TESFA (Tourism in Ethiopia for Sustainable Future Alternatives)

Experience the Real Ethiopia
Ethiopian Airlines Fokker 50 in LalibelaThe 'Chinese Road' winding down to WeldiyaHabtamu & his 4WD minibus

Transport Options

Getting to northern Ethiopia (see map below)

The easiest and quickest way to get to Northern Ethiopia from Addis Ababa is to fly. Ethiopian airlines currently are the only scheduled airline operating these routes. Their daily service connects Addis Ababa with Bahir Dar, Gondar, Lalibela and Axum. Normally that is the order of their flight service that leaves Addis early in the morning, and returns early in the afternoon.

For further details check: http://www.ethiopianairlines.com/

Buses

Those with more time and who want to see more of the surrounding countryside may chose to do all or some parts of their journey by road. The roads are improving, the 'Chinese Road' is being asphelted, but this will take time and result in delays. Local buses ply all major roads in Ethiopia and vary from uncomfortable to hellish. However reasonably good buses leave Dessie and Weldiya to Gondar and Bahir Dar, passing through Gashena.

Some stop for the night at the small town of Nefas Mocha (Gayint) an hour west of Filakit. Other buses go from Dessie and Weldiya to Lalibela and back. It is not the most dependable method of transport but it is cheap and you will find people very friendly.

Driving

Instead of rellying on buses it is also possible to hire a vehicle (normally a 4 wheel drive) to take you around. However TESFA can arrange this with a few local vehicle operators for trips to Meket from Lalibela, Gondar, Bahir Dar or Mekele (or even Gheralta Lodge). Habtamu Baye has been working with us in Lalibela for a number of years. He has two vehicles a landcruiser and 4 wheel drive minibus, and offers good prices for the trips (see details on right).

If bringing your own vehicle, you approach Meket from either Weldiya to the east, Lalibela to the north or Debre Tabor to the west. On your behalf TESFA can bring along a driver who can take your car to Filakit for safe parking and back to meet you for a fee.

Please Note TESFA is NOT a travel agent

Transport is not organised by TESFA or the communities, but TESFA has made arrangements on behalf of their guests with some local vehicle operators. For flights and other arrangements please contact tdstravel@ethionet.et or one of the tour operators listed on www.tourismethiopia.org

Habtamu (4WD minibus driver) currently charges: Lalibela to Meket: 600-950birr depending on the exact point. Pick ups or drops in Bahir Dar, Gondar or Mekele between 2,600birr and 3,000birr. [approx rates £1 = 16birr/€1 = 15birr/$1 = 11.5birr - for current exchange rates see http://coinmill.com/ETB_GBP.html]. Habtamu can be emailed on b_h2007@yahoo.com or contacted on +251 91 102 8953