There are many reasons travelers visit Ethiopia, but most want to experience a part of Africa that is incredibly rich in ancient history and culture, whether it be visiting stone-carved buildings or meeting people that continue to pass down their particular way of living, from generation to generation. The landscape is natural, and striking, with little development beyond the cities. Even in towns like Lalibela, everything is rugged, basic and modest. But coming here takes one to a place of purity and authenticity. We’ve done the scouting and have found these top Airbnbs in Ethiopia to enhance your travel experience.
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Traditional stone huts with thatch roofs sit on a plateau of Abune Yosef, reached by a long hike from Lalibela. Vast views span for miles from the remote location, where guests will experience ancient farming life of the Ethiopian highlands. Everything here is authentic, down to the tools used in all practiced, which are simply made from materials such as stone. You won’t find electricity here. The host describes an immersive stay, putting travelers in touch with the land, and the photos most definitely portray this destination to be naturally scenic.
Similar to the mountain huts of our first pick, this Airbnb location also awaits amongst a breathtaking mountain getaway, which is close enough to Lalibela for convenience, but far enough away to delve into the raw culture. From here you can see the stars vibrantly, and sunrises and sunsets cast a golden hue on the rocks and greenery. See how the people of this region live, and appreciate the simplicity of life within such a lovely natural setting.
Displaying the simplicity of Ethiopian city lodging is this precious family-run hotel in Lalibela. No, it’s not fancy, but it’s warm, welcoming and full of boutique charm. An on-site cafe prepares authentic meals for guests to enjoy without having to venture out if it’s been a long day, and the folks here will treat guests like old friends. The view from the balcony extends over the area surroundings and is the perfect mix of viewing both the city and nature. Keep in mind, amenities in Ethiopia are quite modest, and this hotel only has running water-specific times of the day.
Babogaya Lake is the focal point of this nature oriented bed and breakfast near Addis Ababa—it’s only one hour from the airport. Various types of rooms are available, more notably the ones that extend into the sky on stilts, wowing with views of the lake and foliage below. Guests may never want to leave the aqua lake as they can swim, or kayak the large body of water. Many animals linger throughout the grounds, and a large variety of birds can be spotted, especially on a guided tour. Begin and end your day with the traditional food offerings.
This private room is highly rated by past travelers, largely because of the home-like accommodations at a budget-friendly price, and the hosts treat every guest like they are family. Addis is below the high set home, meaning the views of the city are the best around—there literally may not be a better glimpse in the vicinity than from the balcony of this abode. Rooms have private bathrooms, and everything feels cozy and clean. To be in an area with all the best shopping and dining options, it’s a steal.
Penthouses typically have great views, and this one is no exception, with wonderful, picture-perfect pieces of Addis being in full view. The accommodations themselves are fairly luxe and somewhat of an unusual find in Ethiopia. Newly constructed in 2019, the place is downright swanky while still being affordable. Relax in the rain shower, keep things convenient with lots of techy gadgets and spend your evenings on a polished terrace that will make you swoon.
And we have another Addis located option—refined apartments which are new and contemporary like our penthouse pick. Located near transportation, the complex could not be more conveniently situated. All of the comforts from home are available to guests, from kitchen supplies to spacious bathrooms. But we think our favorite thing would probably be soaking in the city from the balcony with glass enclosures, for maximum viewing angles. Enjoy a dinner made in your private kitchen out here, or just cozy up and enjoy.