What Our Clients Say

Guide – excellentVehicles / drivers – goodHotels –Rainbow descriptions were accurate especially the warnings about Axum where high speed internet and hot waterwere non-existent! Kuriftu resort pool was excellent – I ignored your advice & did take swim shorts!Meals – some average, mostly good, some excellent (4 sisters in Gondar especially)Timings / itinerary – mostly well planned / good. We had some initial problems on our arrival a day early persuading staff that it was agreed that we should have an extra afternoon and morning of guided Addis sight-seeing. We did get to see Lucy in the archaeological museum which the main group did not as it was closed for TimkatTimkat – your explanation that this ceremony was better observed in Addis rather than Gondar was clearly correct in view of the tragic events in Gondar this year. The VIP tickets worked very well – perhaps too well in my case! I was so close in during the baptism ceremony that I received 2 good blasts of holy water at point blank range from the Patriach’s personal hose!! We did have a wonderful tour (Ethiopia Timket 2020 small group tour) and would recommend your company to others and will use you again in the future ourselves.

Mr and Mrs Raymond

May I say how much I enjoyed the recent Timket Small Group Tour to Ethiopia. It was the first time I had travelled with Rainbow, having been attracted by the comprehensive detail regarding itinerary and reviews on the website, as well as conversations with yourself. My reflections of the trip are as follows:- • The other 10 people in the group were experienced travellers and were tremendous fun to be with. Our guide was great company, knowledgeable and worked very hard on our behalf.• There were no great surprises regarding hotels – Golden Tulip, Simien Lodge and Mazena Lodge were my favourites – Sabean International the most basic regarding food and no hot water for a shower.• It was pleasing that not all meals were buffets and hotel based. I particularly enjoyed the 4 Sisters Restaurant in Gondar and the Ben Abeba in Lalibela.• The Timket experience was first class and the priority passes gave it an added dimension, being part of the procession from the church at the start to the ceremonial soaking of the masses with fire hoses at the end. • A major concern was at the end of the first day of Timket. There was dangerous overcrowding with thousands leaving the site through a fairly small gate as others were trying to enter at the same time. Being in the older age bracket and not all of our group with good mobility, we were being swept along with our feet off the ground for at least 50m. Had any person lost their balance or tripped, the outcome would have been catastrophic for many hundreds of people. I realise that Health & Safety does not match our own standards and would suggest for future reference that the group should exit from the same gate where they had entered, which had wider access but maybe further distance from the rendezvous with the coach. We did leave by this exit on day 2.• The fascination of observing everyday life from the coach window is not to be underestimated. Along with Timket, the geladas in the Simien Mtns and the rock hewn churches in Lalibela were stand out experiences. Axum was my least enjoyable destination as it was mainly just about ruins. When I have finished culling over 2000 photos, I will forward a few for you. Best WishesIan

Mr OBrien

Good morning Derek. David and I had a wonderful trip to Ethiopia. I ended up taking far too many photographs so it’s taking me quite a while to decide on which to keep and which to delete. I’ll send you some when that task is complete. We were very fortunate to have travelled with a lovely, fun group which always adds hugely to the whole experience. Our guide Tammy was fantastic! His knowledge was excellent. He was relaxed, well organised, thoughtful and good fun. I thought the itinerary gave a really good balance of culture and wildlife giving a very good overview of the parts of the country we visited. There was nothing I wouldn’t have wanted to do, all the visits from churches to archeology to monasteries to scenic panoramas to markets were excellent. My only real regret is that we didn’t add on another week to go to the south and see other parts of Ethiopia. What we look for in accommodation is a clean room, comfortable bed, working shower and working power points and most of the hotels filled that bill really well. All the beds were great, all the rooms were clean, as usual there were some bits and pieces that weren’t quite right, wobbly taps, ill fitting doors, etc but nothing that in any way spoiled our stay. The showers in Axum and Simien were disappointing but everywhere else they were great. Everywhere we went the staff were friendly and helpful. Food was variable but generally very good. The locations of the hotels was superb, particularly Kuriftu Resort and Spa, Goha Hotel, Simien Lodge and Mezena Lodge. It’s hard to pick out particular highlights as the whole experience was amazing with so much to take in, but Timket was astonishing. The fact that Timket seemed to stretch across almost the whole of our stay was surprising, as was the number of weddings we came across. The numbers of people taking part in Timket in Addis Ababa and the spectacle of colour, sparkle and joy was breathtaking. Finding words to adequately describe some of the scenery is hard. Whether we were driving through different types of landscape, flying over it or staying in it the views were stunning, and the people living in it endlessly fascinating. Stopping a couple of times to take pictures of people working in the fields was brilliant too. Walking in the mountains and sitting with gelada monkeys was another never to be forgotten treat. Tipping, as always on these trips, is horrible. We were very fortunate that one of our group was happy to take on the task, with guidance from our guide Tammy, but not knowing how much to give, when to tip, who to tip and having people expecting tips for doing their job is an uncomfortable side of travelling. I always feel sorry for all the people behind the scenes who don’t have the opportunity to get tips while others expect, and sometimes almost demand them, when they should be paid properly in the first place. I know that’s not going to change but it is one aspect of travel I really dislike. I hope you can tell from this that David and I had a fabulous time in Ethiopia and we’ve been telling friends and family what a wonderful time we’ve had. Thank you. Kind regards. Anne May. .

