Saturday, July 18, 2009

Tips for Ethiopia

Want to travel in Ethiopia, this might help you:

Visa - $20 for same day service at the Embassy of Ethiopia in Khartoum, Sudan. That is if the embassy is not on a week long holiday! (It costs $30 for the same service in Cairo, Egypt)

Bus from Metema to Shihedi – 10 birr p.p, or overnight in Metema, plenty of “guesthouses with red light bulbs!
1.5l mineral water – 7-8 birr
Bus from Shihedi to Gonder – 40 birr, but the bus doesn’t always make it to Gonder, you may be thrown out in a small village 60km short and receive a 10 birr refund.
Ride on truck the final 60km to Gonder – 50 birr, negotiable
Dbl room w/ bathroom at Queen Taitu Hotel, Gonder – 100 birr
Macchiato coffee/cream cake in posh café – 3/7 birr
Tasty meal for 2 plus soft drinks at Demera Cultural Restaurant, Gonder – 50 birr
Lentil samosa or donut from street stall – 2 birr each
Draft beer in Gonder – from 3 birr per glass
330ml Ethiopian red wine in a beer bottle – 17 birr
Map and great info at the Tourist Centre in Gonder – FREE, and you might get tea and biscuits as well. And please donate to their library!
Entrance to Gonder Royal Enclosure – 50 birr
Entrance to Debre Selassie church – 25 birr
All other ‘sights’ in Gonder are 25 birr entrance.
There is a decent, if slightly pricey supermarket in Gonder – Dashen Supermarket on Piazza. Worth visiting for Simien trekking supplies, but better is to bring them from home/Egypt.
Bus from Gonder to Debark – 21.5 birr, 3 hours
Dbl room at Simien Park Hotel, Debark – 70 birr (180 birr w/bath)
Meal at Simien Park Hotel – 15-30 birr
Draft beer at Simien Park Hotel – 4/8 birr normal/jumbo
1kg mangoes/tomatoes/bananas – 8/6/7 birr
Simien mountains trekking – from $8 per person per day (to over $100 per day depending on luxury required!)
Bus/minibus from Gonder to Bahir Dar – 25/35 birr (around 3 hours)
Non-lake facing double room w/bath at Ghion Hotel, Bahir Dar – 100 birr after negotiations
Breakfast/Dinner/Beer at Ghion Hotel, Bahir Dar – 18/15-40/9 birr
Meal/Beer at Bahir Dar Hotel, Bahir Dar – 12-20/7 birr
Boat trip on Lake Tana from Ghion Hotel – 100birr per person
Entrance fee to monasteries on Lake Tana – generally 30 birr per monastery
Entrance to Lakeside restaurant with pelican viewing – 3 birr plus 2 birr per camera
Internet – 12 birr per hour – VERY SLOW!
Fresh mixed juice – 6 birr
Bus to Gashena – 70birr, 8 hours
Bus from Gashena to Lalibela – 15 birr, 2 hours
Dbl room at Asheton Hotel, Lalibela – 100 birr
Avocado juice – 10 birr
Meal at Blue Lal restaurant, Lalibela – fom 20 birr, poor value
Breakfast or Dinner at Unique Restaurant, Lalibela – 15-20 birr – Excellent value, the fasting food option is delicious
Entrance fees to Lalibela churches – 200 birr, soon to be 300 birr
Bus from Lalibela to Dessie – 45 birr, 10 hours
Dinner at Blue Nile Restaurant, Dessie – 15-20 birr
Dbl room w/bath at ‘Bedroom’, Dessie – 80 birr
Bus from Dessie to Addis Ababa – 65birr (up from 52birr) 10hours.
Dbl room w/bath at Wanza Hotel, Addis Ababa – 120 birr
Meal/beer/Breakfast at Wanza Hotel – around 20 birr/8birr/12birr
Minibus around Addis Ababa – 0.7-1.5birr
Entrance to National Museum – 10 birr
Internet in Addis Ababa – 0.25birr per minute
Coffee and cake in café – 10birr
Haircut on Bole Road, Addis Ababa – 30 birr
Bus from Addis Ababa to Dila/Moyale – 47/99 birr, 1/2 days
Room at Zeleke Hotel, Dila – 70birr
Large draft beer at Zekele Hotel – 6.5birr
Meal at Zekele Hotel – 15-40 birr
Bus from Dila to Moyale – 60 birr
Papaya/Avocado – 8birr per kilo
Pineapple – 5 birr each

Average budget in Ethiopia – 190 birr per day (approx $15)
Exchange rate at 31/05/09 - $1=12.5 birr, 1GBP=20 birr


  1. I wish I would have found your blog earlier -- we must have just passed each other. I'm on a round-the-world trip and just went from Ethiopia (hated it) to Sudan yesterday.

    I'll link ya'lls blog to mine. Mine is


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