Deane C

Berkeley, California

Although we have traveled around the world independently, we felt that we needed a company to help us organize our 3 week trip to Ethiopia, make bookings for hotels and internal flights that we had selected, find a driver for us, plus select and hire local guides and treks, in addition to advising us on the reasonableness of our selected itinerary. After contacting several of the major tour companies, & not receiving either prompt or helpful responses (they would not vary from their “formula trip”), plus not liking the high price tag, we found a recommendation for Ethiopian Travel Adventure (ETA) run by Tegistu Adane. He was prompt and constructive in his responses, very interested in assisting us, and offered a reasonable price, breaking down all of the expenses clearly. He hired a driver for us for the entire trip, whom every local guide who traveled with us said was an excellent driver. We agreed. He hired excellent guides in each location, and was willing to work with changes we wanted to make en route. He checked with our driver every day by phone, checked with us frequently, and himself traveled to meet us at the start of our trip. He helped make our trip to Ethiopia uncomplicated, so that we could enjoy what we traveled so far to see and experience.


Vienna, Austria

We got to know Tegistu last year in August and we decided to arrange our very important journey to Ethiopia in March 2013 with him. Finally we can say Tegistu is a very reliable, punctual, honest and empathetic guide. He listened to our needs and had several ideas to make our stay unforgetable. We had a lot of translation work (from amharic to english) during our visit and because of his perfect english it was a very pleasant experience. Thanks Tegistu for this very special journey.

Paul Julien,


Gabon, West Africa


After interviewing a number of and tour operators via the internet concerning my wife’s and my 16-day trip to the Northern Historical Route of Ethiopia in November, 2011, we decided upon a highly recommended guide and tour organizer, Tegistu Adane (tegistu@ethiopiantraveladventures.com). Tegistu has been a guide for many, many years and has his own company called Ethiopian Travel Adventures | ETAD. We did not want to go with a big tour operator since it became obvious to us that they would try to put us on “their itinerary”. Tegistu also carried out the most rapid response and “to the point” exchange of emails we encountered.

We had very little time to plan our trip and I can truly say that Tegistu answered the challenge in the most efficient and accommodating way. Our personally planned itinerary did not fit into most standard trip patterns. Tegistu was creative enough to make our trip “work” to the best of our expectations. We had a good idea of where we wanted to go and what we wanted to experience but it took Tegistu’s suggestions and his close relations with the hotels and local guides throughout the country to “get it done”. Tegistu is a veritable fountain of knowledge and a model of efficiency. Our friendly and accommodating ETAD driver, Berte’, was great and stayed in constant touch with Tegistu throughout our trip, ensuring the seamless experience that we enjoyed. Tegistu went to great lengths to locate my wife’s lost luggage and then arranged to have it delivered to us on the other side of the country.


Our trip was as time-efficient as a much larger group tour, only it was personalized for the two of us and we had all the time we wanted to leisurely explore and hike to our hearts content. I am sure that we crammed 20 days of activities into 16 days only because of Tegistu’s knowledge, experience, and efficient organization. From what I saw, I also feel that what we payed for our trip was entirely within reason for all Tegistu did for us. Kudos to Tegistu and Ethiopian Travel Adventures | ETAD !

David Lamb

New York, USA


We enjoyed two weeks in Ethiopia attentively guided by Tegistu Adane of Ethiopian Travel Adventures | ETAD (http://u9u.490.myftpupload.com/index.html). We could not have enjoyed it more, nor asked him to do anything more for us or to make our trip enjoyment even greater. Our first week was spent hiking and camping in the Simien Mountain Park; ETAD made all the arrangements including guides, cooks, porters, equipment, etc. It was a very scenic week! The second week was a cultural / historical tour in clock-wise fashion by bus to Aksum, Mekele, Lalibela, etc. Amazing history and culture. We also toured Addis, Lake Tana, and Gondar. Outstanding and we recommend ETAD!


