emerging confident country. The rural areas remain very poor, but infrastructure, including electricity and improved irrigation and transport links, mean that Ethiopia is no longer the barren, drought prone region imagined by most westerners. In fact, during the rainy season, it must be one of the greenest countries in Africa, and the people are generally very friendly and welcoming. Addis in particular is something of a building site, but most of the other towns have concrete shells intended as future apartment blocks and hotels, and there are apparently more university graduates than jobs in many areas - so the future of the country appears bright - although there are still challenges with over-population and the amount of available land for farming. Most people are still subsistence farmers, and the economy is yet to open fully (you can't own land for example), and if the population is to continue growing, more efficient methods of farming will need to be adopted. However, Ethiopia is already a generally good place to travel. The hotels are good and clean, and despite the worries of others, hot water is generally available, and most places have Wi-Fi of varying quality. The country also yet, hasn't become a tourist mecca, meaning you will not have the place to yourself, but you certainly won't be experiencing the crowds of other more well known destinations. The scenery is wonderful - I hadn't realized quite how mountainous most of the country is. We were there in the dry season, but it was clear that following the rains, when everything greens up, it must be spectacular. Ethiopia is also very culturally distinct from anywhere else I've been in Africa - things start to look very "Ethiopian" quite quickly, being a blend of Jewish, Arabic and both north and southern African, as well being close to Sudan, so it comes across as a real melting pot of cultures and ideas.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    We were there for the Timkat departure. I would seriously recommend taking this departure if you can, as the festival was a wonderful experience to be a part of, and there seemed to be parades and festivals everywhere we went - for example we also got caught up in the St. Georges day parade in Lalibela, and came across plenty of other related festivities. The moment when hundreds of young men jump into the Facilides pool in Gondar at the conclusion of the festival for the ritual baptism was a real highlight of all my travelling, not just this trip. It is difficult to imagine the trip without Timkat as this was such an integral party of the experience, so if you are considering this trip, try and do that one. I was also very pleased to have spent some time with the Geladas in the Simiem mountains. I'm not sure how lucky we were to come across them, as they move while they graze, so you only have about 15 minutes before they're all gone, but it was great to see them. The Simiems themselves are beautiful - I am seriously considering the Simien Trekking holiday as a result.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Gebre was excellent. He has been leading Exodus tours for many years, and was clearly very experienced, knowledgeable and very patient with some of the more challenging members of the group. The trip ran like clockwork and we didn't need to really worry or think about anything. Gebre worked tirelessly for us every day and was a great tour leader who clearly enjoys his job.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    I was very surprised at how good the hotels were. Many are resort style hotels, intended for tourists, and government owned I think (part of the Ghion chain). The downside was that there were often other European tour groups there, rather than Ethiopians, so you were a little removed from Ethiopian life, but there were certainly no issues with them, and there was generally wifi, hot water, bars and souvenir shops. They were a mixture of being close to town or a little out of the way, depending on where we were. The "Basic" hotel in Debark, near the Simiens, was actually perfectly good, and probably my personal favourite as they had a nice bar on the street, frequented by locals, and from what I recall, good food in the restaurant. Every child in Ethiopia seems to have been told that foreigners won't give them money and that begging is bad. Consequently, they all want pens. If you bring a suitcase full, they won't last an hour. The ubiquitous "hello pen" ... became a constant companion everywhere we went, but this was more endearing than irritating, and the Ethiopian adults generally won't let them get out of hand, delivering sharp rebukes to any groups of over eager children. We had been warned about pick pockets and things like that, but none of us really had a problem. It made you initially suspect people who were overly friendly, but don't let this cloud your behavior and most people are just very friendly, and basic precautions will most likely be all you need to be concerned with. Certainly, the towns and cities are very safe, generally. Beer is readily available - costing between 12 birr (the cheapest I found in a local bar) up to 25 birr in the upscale hotels. It comes in half pint bottles and you can get it anywhere. St. George was the best I think, although there were other options. I changed all the money I thought I'd need at the Ghion hotel in Addis, which offered a good rate I think - about 30 to the £. changing money elsewhere was not that easy, so I would suggest changing it up at the start. I managed with about £400 worth for the 2 weeks, which included quite a lot of beer and some souvenirs. Meals were generally about 100 birr, but with additional courses, anything up to 200, and you pay for most lunches and dinners. Most souvenir shops will quote in dollars too, so I carried some extra for that. Lalibela is the place for souvenirs - there are loads of cheap shops in town, and opposite the hotel, and some of the stuff is quite good. There is a Tej bar in Lalibela (honey wine). This is surprisingly hard to get hold of otherwise - I tried - but Gebre took us to a nice local place on the final evening to try some. Talla is a locally fermented "beer" - it tastes like scrumpy that has gone off, but is ridiculously cheap. I took a good pair of walking boots for the Simiens and around Lalibela. You will need shoes with a good grip, but good trainers or walking shoes will be fine I think. There is some walking on uneven ground, so if you use poles, bring them with you if you think you might need them. The optional walk in Lalibela is worth doing - although I opted not to use the Mules due to some not unfounded concerns about animal welfare. Check that your mule is healthy and fit before you get on it, please, as some looked very scrawny and others, not particularly healthy at all. The walk was actually very enjoyable too, so if you like your walking, you can always avoid the painful thighs that everyone else seemed to suffer from the previous day and take the views in from foot. Take some sweets or snacks for the bus journeys, as they can be long, and there may be quite a gap between breakfast and lunch on some days. You won't really have access to any luggage while on the bus, as it will be on the roof, and during the day, only what you carry in your rucksack, so pack accordingly. A head torch would prove useful in some of the darker churches. if people ask to have their photo taken, they may be expecting some "photo money" money - but they won't mention this until after you've taken their picture. 10 birr was usually fine, or 5 for the kids. If you're happy with this, then you may get some great pictures, but obviously, think before you take the picture and whether you want to pay for it. Not everyone is like this, however, but do ask first as many Ethiopians are not used to having their photo taken and, women in particular, not comfortable at all with it. Exercise discretion, essentially.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Just that your ideas of Ethiopia are probably wrong. A very beautiful and fast growing country, very green after the rains, and with a vibrant and colourfully unique culture, I am certainly very pleased I went.
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