Recommendations for Addis Ababa?

Hey y’all -

What fortuitous timing that AO rolls out the Beta on this now. I’m looking for any suggestions that folks may have for Ethiopia. Addis Ababa, in particular. My wife and I are heading there in a week for a week’s worth of advance exploring before a move there in August. We’re starting out with a very Western toehold (staying at a big hotel in Addis) and have plenty of local professional connections (my wife is a doctor about to join the faculty of a major institution there). No suggestion is too obvious, since we’ve never visited. Hoping to get much farther into the Ethiopian countryside as the year unfolds. Thanks in advance for any fellow travelers with experience in the horn of Africa.

That sounds like an amazing trip! I’ve never had the pleasure of going there myself, but I’d love to hear from people who have. In the meantime, you could browse the places we have in Ethiopia (if you haven’t already)!

When I was in Addis 15 years ago, I took a day trip to Sodere, a magnificent hot springs that was about an hour or 90 minutes from the city. (Sodere - Wikipedia). It was an exceptionally pleasant excursion.

Thanks for the tip, David. My wife and I are on a layover in Dubai…arriving in Addis around the time the Super Bowl coverage will have freshly segwaying into “what just happened?” mode…really stoked for the trip. All thoughts and suggestions are welcomed for Ethiopia. I plan to do a huge amount of exploring and I’ll be working on numerous writing projects. We move there for a year in August. Regardless, I hope you are well and keep up the noble crafting at AO and beyond.

Ever -

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How did it go? Did you get to Sodere?

It was a great intro trip, David. Thanks for asking. We didn’t really get far outside of Addis, so no trip to Sodere this time. We did go running up in the Entoto National Park/Hills with a few Addis-based ex-pats and a Ethiopian running guide. Fascinating mix up there over 9000 feet…locals gathering bundles of sticks…and world class runners with great gear buzzing by along the woodsy trails. There’s even a 9/11 memorial. Which coincides with New Years Day on the oddball Ethiopian 13-month calendar.

More broadly, we got a sense of this chaotic African capital. The African Union’s annual summit kicked off while we were there. Heads of state and delegations from everywhere. The new AU headquarters built by the Chinese in 2012 feels like an alien spacecraft plopped randomly into the sprawling highland cityscape. Thousands of armed Ethiopian soldiers were unevenly spread across the board. I saw countless black Mercedes sedans, sometimes from inside ramshackle indie cabs (almost universally a 1990 Toyota Carolla, painted blue and white, with no functioning seatbelts). I walked the streets as usual, which certainly isn’t a typical “faranji” move. My favorite yelled comment while doing so: “hey…Pennsylvania!” I yelled back, “Yo Adrian!”

We came back even more excited about our planned move. Tons to do before then. Including a deeper dive into what AO offers. Regardless, I hope to keep y’all in the loop as we begin exploring from that platform come August.

Ever -


Never been to Ethiopia or Addis Ababa , but I think it must be quite something to see the famous spotted Hyenas and the “Hyena men” of the city

Also anything related to the endangered Ethiopian lion its a very special species indeed