My wife and I took a 15-day trip through the Northern Historical route of Ethiopia Nov 11-26. We had less than a month to plan the trip. Typically we try to organize our own travels. But with Ethiopian hotels not accepting credit cards over the internet, we found that wiring money to just one entity would be much cheaper than wiring to each of them. After reading many trip reports on Trip Advisor I emailed to around 8 recommended guides/tour operators. Most responded very quickly and most wanted to “put” us on a tour of their design. We had already decided that we did not want to drive from Addis to Bahir Dar; we wanted to stay at the Simien Mountain Lodge for sure (a good thing since other people we met who “camped” had some extremely cold nights); we wanted to stay at the Gheralta Lodge for sure; and we wanted to make a 2-day TEFSA trek. The Simien Lodge and Gheralta Lodge are the “only game in town” for their regions so I had started an email dialogue with them before I even decided to employ a guide service. Our entire trip was designed around available dates in these two Lodges. They are both a “must stay”!

The guide/tour operator we chose was Tegistu Adane , tadane3@gmail.com, ETAD: www.ethiopiantraveladventures.com. I am sure other operators would have been fine but Tegistu seemed to “bend over backwards” to make “our” trip happen. He stayed in constant touch via cell phone with our driver and he had close relationships with other guides everywhere we went. They all think very highly of Tegistu.

Tegistu was the most accommodating to the trip that we had already begun putting together and he was the most responsive to our emails. His very reasonable cost of a car/driver was by far the best. This clinched the “deal”. Even though we had already wired money directly to the Simien Lodge, and had made reservations with TEFSA and a partial reservation at the Gheralta Lodge, Tegistu stepped smoothly right in and took over those arrangements and filled in the gaps. Tegistu guided us our first day around the Tana Lake monasteries where he proved to be a wealth of knowledge. His 4X4 which was a 1996 Toyota was in great shape and his driver, Berte’, was super friendly and was also a pretty good mechanic, although he never did much of that other than fiddle to make the electric windows work faster. The car was very comfortable for my wife and I but I don’t think it would be too comfortable for more than three adult passengers, two being in the rear seat. I am 6’1” and with my shorter wife in the front seat, leg room for some of our 10 hour drives was just enough. I asked Tegistu for “a la carte” pricing and he complied quickly. He quoted us a price for all the hotels we had not already paid for; the car and driver (including fuel, insurance et.); and a price for guide services and entrance fees for the entire trip (optional). We knew the hotel prices and he charged us the listed rates. His price for guides ($261) and entrance fees ($202) seemed right and definitely saved us a lot of time. Each guide was waiting for us upon arrival at each destination so we lost no time at all. Having paid everything in advance to Tegistu was a great time saver, and time would prove to be very valuable.

My wife’s bag was lost by Ethiopian Airlines in Addis and Tegistu stayed on top of Ethiopian Airlines 2 or 3 times a day until he located it and had it delivered to the Gondor airport just in time for us to leave Gondor for the Simien Mountains. Although Bahir Dar is a city of a few hundred thousand people, no store or pharmacy knew what a tampon was nor could we find a store that carried women’s panties! It seems that anyone wealthy enough to buy those sorts of things would fly to Addis to go shopping.

Arriving late at night from our home in Gabon, and leaving very early to fly to Bahir Dar, we only over-nighted in Addis (at the Sadula Lodge, simple, clean, and 5 minutes from the airport, $60/2/nt.)). Living in Africa for many years, we had no real interest in seeing another big African city or its open market. The long drive from Addis to Bahir Dar also seemed to eat up an entire day just to see the Blue Nile Gorge, so we decided to skip this part. (For the same reason of “more time than it was worth” we skipped making the time-consuming and arduous trip to Aksum. 15 days was proving to go really fast!)

Tegistu has his own boats to tour Tana Lake and they were excellent. We visited two monasteries and felt that was enough as we wanted to drive the three hours to Gondor to spend the night. The road to Gondor was well paved but twisty.