Mr and Mrs May

Our guide was excellent. The tour (Timket Small Group set departure 2020) very good and varied. The Ethiopians are lovely, helpful people. I will try to encourage friends to go as the country desperately needs our money. You need a level of fitness for the tour. .

Ms Parsons

Hello Derek . Thanks very much indeed to you and Rainbow for all the help, advice and organisation for our recent trip. I am sure you will want feedback and perhaps you want an online survey, but I just wanted to say it really was the trip of a lifetime, and we had an extraordinary time, thanks to the guides, especially Belete Beleke, who says that he knows you, and we thought he was extremely special: a great spotter of incredible birdlife, animals and plants too. Very intelligent, he adapted our itinerary very slightly so that we should not be exhausted. However, something you may not have caught up with yet - at Erta Ale, we discovered that the Afar have closed a significant portion of the new road you mentioned - we estimated an approx 3km hike up the gravel track that a 4x4 would just have made, before reaching the "footpath" scramble to the camp at the top - but at least we did make it, if somewhat slowly, we realised we would never have done it from the previous camp! Apparently the Afar were losing too much money through people not hiring camels to take their gear to the top camp! They seem adroit at collecting cash for all kinds of extras, even ones already paid for. . We really did have a wonderful trip. Thank you again, . With very best wishes,. Rosie. . Hi Derek. I just want to endorse everything Rosie says below but especially to praise Belete Bekele - he really was exemplary. . Big thanks for your and Rainbow’s help and advice - it was an unforgettable trip. . Very best wishes. Ruth. . . . .

Ms Hoare and Ms Anders

Dear Derek,. We recently returned from our holiday in Ethiopia. We had a wonderful time, and I would like to express my thanks for the excellent organisation that you laid on for us. Our guide Gita, was simply brilliant. Not only was he an excellent guide but he went out of his way to make our trip really enjoyable, way beyond the call of duty. I would love to return one day and would have no hesitation in coming back to book with you, and would most certainly recommend Rainbow to friends. We had a great time. So thank you again. Kind regards. Judy .

Ms Copp

Dear Derek,. I just wanted you to know that we had a wonderful trip in Ethiopia and I think we've all fallen in love with the country and its people. Thank you for the perfect organisation, both in the route chosen, interesting hotels and above all in our outstanding guide, Get a, such an intelligent and charming man who went to the greatest trouble in looking after us. It was as near to a perfect holiday as possible, thanks to your planning. I will certainly think of using Rainbow again. Kind regards,. Melany. .

Hughes Party

Hi Craig and Derek,. . Many thanks - we had a great time! The trip exceeded our expectations - all the logistics/transport/guiding were great! . Our biggest surprise was that as a result of so few guests going to Odzala we had our own chef travelling with us! We had successful and very enjoyable gorilla sightings on both treks. Odzala was very remote - exactly what we were looking for! . We will contact you for our next trip............. . Regards. . Duncan, Carol, David and Deborah. .

Mr & Mrs Evans and Mr & Mrs Hughes

The Ethiopian trip (Timket Small Group set departure 2019) was a revelation and exceeded expectations in every way. . Best,. Ms L.S. . . .

Ms L.S.

