How to travel in Ethiopia
Replies: 9 - Last Post: Nov 20, 2012 9:46 PM Last Post By: icgolga
Nov 17, 2012 11:26 PM
How to travel in EthiopiaHi,
I've travelled in Namibia/Botswana last year by a 4x4 with a friend by ourselves. I would like to go to Africa next year. I can imagine that Ethiopia is completly different than N/B. How can you travel in Ethiopia by yourself? Can you rent a car or a 4x4? Is a 4x4 necessary? Can 2 women travel alone in Ethiopia?
I'm looking forward for your answer
Nov 18, 2012 6:43 AM
1Self drive 4X4 car rental is not available in Ethiopia, although there are plenty of places to rent a 4X4 with driver. If you are planning your own trip, prices range from about $75 a day plus fuel to $150 a day plus fuel for car and driver. The cost difference is dependent on the quality of the car.
The need for a 4X4 depends on where you are going and what time of year.
Nov 18, 2012 7:58 AM
2Like stated above, you can hire a car with a driver, but you will have to pay for accommodation for the driver, as well as the cost of getting the driver back to his origin. Roads can be tricky in more remote areas, and the mountains.....check out flying options with Ethiopian, if you're sticking to the main attractions, you can easily get cheap tickets once you're in Addis, and fly everywhere. Cheap as in less than US$300 to go for example Addis - Bahir Day - Gondar - Lalibela - back to Addis. You can't get deals online, you have to wait until you're in the country.
Nov 18, 2012 9:10 AM
3You won't need a car for most areas except the tribal areas of the south, where most people go on an arranged tour. You may well be able to find people to share a car, and costs. Public transport is extremely limited there, but even this is still possible (with a mobile phone, patience and a little boldness in approaching strangers).
In the north and east, the main roads (e.g. the loop to Axum and Gonder) are newly paved, and there are regular buses, although the normal buses are old and uncomfortable, and fellow passengers not used to riding cars may be throwing up on the mountain roads. However, to some of the tourist places there are more expensive new coaches that are well worth the extra money.
Most bus transport is extremely slow, however, so it is a good idea to book some inland flights for longer distances; you get huge discounts if you fly in with Ethiopian Airlines even on a code share on a partner airline ticket. When we went, the bus from Addis to Lalibela took 2 days and it was an awful ride, but the road may be better now.
Ethiopia is a fairly safe and welcoming country; we found it not awkward at all to travel as two women. In fact, few people tried to rip us off, and sometimes other customers even stepped in taking our side (e.g. in quarrels over the baggage fee).
For more infos, see:
Nov 19, 2012 8:09 AM
Nov 20, 2012 7:24 AM
Nov 20, 2012 8:55 AM
6You may want to try a mix of transport options: flights for some really long distances, regular busses and minibusses for shorter and better roads, and finding people to share a rented car for the more unpleasant roads. The cheaper hotels and hostels often know about shared options. For instance, the nicer, air-conditioned tour group cars and minibusses sometimes have to go empty one way, and of course the drivers take individual travellers for a fee.
We mostly went on public transport, but then we had 2 months...
Nov 20, 2012 10:02 AM
thanks for answer. We`ll have 3 weeks.
What about the costs in Ethiopia ? How much do I need in average per day ?
Do you think it is safe for 2 women travel individual in Ethiopia ?
Nov 20, 2012 12:47 PM
8Very cheap. We spent about 26 € per day, for two (not including the flight). Using public transport, staying in cheap hotels, eating local vegetarian food, but not completely rock-bottom. Great gourmet coffee every day in nice cafes...
With less time you will certainly spend more, but Ethiopia is definitely cheaper than most countries. We found it also very safe and hassle-free (for 2 women, around 40, widely travelled and self-confident, no blonde hair... you never know, these things may make a difference).
Enjoy your trip!
Nov 20, 2012 9:46 PM
9From the point of view of blond farenji: very safe in Ethiopia for comparison so much more dangerous for example in South London or East Los Angeles :).
(4 star Hotel)
From US$78.00 per night
(4 star Hotel)
From US$134.14 per night
(1 star Hotel)
From US$9.63 per night