Derek Schuurman
Derek Schuurman Product Manager Madagascar and Alternative Africa
"Ethiopia offers a very different wildlife experience: it is home to some of the world's rarest and most endangered mammals such as the Ethiopian wolf, Walia ibex and Swayne's hartebeest, all of which number only some 500 individuals. Other endemic mammals include the unmistakeable Gelada monkey and localized Bale monkey."

Lalibela Reviews

'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
March 22, 2017

'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
March 21, 2017

'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
March 7, 2017

'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
March 16, 2016

'Really appreciated having an excellent, single guide with us throughout. We had not experienced this before and thought it worked very well. 

Overall holiday satisfaction: Excellent. 

Gardens of Abyaminch Lodge were excellent. Choices for evening meals seemed better when more guests were staying.

Simien Lodge is a great hotel in a fantastic location - would have stayed an extra night. 

Mayleko Lodge (Gondar): excellent room - the best all holiday. 

Sabean Hotel: excellent comfort, good in all other respects. Better than we had been led to expect! 

Bishangari Lodge: excellent in all respects. Very well run hotel in fantastic location. Food was particularly good. 

Bale Mountains Lodge: comfort excellent. Overvall this lodge was a disappointing experience as our expectations had been raised quite high for it. Service: the local people on the staff were very helpful. Schemes in place for the local community seemed well thought out and are an excellent initiative.

The holiday was really good and as you will know a fantastic combination of history, culture and wildlife that would be tricky to reproduce in such a short period in most other countries' 

 

Mr and Mrs Smith
February 26, 2016

'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
February 8, 2016

'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
February 4, 2016

'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
January 27, 2016

'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
January 25, 2016

'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
January 25, 2016

'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
January 13, 2016

'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
December 15, 2015

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
October 31, 2013
Calling from one of the countries below?
If so use the toll-free number listed.
USA611 3001 4894
Australia184 4332 5169
New Zealand184 4332 5137