Best hotels and hostels in Southern Ethiopia

  • Top ChoiceLodging in Bale Mountains National Park

    Bale Mountain Lodge

    What a find! This exquisite lodge, a favourite with nature lovers, is set in the Harenna Forest at an altitude of 2400m. It features three well-proportioned stone cottages and five rustically chic 'forest cottages' in a lush property. They're all sensibly furnished and have views of Mt Gushuralle. Another plus is the cosy restaurant, which serves excellent Western dishes.

  • Top ChoiceLodging in Turmi

    Buska Lodge

    By far the best place to stay in the Lower Omo Valley, Buska has well-built, stone-and-thatch green tukuls and rooms amid plenty of trees and flowers. It's ideal for camping as well; the campsite also has ‘islands’ with concrete pads, thatched roofs and beds, and there are excellent facilities. It’s east of town, 1km off the Weyto road.

  • Top ChoiceLodging in Southern Ethiopia

    Aregash Lodge

    The only thing of interest in Yirgalem (ይርጋለም), Aregash Lodge is one of Ethiopia’s most lauded lodges. The 16 Sidamo-inspired thatched huts are rustically plush with bamboo furniture and lots of space, while the grounds are home to 100-plus species of bird and black-and-white colobus. Hyenas come to feed during the evening coffee ceremony.

  • Top ChoiceLodging in Arba Minch

    Paradise Lodge

    This upmarket lodge staring straight at the national park’s ‘Bridge of God’ features comfortable Konso-inspired huts (many of which have lake views) built from stone and wood; the most sought-after have a terrace right on the clifftop and cost the same. Amenities include two top-notch restaurants, a swimming pool, steam baths, a gift shop and ATMs. Prices include airport transfers.

  • Top ChoiceLodging in Konso

    Kanta Lodge

    Kanta Lodge is a friendly, comfortable place with lovely valley views and two types of rooms. The tightly packed tukuls are simply designed but attractively decorated and the standard rooms are unadorned but functional. Kanta is also the top spot to dine in Konso, with a tempting menu (mains Birr80 to Birr120) and an outstanding stone terrace.

  • Top ChoiceLodging in Awasa

    Haile Resort

    A project of famed distance runner Haile Gebrselassie, this lakeside place on the Addis-side of town is a tasteful, art-filled international-standard hotel. There are plenty of extras, like tennis courts, spa, gym, swimming pool, banking facilities and ATMs, plus top-notch dining. Paying extra for a lake view is well worth it. Boat trips can be arranged (from Birr500).

  • Lodging in Lake Langano

    Bishangari Lodge

    Hyped as Ethiopia's first ecolodge when it opened in 1997, Bishangari has nine beautiful godjos (bungalows), nestled privately along the lake's southeastern shore, and a monkey-friendly bar wrapped around a tree! Sadly, the place burned down in October 2016. There are plans to rebuild it, but nothing was confirmed at the time of research.

  • Lodging in Jinka

    Eco-Omo Safari Lodge

    Jinka’s fanciest (though least friendly) address is 4km out of town on the road to Mago. Simple safari tents on thatched-roof platforms are in a large patch of green sloping down to the Neri River. They're equipped with fans and private facilities, but lack privacy – you can hear everything in the neighbouring tent. There are also four bungalows, including two family units.

  • Top ChoiceLodging in Dorze

    Tsehay Dorze Lodge

    Perched on the edge of a cliff peacefully away from any village, this lodge boasts a sensational setting. It comprises four well-equipped new huts with views that are, without a hint of hyperbole, amazing. The old ones are more basic and, frustratingly, don't have views. Meals cost Birr130. The 1km-long 4WD-only access road is signposted 2km before Hayzo.

  • Top ChoiceLodging in Lake Langano

    Sabana Beach Resort

    Occupying an elevated position with oh-my-god views over the lake, this sprawling property sets the standard for Langano. The modern bathrooms, refined colour scheme, woven ceilings, landscaped gardens and pavilion-like restaurant make these 25 cottages an obvious choice for those who can afford it. There's direct access (via a steep footpath or a funicular) to a swimmable beach.