Hi Derek. Wow. What a beautiful country Ethiopia is, the sights we saw took our breath away. The Timket experience in Addis was outstanding, so much colour and ceremony. We enjoyed all of the towns we visited, thought the castles in Gonder were brilliant and the churches in Lalibela magnificent. We were in Lalibela on St Georges day so we saw St. Georges church being used -again wow. We are quite well travelled however would say that Ethiopia has become one of the best places we have been to. All the arrangements went well. Hotels were largely as expected. The Golden Tulip is international standard and well located in Bole, the Blue Nile is OK but well located, the Goha hotel has a wonderful location as the does the Simien Mountain lodge . Our room in the Mountain lodge needed a bit of TLC as the bathroom was a bit broken and the room a bit dusty. The Maribela hotel had the most impressive views-our kind of place. The Sabean hotel was OK however the room was just too hot and if the windows were opened mosquitoes came in it needs aircon. The only issue we had really was the last day which is very very long. After a full morning visiting Yeha, lunch then visiting the Queen of Sheba palace we took the 17:15 flight to Addis, it was a little late however we did not get into the Golden Tulip until 19:30, we were due to leave again at 20:00 for the farewell dinner but none of our party felt up to this especially as we had to be at the airport for just after 22:00 to check in for the international flight. We opted (as did everyone) to rest for two hours and forego the farewell dinner. Maybe this part of the tour needs tweaking. (If we had thought about it beforehand we could have chosen to stay another night in Addis,have a look around the city without timket being on and fly back a day later-if we had done this I'm not sure if we would have arrived in Manchester as the airport was closed on the Wednesday). Please can you ensure that your Ethiopian partners are informed about how good our guide Elijah Worku was during the tour. We have had some mediocre guides during our time however Elijah was one of the best, always smiling, on time and enthusiastic even when we were getting tired etc. He ensured that wherever possible we ate away from ‘the hotel buffet’ taking us to dance shows and restaurants outside of the itinerary which we all greatly appreciated. The group (Timket small group tour 2019) felt so confident in him. He made a good holiday better. We always had a good supply of water, on the bus, at lunch and dinner and in the hotels much needed in a warm climate. Really enjoyed Ethiopia during this fast paced tour. . .

Mr and Mrs Fridlington

I should have written before to thank you for a wonderful trip. (Timket 2019 small group set departure). I loved it and Eliajah was an excellent guide and so good at looking after us all. . I loved all the places we visited but my abiding memory is of the kindness and the welcome of the people and their stunning good looks. . with best wishes. .

Ms L. L-D

Will have a full report for you in a few days, but for now, I'll just tell you it (Timket Small group tour 2019) was AWESOME (as I have come to expect from Rainbow.) . Great group of travelers, comfortable accommodations, OUTSTANDING local guide. Elijah is knowledgeable and enthusiastic... did a great job of shepherding our diverse group! .

Ms Snyder

Dear Derek,. . We have just returned to Australia after our almost 4 weeks in Ethiopia. . Our trip could be divided in 2 – the Southern and Northern component. We felt the driver (Robi) and the escort Younis for the southern 2 weeks were excellent. Knowledgeable and attentive. We felt very comfortable with the driving particularly in difficult conditions. They both enhanced the experience. The northern component had Sayed as the escort. Whilst he was good, he was not have the same skills or knowledge of Younis so by comparison he suffered a little. We were satisfied with his services. We have no hitches with accommodation and recognised that what was provided was “best available” or very close to it. Overall, we were more than happy with the arrangements put in place by Rainbow. We were glad we just didn’t “do” the classic tourist northern circuit. The south was, for us the highlight. The Bale Mountains were truly memorable, we saw at extremely close range a number of wolves. Whilst we didn’t see lions, we heard them on consecutive evenings – they were not that far away. Lake Langano was excellent. The Omo Valley was fascinating and we felt privileged to see a number of the tribes and their way of life (one that is no doubt changing). In the north we were captivated by the Simeons – we enjoyed time sitting with a group of researchers watching the Geladas and were fortunate to have a small group Wahlia Ibex pass very close to where we were standing. Timket was a once in a lifetime experience. Just extraordinary. We left Ethiopia feeling that we had gained a greater appreciation of the country, its people and the inherent issues facing the country. More so, than could ever be gained by the groups whizzing around in groups of 10-12 in mini buses. Thank you for organising an excellent trip. .

