Comments from people who have traveled to Ethiopia with African Adventure Tours
This has been one of my most fascinating expeditions. The views are unlike anywhere I have been and the people are so beautiful. Wherever we went, we were received with the kindest of smiles and genuine warmth. I will certainly come back.
Feedback from Deborah Kutenplon - United States
I am finally having a chance to sit down and write to you about what a fantastic time we had in Ethiopia. As you know, it is 7 ½ years since we adopted the boys and they left Ethiopia, and this is the first time we have been able to return since then. I was a little worried that it might be a difficult trip for the boys, especially for Anteneh, as his sense of loss (of his family and homeland and language) might interfere with his being able to appreciate all the special sites of northern Ethiopia. Instead, both he and Abel (as well as all of us) had such a special time, thanks to your careful selection of fascinating places to visit of religious and historic significance and natural beauty. Kibru’s wonderful, warm presence made the boys feel so welcome home, and smoothed over any potential discomfort with Anteneh not remembering Amharic.
We were especially so grateful that Kibru helped us with interpreting with Anteneh’s father and family in such a sensitive and accepting way. The time Anteneh spent with his family will affect the way he thinks about his father and himself, now that he sees (as an older boy) how much his father cares about him and how hard it was for him to put him in the orphanage and allow him to be adopted. For Abel, also, the opportunity to see Mekele, where he was born, was very powerful. He has been talking about it, and about wanting to go back to Ethiopia when he is older to study the stele and the Axumite empire. And as Kibru learned, when Abel becomes interested in something, there is no stopping him! He has been drawing pictures of the stele and the stone churches and studying the books about them ever since we returned to Lesotho.
We selected your tour company from the internet, without really knowing much about it, but we feel we were so fortunate to find you! Every detail of the tour was taken care of, and we didn’t have to worry about anything other than enjoying the sites and the food. And we couldn’t have asked for a better tour guide. Kibru took charge of everything. He was relaxed and friendly, with a great sense of humor (which you definitely need in spending time with our children!) He was a fabulous Ethiopian “big brother” role model for the boys, and made the trip just wonderful for all of us. So we want to thank you both with all our hearts. The boys now have such positive feelings about their homeland, and Alexis feels like she knows about a part of the world that few Americans her age have ever visited.
It is a trip we will always remember, and which will have a positive impact on our family’s life for many years to come. When we return to the U.S., we will let other families who’ve adopted Ethiopian children know about our wonderful trip, and encourage them to create a tour with you if they decide to go. And please feel free to give our names and email contacts to anyone looking for a reference for your tours. We have only good things to say about you! All the best,
COMMENT FROM GERMANY
The trip was highly interesting and very well organized. Both our guide Kibru and Milyon, the driver (I hope I spell it correctly) were very kind and tried their best to make our journey pleasant and interesting. Kibru and also Milyon were well informed, Kibru explained things very well and served as a good interpreter when we visited people in their houses. Kibru and Milyion made a true effort to take us to several villages, with different ethnic groups, that were not originally planned in our tour. They were also quite open minded to change plans according to our requests. These visits were really a big advantage of taking the guided tours as you would not do so when you travel on your own, and provided interesting glimpses into the daily life of different ethnic groups – something we enjoyed very much. However, sometimes we felt a bit as intruders.
Kibru also cared much about our personal safety when we visited the Surma and Mursi, where some situations seemed at the border of becoming a bit dangerous. Both Kibru and Milyon also speak English well, and Milyon is a very good mechanics (as far as I can judge). At least, he solved quickly minor problems with the car, problems we encountered only twice or three times during the trip. The car was in a good shape.
Sancho, the cook who joined us in Jimma, was excellent and provided us with varied and tasty food. Having tables and chairs even during the trekking was a luxury we did not expect. The camping equipment was very good in general, your staff very quickly put up tents to make everything very comfortable for us. Maybe extra blankets or warm sleeping bags would be needed when camping in Maji. When compared to some of the hotels, camping often seemed the better option.
