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Ethiopia Visit First 2 Weeks of December

Brooklyn, New York
Level Contributor
114 posts
9 reviews
Ethiopia Visit First 2 Weeks of December

I'm a travel photographer. I will be exploring Ethiopia from Nov. 30 to Dec. 17.

I understand Dic. is in the dry season. Should I be concerned about Malaria in Omo and other areas? I have the Malaria tablets which only need to be taken once a week.

Will fly into and out of ADD on Ethiopian Airlines. I understand that I'll get a discount on domestic airfare. My ticket is an award ticket using Lufthansa miles. Is this an issue for ET to give me the discount?

Will go to Danakil Depression to see Salt Lake of Afrera, do astro photography, Erta Ale and Dallol volcanoes, settlement of Ahmed Ela and possibly join or find a company that does camel caravan trips to Lake Asale. Everyone that goes to this area has to join a tour company. Is it possible to do this independently: public transport or flight to Mekelle and then rent a car/jeep to explore? I have been quoted $350USD for a

3 day tour with 4-6 people only. Is this a good deal?

I will take public transport from Mekeke to Woldiya then Lalibela. How long is this trip? Bus schedule, bus conditions and price?

Can I do Lalibela on my own or also have to join a tour?

From Lalibela will go down to Omo Valley – will arrive at Jinka by flight.

May do a 4 day motorcycle tour through the Omo Valley villages/tribes, price is $400USD which includes, fuel, guide, motorcycle, accommodation, entrance fee and meals to see Mursi, Dasanech, Banns and Hammar tribes. It's only me and the guide traveling, no one else. Is this a good deal?

I'm not interested in doing a big tour group and visit villages that have more tourists than locals.

Any recommendations on other reputable tour agencies/itinerary will be greatly appreciated.

11 replies to this topic
Addis Ababa...
Destination Expert
for Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Level Contributor
5,481 posts
83 reviews
1. Re: Ethiopia Visit First 2 Weeks of December

Hi

Full answer later but on the flight discount issue I think you ring EA office in NY or DC. Quote the locator ,6 digit ref on your international ticket to book and buy Dom flights.

2. Re: Ethiopia Visit First 2 Weeks of December

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Removed on: 30 October 2017, 22:44
Edited: 30 October 2017, 22:44
 
Addis Ababa...
Destination Expert
for Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Level Contributor
5,481 posts
83 reviews
3. Re: Ethiopia Visit First 2 Weeks of December

Hi again..you ask a lot of good questioss. here we go.

Yes dry season., Take your weekly malaria stuff if going to Omo.

Danakil. Legally you must go with a tour company for security reasons.

If you had your own vehicle a tour company will charge you to go with one of their convoys.

350 is an ok price.

Mekelle to Lal by bus. 1.5 days normally 2 or 3 buses.. Overnight in Woldiya. Buses are safe and ok. Buses are graded Levels 1 2 3....2 - newest and cost a bit more. Prices cheap., no real schedules....

Long distance buses tend to leave 0530...

Guide not strictly necessary in Lalibela....but you need good map of churches.

Omo on m bike, including all you list 400 is ok price.

Will also send you a message.

Think you would find it very helpful for you to have copy of Bradt Ethiopia 7th edition from Amazon or Bradt website.

United States
Level Contributor
589 posts
4 reviews
4. Re: Ethiopia Visit First 2 Weeks of December

Good to see a fellow travel photographer! A few tips I can suggest based on some research I've done so far:

- Visit Lalibela on a Saturday as it's the market day with a lot of interesting things and colors to shoot.

- Attend the Sunday morning mass at the churches in Lalibela (they start after midnight and continue till dawn) to see priests in white dresses chanting prayers.

- Eat at Ben Abeba restaurant in Lalibela around sunset for the best 360 degree panoramic views.

- In Addis Ababa, visit either 2000 Habesha or Yod Abssynia traditional restaurants to attend authentic cultural show at 7:30pm on weekends.

- Go to the terrace of Herimoni Cafe in central Addis to get a closer view of the Merkato and the city.

- Visit the Entoto hill around Addis Ababa to shoot the sunset view of the sprawing city from the top.

- For Erta Ale, almost all tours offer to see it in the dark. Try to stay longer in the morning (or arrive earlier during the day) to see it in daylight when it's more photogenic.

Hope this helps! 👍

Edited: 31 October 2017, 10:08
United States
Level Contributor
589 posts
4 reviews
5. Re: Ethiopia Visit First 2 Weeks of December

Regarding some of your questions:

~ You can actually fly between Mekele and Lalibela for cheap. Why do you want to take a long painful road journey?!

~ Lake Assale is quite close to Dallol and Hamed'ela. Almost all tour operators go there. Camel caravans are abundant in the area and easy to spot (from what I know).

~ You can very well do Lalibela on your own. No need to join a tour or guide (except if you want to enter early morning for the mass before the official tourist entry opens).

~ Ethiopian Airline may not probably allow discounted rates if the ticket was booked using miles, but please ask them first. Their DC office has some efficient representatives who can help you out!

Edited: 31 October 2017, 10:31
Addis Ababa...
Destination Expert
for Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Level Contributor
5,481 posts
83 reviews
6. Re: Ethiopia Visit First 2 Weeks of December

#4 minor correction. Yod and Habesha 2000 not just open weekends..there are several other Cultural Restaurants also.

Addis Ababa...
Level Contributor
58 posts
7. Re: Ethiopia Visit First 2 Weeks of December

You already have lots of ideas specially from Addis adviser. I want to focus on the Danakil 3 days tour: for a photographer the 3 days/2 nights tour is rush plus it does not include lake Afdera. I am not sure if it is possible to join a group with only 4-6 pax with the price you mention. You need to double check that, if not you may end up with 30-40 pax in a group with one guide and one cook.

8. Re: Ethiopia Visit First 2 Weeks of December

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Removed on: 22 November 2017, 06:24
 
United Kingdom
Level Contributor
17,522 posts
106 reviews
9. Re: Ethiopia Visit First 2 Weeks of December

Yohannes w

Advertising, self promotion and solicitation are are not permitted in the forums, and you are not allowed to review your own company either.

Level Contributor
36 posts
1 review
10. Re: Ethiopia Visit First 2 Weeks of December

Hi. I'm traveling at the same time. Which company gave you the quote for Danakil

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