3 reasons why you should travel to Ethiopia in 2023
Our Senior Travel Consultant Clem just got back from a trip to Ethiopia, likely making her amongst some of the first travellers to return after the country was closed due to the pandemic, and then the Tigray Civil War, which came to an end in November after the signing of a peace deal.
As one of the first destinations we offered as a travel company, we were eager to get back out there and discover how things are in the wake of this challenging time.
After her trip, Clem tells us why she thinks Ethiopia should be on your travel list in 2023…
1. Be one of the first back
It falls strongly within Wild Frontiers' ethos to be amongst the first companies to travel to a destination that has gone through rough times. Ethiopia was one of Wild Frontiers' first destinations and is a country we have been running tours to for over 20 years. As a specialist for other destinations that sometimes raise an eyebrow such as Pakistan and Iran, I have dreamt of making it to Ethiopia and specifically the Simien Mountains for a long time and it more than lived up to my expectations.
2. Support the locals
I met my guide in my first stop after Addis which was Bahir Dar and after chatting away to him it quickly transpired that I was his second client in over three years due to the combination of COVID and the civil war - quite a humbling experience and one that I will never forget. Everywhere that I travelled over the following week I met excited guides/business owners/villagers all especially pleased to hear that Wild Frontiers are keen to get Ethiopia back on the travel map.
3 Have the sights to yourself
This might sound like an obvious one, but it really is a fabulous experience to stay in one of the TESFA huts as the only guest that night or to take a photo above St Georges Church in Lalibela with no concern of another visitor strolling into the camera frame. I had about half an hour alone with the troop of gelada baboons (and my guide and ranger) before one other couple strolled up to join us. I didn’t see another tourist in the Simien mountains all morning apart from them!
And finally, let me address the Gelada Baboon in the room... The timing of this blog is somewhat interesting as the FCDO updated its advice a week ago to all but essential travel to the Amhara state. We are optimistic that this will be quickly resolved and very much in time for travel after the rains over our summer months (June to August).
I must mention that during my whole trip, I felt very safe and it wasn’t at all obvious that there had even been a recent war. It's times like these when the community will really benefit from the money tourism brings into the country, so with this and our clients' safety in mind, we wouldn't recommend visiting unless we thought it was the right time for locals and clients alike. So, on that note, I would love to help you plan a trip to Ethiopia for September onwards!