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4.6 out of 5 stars54
4.6 out of 5 stars
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on 26 September 2012
I have been living in Ethiopia for nearly a year, so I invested in all the guidebooks available for the country and the region.

Lonely Planet is the best if you want to save yourself the hassle of deciding what to do, as they make very clear their favourite cafe, hotel, and attraction for each given location, so you only need a cursory look at the book before making your arrangements and bookings - you are spared the decision process.

However Bradt is the one if you want to find broader information, about intimate details of a place, the quirky little cafe on a backstreet, where the little track out of the west of a village leads and how you can navigate it, and a genuine attempt to bridge the cultural divide on issues like tipping or overcharging, and an excellent guide on the controversies and ambiguities of Ethiopian history. You have to invest more time reading but you will have a better grasp of the country and you will meet a broader cross-section of the Ethiopian people than those drawn to the tourist hot-spots.
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on 18 January 2015
I've been using Lonely Planet guides for years, however, when preparing for the trip to Ethiopia, I read on some travel forums that Bradt guide is much better. And because it was our first trip to Africa and I really wanted to have the best book available with the most information, I bought both.

I can now say that Lonely Planet's guide to Ethiopia is good and Bradt's isn't really any better. Of course there are parts that could be improved but I would say the same about both books - funnily, what one book was missing, the other one had and the other way around.

But overall, if you're used to Lonely Planet/Rough Guide structure and you feel comfortable using their guides, go with this one. Bradt's guidebook is simply much more descriptive which I personally found a bit confusing. If that's your thing, get a Bradt's.

And just for clarity which part of the guide book I'm referring to, we travelled (on our own) to Addis, Danakil Depression (a 4-day trip with a local travel agency), Lalibela, Gondar and Simien Mountains.
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on 10 December 2012
Well written, sensitive to local cultural differences. By far the best travel guide on Ethiopia. Lonely Planet can learn something from this guide.
For reviews of hotels and lodges it would be advisable to consult Tripadvisor, but they have only reviews of major places.
The Bradt guide could be more critical sometimes. If there is no swimming pool or proper kitchen, do not say that it will come.
Switch from Birr to USD prices seems to give much higher prices for hotels, guides, etc
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on 15 September 2006
I've never come across such a brilliant guidebook as this for any country I've been to. Not only is it highly informative, dependable and up to date, as you would expect, but it is also very readable. Mr Briggs' writing style demonstrates a real affection for the country which you will hopefully share by the end of your stay. We certainly did.
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on 15 December 2014
This is all a guidebook should be. It gives accurate reviews of hotels, restaurants and sights. The background on Ethiopian history and culture is comprehensive and interesting. Interesting articles intersperse the relevant sections of the guide ranging from ticket scams through donkey welfare to how weaver birds build their nests. There is an excellent practical section on Amharic and other languages, and an excellent reading list. But what really set this guidebook apart from others is its willingness to be controversial - if a well-known sight or location is boring or shabby, this book will tell you. I also bought a couple of the other guides to Ethiopia but this one beat them hands down.
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on 7 May 2003
I was fortunate enough to spend a month in Ethiopia, 25 days with an organised overland tour and a week on my own. The Bradt guide was an excellent source of historical/background information throughout that time, in addition to providing accurate reviews of accommodation and places to eat. I am not an experienced traveller and can understand anyone's hesitation in considering a visit to Ethiopia. To many people the very mention of the name conjurs up images of poverty and famine. However, this book does make it a much less daunting prospect. Ethiopia has been referred to as "The Hidden Kingdom" and is a country with deserves to have a guide book dedicated to it, rather than as part of a general overview of East Africa. I consider the Bradt the pick of the bunch when compared to the other major travel guides and recommend it without hesitation.
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on 14 February 2013
I used this book last year as I went to Ethiopia to start a documentary. The book was invaluable! I've spent years travelling and have used lonely planet, rough guide, foot print and moon, none of them come close to the information, and practical usefulness of this particular book. The author clearly knows and loves Ethiopia and the research he's done comes across... and it makes your trip much more enjoyable and fulfilling. If you like "outside of the box" travel, buy this book. If you only want one long tour, buy the others.
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on 15 May 2009
I recently spent 3months living and teaching in Ethiopia so have a good idea of the way most things work and where things are. this guide was spot-on accurate everytime whether it be from directions to opening times to hotel prices. As a traveller, the ability to *accurately* plan ahead is crucial to managing time and finances and this guide certainly enabled me to do this. I know if i go back i certaily won't be leaving without it.
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on 14 November 2012
I opted to purchase this travel guide after comparing the customer reviews for this and other guide books at Amazon. The guide was really informative about most of the places I visited in Ethiopia, although some of the smaller villages/camps were not mentioned. I would have liked to see some photographs of the wildlife, birds and flora endemic to the region, however that is a small 'niggle' about what is essentially an useful guide book to the region.
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on 13 May 2009
Put simply, this travel guide contains all you need to know about travel around Ethiopia, the African continents hidden jewel.

This is the most comprehensive, thorough and reliable guide you will find. I used it and its previous edition on a 6 month stay and it never failed me.
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