The biggest disadvantage for us was something you probably cannot do much about: the quality of some of the hotels and in particular the toilets. In our opinion, when good hotel facilities are not available, would be preferable to sleep in the tents. It is really a pity that e.g. the bathrooms of the otherwise very atmospheric guesthouse at the Coffee Plantation were run-down – it could be so nice if some money and effort would be invested. The same holds true for the hotel in Gambela. The rooms in the hotel in Jimma would need a total refurbishment.
A slight disadvantage of being so carefully attended was that we sometimes felt a bit too passive and would have preferred to be a bit more time on our own. Maybe it’s a good idea to ask clients in the future at the beginning of the trip whether they would like to be left alone sometimes. It might also be a good idea to discuss with the clients the plan for the following day, asking them whether they would like to put emphasis on other aspects or modify the exact itinerary a bit.
Dear Abebe, I would like to reiterate that we liked the tour very much, and had wonderful and highly interesting impressions that we will never forget. I hope that you do not mind that we listed also some negative points - we thought that it would be best to let you know because you then could improve your tours even further. There is no doubt that we can strongly recommend your company, as I have done when I was contacted by an American prospective client you referred to me.
All the best,
COMMENT FROM LUC FAZIO CANADA
Five Canadians had the pleasure of taking a Nature Tour through Ethiopia organized very successfully by Abebe Haregewion of African Adventure Tours. Our success in seeing most of the endemic birds and mammals of Ethiopia was due mostly to the leadership of our guide provided by African Adventure Tours and the well thought out itinerary that optimized our chances.
The drivers were excellent and patient with our demanding requests.The people, culture, history and scenery of Ethiopia are quite amazing. The memories from this trip will linger with us for a long while. Personally, I shall try to return to Ethiopia with another group in the future with African Adventure Tours. And, I would recommend African Adventure Tours to anyone that wants to see Ethiopia's fascinating Nature or Culture. Thank you Abebe.
Luc Fazio, From Canada
Be at Peace with Nature
Become friendlier go for a Nature walk
COMMENT FROM AUSTRALIA, MELBOURNE
We arrived home safe and sound, but found ourselves missing Ethiopia too much. I want to thank you so very much for making our dream holiday a reality, in more ways than we ever thought possible. We left Addis in your car with a guide and a professional chief, and by the time we had spent 12 wonderful days on our tour, we came back with two extra people in our family. Birhanu our guide was wonderful. He was at every time looking after us. We felt completely safe and comfortable with him and where he took us all the time. Meskeram also looked after us and the children 100%. She catered for my dietary needs at every meal, and we were spoilt by her wonderful cooking. The children enjoyed her company and her delicious food. We felt there was nothing missing from our adventure, we did and saw things I would never have believed possible. Birhanu explained everything to us as we drove through different villages and cultures. This is our 2nd trip to Ethiopia, the first was to pick up my daughters adopted son in 2001, so this was a very special trip for all of us, but especially for my grandson, as he was a baby when he left Ethiopia. Right from the start Abebe, you were so efficient and friendly, you too are another in our family. I can’t thank you enough.
COMMENT FROM AUSTRALIA, MELBOURNE
Great to hear from you and all the very best to you and your wonderful staff for your coming Christmas season. We still have not returned home, as we visited my first son in the US and then our two children in Barbados, West Indies. We will spend a traditional Christmas here and then the Western New Year, and head home after a fabulous trip on January 5th. Ethiopia is dear to our hearts and we hope to visit again some day. The success of our stay, however, was largely due to you and your well-informed guides and excellent drivers. My research has allowed me to enrich my manuscript and I am grateful to Friew, Mulu and Israel for their valuable insights. We will spread the word when we get back to our new connections with Ethiopia in Melbourne
Prue and Greg
COMMENT FROM UNITED STATES
Just wanted to let you know what an excellent job Mr. Abebe and his team did for our recent tour of Ethiopia. They made our vacation the very best it could have been, and their service and attention to detail were well beyond the norm. It was truly our pleasure to be in their hands.
Charles and Lori Hatz from United States
COMMENT FROM UNITED STATES
My daughter and I had an amazing and interesting time in Ethiopia, thanks to Abebe Haregewion of African Adventure Tours.
