Taste Ethiopia Tours
Multi-day Tours • Private Tours • Day Trips
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About
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Why book with Taste Ethiopia Tours
  • Tour Manager
  • We have tourism expert staff who studied Tour guiding, Tour operation supervision and Tourism management. We have been working in tourism for many years.Fortunately our hobby has become our job.
  • English
  • Professional tour guide
Tours and Tickets by Taste Ethiopia Tours
Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.

5.0
24 reviews
Excellent
24
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andrea f
Turin, Italy5,037 contributions
Apr 2019 • Couples
Big deal this tour agency! Fantastic trail, excellent guide, super local guides. All in a safe mood, well organized and managed all the time. I guarantee it will be a travel and personal enriching experience you won’t forget all your life. Great Abel Makommen
Written April 16, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Tirtsa D
1 contribution
Feb 2019 • Friends
Great tour agency, Abel Mekonnen is a fantástic guide with a lot of knowledge about history and religion
Written January 16, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Fekade S
1 contribution
Jan 2020 • Couples
We enjoyed a great hospitality and world-class service at a very attractive cost. We are thankful for the thorough organization and attention to details of the trip by one of the best guides we experienced in Ethiopia-Thumbs UP Abel ☺ !. The team has a well-developed network throughout the country, myself and my girlfriend enjoyed the smooth transitions from region to region. They have people everywhere we went ☺, so we felt so safe ☺.

Labella and Axum were just unbelievable. The trek on the Semen Mountains was really spectacular, we felt like “walking on the roof of the world”, as the locals refer to it- amusing views. Abel (our guide) said these are “a must see” for everyone- and we were convinced at the end ☺.

Thank you Taste Ethiopia Tours! We can’t wait for our next trip with you to the South, next year☺- fingers crossed ☺.
Written January 15, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

strangest_travel
Houston, TX32 contributions
Oct 2019
We have traveled to 137 countries (including 31 in Africa), and Abel was as good as any guide we have ever had. In addition to delivering an amazing travel experience, Abel has a great breadth of knowledge that enables him to engage in wide-ranging, thoughtful discussions about historical, political, and cultural topics. These conversations gave our thrilling itinerary added depth and meaning. As travel writers, he also helped us with stories for our next book – telling many from his wild experiences and helping to translate those from other Ethiopians we encountered along the way.

There are many great sites in Ethiopia, but we opted for a 7-night tour that hit the highlights of Lalibela, Simien Mountains, and South Omo. These three sites reflect the best of Ethiopia’s history, nature, and culture, respectively.

Days 1-2: Lalibela - Mezena Lodge
We took the early flight from Addis to Lalibela, arriving about 10:30. A 30-minute drive took us to Mezena Lodge, which had great views over the valley and nice grounds filled with African bird life (we saw 35 species of birds at Mezena). Our room was clean and spacious, and Mezena's food was good (tip: try Ethiopia's Rift Valley Cabernet). The churches of Lalibela can be visited over the course of about six hours - which Abel nicely divided over two days. St. George's is the iconic photo so it's best to save it for the morning of the second day (arrive before 8 to avoid the crowds). On the second afternoon, we hiked to a cave church some distance from Lalibela. Wifi worked reasonably well at Mezena.

Days 3-4: Simien Mountains - Limalimo Lodge
We flew to Gondar, which is about 2.5 hours drive from the Limalimo Lodge. Limalimo Lodge is widely considered the best lodge in Ethiopia, with sweeping views of the Simien Mountains National Park, fine dining, and nightly entertainment. The rooms are modern and clean with a wall of windows looking out onto the Park. Simien Park has one road (you go in and out on the same road) that climbs above 14,000 feet before you turn around and come back. It takes a full day to go in and back. We had a troop of hundreds of Gelada monkeys to ourselves, which we walked among only a few feet from where they were eating and playing. We also got close to several impressive Walia Ibex at 14,000 feet elevation and hiked down a slippery trail to 1640 feet tall Jinbar Waterfall. (Tip: stop off at Simien Lodge on the way back for a drink and WIFI - there is no WIFI at Limalimo).

