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Cycling Through Ethiopia

Hello Muluken
My wife and I will be cycling from Cairo to Cape Town starting mid-November and we had initially intended to fly over Ethiopia due to the reports we had read about the troubles in the country. However, we have now decided it would be best to ask an expert in Ethiopia whether it is safe to cycle through instead of relying on sensationist reporting by the press.
Apart from the mountainous terrain, a concern for Colleen is the reported (by fellow cycle tourists) stone throwing by kids along the way and was wondering if this is a common occurrence or isolated? Also, do the night time temperatures between February and April go into single figures? We are trying to limit the amount we carry but at the same time don't want to risk suffering unnecessarily from the cold.
We expect to arrive at the Sudan/Ethiopia border sometime between mid-January to mid-February, depending on how we are enjoying the journey through Egypt and Sudan, and plan to be cycling around for between 6 and 8 weeks.
Our intended route will be via Metemba border, Gondar, Bahir Dar, Debre Markos, Addis, Shashemene, Dilla and crossing into Kenya at the Moyale border post. This seems to be the most direct route and have tried to keep away from the really severe climbs and descents.
We look forward to hearing from you and feel free to make suggestions as we need all the assistance we can get.
All the best
Peter and Colleen McNulty


  • edited September 2017
    I do not think newspapers are being sensationalist.
    Ethiopia is dangerous. The British Foreign and Commonwealth Office advises against all travel between the Sudan and Ethiopian border.
  • @PeterMcNulty - I would be more worried about being held up and either robbed of everything or being held for ransom (yes the do this to foreigners)!! You should also be very mindful of problems in Sudan. I live on the continent of Africa and can advise that the media is not being sensationalist.
  • @TravelEthiopia (Muluken), what do you think? Can you give @PeterMcNulty any advice from your knowledge of Ethiopia?
    Check out our full, up to date travel guides on the Word Travels website.
  • It's very sad if this is the case- I have a good friend who did the London to Cape Town trip (albeit in a car) with her husband around ten years ago, they took a couple of years doing it, and of all the countries her two favourite were Jordan and Ethiopia, which both had incredibly welcoming locals...
    Visit for destination advice
  • Dear Peter and Colleen McNulty,

    Thank you for asking!

    Generally, it is safe to cycle through Ethiopia. But, as certain areas between Metema and Gondar were labeled as Red Zone (before the State of Emergency were lifted) where movements in the evening after 8:PM were not allowed.

    My best advice is you fly to Gondar and cycle south to Moyale.

    Regarding Kids throwing rocks at cyclists I can say it not a serious threat. Though I don't dare to say it doesn't happen totally. I have heard of few such cases before. Fee kids throw rocks at cars also. I advise if you suspect (if you see them from afar for example) such incidents, you may wave for greetings or call by sign language to come to you - just to distract them.

    November has the coldest nights at the highlands of Ethiopia. But, it doesn't drop down more than 8 degree Celsius.

    Wishing you all the best.

    Muluken Girma
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