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In the past, if someone asked for a ride in Ethiopia, it was usually assumed that it was because they couldn’t afford a bus fare and little sympathy was spared for them. Many Ethiopians also suspected hitchers of hidden motives such as robbery.

However, for some towns not readily served by buses or light vehicles, hitching is now quite normal, and you will be expected to pay a ‘fare’. Negotiate this in advance. The best place to look for lifts is at the hotels, bars and cafes in the centre of town.

  • Be aware that the density of vehicles on many roads is still very low in Ethiopia; on the remote roads you’ll be lucky to see any.
  • Know that hitching is never entirely safe, and it’s not recommended. Travellers who decide to hitch should understand that they are taking a small but potentially serious risk. Hitching is safer in pairs. Additionally, try to let someone know where you’re planning to go. Women should never hitch alone.