Linnea Bergholm, Academic Sweden
Dear Haile’AB, thank you for the historic route of Ethiopia in November 2007. It was a truly enjoyable and relaxing experience. As a traveler, I felt in good hands and I could always rely on you to find the best means of transportation, the safest time to visit and to respond to any of my many queries. The trip turned in to a veritable cultural experience, including walks, traditional cuisine and visits at historical places. I enjoyed very much a trip on the lake and the visits of the monasteries, as well as a visit to the bustling market in Bahir Dar. I strongly recommend anyone considering a visit to any region in Ethiopia to use the services of Haile’AB Seyoum and OVERLAND ETHIOPIA TOURS! Choose this company for its professionalism, responsibility, flexibility and excellent communication skills! What Ethiopia lacks in terms of tourism infrastructure, this company knows how to compensate for!
Josie Kamin, Menlo Park, California
We traveled throughout Ethiopia with Overland Ethiopia. We were in Addis Ababa, then the north, Bahir Dar, Axum, Gondar and Lalibela – fascinating with a lot of history and interesting sites; then we traveled to the south which was equally interesting and fascinating – we visited 7 tribes. Haile’AB did an excellent job of listening to our requests and prepared an itinerary that was perfect for us. We were very impressed with the places we stayed at and the pace of the trip. Wish more people would visit Ethiopia and hope to return one day. Request Ashu as your guide and Abush as the driver, if possible. Thanks to Overland Ethiopia for a wonderful visit to your country.
Linnea Bergholm, Akademiker Sverige
Käre Haile’AB, tack så mycket för den historiska turen anordnad till Bahir Dar, Etiopien, i November 2007. Det var en enormt angenäm och avslappnande upplevelse. Jag kände mig som resenär i säkra händer. Jag kunde luta mig tillbaka i vissheten att du skulle hitta de mest effektiva och säkra transportmedlen, välja den bästa tidpunkten för resan och att du alltid hade svar på allehanda frågor. Resan blev en ren kulturell upplevelse som innehöll både promenader, traditionell etiopisk mat, och besök av historiska platser. Speciellt trevlig var resan på sjön i Bahir Dar, besöket i monasterierna runt sjön och besöket till den livliga marknaden i den lilla staden. Jag rekommenderar starkt till de svenskar som funderar på att besöka Etiopien att vända sig till Haileab Seyoum och OVERLAND ETHIOPIA TOURS! Det Etiopien saknar i form av utbyggd infrastruktur för turism kan OVERLAND ETHIOPIA TOURS kompensera för med råge.
Moni and Chris, London, United Kingdom
We gave just returned from a 28-day tour of the south and north of Ethiopia arranged for us by Haile’AB from Overland Ethiopia Tours and cannot praise him and his staff too highly. From the very beginning, Haile’AB listened to what we wanted to get from our trip and everything was arranged to that end. He always replied promptly to emails and throughout the tour kept in constant touch with our guide and driver to ensure all was going well.
Our guide throughout the whole 28 days was Teklu Sisay and he was extremely professional, informative and attentive. His knowledge of the history, culture, language, geography and economics of the country never failed to amaze us. Every evening before we booked into a hotel/lodge he would check the room itself and, if necessary, get it changed for another. His ability to translate proved invaluable and enabled us to communicate with many rural communities and get the most marvelous photographs.
We had excellent Toyota Land Cruisers throughout and two drivers for our trip – Mike Sholo for the north and Samy Bekele for the south and again we would highly recommend both of them. They were very competent, safe and considerate drivers and always had prepared a clean car inside and out every morning. Like our guide Teklu, they were always very punctual and attentive to our needs. I thoroughly recommend Overland Ethiopia for any of your journeys in that lovely country, especially as they can tailor it to your own special needs. You will not be disappointed!
Abhay Pandit Galway, Ireland
A friend and I took a wonderful two-week journey through the Omo Valley over the Christmas and New Year period in 2007 – 2008. We had a marvelous and eye-opening experience, mainly because we had a knowledgeable, courteous and helpful guide, Haile’AB Seyoum, who provided a most unique and fascinating travel experience. Together with a driver and a cook while we camped, Haile’AB met all of our needs and more. We were able to meet people from many ethnic groups while also enjoying the beautiful plants and animals around us. While the journey was challenging, our professional guide made it pleasant and gave us a local insight into the different cultures. An absolutely one – of – a – kind experience led by a first – rate guide I would heartily recommend to anyone.
