Ethiopia recommendation

I was in northern and southern Ethiopia, Jan. 9-27, ’05, and I can heartily recommend our travel guide and agent. We have traveled overseas from one to four times a year since 1981, and all three of us on the Ethiopia tour agreed that this was the best guide we’d ever had on any such trip.

We heartily recommend Kademkachew Wosenseged of Dinknesh Travel (e-mail or visit

We found Ethiopia to be a very diverse, wonderful experience in terms of sights, scenery and travel. In the north, we enjoyed Christian Orthodox churches, monasteries and artifacts dating back 1,000 years. The town of Lalibela had tremendous charm and inevitably will be “discovered” before long. In the south we saw dozens of unique tribes quite separated from the rest of “civilization” as we know it.

We were extremely impressed by the depth of flavor of Ethiopian food, not to mention the gourmet Western meals prepared by our chef in the south, Lulu.

The scenery was ever-changing, from savannahs like those in Kenya and Tanzania to dense greenery like that in western Uganda to canyon lands and deserts that rivaled those of the American Southwest.

Dinknesh Travel put together a great itinerary that flowed superbly and allowed us to never tire of a particular type of sight or activity. The southern portion was broken into longer driving days broken up by short driving days visiting tribes and markets.

Our guide, Kadem, was the epitome of good customer service. He anticipated our needs before we voiced them, checked in regularly on our satisfaction and was extremely flexible when we requested unscheduled itinerary changes or stops. He made special efforts to procure items we wanted, ranging from misplaced toiletries to sodas. He was funny, kind, knowledgeable and extremely conscientious. I would travel with Kadem anywhere.

Dinknesh Travel was particularly helpful when an airline left my one checked bag in London, leaving two-thirds of my supply of critical medications thousands of miles away. Even though the baggage delay was in no way the fault of Dinknesh, they took it upon themselves to get the baggage from London to Addis Ababa to Lalibela on two different airlines, such that I was only without my checked bag for 2½ days.

The cost for this nearly 3-week trip was under $5,000 per person, inclusive of international and domestic air (which were about $1,450 of the total), food, hotels and sightseeing. This was very competitive with offerings from U.S. agencies. We traveled British Air from San Francisco to London and British Mediterranean from London to Addis.

Ethiopia is not a trip for those who suffer mobility problems, who require 4-star hotels or who are unwilling to put up with interactive local children. But for those who want to see a different side to Africa and who find religious architecture, diverse scenery and tribes fascinating, this is an outstanding destination. And you can’t do better than go with Kadem and Dinknesh.

Belmont, CA