Travel & Tourism Awards 2020

Page 60 LUX Travel and Tourism Awards 2020 Ethiopia has a wealth of enticing sites that make it unique even in the diverse continent of Africa. The rock-hewn churches of Lalibela, built in the twelfth century and designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site, are familiarly known as the Eighth Wonder of the World. The castles of Gondar, built by a succession of emperors, are so striking they’re referred to as the Camelot of Africa. The monasteries of Lake Tana, on the islands and peninsulas of the lake, are vividly painted with Biblical stories. The stelae of Axum and the Queen of Sheba’s palace are ancient sites dating back to the expansive Axumite Empire. The astonishing cliffs of Tigrey have churches cut into their peaks; scaling the cliffs is exhilarating and the views from the peaks are spellbinding. Bale Mountains, Simien Mountains and Awash National Park all provide stimulating trekking and are home to rare species of birds and mammals. The Danakil Depression is a moonscape like nowhere else, with fluorescent bubbling sulphur, gleaming salt lakes and temperatures that can hit 50 degrees, while the live volcano Erta Ale, climbed at night, spurts a spectacular fountain of crimson lava. Exclusive Ethiopia was born from a fortuitous meeting between international travel specialist Tamara Britten and Ethiopian expert Mulugeta Ababu. Combining their expertise, Tamara and Mulie created a company offering the finest customer experience. Their company is grounded in research and they have visited every destination, site and hotel they offer. They discuss their specific wishes with every client and put together carefully crafted itineraries for each individual booking. Whether their client wants the budget or the boutique, whether their interests lie in historical sites or national parks, whether they enjoy relaxing on a boat or climbing up a cliff, Exclusive Ethiopia designs the holiday that suits them. Exclusive Ethiopia Best Bespoke Ethiopian Holiday Company 2020 Having worked around the world in places as far afield as Thailand, Hong Kong and Namibia, Tamara has a wealth of experience of the international tourism industry. She researched and wrote Karibu Kenya Accommodation Guide, a guidebook to Kenya endorsed by the Kenya Tourist Board, the Kenya Tourism Federation and the Kenya Professional Safari Guide Association. She currently writes for a number of local and international publications and specialises in features about Kenya and Ethiopia. Tamara established the Karibu Kenya bookings platform, offering tailormade holidays in Kenya then, with Mulie, established Exclusive Ethiopia. Mulugeta Ababu was born in Lalibela and studied at Lion Ethiopia in Addis, Ethiopia’s premier higher education institute in the field of Tourism and Hotel Management. He graduated with two diplomas, one in Ethiopian History and the other in Tour Guiding and Tour Operation. Prior to that he was a deacon in the Ethiopian Orthodox Church for ten years, making him an authority not only on the religion’s traditions, customs and beliefs, but on the many religious sites around the country. With likeminded tourism professionals, Mulie established the Addis Ababa Tour Guides Association with the aim of protecting the tourism industry and guaranteeing the professionalism of tour guides; he was the association’s first chairman and remains on the board to this day. Mulie’s immense knowledge, love for his country and quirky humour benefit all who travel with him.