Julie and John Sydney, Australia
Many thanks to Haile’AB from Overland Ethiopia Tours for organizing the most amazing and memorable trip for us in Ethiopia in September 2013. He put together a great itinerary for us covering all the sights and activities we wanted, including Addis Ababa, Bahir Dar and the Blue Nile, Gonder, the Simien mountains, Lalibela and Axum. Our guides in each area were friendly, helpful and knowledgeable. We particularly enjoyed our trek in the Simien Mountains. Absolutely stunning scenery and wildlife and we were so well looked after by our team of guides, porters and cooks. We wish we had more time in this amazing country and will be recommending Ethiopia, and Overland Ethiopia Tours, to all our friends and family.
Michael, Czech Republic
Yesterday I received your email and now I send you the photos. The flight back to Czech Republic was all right. I was surprised that you were not with our group in Addis last day and also you and drivers didn’t take part in our farewell dinner. I enjoyed my trip in Ethiopia; altogether it was successful and interesting for me. But we were not lucky regarding weather, so that we could not see all planned places, for example Netchsar National Park or tribe Erbore. My best adventures were boating in the Chamo Lake full of many crocodiles, pelicans and hippos and taking photos of tribes in the Omo Valley.
I think now I don’t need more terrible Mursi whisky [it is important for me only in Ethiopia]. I like Buna, last day I bought six packages of the best coffee in Addis Ababa [Tomoca].
Have a good time!
Jan-Maarten & Astrid van Sonsbeek, Netherlands
We have travelled in Ethiopia with Overland Ethiopia Tours last January/February 2014 and we would like to recommend them for a well-organized trip and excellent value for money. We travelled the North, East and South of Ethiopia for a total of 26 days and we were accompanied by our guide, Mr. Henok Tsegaye for the whole trip.
First of all, we can recommend visiting the country Ethiopia, which is very interesting and diverse and has so many things to offer, both culture and nature and of course the people.
Second, we can recommend to buy a flight ticket yourself and have the trip organized by an Ethiopian company. We hesitated a bit about that because we were afraid of sending an advance payment to a company we didn’t know in a country we didn’t know, but the price difference between Ethiopian tour companies and Dutch companies for similar tours was so big, we decided to take the bet, also based on good recommendations on this forum.
Third, if you decide to book with an Ethiopian company, we can certainly recommend Overland Ethiopia Tours. They offered a good price and were very helpful in giving information and advice on the itinerary. For the whole of our trip, everything went exactly as stated in the program, there were no disruptions, no delays, and everything that was stated in the program was included. Also, the cars they use were good and the drivers (especially Mr. Samy who drove us all the way through the south) were careful and reliable.
Finally, we would like to thank and recommend our guide, Mr. Henok Tsegaye, who was very knowledgeable, friendly, efficient and punctual. And besides, who is a very keen photographer himself: sometimes our guide was taking more pictures than we did. Very helpful if you sometimes feel shy taking pictures of people!
Matt Wallen Colorado, USA
I recently visited Ethiopia for the second time, intending to spend some time in and around Addis. On the spur of the moment, as plans changed, I decided to make a last-minute trip to the north to experience part of the historical route. On the recommendation of Haile’AB Seyoum, a very competent and professional travel guide, I headed to Bahir Dar, a very pleasant lakeside city. He arranged local guides and a boat so that I could visit the many beautiful island monasteries that dot the lake. It was a wonderful and unusual tour. Haile’AB also arranged, at very short notice, a driver to take me to Gonder, once a royal city with many impressive castles. The entire journey was very rewarding and all the arrangements were made by Haile’AB, so all I had to do was relax and enjoy the experience. In addition, he arranged a driver during my stay in Addis Ababa, allowing me to visit sites both in the city and farther afield. Haile’AB is an excellent, responsive and experienced travel guide I would happily contact again to arrange any future visits to Ethiopia, a truly fascinating country.
Cheers, Florian, Germany
Even though it has been a year since we went on the Omo tour with Overland, I am happy to finally write a few comments here. Overall, we have been super happy with the Overland team. 100% reliable from airport pick-up to farewell dinner back in Addis. Well organized, well-spoken and knowledgeable guide. Great driver. They always accommodated to our special request and a like. We had a wonderful time and I am really looking forward to do it again. To sum this up: yes 100% thumbs up, fully trust-worthy and reliable, would always book them again. One word of advice, when it comes to hotels: Please book early and try hard to get into Paradise, Buska and Eco Omo Lodge. Trust what Trip advisor tells you, these guys are much much better than the respective alternatives in each town. So, as they get full quickly try to be early as the second choice is not close to those guys. Have fun and be overwhelmed by a great experience.
Marina M. Genoa, Italy
I have also travelled around Ethiopia with OVERLAND Ethiopia Tours by Mr. Haile’AB Seyoum. Great trip, very nice guy (he and also our drivers both in Addis and around the country) and perfect organization. It was a long (23 days) trip with previous arrangements made by email, but it has been proved very flexible as we kept in touch with Haile’AB on the phone and made new arrangements along the way. Would recommend him and Overland Ethiopia Tours to anyone.