Day 5: Jinka – Eco-Omo Safari Lodge
We flew from Gondar to Jinka, which was quite convenient (two short flights connecting through Addis). Eco-Omo offers simple safari-style tents with a fixed bathroom attached to the back of the tent. The restaurant overlooks a small river and had decent food choices and WIFI. The first afternoon we visited the cultural museum (which offered a quick overview of the South Omo ethnic groups) and the Ari tribe. The Ari tribe is mostly transitioned to modernity. They live on the edge of Jinka and wear western clothes. The visit shows some of their traditional activities, including metal forging, cooking, pottery, and distilling of liquor. The next morning we drove into the Mago National Park to visit the Mursi tribe. It was a 1.5 hour drive to reach their semi-nomadic village. Along the way, we saw many baboons, small antelope, and bird species. Of the tribes we visited, the Mursi clearly had the least contact with modernity. This is the tribe where the women wear lip plates. When we arrived, the village was occupied by only women and children. They welcomed us and took photos with us while they marketed their lip plates. Toward the end of our visit, several men arrived who were not as friendly as the women, and they were not at all interested in posing for pictures. Note that there is some tension in this area between the Mursi and the government, as the Mursi struggle to maintain their traditions.

Days 6-8: Turmi – Buska Lodge
After lunch at Eco-Omo, we drove south to Turmi, which is where most of the other Omo tribes can be visited. Most of the route is controlled by the Hamer tribe, and they are seen along the way. Buska Lodge lies a few miles outside of Turmi – which is a much smaller town than Jinka. We spent that afternoon at a Hamer village, learning about the Hamer traditions. The Hamer still dress authentically – or in some cases, wear little or nothing at all – but do carry around cell phones, attend government schools, and visit the town of Turmi regularly. They seemed to be a society that was in the midst of transition. Both the men and women of the Hamer village were friendly, and we felt comfortable there. Buska Lodge is the best option at Jinka, but our freestanding hut could certainly use some improvements. For starters, we really like our sleeping accommodations to be secure from insects and animals. The screens at the top of the room were not secure, and there were large cracks under and around the door. This led to a procession of insects, bats, and rodents marching through the room once night had fallen. The mosquito net around the bed offered us a second layer of defense, but we still had our fair share of bug bites in the morning. That being said, the shower always had hot water, the WIFI worked, and there was an extensive buffet each evening. The grounds and surrounding trails also were filled with birds, which enabled us to expand our Ethiopia sightings to over 100 species. The next morning we drove south to Omorate, which is home to the Dassanach Tribe. Their village is on the west bank of the Omo River, which requires an exit through Ethiopian customs (even though the South Sudan and Kenya borders are still a few miles further) (Tip: Be sure to bring both your passport and your printed e-Visa as they will be inspected). We reached the Dassanach tribe via a dugout canoe (which was great). Then we heard about how the Dassanach hunt the Omo’s many crocodiles. The Dassanach village is quite a bit different from the others, with its huts being a mixture of sticks and assorted metal. It looks like something out of a science fiction movie (think Mad Max). The Dassanach were very friendly and about 30 of them performed a traditional dance at the end of our visit. That afternoon we drove 30 minutes outside of Turmi and then hiked about a mile to see a Hamer bull jumping ceremony, which is a sort of fitness test required for a Hamer boy to become a man. As we walked around the bend of a dried riverbed, we heard screams and the ringing of bells. We were soon surrounded by thirty Hamer women. They had mistaken us for the “whippers”. We learned that before the bull jumping, the female relatives of the jumper succumb to whipping to demonstrate their support for the jumper. The scarred backs of Hamer women are a visual testament to this tradition. We sat on rocks with the Hamer women for several hours, waiting for the whippers to arrive. They never showed up, though, and the ceremony was postponed to another day.

