It has been a dream of mine forever to visit Ethiopia, and Aspire Tours made that first time experience so much better than I could have ever imagined! Though I was only able to spend a day touring Addis, I had so much fun on my private tour with my guide Gashaw that I truly can’t wait to return and go on one of the company’s longer trips to see the entire country! I have traveled all over the world, and this was easily one of the best tour experiences I have ever had.
Gashaw was very easy to communicate with over email and WhatsApp, and he responded to all my requests quickly. I booked the full day experience in Addis, and told him some of my particular interests. The prices are super affordable for the level of quality. Gashaw is truly a phenomenal guide! From the moment he picked me up at my hotel, he was an absolute wealth of knowledge about Ethiopia’s culture, history, politics, religion, and much more. It was fascinating to learn so much from him- so much great information that I almost wanted to take notes so I wouldn’t forget!
We started with a literal private tour of the National Museum first thing in the morning when there were no other guests there, and we saw art, cultural artifacts, and of course the archeological finds like Lucy! Next we visited Addis’ famous church, where I learned about religion, got to wear traditional robes, and had a beautiful candlelight tour of the church museum. We visited the highest viewpoint of the city and did a mini hike through a gorgeous eucalyptus forest. Next, was so excited to eat some of the best food I’ve ever had at an authentic restaurant, and drink the best coffee ever at the oldest coffee shop in the city. We ended the tour with a drive through Merkato and saw some of the other notable buildings in the city before Gashaw dropped me at the airport for my return flight to the US. Even did some quick stops to check out souvenirs and buy coffee beans. Gashaw even helped me out with a portable Wi-Fi transmitter so I could deal with some flight delay issues over the phone. The tour was the perfect mix of highlights and off the beaten path spots that I wouldn’t have been able to navigate on my own. It never felt touristy and was perfectly tailored to my time and interests.
I am so glad I was able to do this experience, as I really fell in love with Ethiopia, the kind people, and of course the amazing food and drink! Gashaw was not just a guide; by the end of the day I felt like I had made a great new friend in Ethiopia. He was always kind, professional, patient, and super interesting to talk to. This is definitely a must do in Addis and the best way to see the city!