Jane Nairne review 10 Dec 2018
1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?
Difficult to say as there were so many - but the visit to Tigray was astonishing. Fabulous mountain views and the red rocks and lush vegetation was impressive.
2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?
Eskinder from the tour company gave some useful advice around our itinerary and included a couple of stops we wouldn't have considered without his input - the Simien Mountains and Tigray were both lovely additions to a basic trip around the Northern Circuit..
3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?
We had local guides, drivers, visited local restaurants and bought things in small local shops. The lodges we stayed in were very eco aware. BUT the use of
plastic bottles is having a huge effect on the waste/rubbish seen all over and there was no option to buy glass, recyclable bottles. I was disappointed that
hotels/lodges did not provide filtered water to reduce the need to buy plastic.
4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?
Wonderful - Ethiopia is a fascinating place with a huge variety of things to see and the friendliest people.
Read the operator's response here:
Thank you Jane and Rodney. It was our pleasure being at your service. I also like to thank you for raising the issue of plastic bottles that you have noticed on the streets. After reading your comments, I had initiated a discussion among accommodation and hotel owners which I think are playing a part in the problem though they cannot be wholly responsible.
Generally the scale is not as severe as not many people especially in the rural areas use bottle waters given that water is a scarce resource there. The hotels give the empty bottles to the locals who use them as containers then the bottles end up trashed on the streets.
In Addis, there is a large scale recycling project which bottles are collected by the companies. It is also a source of income for many young people.
To curb the problem, though it requires interventions on a large scale, supported by appropriate government policies, we are speaking to small actors and initiatives to extend their projects in helping out the rural environment targeting especially the tourist destinations.
After our discussion, the accommodation owners have decided to provide purified water as an option at least at the bars and reception areas. We have also discussed to stop supplying the plastic bottles to the locals as repeated use and reuse is associated with health hazards.
Thank you once again for your review as it helped us press on the issue.