An awesome experience! What an architectural feat considering the limited tools available. Make... read more
Hi Becky I went with two friends, we booked with Vast Ethiopia Tours, flew in to Lalibela from Addis Ababa, and had a private vehicle with tour guide provided, collected from airport. All very easy. So that answers Qs 1... More
Hi Becky I went with two friends, we booked with Vast Ethiopia Tours, flew in to Lalibela from Addis Ababa, and had a private vehicle with tour guide provided, collected from airport. All very easy. So that answers Qs 1 & 2. We stayed at Mountain View Hotel, best place in town and one of only two or maybe three places that I would rate as of decent Western standard (I am an African and rough it often when needs be, but a clean bed, etc etc are rather important). Lalibela could be compated to a place like Kathmandu or Zanzibar: you can have a decent, clean experience, but you could also end up in a $#!^ hole if you tried to go the budget route (unless you lke it rough and local). Did not try any other facilities than at hotel, and ate at the fabulous Ben Abeba restaurant (Run by crazy Scottish lady). We did not need or use tourist info, as we had a private guide. I would say one of the safest places I have ever been, anywhere in the world. Roads are ok, one paved and the rest dirt, but good enough. Sinage, does not really apply in Third World places like this. Pretty non existant. 2. Leisure, holiday. 3. I am a travel journo working mainly in Africa, so I know. 4. Lalibela is fantastic, beyond expectations. 5. Very likely. 6. The entrance fees go to pay the priesthood, not restore the churches or do good works in the town, so it is a complete rip-off. But you do not argue with the church guards and their AK47s. 7. Generally very satisfied, given when you realise where you are. It is 100 % authentic, it is a rare place and experience. You cannot make comparisons with Disney Land or Paris. Ethiopia is a rare and precious thing, a place that links direclty with the ancient past. Understand it for what it is, and you will love the place. Look for package tour convenience, maybe you will not. 8. Those UNESCO roofs, while serving a necessary function, are real Euro trash aesthetically.