To help you decide if a Together We Learn tour is right for you we have included some frequently asked questions here. When you book a tour with us we will send a pack of Guide Notes to help you plan your trip including interesting facts about the country. If you have any questions that aren’t answered here, don’t hesitate to contact us.
Who is Together We Learn?
Together We Learn is a UK registered charity that has been supporting education in Ethiopia for over 25 years. We work with our Ethiopian partner charity in the Amhara and Oromia regions of Ethiopia to improve access to quality education for children.
Together We Learn is the merged organisation of The Kindu Trust and Link Ethiopia. We started our tours in 2010 as Link Ethiopia and have 12 years’ experience running tours for international tourists in Ethiopia. We use the income from our tours to fund our projects. We run programmes to improve the quality of teaching and facilities within Ethiopian schools and work with students and their families communities to overcome obstacles to school attendance. You can read more about our projects here.
Why do a tour with Together We Learn?
As a charity operating in Ethiopia, we are dedicated to ethical and responsible tourism that benefits the country. You can be sure that a tour with us is designed to provide maximum benefit to the communities of Ethiopia, while providing you with a unique visit to the country.
Ethiopia is a large and extraordinary country with a wide variety of landscapes, cultures and sights to visit. On a tour with Together We Learn, you get to visit these remarkable places in the company of our staff and get an insight beyond the usual tourist experience by connecting with our projects and the communities we support.
When designing the tours we seek out small, Ethiopian-owned businesses with a focus on social good to maximise the positive impact of tourism. As all tours are non-profit, the money from your tour directly supports our programmes to improve education in the country.
Who are the tours for?
We welcome guests of all ages and backgrounds. Most of our tours are relaxed and don’t require high levels of fitness, you can contact us with any questions about activities.
We encourage guests to have an open mind and a positive approach. Ethiopia is a country with a lot to offer but it is also a developing country with a young tourism industry – a few bumps along the way are part of the fun!
Who are the tour guides?
Tours are led by an Ethiopian guide employed by Together We Learn. Guides have received training and are familiar with the tour route. They are also from the communities our projects serve. They know the country well and are closely connected to our work.
Tours are assisted by a UK guide. This may be a member of staff from the UK office or a volunteer who has long-term experience of our work and Ethiopia.
What’s the accommodation like?
Wherever possible we select independent, Ethiopian-owned hotels to maximise the positive impact of tourism. All hotels have been chosen for their comfort and suitability as the best options available within the budget of the tour. The hotels we use are always clean, comfortable and secure.
Your guide will endeavour to make sure you are as comfortable and happy as possible, but the hotel facilities (including bathrooms) may differ from what you are used to. If you have any questions about facilities, do reach out to us before booking. We are happy to answer any questions.
Double, twin or single rooms are available, all rooms are en-suite.
What can I expect from food and drink?
The food of Ethiopia is one of the great highlights of the country. It is a unique cuisine. Most meals centre around injera, which is a large savoury pancake made with teff grain on which the other foods sits. You rip off portions of injera and use it as a spoon to eat your food by hand.
Traditional Ethiopian food is spiced, but not hot. Meat, fish, vegetarian and vegan options are all easily available. More western-style food is also available and includes pizza, pasta and rice dishes.
All meals with soft drinks are included in the cost of the tours without any restrictions. You are welcome to enjoy alcoholic drinks. Ethiopia has a good selection of beers and a growing wine industry to try. Alcohol is not included in the tour price.
What is the transport like?
Ethiopian Airlines run from London Heathrow to Addis Ababa nightly. The flight lasts just under eight hours. Other airlines are available if you are travelling from a different location. All domestic flights on the tours are with Ethiopian Airlines and most are under an hour. Ethiopian Airlines was voted Best Airline in Africa in 2022, an award it regularly receives, and their international and domestic service is friendly, comfortable and reliable.
For land travel we use well maintained vehicles with friendly local drivers. All land travel is included in the tour price. The main roads in Ethiopia are often newly tarmacked.