The next morning we drove back to Jinka and then flew to Addis. Our flight left at midnight so we took a room at the Sheraton and enjoyed a shower and a nice meal. The Sheraton is great option for staying in Addis. We also spent two nights there prior to the start of our tour and visited the usual sights around the city. These were sufficiently interesting to pass the time, but the stars of Ethiopia are Lalibela, the Simien Mountains, and South Omo. Based on our conversations with Abel, a second trip would take in Bale Mountains (home to the Ethiopian wolf), Harar and its hyena man (where Abel fed wild hyenas), Danakil (desert landscape and volcanos), and Arba Minch (Abel’s home town, which offers crocodile and hippo watching). If you have more time, Abel can add any of these to your itinerary.
Written October 11, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Marleen V
1 contribution
Jan 2018 • Solo
I spend my time in ethiopia with a group of people i did not know. Abel was our tourguide. He has ways to bring a group of people together and
his knowledge is far more than great, i have learned a lot. Not only the sightseeing, but he also showed us ethiopia in daily life. He stopoed at local places, farmers etc to show the daily life of ethiopia and its kind people. I really got a feel.for the country and the people. Ethiopia suprised me. This was one of my best tours (i did many).
Written December 26, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

irmakselin
Turkey2 contributions
Dec 2019 • Friends
Abel is one of the best guide i have ever met. We have visited Arba Minch and several tribes with top tour operators of Turkey. İt was an amazong experience and we were so impreased by his knowledge. İf you are planning to visit Ethiopia, do not hesitate to contact with him.

Thanks a billion Abel!
Written December 15, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Marian F
2 contributions
Dec 2019
Abel was a brilliant tour guide. His in depth knowledge of history, religion, economics and the environment enriched our trip and made it an unforgettable experience. He went out of his way to ensure that we were comfortable and safe throughout our trip. His charismatic personality was a pleasure to be around and I would highly recommend him to anyone interested in exploring Ethiopia - a beautiful country with a fascinating history!
Written December 13, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Rola A
1 contribution
Dec 2019
Abel was an amazing guide, he is an expert in everything Ethiopia. He is professional and knowledgable in many different areas including History, Culture and Archeology.

Our trip was 6 day trip taking us through Addis --> Bahir Dar --> Gondar --> and finally Lalibella. A quiet unique experience. Would definitely recommend Abel's services to anyone thinking of visiting.
Written December 12, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Mohamad H
1 contribution
Nov 2019
Recommend to stay at least 6 nights to cover 2-3 villages. There is so much to see in Ethiopia. In addition to Addis, we covered northern villages (Lalibela, Baher Dar and Gondar). Abel was an amazing guide. Very knowledgeable and accommodating. It was a true unique experience. Abel's plan for us included many experiences. From authentic Ethiopian food to traditional Ethiopian dancing. Abel covered it all! We look forward to visiting Ethiopia next year to see Exum and more southern villages.
Written December 8, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Kenji M
1 contribution
Dec 2019
Abel was our guide for our five-day excursion through the Amhara region in Northern Ethiopia, and everyone in our group will agree he enhanced our experience. All transit stops were managed punctually and smoothly. He is very knoweldgeable and was eager to share everything about his country with us. He always had the right tone with our group--easy going, cracking jokes, making things fun and light-hearted.
Abel handled all financial transactions, and helped negotiate with merchants in the market on our behalf. He also accommodated last-second changes in our flight schedules and meeting other friends without any disruption, challenge or frustration.

Abel not only has formal training in tourism management, but also in theology. His profound knowledge of Orthodox Christianity and the local customs enhanced our visits to the churches and holy sites. We peppered him with questions about the artwork, architecture, traditions, hagiography and symbolism we encountered, and he answered each of them knowledgeably with aplomb.

In short, we would not have had nearly as moving an experience without him.
Written December 8, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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Taste Ethiopia Tours (Addis Ababa) - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go