On my recent visit to Addis Ababa, I had a suggestion to contact Genet Mengistu as a guide.
What an EXCELLENT suggestion!
On the day I arrived, I wanted to be sure to have a reliable guide to show me around, so I contacted her, and met with her at the hotel. She quoted me $45 for the day, including local (public) transport. We went to some major sights and museums. What an excellent, stress-free way to start my visit to the country! Even as a seasoned traveler, I found out that it took a little while to figure out the beat of the city and the beat of the country, and her service was invaluable to get me started on the right foot!
I had no problems communicating with her in English, and she could explain everything at the museum that I could not have gotten from the signs, and show me the significance of the sites that I was visiting. She was also able to tell me what I could and could not take a photo of, which in Addis is an important thing to know.
In fact, I was so pleased with her services that I hired her again on the last day of the trip to show me to Mt. Entoto (would have been challenging without a local at the least), take me to Merkato, and also to help me with souvenir shopping. In a country that required bargaining, this was the most stress-free shopping I had ever done, and the time I saved alone was worth the cost of the guide!
Her email is email@example.com . I HIGHLY recommend her. It is absolutely worth the investment!