If you want to visit Ethiopia – and you should visit because it is an extraordinary country with a long, rich history – you cannot do better than to go with Yumo Tours and Dawood Nazerali as your guide. I had the pleasure of touring Ethiopia with Dawood. He is likely the best guide in the world, and I can say that with confidence because I have traveled widely for many years, including trips to some of the planet’s more primitive places. Dawood’s knowledge of Ethiopia’s history is extensive, as is his knowledge of the current worldwide situation. This combination makes him extremely valuable to persons really interested in learning about the country they are visiting. Dawood made sure we saw everything there was to see. Who else but Dawood could produce not just one elusive Gelada baboon, but an entire herd? How about a flight of lammergeyers – the bearded vultures? We saw those several times. We saw the most extraordinary flock of flamingos on a drive back from Lake Awassa. In Axum, we saw Ethiopian runners practicing for future Olympics and international marathons. I am sure Dawood organized the practice runs just so we could see them. And who else could manage to seat us in the best place to see the fabulous Meskel festival in Gondar, and then get us away just as a torrential rain began? He was a genius at managing ever-changing flight schedules, working on his cell phone to check and often, to switch flights. We always made our flights. and we saw other tour groups missing visits to cities because their tour managers were not able to work miracles as Dawood did. Dawood introduced us to Ethiopian cuisine and Ethiopian beer. He took us to the best shops with the most interesting merchandise. In all respects he was truly marvelous! We loved Dawood’s sense of humor, and I am certain that we tested his patience on many occasions. But Dawood was more than just our guide: we became friends. And it certainly says something about Dawood when I can state that after several years and thousands of miles apart, we are still friends, e-mailing back and forth and exchanging gifts. We are still hoping to return to Ethiopia, with Dawood waiting at the airport in Addis to meet us!
Judith P. Geduldig Harrisburg, Pennsylvania USA