Mr and Mrs Rae

Service from Rainbow Tours: excellent. Knowledge of travel specialist: excellent. Overall level of satisfaction: excellent. In the Omo Valley and Gondar our guides were excellent. Ole Sereni Hotel: very helpful, lovely people. Jupiter International Hotel: excellent . Buska Lodge, Turmi: comfort and service excellent; location, meals and facilities good. Nothing too much trouble; a nice place to stay. Eco Omo Lodge, Jinka: average. We took earplugs as advised but they could not cope with the noise of the all night party from the village especially the drums, and then the chanting from 03h30 am. . Kanta Lodge, Konso: comfort, service and location: good. Meals and facilities average. . Haile Resort, Hawassa: Excellent in all respects. Beautiful hotel. Goha Hotel, Gondar: good in all respects. . Lalibela Lodge: cmofort and location good; service, meals and facilities average. . Sabean International Hotel, Axum: comfort: good; service excellent; location and meals good. No not water in our basin so they found Stephen a spare room in which to shave, lol. . Speke's Camp, Kenya: a great camp for a safari; very well organised; amazing food; very clean and lovely staff. Very good knowledge of the wildlife on the game drives, . A very enjoyable holiday. Just a few minor blips but overall a very well organised trip. Thank you. . . .

Mr and Mrs Shearing

Hi Derek,. Thank you for organising such a fantastic tour for us. We had a wonderful time, the country is amazing, the wildlife and of course the birds. At a rough check Trevor saw 270 birds, a lot of endemic so he was delighted! We had a fantastic guide, he was so knowledgeable about the country and wildlife. He was great fun and nothing was too much trouble. We are now going to sort through hundreds of photographs! We were so pleased with the way the holiday was organised and will hopefully be travelling with you in the future. Thank you again. Lynne and Trevor Wright. .

Mr and Mrs Wright

'Overall holiday satisfaction (Timket Group 2, January 2018): Excellent. A good variety of different activities and destinations giving an excellent introduction to the country. . Avanti Blue Nile: needs refurbishment, then this can be excellent. . Mayleko Lodge: Good in terms of comfort, service and location. Meals and faclities average. Large room; comfortable. No toiletries provided except soap. Peaceful. TV and WiFi only in reception. . Simien Lodge: restaurant manager surly; beer overpriced but overall a super place. . Lalibela Lodge: good in terms of comfort and service. . Sabean Hotel: convenient if a little noisy. . We were fortunate to have an excellent guide (Temesgen) and a good group of people of similar ability and interest. This added greatly to our enjoyment of the holiday.'. .

Mr and Mrs Little

Overall holiday satisfaction: excellent. Will return. . We had the very best guide. We would want to use him again. He was exceptional. . Maribela Hotel, Lalibela: an incredible experience with amazing staff and food excellent. Simien Lodge: a wonderful place. Lovely. . Bale Mountains Lodge: really enjoyable stay - lovely accommodation and very friendly host. Sabana Beach Resort: great bird watching. . We have had a fantastic time - deeply enhanced by our incredible guide Zee and the drivers. Very knowledgeable and fun to be with, and attentive to the point of making us feel like royalty. Our guide went above expectations with the information he gcave us and the little extras - nothing was too much trouble. The best guide we have ever had. Excellent staff. .

Mr and Mrs Hickie

'The start of the trip was Timket. What a stroke of luck we got there. It was a fascinating and unique experience. Well done to Rainbow for spotting it. . Staff of all the hotels were friendly, helpful and invariably tried their best. Full marks to them. Our tour guide was excellent and really made our trip that much more successful. He was VERY knowledgeable; he was patient and nothing was too much trouble. . Local guides were a mixed bag. But our tour leader knew everything anyway so problem solved. The local guides in the [Simien] mountains and at Lake Langano were fantastic; knowledgeable and enthusiastic. . All drivers were excellent and highly capable. . Hara Langano extention: wonderful local guide and super setting. Birdlife wonderful and hippos just yards from the beach!

Mr Cole and Ms Campbell

(Timket Tour 2018): Overall excellent. Henok absolutely superb. No fault. Hotels no better nor worse than expected. Drivers and vans fine. Everyone friendly and delightful. Fascinating time. Axum the least spectacular; Lalibela the best. I would go again to see the South. Ethiopians (were) almost universally lovely as well. Extraordinary.

