Intrepid travellers with disabilities do visit Ethiopia, although the country can be something of an obstacle course and you'll end up relying on the goodwill of others rather than dedicated facilities in order to get around.
- For those with restricted mobility, all the cities on the Historical Route are easily reached by internal flights, but once there, many sites will extremely difficult to access. For example, only a handful of Tigray's rock-hewn churches are close to the roadside and even these often have a large number of steps.
- Car rental with a driver is easily organised. Some rough roads can be hard on the back.
- Taxis are widely available in the large towns and are good for getting around, but none have wheelchair access. In Addis Ababa a few hotels have lifts; at least two (the Sheraton and Hilton hotels) have facilities for wheelchair-users. Kerb ramps on streets are nonexistent, and potholes and uneven streets are a hazard.
- Outside the capital, facilities are lacking, but some hotels are bungalow affairs, so at least steps or climbs in such places are sometimes minimal.
- For those restricted in other ways, such as visually or aurally, you’ll get plenty of offers of help but little else. Unlike in many Western countries, Ethiopians are not shy about coming forward to offer assistance.
- Before leaving home, visitors can get in touch with their national support organisation. Ask for the ‘travel officer’, who may have a list of travel agents that specialise in tours for people with disabilities.