Sleeping at local families in their mountain cottages is what makes this experience truly authentic and off the beaten track. It all sounds extremely cosy and pleasant, but it doesn’t come without a small challenge. Not only can it difficult to communicate with the hosts, but the differences in culture are as great as day and night. During your visit to these homestays, you seem to have stepped into a time machine to end up in the Middle Ages. So don’t expect luxury like a hot shower – or a shower at all – or a breakfast buffet with instant coffee. At these homestays, you will have a true African experience but wow, we can guarantee you will love every minute of it!
Is this just a little too adventurous? Hakuna Matata, you can also spend the night in one of the eco-lodges in the area. These are also run by locals, but with a private room, shared bathroom, no clucking chickens that might be poking your head, and an amazing view of the mountains when you rub the sleep out of your eyes in the morning. When you arrive after your walk you will receive a lovely warm foot bath including foot massage (this is common in the culture), after which you will be pampered with a homemade dinner and cosy stories around a crackling campfire. Because remember: it is freezing in the mountains at night. In the jokes and words that are exchanged, the mutual admiration for the enormous cultural differences shatters instantly. Our Head of Sales Anna, after several glasses of Ethiopian wine, roared the national anthem for the people who ran the lodge. You will never forget something like that!
But you will not only meet special people during your stay in the homestays or the eco-lodge. During your hike, you constantly bump into friendly locals. The children secretly run – at least they think so – along with you and the shepherds will curiously study you from behind your herd of cattle. When a festive event takes place, such as a coffee ceremony, a slaughter of an animal or another family gathering, you can count on clapping, singing or dancing among the villagers. You cannot easily get out of a friendly invitation: something you should not want, of course, because this is how you experience pure Ethiopia. the Ethiopia that you will soon try to describe nostalgically at home at the kitchen table over a plate of takeaway food from the Ethiopian around the corner.