Mr Hollingworth

Overall holiday satisfaction (Timket 2018, group 1): Excellent. Henok was quite extraordinarily excellent. Incredibly knowledygeable, energetic, helpful, calm and encouraging. . Service from tour operator: Excellent. Local guides incomprehensible and unecessary - Henok usaually knew more than they did! . Golden Tulip: excellent comfort, service and location for airport. Avanti Blue Nile: excellent comfort, service and location. Meals average. Facilities good. . Simien Lodge: excellent in terms of comfort, service and location especially. Meals and facilities good. Maribela Hotel: same. . Sabean Hotel: Excellent comfort and service. Location good. Meals average. Facilities good. . Overall an excellent and a memorable trip. Many thanks!!

Sir and Lady Davies

Your organisation of the trip was first class. Melaku Tesfa, our guide, was also first class: efficient, knowledgeable and an excellent travelling companion. . We made six intenal journeys by Ethiopian Airlines; all on time and to a high standard. Airport procedures are a pain: two identical security checks each time you travel. . The only sub-standard hotel was the Wonderland in Harar: six floors with no lift, which at that altitude is a challenge. Apparently until a new hotel is built it is the best available. . All our drivers were good, as were the vehicles, apart from the vehicle in Harar: less legroom than a Wiz aeroplane. But in a town where most taxis are mostly 1960s Peugeots, that is perhaps not surprising. . All your recommendations for what kit to take, were spot on. We needed our hiking boots, not just for the Simiens, but for every day - lots of rough terrain, even in Addis Ababa. . Thank you for organising an amazing trip. .

Mr Wall and Mr Sumner

Golden Tulip, Addis Ababa: excellent in all respects. Avanti Blue Nile, Bahir Dar: Good service and location. Average comfort, meals and facilities. . Mayleko Lodge, Gondar: excellent service, location and meals. Good in terms of comfort and facilities. . Simien Lodge: excellent in all respects. . Maribela Hotel, Lalibela: excellent service and location. Average comfort and meals. Facilities good .

Cameron family

'Overall the trip was fantastic. We were very well taken care of and have only high marks for all aspects of the trip. Our guide and drivers excellent. Great experiences and got some great images both wildlife and other'.

McLeod party

'Hi Derek,. Quite honestly, we have done most of the world but let me tell you that we are never going to forget Ethiopia !! A very poor country it may be, but it is rich in its history & culture & it is also particularly unique. Quite simply it was an amazing experience for both of us. We were extremely well taken care of especially our assigned Guide - Teddy Teudrow who was simply brilliant! All the attractions bar none, exceeded our expectations but Lalibela was something else! You had warned & also from reading, we gathered not to expect too much from the accommodations. Here too we were pleasantly surprised & very satisfied. All in all, an unforgettable experience in an unforgettable country! Let us take this opportunity to thank you in particular & the Rainbow team for your advice, expertise & care for putting up this great holiday for us. Thanking you & best wishes. Farouk & Hutoxi'.

Mr and Mrs Manecksha

'Hi Derek. We had a great time - a really beautiful country, and very warm and friendly people. The highlights for me were the Church of Saint George in Lalibela, the Simien Mountain baboons, and chilling out at the 'Highest Bar In Africa'. Challenges for me were the internet facilities (it was barely usable outside Addis Ababa), the lack of Diet Coke (I'm an addict, and it was only available in Addis Ababa).. At one point early on I remember feeling that it was all a bit too exhausting and maybe we should've gone somewhere easier, but then I got adjusted to it, and wished at the end that we'd had more time to see a few other places too, such as Axum and the Danakil. . The guides were great, and the hotels were pretty good too, especially the Maribela which was a really chilled-out place with a fantastic view. Thanks for organising it all for us - I've been telling everyone here what a fascinating place Ethiopia is, and it will always hold a special place in my heart for having been my 100th country!. Phil'.

Mr Saunders and Mr Stein

'Ethiopia (the Historical Route) was very very good indeed. The itinerary was very good indeed, we could not fault it; very good time-management. It was busy, it was intensive but very different. Lovely people., very warm, very kind, very friendly. The guide is fundamental to a holiday’s success: Henok was outstanding!. We have done a lot of tailor-made tours and have never had such a good guide anywhere in the world. He made all the difference – he was very kind, very helpful, very personable and really, really good. The attractions were all better than what we were expecting after having read books such as the Bradt Guide. Lalibela in particular, was remarkable. The highlight. The local guide there was very good too. I would recommend - especially if visitors go in the rainy season - to take walking poles and footwear with a strong grip for the stairs at Lalibela's churches. Simien Lodge is lovely. It is an experience. But we did feel the altitude there. The viewpoint we went to was lovely. It is a remarkable place. . Accommodation was all good except the Avanti Blue Nile at Bahir Dar which doesn’t have character or charm – it is a business-peoples’ hotel. . Food was lovely at Habasha-2000 on our way out of the country and it works very well to have the farewell dinner there before the flight back to the UK. We are very impressed with Rainbow Tours, thank you for going to so much trouble to arrange everything; we plan to contact you soon again to arrange travel to Africa and Latin America’. . . .

