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In the towns, villages and countryside of Ethiopia taxis offer two kinds of service: ‘contract taxis’ and ‘share-taxis’. Share-taxis ply fixed routes, stop and pick people up when hailed and generally operate like little buses. They become ‘contract taxis’ when they are flagged down (or ‘contracted’) by an individual or a group for a private journey. The fare is then split between all the passengers in the taxi.

Though not really ‘taxis’ at all, minibuses, trucks, 4WDs and various other kinds of cars can all be contracted in the same way as contract taxis. Contracting a large minibus for yourself is seen as perfectly normal.

Before hiring a contract taxi, always negotiate the fare before you get in, or you may be asked to pay far above the going rate at the end of the journey.