Our Gondor hotel (Quara Hotel, $43/2/nt.) was in the middle of town and was clean with a nice balcony restaurant. One day in Gondor was pretty well occupied seeing the Royal Enclosure and Fasilada’s Bath. The next morning we visited Debre Berhan Selassie Church before setting out towards Simien Lodge. This had been enough time in Gondor. Just outside Gondor we stopped by the small village of Wolleka. There is not a classical “Jewish village” any more, but there is a vibrant women’s training co-op that is well worth the visit and to buy a few souvenirs that are made by the women training in the local handicraft techniques.

The drive to the Simien Mountains was long and hard, but by now it may be quick and easy as the Chinese seemed to be well along in building a new highway to Debark. We picked up our required Simien Mountain guide and Scout in Debark. Just to clarify: the Scout is a “personal policeman” armed with an AK 47. He supposedly is there to protect us from “I don’t know what”, but he also made sure that WE did not litter or damage the Park.

Immediately upon driving into the Park, the scenery began to overwhelm! I have rafted the Grand Canyon, but this Park makes the Grand Canyon seem small. We were lucky enough to see every type of wildlife the park had to offer and we were able to hike as much as we had been looking forward to. The hiking was not difficult. Our guide seemed to know just how fast to go and how much up-hill we could handle at 4,000 meters.

The Simien Lodge was a great place to stay after a hard days hiking. The hot showers where to die for. It was about $170/2/nt but meals (extra) were inexpensive. “Campers” we talked to froze all night and had freezing showers available. The Lodge was modern by any standard and talking around the bar’s fireplace with other travelers was a lot of fun. Two days (3 nights) in the Simien’s was just enough.

We left the Simien Lodge around 8:00 am to rush to meet our TEFSA guides, about 8 hours away, south then east across the mountains. This drive was slow all the way back to Gondor, but south of Gondor and then east into the mountains, the road was well paved but slow. The changing scenery was wonderful.

The 2-nights ($97/2/nt. incl. all meals) in the TEFSA sponsored camps where a highlight of the trip, except for one thing, flees! While I was not bothered, my wife was eaten alive. Even with that though, she could hardly believe the scenic locations of the camps and the entertaining hiking through the countryside where people were going about their daily, agrarian lives. BE SURE to take your own flee powder and flee bite cream and antihistamine! We visited 5 or 6 clinics and then pharmacies for flee-bite medication or powder to dust my wife’s clothes. Nothing was available! The doctors did not seem to know what to do about flees and even if they did give us a prescription for something, no pharmacy had it! (My wife finally “bagged” anything she wore that we suspected of having flees in it. But the irritation continued for a week.) TEFSA treks are great, but I advise flee powdering the bed sheets well before going to bed.

After 2 days with TEFSA (enough to experience the country side), we made a mad dash towards Lalibella.

The drive was again very scenic and never monotonous. The last hour or so was on a dirt road that slowly rose back up to the 2,600 meter height of Lalibella. Our guide met us as we got in, about an hour before sunset, and got us lined up for the next day. We stayed at the Tukol Village ($67/2/nt.) which was very nice, reasonably priced, and very accommodating. We had originally hoped to stay at the highly acclaimed Mountain View Hotel, but after having dinner there one night we were glad they had not had room for us. It was nice but TOO modern-motel-like and too far from the town to walk. The Seven Olives was a great place to have lunch and unwind but it looked a little “rough” and time-worn to have stayed at. A new restaurant called Ben Ababa just opened when we were there and it is a “must go”. They were in the process of building rooms to stay in and I can imagine they would be well worth it, although it is also too far from town to walk (but you will probably have your own car and driver anyway). We spent one and a half days in Lalibella with our guide. As usual our guide was great and we saw all the churches there we cared to. Our last afternoon we hiked the 1 ½ hours up to the Ashetan Maryam monastery on the mountain-top above Lalibella. It was a well anticipated hike and the views where worth every bit of sweat. We did it in the late afternoon so it would be a little cooler, getting us down just before dark.

