Tourist Attractions in Ethiopia

  • Lalibela
    Lalibela
    by lotharscheer
  • Lalibela
    Lalibela
    by lotharscheer
  • Lalibela
    Lalibela
    by lotharscheer

Most Viewed Tourist Traps in Ethiopia

  • DAO's Profile Photo

    DON' GET CAUGHT SHORT

    by DAO Updated Jun 14, 2012

    4 out of 5 starsHelpfulness


    I would suggest that you travel with some of those baby wipes and/or toilet tissue or just plain paper tissue. All too often you will find modern flush toilets, but no paper! You will see all sorts of substitutes that have been used by your fellow humans in the waste basket. Be prepared and you will never be caught out.

    I recommend the wipes rather than hand gels. Gels get used quickly and are not versile. Wipes clean the toilet before and yourself after !

    Rate this tip now and thank me later.

    NO TOILET PAPER !
    Related to:
    • Backpacking
    • Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
    • Business Travel

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  • DAO's Profile Photo

    SENDING ITEMS TO ETHIOPIA BY POST

    by DAO Updated Feb 28, 2012

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness


    If you are thinking about sending someone in Ethiopia items by the post – watch out! The official duty rates in Ethiopia for the importation of goods is generally 100%! Be careful what you send or the person receiving any goods or gifts may not be able to afford to receive it! Although they have 'reduced' some tax levels officially, they value the items subjectively. I sent a camera that I paid $65 for and my local friend Solomon was asked for $200 tax!

    If it is a USED item, declare this clearly on the Customs Declaration. They pay less tax. Many items can become "used" with a little work. Remove all packaging. If its clothes, wash them. Shoes? Yes walk in someone elses shoes! A little used is cheaper than a little new!

    It is often better to just send cash and let your friends source the item locally. You can use Western Union for larger money transfers.

    Find the bad news on duty here:
    Scroll down

    THE POST OFFICE
    Related to:
    • Work Abroad
    • Study Abroad
    • Business Travel

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  • beeebeee's Profile Photo

    Local guides

    by beeebeee Updated Jan 15, 2011

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    We started taking local guides before we realised how useless they are. Probably told them more interesting things about my country than i learnt from them. The guides at Lalibela cost megabucks and tell you fascinating things like the rock churches were built by angels...they just fill your head with rubbish...you really don't need a guide, just make sure you don't miss the tunnel through hell...it's a great experience but not for claustrophobiacs.

    Unique Suggestions: Lake Tana....beautiful lake, good wildlife but the monasteries they take you to are just a joke. Don't bother with a guide, hire a boat and driver from the quay for half a day. Lalibela...DON"T take a guide...much more useful info available cheaper in travel books.

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Castles and Palaces
    • Museum Visits

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  • DAO's Profile Photo

    SAVE YOUR CURRENCY RECEIPTS !

    by DAO Updated Aug 19, 2010

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness


    If you are flying out of Bole Airport in Addis Ababa, you will need to show your receipt(s) if you want to change Birr back to your chosen currency. Make sure you keep your receipts from anywhere you have bought Birr as they will ask to see them. If you go over the amount of currency they allow to be changed back – do not panic. Just find ANYONE with a passport and they can change the rest for you. I had a fellow traveller ask me for help and the man in the exchange office took note of my passport and then exchanged a further amount for my now grateful fellow traveller.

    Some more practical information can be found here:

    Currency Guidelines

    Related to:
    • Family Travel
    • Study Abroad
    • Work Abroad

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  • elsadran's Profile Photo

    Immigration take only dollars...!

    by elsadran Updated Jun 19, 2010

    4 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    In case you need an extension of your Visa the Immigration Office take only dollars! Euros and Birrs are useless...So don't forget to carry a 20 US dollar bill. If you don't, you can only buy it in the black market!!! Even the bank manager urged me to do so, to my big surprise....! If you have only Birrs and you need to change you will give 1.5-2 birrs more per dollar than the official exchange rate in the banks.
    You will also need a copy of your passport to get an extension of the Ethiopian visa. If you have a small photo of your face it will be better, although you might not need it.

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  • choco15_2008's Profile Photo

    Hotels with a tolite and a sink!!

    by choco15_2008 Written Jun 3, 2008

    Just becouse there is a sink and washroom that doesnt mean there is running water!!!!!!!
    Just becouse there is a sink and washroom that doesnt mean there is running water!!!!!!!
    Just becouse there is a sink and washroom that doesnt mean there is running water!!!!!!!
    Just becouse there is a sink and washroom that doesnt mean there is running water!!!!!!!
    Just becouse there is a sink and washroom that doesnt mean there is running water!!!!!!!
    Just becouse there is a sink and washroom that doesnt mean there is running water!!!!!!!
    Just becouse there is a sink and washroom that doesnt mean there is running water!!!!!!!
    Just becouse there is a sink and washroom that doesnt mean there is running water!!!!!!!