  • Lodging in Shashemene

    Rift Valley Tourist Hotel

    This hotel has three levels of rooms in an old and a more recent building. They’re old-fashioned and a bit overpriced, but you're paying a premium for the multilevel garden full of trees and art, which takes you a world away from the rest of the town. The restaurant (mains Birr35 to Birr60) has a larger than normal roster of local and international fare.

  • Lodging in Turmi

    Kaske Mango Campsite

    Thanks to a canopy of lush mango trees, there’s plenty of shade at this attractive campsite next to the Kaske River. The ablution block is cleaner than average, though showers (and toilets) come in buckets. It also has a few grubby rooms that are best avoided. It’s 4km east of Turmi, a long hot walk to town for meals.

  • Lodging in Bale Mountains National Park

    Siko Mendo Hotel

    If fancy decor is not the question, but hygiene, location and solid amenities are high on your list, then this salmon three-storey edifice near the main roundabout in Robe could be worth it. It offers well-appointed rooms with crisp sheets, clean-smelling bathrooms and a satisfying breakfast. The on-site restaurant dishes up Ethiopian and Western specialties.

  • Lodging in Bale Mountains National Park

    Dinsho Lodge

    Dinsho Lodge is located above park headquarters (park fee applicable) and surrounded by endemic species; a stay here is a no-brainer. It feels more like an old ski chalet than a proper lodge but has plenty of rustic charm, and the wonderfully bucolic setting is hard to beat. The restaurant (mains Birr55 to Birr90) is set in a lounge with a smoky fireplace. Hot water is available.

  • Lodging in Lake Langano

    Afrika Vacation Inn

    This smart resort has a spectacular location on Lake Langano's northeastern shore and is set in beautifully landscaped gardens. It comprises 29 well-sized tukuls, three beach villas and four standard rooms – all well equipped and comfy. The beach here is suitable for swimming and sunbathing, and the on-site restaurant serves toothsome Ethiopian and Western dishes. Activities include kayaking and horseback riding.

  • Top ChoiceLodging in Shashemene

    Zion Train Lodge

    Behind the gates here hides a good surprise. Run by a French Rastafarian family, this haven of peace shelters three large Sidamo-style huts as well as three rooms with shared bathrooms in the main building, all comfortable and embellished with a few exotic bits and bobs. The restaurant (mains Birr30 to Birr85) has healthy offerings using some organic ingredients. It’s signposted 1km from Jamaica.

  • Lodging in Awasa

    Lewi Resort

    This sprawling place serves four-star luxury in a completely Ethiopian way – think dated design and uninspiring architecture. There’s a large variety of rooms, from the basic ‘garden view’ to the tacky bungalows with circular beds. The main selling point is the forested lakeside setting. Amenities include two restaurants (mains Birr50 to Birr120), a gym, a pool and a playground for kids.

  • Lodging in Turmi

    Turmi Lodge

    The pink concrete pavilions are plain and overpriced but well maintained. If you're counting the birrs, the budget rooms in a separate block are smaller but better value. The restaurant (mains Birr70 to Birr110) is a long walk from the bungalows and features à la carte dishes and buffets (Birr230). It’s 1km north of town.

  • Lodging in Arba Minch

    Mora Heights

    The fantastic clifftop location is a big selling point here, although many rooms have obstructed views – ask for one with a lake view as they cost the same. There are only 24 units, which ensures intimacy. The hotel's enticing dining room plays host to a menu laden with inspired Ethiopian and Western dishes (mains Birr50 to Birr150). Prices include airport transfers.

  • Lodging in Bale Mountains National Park

    Tweens Pension

    The most obvious choice for tight-fisted travellers, not so much because of its inherent merits, but because of the lack of competitors in this price bracket. Rooms are unflashy but clean, secure and well organised, and the shared facilities are thoroughly scrubbed. It's just off the main roundabout, with various cafes and eateries within staggering distance.