Well, we have 3 days left before heading home. We arrived in Addis Ababa on the 26th of October and will head home from Addis on a late flight departing November 14th.
Over the course of 14 days of travel we covered approximately 3,300 kms in a couple of Toyota Land cruisers. The roads were generally bad and pot-holed in the south, were paved and generally very good in Amhara and Tigray and were unpaved 4×4 rough stuff in areas of the Afar region.
I don’t think we stayed at the best hotel in Addis in regards to the location to walkable restaurants and bars in the city. The Bole area a few kms away would have probably been a better choice however the Capital Hotel & Spa where we stayed was very nice. The main restaurant was okay, breakfast was included and it was good. Their bars were boring however their traditional restaurant was absolutely fantastic!
The hotel advertises itself as a high security hotel and is very proud of their high security status. Was this hotel a likely target for the bad guys?
We are the most outstanding hotel for safety and security of our esteemed guests which is acknowledged by the United Nation Department of Safety and Security (UNDSS). Likely, we are certified by the American Safe Hotels Company as a Safest & Secured Five Star Hotel in Addis Ababa- Ethiopia. the most outstanding hotel for safety and security of our esteemed guests which is acknowledged by the United Nation Department of Safety and Security (UNDSS). Likely, we are certified by the American Safe Hotels Company as a Safest & Secured Five Star Hotel in Addis Ababa- Ethiopia.
Our hotel was the only place in Ethiopia where we could get decent wifi so we spent the day of the 12th trying to catch up on our blog posts and then had a great evening eating and drinking Tej (an orange coloured honey based wine) and listening to and watching fantastic live music and dancing entertainment at the traditional restaurent located in the basement of our hotel.
When in Addis Ababa a must visit is the National Museum of Ethiopia. We spent several hours wondering through this unfortunately very unkempt museum. The bones of human evolution and the artifacts of an amazing cultural and religious history was sadly displayed with very poor lighting and very little information posted to describe the artifacts on display.
The highlight of the museum is Lucy, the 3.2 million year old collection of bones that once made up the skeleton of a bipedal Hominin discovered in the Afar region in 1974, the oldest ever to be discovered by anthropologists. Several hundred pieces of bone fossils represents about 40% of the original Lucy (aka AL 288-1).
Below is how Lucy may have looked.
The National Museum is interesting and could really be impressive if funds could be raised to do a make-over. The museum admittance fee was a very cheap 20 cents so there is certainly plenty of room to raise this. Maybe this could get the ball rolling to fix up what should be a showcase museum for the country.
There are several other sites in and around Addis that can be seen if you sign up for a tour but as it was our final day in Africa we were now in departure mode so after our visit to the museum we stopped in at a small collection of artisan shops and purchased some beautiful hand woven baskets, returned to our hotel and slowly packed our bags. As mentioned above, tours either 1/2 day or full are readily available to explore in and around Addis Ababa but they are in our opinion a little expensive. Our hotel concierge arranged a taxi that charged an hourly rate which I think was a cheaper way to go and you were in control of your own itinerary. Always the best way.
Our flight home didn’t depart until late in the evening of the 14th so we had to pay for an additional hotel night but it was well worth it to have time to organize our luggage, secure our souvenirs, have a shower and take some time to contemplate all that we had experienced over the past four months visiting South Africa, Botswana, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Madagascar and Ethiopia.
It was another excellent adventure!