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  • Writer's pictureRobin Gilmore

Making The Most Out of a Layover

While most of us try to minimize our layover times, Brian definitely maximized his during his South African adventure last August. When he realized he could spend 2 days in Ethiopia on his way back home, he jumped at the chance.

He landed in the Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa, was picked up by a Tours by Locals private guide, and the fun began.

The city tour was amazing and offered interesting insights into the city's history and economy. Some of the best stops along the way were Holy Trinity Cathedral and the city's highest lookout point.

Holy Trinity Cathedral

One of his most favorite experiences was driving through the market. While people were busy selling all kinds of things, everyone was super friendly and welcoming.

After the city tour, the guide invited Brian to his home for a traditional coffee ceremony with his family. Following the coffee ceremony, Brian, the tour guide, his wife, his baby, and the driver went out to enjoy a traditional Ethiopian dinner and a show.

Dinner, the show, and tips totaled about $42 total for the 5 of them.

You won't find many western foods in Ethiopia, but if you're open to trying new foods, Ethiopian food is delicious. The national food is called injera and it's eaten at most meals. It's a spongy bread with different meats and cheeses on top.

After a wonderful day in Addis Ababa exploring the city and meeting new people, Brian stayed at the 5-star Capital Hotel and Spa. In August 2019, it was $90 for the night, and the price included breakfast and taxes.

On day 2 he went out to explore the village and experience life outside of the city. His Tours by Locals private guide took him on a 6-hour drive to see an underground church and learn about village life.

During the tour they stopped in a village hut. A friend of the guide made them food and coffee and they were able to chat for a while.

Even though he was only there for 2 days, Brian really enjoyed the cultural experience Ethiopia has to offer. The country is very reasonably priced, feels safe, and the locals are wonderful.

Practical Tips for Visiting Ethiopia:

  • If you're interested in traveling to Ethiopia, you do need a visa. A 30-day single entry tourist visa currently costs $52 and can be purchased online before you leave home.

  • Make sure you're up to date on your routine vaccinations, but Brian wasn't required to take any additional medications or get any additional vaccines for his trip. Depending on when and where you're traveling in Ethiopia, certain medications or vaccines may be recommended.

If you want to explore Ethiopia, email us or give us a call! We'd love to help you plan a trip. Even if Ethiopia doesn't interest you, reach out to us. We look forward to creating vacations to help you check more and more destinations and experiences off of your bucket list.

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