After recently returning from our Blue Nile and Lalibela Ethiopia trip find out more about Product Executive Caroline’s experience and highlights and why Ethiopia should be on your travel wish list.
“The thing I love about our Staff Training Trips is that you’re given places that you wouldn’t normally get to travel to, or wouldn’t necessarily choose yourself. When I was given Ethiopia it wasn’t really on my radar – would it be my cup of tea? I looked forward to this great opportunity to find out more about this country not often visited by tourists.
With the excitement always comes some apprehension – what will the hotels be like? Will we be bumping along dusty tracks for most of the trip? What sort of food can I expect? What will my group and Leader be like? If you have any thoughts like this – don’t worry!
Our Explore Leader, Sue Guthrie is somewhat of a superstar in Ethiopia! She’s lived there for 15 years and knows everyone. Most days we had kids chasing our bus to wave and say hi, halting their football games for a hug and photo and we even met a little baby named after her. Sue’s knowledge and overall attitude made it easy to meet locals and we felt as though we benefitted from her ‘celebrity’ status – everyone wanted to meet us too. She made a point of teaching us some of the language – we then had to ask for our room key which the hotel staff found very entertaining!
My favourite moment of the trip was walking in the Simien mountains. Many people probably associate Ethiopia with dusty and un-inspiring landscapes but the scenery was breath-taking. One day Sue took us along a trail where we sat down and were joined by hundreds of baboons – many within touching distance. We then stopped for a picnic and were joined by some beautiful birds – an unexpected highlighted for the group.
An unexpected highlight was the optional mule trek at Lalibela. Setting off early in the morning the weather was perfect and clear. It’s quite steep, so we had plenty of fun hanging on. Sue, with her infinite knowledge of everyone took us to a local village where we enjoyed a coffee as we watched the animals mill about the yard.
The hotels were also a pleasant surprise with great food and wi-fi in the most remote hotels. We enjoyed lots of fresh fish at the hotel on Lake Tana. The views were, once again, spectacular and it was lovely to walk around the lake and into the town for local restaurants.
If you’re looking for a busy tour that includes beautiful scenery, interesting history, local life and a fantastic Explore Leader you need to try Ethiopia.”