Justin, Los Angeles, USA
We took a tour with Overland Ethiopia last year. They were amazing, we only had 5 days and they managed to give us the entire northern tour using short air hops. The price was super reasonable and at every stop a guide was there waiting to take us to the next amazing thing. All of the guides were great as well. They really know their stuff.
Would highly highly recommend!
Mariann USA Baltimore
I travelled around Ethiopia for 3 weeks in April (2013) with a friend who fortunately found Haile’AB Seyoum from Overland Ethiopia Tours, [http://www.overlandethiopiatours.com]. He provided us with the best possible accommodations, very comfortable transportation, professional drivers, excellent (knowledgeable) local guides, and unique experiences that I won’t soon forget. I won’t sugar coat… travel in Ethiopia is difficult. But Haile’AB provided well planned and professional guidance to make the journey as comfortable as possible. I recommend Overland Ethiopia Tours for anyone seeking an Ethiopian adventure. It is a fantastic country.
I took a two-day tour with Overland Ethiopia in September 2014. Before I even arrived in Ethiopia, Haile’AB kindly (and patiently!) provided numerous itineraries for the short window I had available. I decided to take the trip to Awash National Park for two days (one night at Awash Falls Lodge). My guides were Haile’AB and Mike. I found them both to be knowledgeable, friendly, funny, kind and interesting. They took me to some wonderful places, and showed me lovely wildlife and landscapes, including crater lakes and hot springs in Awash (incredible). They also took me to local eating places with delicious food, and went to great lengths to ensure there was vegetarian food available for me which I really appreciated. Their company was very pleasant and we had many interesting conversations, providing me with a unique insight to Ethiopia. Mike’s Land Cruiser is also wonderful – it has to be seen to be believed! I would not hesitate to recommend Overland Ethiopia Tours and really hope I can return to Ethiopia before long to do another longer tour.
Alan Friedlob, Bellingham, Washington
My friend Mariann (see her comments above) and I spent about three weeks traveling with Overland Ethiopia Tours (http://www.overlandethiopiatours.com). (Haile’AB Seyoum Beyene and his support staff) in a private tour of the Northern Circuit, Rift Valley, South Omo, and the Bale Mountains. What impressed me is the social network Haile’AB and his guys have across the country. Everywhere we went from Gonder to Yabello, warm greetings were exchanged through chance encounters with acquaintances or friends, and Haile’AB’s seamless connections with local guides opened doors to a better understanding of the cultural diversity that is Ethiopia. Haile’AB speaks Amharic, Oromaic, and Tigrinya; any of which may come in handy in helping guests bridge the challenges of Ethiopian travel. As a guide, he listened to what we wanted to do stopping at an unexpected market, listening to music, or finding high quality crafts and high-grade coffee. He and his colleagues did everything possible to accommodate us. Haile’AB’s itinerary and accommodations were exactly as we had agreed. In one instance where he could not secure the hotel on our itinerary, he compensated us with three nights of meals at our next location.
Regarding our itinerary, I would like to suggest that you consider not visiting the Mursi people, or if you go, clarifying what your visit will entail, and then decide. As you are probably aware, the people of the South Omo Region expect to be paid for all photos. In the case of the Mursi, this practice has become extreme. It will be extremely difficult for a tourist to learn about Mursi ways as “photo, photo” will dominate the experience. Many world renowned photographers like McCullin and McCurdy have captured the Mursi. Perhaps better to buy their books than contribute to the tribe’s self-exploitation. A difficult decision for some tourists.
Thankfully this is not the case for other people that you are likely to visit, even though similar pressures will be found. For example, the Key Afer and Dimeka markets are “must dos” but there are many other markets where you would be the only outsider. Haile’AB patiently negotiated the landscape with us, and we learned.
Again, if you are planning to visit, please check out Overland Ethiopia Tours. You won’t be disappointed.
In November 2014, we travelled with OVERLAND Ethiopia Tours to the northern part of the country. First, we made a trip proposal by ourselves and sent it to 6 or 7 tour agencies which we found from the internet. Finally, we chose “Overland Ethiopia Tours” and are quite satisfied with our decision.
They have a very good website and the arrangement with Haile’AB Seyoum Beyene was very competent and intent. We booked all of our flights by ourselves and listed all of the hotels which we preferred to Overland in advance. Our tour plan covered Addis Abeba, Bahir Dar, Gondar, Lalibela, Aksum and ended at Makale, altogether for 11 days. We got warm welcome every place as soon as we arrived at the airport. The driver and local guide are all very experienced and very good. Everything was perfect arranged!
