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Showing reviews for Discover Ethiopia

Number of Reviews: 29 Overall score: *****
Priest outside the Church of Abuna Yemata, Guh, Gheralta, Ethiopia
Review posted by Peter Gillett
***** Written

DISCOVER ETHIOPIA

An ancient land and culture with vast high altitude mountainous regions, beautiful lakes and lush green rural low lands. Travelled in October 2013.
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Exodus Response

We are extremely pleased to read that Peter has some great memories from his trip last October. Since Peter travelled last year, we can confirm that the hotel he stayed at in Wendogenet is no longer used on this trip. We hope that future travellers will enjoy this trip as much as Peter did – Exodus Customer Services
Priest outside the Church of Abuna Yemata, Guh, Gheralta, Ethiopia
***** Written

DISCOVER ETHIOPIA

Such a unique country because of its culture and history. We went on the Timkat Gondar departure followed by the Harar extension - which we would thoroughly recommend - like a foreign legion outpost + hyenas. Prepare for early starts and busy days. A bird watchers paradise.
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Priest outside the Church of Abuna Yemata, Guh, Gheralta, Ethiopia
***** Written

DISCOVER ETHIOPIA

Ethiopia is a wonderful place. There were no starving children; bare fields; empty shops. The Ethiopians are hard working and proud people who look after their land and welcome visitors.
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Priest outside the Church of Abuna Yemata, Guh, Gheralta, Ethiopia
***** Written

DISCOVER ETHIOPIA

This is a fascinating trip combining amazing scenery with a variety of opportunities to engage with local people and their colourful culture and history. Days and journeys can be long but are not an issue as there's so much to see and do. Ethiopia is a photographer's dream!
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Priest outside the Church of Abuna Yemata, Guh, Gheralta, Ethiopia
***** Written

DISCOVER ETHIOPIA

Most people think of ethiopia as a country with plenty of poverty, dry and uninteresting country side.Well in fact it is the opposite  it is very lush and green, plenty of farmland and food for the people,who are in fact very friendly and helpful
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Priest outside the Church of Abuna Yemata, Guh, Gheralta, Ethiopia
***** Written

DISCOVER ETHIOPIA

The planning of this trip in conjunction with the Classis Kenya Safari by Exodus and especially Diane Knight was excellent. With the exception of the Group Leader it 'ticked all the boxes'.  
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Priest outside the Church of Abuna Yemata, Guh, Gheralta, Ethiopia
***** Written

DISCOVER ETHIOPIA

Surprising,i didnt expect Ethiopia to be as green,although it was just after the rainy season, it was clean and picturesque
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Priest outside the Church of Abuna Yemata, Guh, Gheralta, Ethiopia
***** Written

DISCOVER ETHIOPIA

It was one of the worse trips we have been on and we have been on many. The culture of the country is amazing! The churches we have seen and people we have met in the north were wonderful. Definitely good memories. So I really hope that exodus will improve this trip! Because the country is worth visiting for sure.  However, there were some logistical issues: Exodus forgot to book our internal flights, all 3 of them. So the second day of our trip we spent in the airport waiting for available seats on the plane. Other people on the tour had some issues with shared or single rooms, which also was a bit of a booking issue from what we have understood. In fact, the communication all through the trip lacked significantly. We arrived to the designated hotel and although, the trip notes said there will be a board with the information, there was nothing. The people at the desk were not even sure who we are with and what we are doing there.  The north of the country is amazing. On the other hand the south part of the tour was a complete waste of time. 1. The national park had cattle and people living in it. Not one wild animal that we could see. It was more like visiting a village. 2. What was advertised as a forest walk with bird watching, ended up being a bush walk, because of the deforestation with a small number of the same birds as we have seen at the hotel. 3. The natural springs, looked dirty. Nothing like what the trip notes description. Long bus drive did not justify the time spent there.  Overall the food and hotels wished to be better. There was no variety in hotels at all. Every room in every hotel looked exactly same. Everything is very standard and most certainly not memorable in a good way. The majority of nights we had no hot water. The food was "westernised" and to the worse standards. The restaurants did not have what the menu contained. They usually gave us 3 choices and if you are vegetarian like me, you are stuck with pasta with tomato sauce for 2 weeks. In one of the hotels the waiter refused selling me a tonic, because he said he had only five and he is keeping them to sell them with gin and tonic. So you get the idea of service etc in some places. I am not sure why the guides+ exodus do not look into it, given that they supply them with the customers on regular basis.
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Exodus Response

I’m sorry you had such a bad experience in Ethiopia. It is true that there were some issues with the booking of the domestic flights, for which we have sincerely apologised, but we believe we have now put a system in place which ensures that this does not happen again.

Regarding the hotels, Ethiopia does not have the same standard of accommodation as other parts of the world and choices can be limited. The hotels we use have, in the past, been requisitioned by the government to host high ranking officials during meetings and conferences. I have stayed in those same hotels myself and never had issues with hot water though, of course, this can happen. This is why we forewarn clients in the trip notes that you should be ready to ‘leave behind your western comforts.’
I do agree that the food can often be uninteresting and can lack variety, but when I was on this same trip I was able to have local Ethiopian food on a number of occasions, including vegetarian dishes as Ethiopians have a whole selection of vegan foods for lent, but I did find Injera, the local bread, to be somewhat of an acquired taste. Exodus and our local partners have raised the subject of food with hotels, unfortunately they still believe they are offering what western tourists want.

I am aware that the southern portion of the trip appeals to some people who enjoy the contrast with the north, but not as much to others. My personal experience of the area was a good one, but we have taken your comments into account and are looking at ways to improve things. In March, for instance, we will have a special itinerary which visits the Tigrai region between Axum and Lalibela rather than visiting the south. Should the feedback from this trip be positive, I will consider changing future departures.

Overall, however, I truly believe that Ethiopia is a fantastic and fascinating country with a unique culture and geography, and a rich history and tradition dating back centuries and a wonderful place to visit.

Tom - Product Manager for Ethiopia

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