Ethiopia is the hot new place in Africa — here’s why

Ethiopia's highest mountain range, the Simiens, nurture an incredible array of native flora and fauna including animals like the gelada baboon, Ethiopian wolf and walia ibex. Scheduled to open in early 2017, a new luxury tented camp will complement basic facilities already available in the national park.
CNN) — In the late 1950s, Ethiopian Airlines launched an advertising campaign in the Western media that touted the ancient kingdom as Africa’s “newest travel adventure.”
More than half a century later, the huge East African nation has yet to live up to that lofty billing. But it might not be much longer.
The sights, the scenery, the culture are already there. Ethiopian’s ancient orthodox Christianity has endowed the nation with thousands of churches and monasteries, some of them enshrined as UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
A succession of empire and kingdoms added medieval forts, palaces and tombs like the Gondar citadel and the towering stone stele of Axum.
From Lake Tana and the Blue Nile to the red-rock Gheralta Mountains, the arid Danakil Desert and the lush Omo Valley, the landscapes are astounding and incredibly varied. Ethiopia’s wildlife riches are also diverse, from typical African savannah animals in the south to unique indigenous creatures like the gelada baboon and Ethiopian wolf.
The missing ingredient has always been infrastructure — the kind of hotels, restaurants and service that tourism rivals like Kenya and South Africa mastered decades ago.


  1. The problem with Ethiopia is, even if the infrastructure is developed, it will be so overpriced that a lot of tourists would be priced out of the market. The hotel room prices in Addis Ababa are ridiculously overpriced! The same goes for the decent lodges away from the capital. Somehow everyone is targeting the top percentile of potential visitors (with subpar facilities) and the middle, where a bulk of the market is located is not catered to.

    • Agerwedad

      I have been saying how expensive hotels ar in Ethiopia. Some people like to make it sound to be it’s all about supply and demand. It’s not that at all. It’s about not having regulations and hotels are allowed to charge at five start rate when they barely qualify for 2 and half starts. I have traveled to South America, Asia, and other African countries, and I can never get over how hotels are so expensive in Ethiopia. I expect to pay at five star rate if I happen to stay at Radsson Blu Addis hotel or at Sheraton Addis. But every shit hole in Addis costs an arm and a leg. Until they do something about that tourism will not grow as we hope it to be.

      What’s more disturbing is that restaurants have a different over priced menus for tourists different from what’s given to the locals. Now, tourists are starting to find that out. As we all know it’s all about reviews these days. All you have to do is visit trip advisors and the likes to learn about a place you are thinking about visiting. You can find a lot of dirt on hotels in Addis if you just look at Their reviews. Tourists don’t have problem writing about how over price things are.

      • Biya,
        What you have noted definitely shows the unfortunate fact that in Ethiopia, the business culture does not embrace the idea of developing markets and retaining customers by offering them value. Most businesses in Ethiopia try to hoodwink you into overpaying for their goods or services even at the risk of losing your future service. The modus operandi of business in Ethiopia seems to be make a profit by hook or crook and I don’t think that’s something legislation can fix either.

  2. The writer failed to mention that the country is in a state of revolution, with travel advisories all over the place. Dangerous!

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