Particularly we would like to recommend Rufael Fitsum at Aksum (see Lonely Planet Page 95). He guided us through the thousands of people at the Festival of Maryam Zion. We want to use this chance at the TripAdvisor Forum to say thanks to Overland Ethiopia Tours again and warmly recommend them to anybody who wants to travel to Ethiopia individually.
I had the chance to choose Overland Ethiopia Tours in my trip to Omo Valley, Ethiopia! The plan was first a very nice and kind exchange by internet with Mr. Haile’AB S. he was the most patient and informative person I found and with a special “touch” in his way of writing which makes me fully trust this Organization! And while arriving all was confirmed and exactly as per plan but with a bigger, special GIFT coming from having the chance of meeting his super professional staff who followed me during the trip: Mr. Dawit Abayenh, the guide, and the “super” driver, as I called Mr. Mike Sholo and to call him “driver” is an offense since in reality he was the sensible filter to understand the fantastic Ethiopian “world” I now feel proud to know them not as driver and guide but simply as wonderful friends that shared with me every moment of the trip in the most perfect way you could ever image! Through them I approached a reality by feeling informed, protected, and yes spoiled like a baby but at the same time “one of them” and not a stupid tourist!! Usually very hard result to be obtained in a week trip but THEY DID and I am GRATEFUL to Overland Ethiopia Tours to make my small trip a MAGIC TRIP! I hope next time to share a glass of HONEY WINE with Mr. Haile’AB too!!!! If you are going to use this Organization be sure you are in ETHIOPIAN HANDS the most careful and kind hands of the world!
Ben, Sydney, Australia
I spent a few months in Addis Ababa last year, and got introduced to Haile’AB from Overland Ethiopia http://www.overlandethiopiatours.com Haile’AB organized travel for me to different destinations and for different purposes (work related and pleasure). He proved not only adept at fixing things so everything went without hassles, but was a great travel companion … knowledgeable and good company. If you’re looking for a local to help smooth your peregrinations in Ethiopia, Haile’AB is your man. He also organizes and accompanies group tours so even if you’re not on your own like I was, you should give him a go.
Gianna, Venezia, Italy
We have travelled in Ethiopia (Historic Route) with Overland Ethiopia; we spent three weeks around the North. Wonderful trip, strong but very interesting!!! Our guide Worash, was very nice persons, he helped us too much!! Thanks to Mr. Haile’AB, he was most patient during previous organization!!! We recommend Overland Ethiopia Tours, Mr. Haile’AB and all staff!!!
Jean, Danbury, USA
My son and I traveled with Haile’AB in January on a modified northern cluster tour that included a three-day community trek. I am 61-year-old woman and my son is 18. I chose Haile’AB’s agency because he answered all of my emails and phone calls right away with detailed information. He is so helpful and kind and polite. Booking from the US, I wanted to feel secure sending money abroad and I did. Haile’AB also met us personally and took great care with our hotels. The guides too were very good. As a former guide, Haile’AB has much insight into tourist needs. I highly recommend OVERLAND Ethiopia, http://www.overlandethiopiatours.com.
Willemien, South Africa
We travelled as a group with Overland Ethiopia end November to the beginning of December 2012 Mr. Haile’AB was prepared to develop a special tour at our request and provided an outstanding guide, Enoch, as well as two drivers, to take us wherever we would like to go. Our group split in two during our stay and even this was not too much trouble to arrange. We visited the less travelled parts of Ethiopia as some of us had a conference in Hawassa to attend. The rest of the group travelled to the south of Ethiopia. On the last day three of us stayed in Addis Ababa and visited the market, the palace, churches, the AU, the university and its hospital and museums. Enoch accompanied us on all of this endeavor and provided valuable information. I can really recommend this company as well as Enoch. We only received excellent service and knew we were in capable hands.
I would like to make a recommendation for the local guide who accompanied us around The Northern Circuit plus Harar and the Agency who made the tour materialize. We were much impressed by our local guide, Mr. Ashenafi of OVERLAND Ethiopia who led us round his amazing country with great humor, passion and limitless energy. I strongly recommend him and would choose to work only with him for any future trips. Ashu used his expertise to help us achieve what we wanted to achieve while in Ethiopia and at a very punishing pace as time was limited for us. Not once did his professionalism falter.
The travel agency, Overland Ethiopia, executed all the practical arrangements for our trip and with complete success. Haile’AB is proactive, thoughtful and an expert on everything Ethiopia. On more than one occasion I have been grateful for his thinking outside the box and applying his knowledge to the improvement of the tour. Emails are answered promptly and queries responded to. I would also only choose to work with Haile’AB and Overland Ethiopia for future trips to Ethiopia.