Graham & Felicity Bond, UK

Date of trip: 
10/2013

Abeba Tours - we would give it 5 Trip Advisor stars. A well organised, thoughtful tour operator based in central Addis Ababa

When we decided to visit Ethiopia, we first booked our flights then we had to work out how to fill the six weeks between arriving and leaving. We found five Addis Ababa tour operators via Google and approached all of them with our brief for a tailor-made trip. Two didn’t respond. One responded by cutting and pasting from their standard tours, not taking any notice of our brief – and when we sent back our comments with suggested amendments, we never heard from them again. Another operator provided an itinerary that was shockingly expensive and when we queried the cost, they knocked £900 off without asking – and it was still expensive. So what were they up to? Although Abeba Tours obviously did a bit of cutting and pasting too, before sending the resultant itinerary to us, they looked at it and then made changes that better suited our brief. We responded with requests for more changes, which they quickly implemented.

When it came to payment, we were nervous about sending such a large sum of money through the international banking system to a company we found on the internet and one that we still didn’t really know, so we insisted on paying by credit card even though that attracted a premium - we regarded that premium as our safeguard. They were agreeable.

But we needn’t have worried – we could have saved that extra cost! Bearing in mind the difficulty of operating in a country like Ethiopia (e.g. poor telephone communications, intermittent internet, no sense of urgency by some of the hotels, the peculiar system of advance booking hotels in Ethiopia, power cuts, etc.), Abeba Tours were faultless. We had a complicated schedule that involved five flights, several boat trips, a trekking expedition, almost 20 different hotels, eight different guides, lots more local guides, armed scouts, a plethora of entry fees and the use of a very new Toyota LandCruiser with driver/guide for 17 days. So there were plenty of opportunities for things to go wrong bearing in mind we were in Ethiopia, not a Western country. Nothing went wrong. We were met at airports, we were delivered to the hotels we had agreed, when we were taken to see the things we wanted to see we were collected on time. With one exception the guides were very knowledgeable and spoke good English – for some, their English was excellent.

We can wholeheartedly recommend Abeba Tours – and you can send your deposit money in advance with confidence.