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  • Kelsey Pyle
  • "Is a tour/tour guide necessary for Rwanda & Ethiopia? "

Kelsey Pyle

Los Angeles, California

Is a tour/tour guide necessary for Rwanda & Ethiopia?

My spouse & I will be traveling to Rwanda & Ethiopia and we're wondering if either country is doable on its own. I feel like so many tour companies want to scare people into believing they can't do it themselves so they dish out tons of money. Any suggestions or insight will be appreciated!

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  • Hana no

    top answer by

    I cannot speak for Rwanda, but Ethiopia is definitely doable on your own! All you really need is a good guide book. Ethiopians are famously friendly, so if nothing else, you can always ask your hotel/accommodation for recommendations when it comes to transportation outside the city or tips of great places to go!

    I definitely recommend the National Museum Of Ethiopia for some great history and to see a cast of Lucy! Pop into the Red Terror Museum for a sobering afternoon with a free guided tour. Merkato can be quite the adventure, but well worth it. I would say this is a place where it would be best to go with a local, and probably the main place in Addis you'll need to keep an eye on your wallet.

    Speaking of money, be aware that in Ethiopia you haggle the price for you trip before you get in a cab, and that their initial bid will ALWAYS be too high, ESPECIALLY if you look like a foreigner. The more words you learn in Amharic for this purpose the more you're likely to get off, I think ;)

    This double pricing is common all over the country for things like hotels and flights, as many things are government owned citizens are given a much lower price.

    As always, it's better to have a friend or two wherever you visit, but it's definitely not a deal breaker for Ethiopia.

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  • Brew Johnson

    answered first by

    I can't comment on Rwanda, but Ethiopia is doable on your own.

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  • Elsa Hagos

    answered by

    Hi,

    I m in Ethiopia and i can tell you that the country is perfectly safe to travel on your own. However it might all depend on the places that you want to see. For example the Ertale volcano requires a guided tour.

    The southern part of the country mainly visited for its cultural attractions requires a 4x4 rental at the very least because of the road condition.

    The so called historical route in the northern part of the country can not only be done on a self organized tour but also can mostly be done using public transport. Trekking in some parts of the country like the Simien Park can be done solo too but I assume would be too much of a hassle. So in brief it all depends on which parts of the country you want to visit.

    I would suggest the you visit evgethiopia.com for information about ethiopia. To date it is the largest tour information website although i feel that there is a lot to be desired in terms of their website's design and updates on some pages. I think you can also benefit from their free advise and support.

    Wouldn't mind helping you with your itinerary myself either to make a self organized tour possible if you contact me as well.

    Enjoy your trip

    Elsa

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