How do you get around in Ethiopia?

Getting around Ethiopia – Car? Plane? Both?

At first glance, Ethiopia doesn’t seem all that big. That is until you compare it to a map of the US.

As you can see, it is roughly covers most of the Midwest – nearly twice the size of the state of Texas or about the same size as Alaska.

And like Alaska, in Ethiopia the best ways to travel around is by flying into remote regions by plane then using a 4-wheel-drive vehicle to get to your final destination.

So imagine yourself being driven around the countryside in a nice 4×4, zooming along black top roadways – with few markings – then down rough, gravel roads and dirt tracks dodging donkeys and wagons.

This is kind of what it is like to travel by car in Ethiopia. 

On the road in southern Ethiopia – Weito to Turmi

Now to be honest, we traveled safely all over Ethiopia in a well maintained Toyota Land Cruiser with a guide who was a very good driver. 

Still traveling by car in Ethiopia does take some effort on your part.

This is because unlike Alaska, Ethiopia is completely landlocked, so while there are rivers, most notably the Blue Nile, these wild rivers actually pose huge obstacles for overland travel – especially during the rainy season.

So this is where you have to be willing to fly in smaller passenger planes, if you want to experience a full Ethiopia adventure.

The good news is that Ethiopia has a very modern and reliable domestic airline system. 

We think that by using a combination of short domestic flights along with travel overland by 4-wheel drive  truck is the best way to get around this huge country.


Do I need to hire a private driver/guide?

Yes, We strongly recommend it. In fact it is very difficult to “rent” a car in Ethiopia, without including the company’s designated driver. 

So you might as well include the car and driver into your adventure package from the start.

Here at Ethiopia Travel Planner, we work with an  experienced in-country partner who has a reliable and trusted network of drivers/guides. Both car and driver are included in each tour.

Have other Ethiopia questions you need answers to? Call Steve at 984-202-5958 or contact him here for a free 30 minute Q&A session.