What’s the weather like?
Ethiopia is a big country so the climate will vary depending on the regions included in your tour. However, all of our tours take place during the dry seasons in that region so guests can expect warm to very warm pleasant days. Nights tend to be refreshingly cooler, around 14 degrees. There may be occasional showers of rain, but they are unlikely to last for more than a few minutes at a time and should never inhibit our itinerary.
I sponsor a student with you, will there be an opportunity to meet the family?
This will depend on the locations on the tour and where the family live. All our tours include a visit to some of our projects. If a tour location is near to where your sponsored student is based then we will happily invite the family to meet you. Depending on the day, this may mean missing activities, but wherever possible we will arrange the meeting around the tour activities.
What if I want to extend my trip?
You are very welcome to amend your trip dates to arrive earlier or depart later than the tour dates. As long as all guests are in Addis Ababa for the beginning and end of the tour this is no problem.
Some guests like to add a period of volunteering in our Gondar office after the tour, and we would be very happy to arrange this.
What does the tour price include?
Tour costs start from £2,250 and full details are included on each tour page. There is a single supplement of £250 for accommodation. The cost of the tour includes all accommodation, meals, activities, tour and local guides, and overland transport.
What other costs should I consider?
The tour price does not include flights, visas, travel insurance, and any money you wish to bring for casual spending. At the time of writing, February 2023, cost estimates are:
- £750 for an international flight from London to Addis Ababa
- £60 for a domestic flight
- $82 for a 30 day tourist e-visa
We are happy to support guests with their visa applications.
All guests must have their own travel insurance. The name of the insurer and the policy number will be required by Together We Learn prior to departure.
We will send additional information including estimated costs of souvenirs and gifts or alcoholic beverages at the time of booking to help you budget for your trip.
Why aren’t flights included in the tour price?
We do not include flights as part of our trip costs as our guests may fly in from different locations. We will provide flight details to support you to arrange flights and are happy to support you in making your bookings.
Is there any financial protection?
For your financial protection Together We Learn is a member of Trust My Travel.
All guest money is paid into an independently managed Trust Account held in the UK. This means in the unlikely event of our financial failure you will receive a refund for any services you have not received. You can read more about our financial protection here.
Before You Go
Do I need vaccinations before I go?
There are no mandatory immunisations for travellers to Ethiopia however guests should still make an appointment with their local travel clinic to discuss any vaccination recommendations before travel. A yellow fever vaccination is advised and some guests choose to take anti-malarials.
What are the terms and conditions?
You can read our booking conditions in full here.
The currency is the Ethiopian Birr (ETB). The exchange rate fluctuates so it is best to check this before you go. Ethiopian birr cannot be bought or exchanged outside of the country.
Ethiopia is home to 92 languages. The national language is Amharic. English is taught in schools from Grade 1 and is the language of instruction from secondary school, so many people will have at least a basic level of English though many still struggle due to quality and access to education (we’re working on it!). Your Ethiopian tour leader speaks English and Amharic.
The main religions in Ethiopia are Christianity, Islam, Judaism and Paganism depending on the region. Ethiopia is a predominantly Christian country, and the majority of Christians are Orthodox Tewahedo Christians.
How safe is travel in Ethiopia?
Tourism is recognised as an important industry in Ethiopia and the places visited on our tours are frequented by tourists on a regular basis. Some excursions take you to more remote places less often frequented by tourists, but people are mostly welcoming and excited to interact with tourists.
Ethiopia is a large country and there are some pockets, particularly border areas, for which travel advisories are sometimes issued. Our local staff are aware of potential areas of conflict and these areas are not included in our tours. We also monitor the UK government’s advice on travel and never include areas where travel is advised against.
There are hospitals and numerous health clinics across Ethiopia with knowledgeable doctors. All tours include day trips to more remote areas but all the places where we stay overnight on this tour have creditable hospital facilities.