The next morning we began another scenic but very long drive to Mekle to meet our Tigrai guide and to spend a short night (Axum Hotel) in Mekle. We left Lalibella around 8:00 am to rush to Mekle, about 10 hours away, south then east to across the mountains. This drive was slow all the way back to paved road (1 hour), and once again on the east-west paved road we made good time but the road was still very twisty. Finally dropping down to the east side of the mountains the landscape suddenly became very dry, but after an hour or so, heading north now, we began a climb that reminded me of many of the famous passes in the Alps. We seemed to keep climbing forever! Just after dark we found our hotel (Axsum Hotel $60/2/nt.) and had a brief talk with our “Tigrai guide” and went to bed.

Early the next morning we headed north into the Tigrai region, stopping along the way to visit some of the older rock-hewn churches that are at “Valley level” and accessible by 4X4 roads. What we were really looking forward to though, were the hikes/climbs up to the Rock-Hewn churches high in the Gheralta mountains! These stops gave us a good introduction to the Tigrai type churches before we “had to work for it”!

Gheralta Lodge ($59/2/nt.) was everything we had read and more! Plus it was as inexpensive as the run-of-the-mill Ethiopian hotels. They even insisted upon washing all of my wife’s “suspected flee-ridden” clothes. They wanted to keep flees out of their rooms as much as we wanted to be rid of the flees.

We spent two days climbing up some awe inspiring mesas to see rock-hewn churches. Some climbs were pretty exciting but they were all interesting and fun. Most hikes where all-uphill and took about an hour and a half to get up. We had time to climb to one destination in the morning and one in the afternoon, and sometimes a third that was a short hike. Two days of this was sufficient.

We had the third day in Tigrai to drive back the three hours to catch our late afternoon flight from Mekle to Addis. Along the way we visited four different churches that where alongside or close to the road.

We arrived in Addis around 6:00pm, in time to walk to a nice restaurant close to our “over-night” hotel, the Sadula Lodge.

Early the next morning we were back on Ethiopian Airlines to Gabon. Somehow we managed to get in everything we wanted, maximizing trekking time and keeping driving time to as few days as possible. Missing seeing the Stelae in Aksum was a sacrifice we had to make and many people who did take the extra time to go there told us we were wise to spend that time hiking in Tigrai.

Email me if you would like more specifics. julienpr@yahoo.com


Here’s one that I can’t recommend highly enough! Ethiopian Adventures, headed up by Tegistu Adane, was beyond what we could have hoped for. My friend and I wanted a simple trip to see many of the sites in the north and Tegistu arranged everything for us, including flights and amazing guides in Lalibela and an awesome trek in the Simien Mountains. Plus, he accompanied us for several days himself around his hometown of Bahir Dar and to Gondar. His communication skills are excellent, he knows alot about the wildlife, history and culture, was open to itinerary changes that we requested and kept fees very reasonable. Plus, we was a delight to be with, filled with interesting stories and conversation. I really recommend that you contact him: at tegistu@ethiopiantraveladventures.com. Or check out his website at http://u9u.490.myftpupload.com

We have been to Bahir Dar several times and have found a wonderful, licensed guide there. He is a young man named Tegistu Adane, email tadane3@yahoo.com. Email ahead and he will meet your plane. He led us to things we would not have found otherwise. His English is perfect, a college graduate, raised in the area. There are wonderful, historic treasures there that you don’t want to miss. The Summerland Hotel (Tegistu can arrange you stay) is a good place to stay, better than other hotels in the area. You can drive to Gonder from Bahir Dar for the day to see the castles there. Tana Lake is amazing, with the ancient monasteries with frescos from 15th century. We were right near hipopotamus and many birds on the lake. Papyrus boats ply the lake loaded with wood to be converted to cooking fuel. Fishing is good with Tilapia native to the area.

You could also visit Axum, where the Ark of the Covenant supposedly resides. You can see it there. The remains of the Queen of Sheba’s palace are there, along with her bathes and many other historic sites.

I hope you have a wonderful time in a place we love.