He took very good care of us and was a very interesting and informative guide. He was also very knowledgeable about bird-life, which is important to me and is one of Ethiopia’s finest points. I thought Abebe was very responsible and I thought we were very lucky to have found him.
Our trip was quite varied, from Ethiopia Historical and cultural sites totrekking in the Simien Mountains and ending with a visit to One of Ethiopia religious festivals, Timket. Abebe was good humored and altogether excellent throughout.
Joanna Sturm, USA
COMMENT FROM AUSTRALIA: MELBOURNE.
After we have heard about the colorful culture and ancient history of the country, we have decided to travel to Ethiopia for our two weeks holiday. We were very much interested to visit the major historical towns of Bahir Dar, Gondar, Lalibela, Axum, Harer and explore the cultural and historical attractions of Ethiopia.
We first discovered African Adventure Tours through the internet and from the first emails to the completion of the trip; we were extremely pleased with the service that African Adventure Tours has provided us.
Abebe Haregewion, the Tour Operator and Guide of the Company, was most welcoming and went out of his way to ensure that our trip went smoothly. He was more than just a ‘Tour Operator,’ becoming instead a good friend. Abebe, (and all of the tour guides) displayed an intimate and passionate knowledge of the history and cultures of Ethiopia and were more than willing to accommodate our personal needs throughout the trip.
The entire trip went very smoothly and we felt safe and comfortable at all times. Given the opportunity, we will definitely be back to Ethiopia for another Cultural tour to the Omo Valley and would certainly engage African Adventure Tours, Abebe and his staff again.
Simon Artz and Krista Robinson
COMMENT FROM SPAIN:
We traveled with Abebe last summer and it was a really good experience. All things were as we expected and very well organized: flights, hotels, restaurants...On the other hand, Abebe is an excellent guide not only for their knowledge about his country and its culture, but also for his efficiency, and his warm and friendly personality.
We think he is the best guide we have ever had. You must bear in mind that hotels in Ethiopia are very modest but all of them were clean. On the other hand, in Addis Ababa we were in Ghion Hotel and we didn't like it very much. If you can spend 'a little bit more', we recommend you Hilton Hotel.
We hope you enjoy your trip,
Best wishes, Pep Martinez from Spain
COMMENT FROM JAPAN
I traveled with African adventure tours for my trekking trip in Simien Mountains.
I had great time through out my trip. All the services given by the company were excellent. I was very much happy getting the top of Ras Dashen. And I also enjoyed spending time with many friendly people.
I definitely will visit Ethiopia again.
Thank you for all your help in arranging such a wonderful trip.
Kazuyuki Okita - Your Japanese friend
COMMENT FROM ITALY
Thank you again for the nice service during our Ethiopia Trip, I personally enjoyed very much not only the travel but also the simplest things, like the lunches together with the Injera in the small restaurants. I do not like to much the high luxury restaurants.
My next wish will be of course to visit the Omo valley; I do not think that next year will be the right one. But I am sure I will do it in two years.
I am working also hard; this is unfortunately often the life style. I remember we already discuss with you about the sense of all this running and running, however, this is the play and we have to play.
Luca Bertamini- From Italy
Via Linfano 9, 38062 Arco (TN), Italy
COMMENT FROM AUSTRALIA: BY TONY HOGG
Abebe Haregewion was my guide on my first trip to Ethiopia in 2004 and was also closely involved with the arrangement of my second visit to this dramatic and fascinating country in 2006. His enthusiasm, and pride in his country are infectious. His knowledge of its long history and his cultural understanding added much to our visit. Most importantly, his professionalism and very competent organization of all arrangements inspired all of us with confidence. And the warmth of his personality and interest in people, his ability to address the frustrating little individual concerns we all have in an organized tour, these are lasting memories. Ethiopia is almost addictive – there is just so much. I am now planning a third visit in 2008 and am looking forward to working with Abebe in his company, African Adventure Tours.