Mr and Mrs Rennison

'Overall holiday satisfaction: excellent. Loved the Simien Lodge; could have stayed another night. Our trip to Ethiopia was truly amazing; one we will never forget. The people are beautiful, friendly and very welcoming. The scenery and wildlife are incredible and the wildlife fascinating. Our guide, Yohannes, was first class. His knowledge of the history of Ethiopia and of the birds, wildlife, flora etc is outstanding. All the drivers were excellent'. . . .

Mr and Mrs Perry

'We (both my husband and myself) thought that Ethiopia was amazing - we went with high expectations and it surpassed these. Our guide, Hennok, was first class, we got on well with our fellow travellers - but more importantly the scenery, wildlife, local people and culture we experienced were truly outstanding. The tour arrangements worked extremely well - hotels were clean and comfortable, travel was efficient and on time, and the content of the trip was pretty much spot-on. We knew very little about the Timket festival when we booked the tour, but now realise that it right up there with other top cultural events around the world. To have been given such close-up access to the festival with our "guest passes" made it even more special and it will stay in our memories forever, especially returning before dawn and seeing all of the local people who had kept overnight vigil on the Ark of the Covenant. We're so pleased that we went this year because we suspect that Ethiopia will become a "must do" on many people's destination list and that in coming years it may become more commercialised. Very definitely one of our best ever (and we've had many) trips and we're still absorbing many of the wonderful things we experienced. My husband is a keen photographer and he came home with some incredible wildlife shots (geladas, wolves and birds), stunning portraits of local people and great scenery shots'.

Mr and Mrs Haley

'This trip was an experience of a lifetime not just because of the beauty of the country and kindness of the people, but mainly because of our exception guide, Henok. He is extremely knowledgable, patient, kind, and thoughtful. I had some mobility issues and he ensured that I was cared for and safe. He also has a great sense of humor which was very important with our jovial group, who got along with each other from the start and laughed constantly. He handled our mixed Brit/Yank jokes very well! Our driver, Lake, was exceptional. We never had a moment of worry about our safety, even over difficult terrain. Every day of the tour was a new amazing experience, from Gelada monkeys to the ancient rock-hewn churches of Lalibela and finally, the inspiring, beautiful ceremonies of the Timkut festival. I am spreading the word that Rainbow's Ethiopia with Henok is an experience not to be missed! Jan Cowell, Pasadena' .

Ms Jan Cowell

'Dear Derek. We are now back in the UK, just a bit flight-lagged, having spent the last week in Dubai with our family. Rosie and I have such happy memories of our recent trip. Our highest appreciations go to such a beautiful country with its lovely welcoming and happy people. To finish the tour with the amazing Timkat celebrations was the icing on the cake. Unforgettable. The amazing guide Henok Tsegaye was definitely the best we have ever experienced in our many travels to other countries. He was incredibly well-informed historically and he is so proud of his country, which he loves so much. He was totally clear in his diction and instructions, attentive, caring, with a great sense of humour (he quickly came to realise when we Brits and the lady from the USA were winding him up in a friendly, jokey way!) and nothing was too much trouble. Those essential touches, such as plenty of bottled drinking water being always available wherever we were, make all the difference on a busy schedule. We will be sending him and Dinknesh Ethiopia Tour an email of appreciation. The drivers on our trips were all first-rate, courteous and careful. Our group of ten visitors all bonded so well. We had fun and a happy time together. Amazingly, we discovered that one couple (Andrew and Viv) live here in East Molesey! If it is at all possible we will try to arrange a reunion for us all early this June, when Ken and Mandy are over from South Africa. We may even tempt Jan over from America! A big thank you to yourself, together with your colleagues in London and Ethiopia for all your diligence in organising everything. We will send off the questionnaire to you when we come down to earth! When we said to friends that we were going to Ethiopia several said 'why?'. It is merely that they are unaware of the culture, the history and the beauty there. Our photographs, some of which have already been posted on Facebook, show why! We have sent you a few. Let us hope that many more will travel there and see for themselves. We will certainly encourage this, since tourism is so important for the Ethiopian economy. Kind regards. John and Rosie Rendall'.