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  • mike_gda's Profile Photo

    Don't buy the Simien Mts trip in an agency

    by mike_gda Written Dec 2, 2007

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The prices of trips to the Simien Mts in travel agencies in Gonder are much more expensive than what you would pay when organising this in Debark yourself. The travel agents rent the same guides that you will get in Debark. The only difference is that they will probably ensure transportation and have the whole products well "packed" and "sold";).

    Fun Alternatives: On the photo I enclosed the rates for renting people and stuff for trips to the Simien Mountains. The whole process is quick and straightforward and takes less than an hour.
    Remember to bring your food and buy water for the duration of the trip.
    If you find some travel agencies on the web you can calculate and compare the total prices.

    Related to:
    • Backpacking
    • Budget Travel

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  • Bashir2005's Profile Photo

    GUIDES

    by Bashir2005 Written May 19, 2007

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    There are plenty of guides in Harar. Mainly are boys who don't want to go to school becuase it's convenient to eat with and be with a tourist for two of 5 dollars tip. The selp-employed guides speak reasonable English and ther European languages including German + Italian. Please don't knock them down, some of them are really good to have specially when you are shopping in the market. My suggestion to you is to hire a licenced tour guide, just to be in the safe side. You can book a tour at the you hotel.

    Unique Suggestions: Tourism in Ehtiopia is a bread winner for the country. The locals know not to mess with the tourists. Having said that, there people whjo can find themselves in bad situation. Never ever go with a stranger's homes, that is a non-starter. Take little money always, leave your passport and ticket in a safe place and make sure you walk about very light. You make sure you are not worth more than 350 dollars in total when you add your clothing, money, phone and camera. You need a phone and camera, yes ? heep them safe in your bag and don't leave them everywhere.

    Fun Alternatives: The trap comes to you most of the time. You must avoid people talking to you trying to get close to you. Be polite, Ehiopians don't like visitors with bad language; avoid all kinds of arguments. Watch you language, it's worth makiing a loss of 50 Dollars than having a fight with someone in Ethiopia. The taxi driver ask you too much money to a ride, never jump on a taxi without agrteement of a fare prior to the journey.

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  • blue nile falls

    by cynaddis Written Sep 1, 2006

    3 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    the government has built a dam at the blue nile falls and most tourist who come to see the massive falls are highly dissapointed! people will tell you that the dam will be off on the weekends but they wont be.

    Fun Alternatives: there are still plenty of great things to do in this area if you are planning to be there. i highly suggest visiting the monasteries on lake tana. you can get a great boat tour!!!!

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  • SirRichard's Profile Photo

    Guides

    by SirRichard Written Aug 25, 2006

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Not a tourist trap really but you should be warned.
    While walking by the streets in touristic places, many young men and kids will approach to you offering themselves as guides. There are some "official" guides here and there (Gonder, This abay...) but most of them are just kids that wanna earn some extra money.
    If you don't need much info (dates, history...) is a good option to take one, as they will guide you around in the city and talk with the priests etc. Besides, they will take other guides away. The one I took in Gonder even invited me home and prepared a coffee ceremony with his family.
    Expect to pay them 3-5 USD per whole day.

    Kids
    Related to:
    • Road Trip
    • Backpacking
    • Budget Travel

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  • ocicat's Profile Photo

    Don't get taken for "a ride"

    by ocicat Written Sep 9, 2003

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Garis (horse carts) are the usual mode of transportation (there are taxi vans but they get stuffed full).

    Ethiopians pay 1 Birr to go just about anywhere in the town by gari.

    Fringee (foreigners) will be told the price is 10 Birr. It's only around 1 USD but I hate that much of a mark-up!

    Unique Suggestions: When the driver tells you 10 Birr (or more) - look incredulas and say "No Way!" and start walking.

    Very quickly his price will come down to 5 Birr (which I found acceptable). If he doesn't come down, somebody listening in will!

    Fun Alternatives: You can walk just about anywhere in town.

    Driver Biruku and horse Jack
    Related to:
    • Road Trip
    • Budget Travel

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Ethiopia Tourist Traps

Reviews and photos of Ethiopia tourist traps posted by real travelers and locals. The best tips for Ethiopia sightseeing.
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