Ethiopia is a spectacular country in so many ways. The dramatic landscapes of the Rift Valley and the Simien Mountains, bathed in dusty sunset or swathed in early morning mists; Bahir Dar and the walk to the source of the Blue Nile, the early, misty, morning departure across Lake Tana to some of the island Christian Orthodox monasteries; fascinating Lalibela and its churches hewn into the rock, it's Timkat, Epiphany and Christmas celebrations with their almost medieval atmosphere of brilliant robes and umbrellas, throbbing drums and the blare of horns, the ululating and swaying, dancing bodies; the long, dusty drives though Ethiopian history to places like Aksum where many believe the Ark of the Covenant lies; the tribes of the Omo Valley and the fascinating Turmi tribal markets, the rituals, including the bull-jumping and whipping initiation ceremonies of the Hamer tribe; the Mursi tribe, famous for the practice of inserting clay plates into the lower lips of the girls and women; the wildlife in the national parks and the close-up exposures to hippopotamuses and crocodiles from the safety of an outboard motor boat on Lake Chamo.
Tourist infrastructure is still developing in some areas of Ethiopia but the excellent organization, competent and very friendly and helpful guides and drivers, the use of comfortable four-wheel drive vehicles made for two wonderful trips. There is so much in Ethiopia so that I am hastening to visit Ethiopia for the third time in 2008. Not the least of the enticements was the wonderful cooks who created such mouth-watering miracles for us when we were camping in the Omo Valley. But my lasting impression of Ethiopia is of its people and their wonderful, heart-warming smiles of welcome - and one of those will be Abebe Haregewion when you arrive.
COMMENT FROM SWEDEN: BY THOMAS E.
At last I take the time to send you feedback on our fantastic historic trip that took us Lake Wanchi, Lake Tana, Gondar, Lalibela and Axum in December/January. Travelling four adults and four girls age 16-20 we all enjoyed this not so mainstream trip very much. I have reason to believe that the girls found replacing the beach with amazing history and extraordinary nature very rewarding.
The customized trip was very well organised and our guide Kibru was indeed very good. Telling us about the culture and way of life and always in good spirit he contributed to make this an unforgettable trip for all of us. The planning was good and allowed some adaption on our request.
We hope to get the opportunity to come back some time and hopefully some of the hotels, in particular in Axum, may have improved the standard somewhat by then. We give Abebe and African Adventure Tours our very best recommendations.
COMMENT FROM ITALY: BY SILVANO CRESPI
Trip: Historic Route by car
I thank You, also on behalf of my friends who participated to this trip, which You planned beautifully, providing all the services which were booked and much more. Most of all, your kindness and friendliness which we shall never forget. A special thank to our drivers, Joshua and Alex, who were fast, without being irresponsible and made us feel safe in the long and difficult road transfers. I hope to come to you soon for a new trip in your wonderful Country.
Thank you again
COMMENT FROM ENGLAND: BY BARBARA and SUE
We would like to take this opportunity to thank Abebe and his team for their part in making our second trip to Ethiopia so wonderful. We recommend African Adventure Tours to anyone.
Our guide, Kibru, was very knowledgeable and such fun. He was also very flexible and helped us meet friends we had made previously. We had 2 different drivers, Iyasu and Bamlak. Both were excellent drivers and lovely people.
As for the country, the scenery is astonishingly varied and beautiful and we were lucky enough to be visiting at the height of a plentiful harvest. The Ethiopian people are so open and friendly and honest - they are a joy to be with!
We have once again left part of our hearts in Ethiopia......Thank you so much Abebe, Kibru, Bamlak and Iyasu.
COMMENT FROM AUSTRALIA, SYDNEY: ROD & JILL HENRIKS
Having undertaken the 11days Cultural Tour to the Omo Valley in September 2011, we have no hesitation in recommending African Adventure Tours to anyone planning a tour to Ethiopia’s Cultural South, or for that matter Historical North.