Mr and Mrs Rendall

'Overall holiday satisfaction (of the Ethiopia Timkat 2016 small group departure): Excellent. Sora Lodge, Lalibela: very friendly, attentive staff. Henok is an excellent guide. He dealt with all with humour and patience. He was knowledgeable and a delight. The driver - Hake (spelling?) was also exceptional'.

Ms Yate

'Overall holiday satisfaction (of the Timkat 2016 small group set departure): excellent. Jupiter International hotel is a comfortable, international hotel with hot water and Wifi. Abayminch Lodge, Bahir Dar: good in all respects; excellent location. Electricity is erratic, didn't have this issue elsewhere. Goha Hotel: good tourist hotel; good breakfast; OK dinner. Simien Lodge: great choice - loved it! Excellent in all respects. Sora Lodge, Lalibela: excellent. Superb location; cooking class excellent. Fair to say vegetarians are not confused by choice. Sabean Hotel, Axum: Comfort, facilities, location all good. Service and meals average. Meals here were a little poor especially dinner. WOW, What a great holiday. Everything went like clockwork. Henok i the No 1 from the moment we arrived to the second we left at the airport for our flight back home. Nothing was too much trouble. New bottles of water in the bus every day. He arranged for the collection of our luggage from our hotel rooms, and even off the airport carousels. He took care of the tipping as we westerners are hopeless when it comes to this - when and how much. The VIP tickets in Addis for the Timkat festival meant we were literally right in the action. Again Henok was on hand to explain and direct us. Ethiopia is THE place to go....and do it now whilst it is unspoilt by tourists. The people are amazing - we didn't see one private car for 8 days. People walk everywhere. The scenery is fabulous, awe inspiring with thousands of donkeys and mules, goats and sheep. Henok stopped at the roadside for us to photograph alongside a stop to see a young lady making injera, their local tef pancake (acquired taste but lovely). Henok is Number1! . Great holiday - where next?. . . .

Mr and Mrs Stockdale

'The trip was wonderful and it is really a beautiful country. We had a great time and it certainly met and often exceeded our expectations. Eyob, our guide, was fabulous as were the drivers'.

Mr and Mrs Robbins

'Overall holiday satisfaction: excellent. Jupiter Interntional Hotel: god in all respects; service excellet. Panoramic View, Lalibela: excellent service and location; meals, facilitie and comfort: good. Sabean Hotel, Axum: excellent location. Good in terms of comfort, service and meals. Facilities average. Avanti Blue Nile, Bahir Dar: excellent in all respects. Facilities good. Mayleko Lodge, Gondar: Good in all respects. Service excellent. Issues with lack of water due to power cut. Simien Lodge: Excellent service, location and meals. Good facilities. Comfort: good. Like many other Africa countries it is their attention t detal that lets them down. Electrical outlets not fixed to walls properly. The service and the local people were great; very courteous and extremely helpful. That is a massive plus f the country's tourism '.

McAleer family

'Overall holiday satisfaction: Excellent. Bale Mountains Lodge: Excellent comfort, service, location, meals and facilities. Awash Fall Lodge: facilities, service and comfort: average. Location and meals: good. Simien Lodge: comfort, service meals and facilities good. Location exellent. '.

Mr and Mrs Bond

Hanok was the best guide I have ever travelled with! Hanok made this holiday great. He was efficient, knowledgeable and caring. He is passionate about his country, rightly so. No notes or crib sheets, he has a brain overflowing with information!

J Conner

Ethiopia was great thanks. Our local guide Henok was terrifiic. Seeing the Timket festival in Addis and the St George festivies in Lalibela was wonderful; we got so very close to all the action and really experienced it. We were very well looked after and everything ran well. I didn't enjoy all the small plane internal flights but oh well, we got to see more of the country in a short time because of it. I loved all the sights we visited and have learnt a lot. There was an amazing amount of food included, we seemed to be always eating :).

S. Turner

Our tour guide, Henok, was the best we’ve ever had – a very unassuming professional guide who imparted his knowledge of his country in a positive but unbiased way. He was very focused to ensure we had the best experience of Ethiopia possible. A smart, presentable and great guy.