Planning a near three month adventure trip through Southern and Eastern Africa, a web search brought African Adventure Tours (AAT) to our attention when we were experiencing difficulty in identifying a travel company that offered a tour to the southern cultural area of Ethiopia in accord with our timetable. While initially hesitant about making direct arrangements from Australia and with some apparent dated material on the AAT website, after making email enquiry contact with ATT our minds were quickly put at ease by the prompt replies from both Abebe Haregewion and Myke Gerrish (formerly of Sydney) and their preparedness to organise a tailor-made itinerary around our timetable.Five months later, and notwithstanding our arrival on Ethiopia’s New Year’s Eve (11th Sept.), Abebe Haregewion met us at Addis Ababa Bole International Airport as he said he would many months earlier. Also to meet us were our Tour Guide (Kibru) and Driver (Bereket), whom promptly extended an invitation to join them for lunch at home the following day to celebrate the New Year. Itself, a unique experience and memorable occasion for us
The tour arrangements put together for us by Abebe Haregewion and AAT provided a most authentic travel experience to Ethiopia’s Cultural South and fascinatingly we visited no less than 15 indigenous tribes. This is what we had come to experience. Transport was in a modern air-conditioned 4WD and arranged accommodation exceeded our expectation in every instant.Furthermore, and importantly when travelling as a small group, Kibru and Bereket were relaxed, easy to communicate with, and also relate to. Indeed we shared many lighter moments. Kibru possesses excellent English skills, explained matters very clearly, and regularly displayed his guiding and interpreter’s skills with the various ethnic groups. Bereket also possesses good English skills, and we are thankful to him for his exceptional driving skills, often in challenging situations. Both were knowledgeable of the people and the regions we travelled through. In addition, they were caring and watchful for our personal safety at all times, and both ensured we experienced the local culture and had a very enjoyable, complete, and memorable trip.
Overall, everything ran seamlessly and we are grateful to Abebe and AAT for the tour they put together for us. Indeed, we have since ranked the Cultural Tour to the Omo Valley experience as the highlight of our overall lengthy trip
COMMENT FROM AUSTRALIA, JANE AND RON MUNRO, November 2011
What a wonderful holiday! We enjoyed it thoroughly and we are still marvelling and laughing at all the amazing things that happened.
Heartfelt thanks to our guide Kibru. His knowledge and love for Ethiopia and its history was a key asset of the tour. Always obliging, cheerful, generous and witty, we really enjoyed his company.Grateful thanks to Belay, our driver. His care and skill on the roads was very much appreciated. He must have a keen sense of animal psychology, he always seemed to know where goats, donkeys and cattle would go.The itinerary for the Historic Tour was just right, leaving the best ‘til last - the rock Churches of Lalibela. What an extraordinary place!Ethiopia is a beautiful country with a culture and history that measures time in millennia. We found the people so friendly with a keen sense of humour. Travelling in this guided tour had the great advantage that we met and interacted with local people, we were not isolated in a bus with people from our own country!
COMMENT FROM GERMANY, FRANKFURT: MARCUS AND BARBARA, January 2012
Thank you so much for opening our eyes for the beauty and diversity of Ethiopia, as well as the huge potential. You took us very sensitive by the hand and bridged the gap between our prejudices and lack of knowledge by numerous meetings with people of Ethiopia. You gave us insight in the life of tribes and their still lively culture.
Even if we could only scratched the surface, the picture became colorful and cordially and motivated us to go into depth. Kibru always eased the contact to people so Marcus took loads of pictures, mostly portraits. We mainly focused on cultural life of people especially the tribal life in the Omo valley and spiritual life in the North.AFRICAN ADVENTURE TOURS offered us an unforgettable tailor- made trip for both of us. Our memories will enable us to enthuse friends and relatives of the beauty of Ethiopia.
COMMENT FROM CANADA, ONTARIO: CECILY AND BOB HUNTER, Febuary 2012
We were stuck. Our travel agency in Canada could not find a tour which would fit into our scheduled visit to Ethiopia. On the internet, I located African Adventure Tours. We took a chance. The organization honoured every promise in their tour outline and then some. They showed their flexibility and commitment to the interests of their clients. We had been in Ethiopia the year before while adopting a grandchild. Some parts of the outline would have been repeats. They provided alternatives e.g. trip to Crater Lake and the Commonwealth War Cemetery. Our guide was knowledgeable and anxious to learn from the people we met. His English was virtually flawless. Our driver, Robel, was skilful and of great assistance. The accommodation and food were first-rate. We would recommend African Adventure Tours to anyone who wants to experience the adventure that is Ethiopia.