J. McVeigh

Teddy, who was with us throughout the tour, was very helpful in guiding two older people with understanding, patience, charm and a sense of humour. His detailed knowledge of Ethiopian history, buildings and culture was superb and put across expertly. The drivers were safe, considerate and friendly, and the vehicles were clean and well maintained. They, together with the guide, made our holiday an extremely enjoyable experience.

J. Bartlett

The decision to have one guide for the entire holdiay made the trip. He learned what we liked and what we knew and tailored his approach accordingly. Any issues during the trip were dealt with by him, which made travelling so much more relaxing. Also, you can have as much or as little privacy as you like.

G and N Leach

As noted, Eyob made the trip. He is knowledgeable, prompt, efficient, personable and just an absolute pleasure to be with. It is a beautiful country--much more mountainous than I suspected--but the poverty is staggering….. Are we glad we made this trip? Absolutely……. Staff at all the hotels were very nice, especially at the Florida in Gondar. You put together an amazing trip for us....it was seamless--and we thank you. .

P Goldstein & R Kornberg

We had a really super time in Ethiopia. Thank you so much for organizing everything. It really is a truly amazing place and was made even more memorable by the great guide we had. .

Nicole Sangster and family

We really enjoyed the holiday. Even though we liked the drive to Bahir Dar, we got so tired and needed to spend the whole day at the resort. As a result, we didn’t see the Blue Nile, so extra day here would have been good. We really appreciated “all inclusiveness” of the holiday! Initially, we thought the trip was a bit expensive but spent virtually nothing except tips and some souvenirs.

Merrilyn Berry

Service from tour operator: excellent. Overall satisfaction: excellent. All guides were good or even excellent. We enjoyed this trip so much that we are thinking of visiting again. John and Angela Brown, Discover Ethiopia Private 16-day tour, 31 October 2013.

John and Angela Brown

Hi Derek,. I thought I’d drop you a quick note as I got back from Ethiopia this morning and if I don’t write now – I’ll forget as I’m back to work tomorrow…. The trip was great – as you said it would be – Dinknesh were excellent & everything went like clockwork pretty much. Hard to pick highlights as so much of what I saw & learned was completely new to me. . The drivers were all good; Hamad the guide was excellent; the hotels were fine; the food was mostly good – sorry, I don’t like injera! – the internal flights were ok as were the international ones – but all of that was a backdrop to a beautiful country with a fascinating (if complex) history; friendly people; amazing array of birds – if only Aynalem Hailu hadn’t needlessly given away the penalty everything would have been perfect! Thank you again for putting together an amazing holiday. Cheers,. Barnaby.

Barnaby Evans

Ethiopia was amazing and I had a great trip….The country was amazing, and the people even more so!

Anders Schonberg

A poor country so rich in history, culture, fantastic scenery, wildlife and lovely people.

Hilary Way

Just a quick note to thank you for your help in organising this trip for us. All went well, the guides and drivers all turned up on time and were pretty good, food was 500% better than my previous trips, hotels were all good and Kim was amazed by all the sights. Plus we made it up Imet Gogo! Again many thanks!

Mike and Kim Smith

Great holiday – better standards available in Ethiopia than I expected. Felt spoiled and guilty given the levels of poverty but also very privileged to have been able to visit and people are amazing mostly. Organisation of the trip was spot on, everything worked and hotel / itinerary selection was great.

Karen and Peter

It was – particularly for my partner, I think – a more challenging country than Madagascar but also very eye opening. (From his point of view, its religiosity was a bit too much!) All of the accommodation you chose was really excellent – and diverse – and all of the connections etc went well… things went amazingly smoothly everywhere. Best hotel of the trip to our mind: the Jerusalem Hotel in Lalibela – very good food, lovely staff and good accommodation.

W Gryk

What a splendid time I had in Ethiopia! The trip was much better than I had dared hope for, and my expectations were high. The group leader was excellent, and all nine traveling companions were a very agreeable lot. Going to Ethiopia has long been a dream of mine, and I appreciate all you did on your end to make the trip happen for me.

J Presley

(Our travel consultant) was excellent arranging the holiday throughout and re-arranging due to the ash cloud. His knowledge of Ethiopia was excellent when putting together our itinerary. Excellent service from Rainbow and a wonderful holiday overall! Thanks!

M Atkinson

Just to say thanks a million for organising such a brilliant holiday. We had a really great time, and the local company were highly professional.

J Murray

Derek Schuurman

Travel Specialist

I'm here to tailor-make your perfect holiday. Give me a call and I'll use my expertise to create your personalised experience.

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