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After living and working in Ethiopia, we noticed a huge difference between our experience and the "tourist experience." Everything from where tourists hung out (they never left the hotel) to their interactions with locals (hustlers would pose as "guides" while ripping them off) to their idea of helping (handing out money) was uniquely a "tourist experience" and not the reality of the country, people, or culture. From this disparity came the idea of M20393 – to connect travellers to real culture. We believe that this way of travelling has a much greater benefit to both the travellers and the locals.
Questions and Answers
An Ethiopia travel company specializing in tours and treks of the Northern Historic Route and Simien Mountains including Lalibela, Gondar, Axum and Bahir Dar.

1. How long has the business been operating and how did it start?

We began booking tours in December of 2010 after our founder spent two years working on development projects in Ethiopia including helping orphans start new businesses and advising HIV positive women on how to market their artwork - see our website for more details on the projects.

2. What is your company's mission?

To connect travelers to culture in the most amazing places in the world.

3. What does your company specialize in?

We specialize in trekking in the Simien Mountains and cultural tours of Lalibela, Gondar, Axum, and Bahir Dar.

4. Who is the founder or owner of the company and briefly describe his/her past activities?

David lived in Ethiopia for two years as a social entrepreneur. He has assisted local orphans in starting an internet cafe, helped women living with HIV start a handicraft business, and started a restuarant and souvenir shop with commercial sex workers. David has traveled extensively throughout Ethiopia including climbing Ras Dashen twice. Currently residing in Montana, David loves adventure and new experiences - which he says go hand in hand.

5. What is your most popular travel package and why?

Our most popular package is the 6 day Simien Mountains trek to Ras Dashen, however we mainly book tailormade tours that include trekking and cultural experiences in Lalibela, Gondar, and Axum.

6. What is the best compliment you received from a client?

"M20393 helped me have a great time on my trip to Ras Dashen. They were not only courteous and professional, but they treated me like family. I highly recommend them."

Reviews and Comments
Rating By Subject

 1  Kevin & Krissie Sensenig Lalibela, Bahir Dar, Blue Nile Tour
Dear David,
We had a very memorable experience in Ethiopia! We spent several days with our daughter and also attended a court hearing in relation to the adoption. As soon as we receive our approval, the adoption will be final and we can start making plans to go back to Ethiopia. We are really glad we had the ... view more privelege of seeing our daughter's country up close. We treasure the interaction we had with these beautiful, friendly people. The tour guides were most polite and helpful. We really enjoyed our hike back to the falls, even though there wasn't much water going over it. It was still a beautiful hike and we could at least imagine how it used to look before the hydroelectric dam was built. Our american stomachs had some trouble with the spicy ethiopian food!:) The fish from the lake was really good, though! Thank-you for helping to make this trip possible!"
Kevin and Kristalyn

 2  Andy Nuss Highlands to Lowlands Trek 7 Days
Was much tougher than we thought it would be. A tough one but a great experience.
And the hotel at the end was a superb ending!
Very well organized and it all went according to plan. I think I put on weight! The girls did really well (without a shower for a week).
Andy Nuss

 3  Julie Dowman Addis, Bahir Dar, Gondar, Simien Tour
"Just wanted to say thank you so much for the organization which went behind my recent trip. It was as you had said an amazing experience. I would also like to state that Shif was fantastic and so accommodating. My guide in Addis was equally as good/
knowledgeable and helpful. I also spent some time in ... view more Debark at the Café you set up, learning to cook injera – the ladies there are a real credit."
Kind Regards
Julie Dowman

 4  Lars Holme Ras Dashen Trip
General: Very good trip, good value for our money. I see that you have raised your prices after our trip, hope you got some contribution from our trip anyway. We were an experienced group with experiences from Himalaya, Andes, Kilimanjaro, Rwenzori, Elbrus etc, but the quality of the expedition to the Simiens tops ... view more it all! All of us were really satisfied.

Service: Excellent service from cooks, mule drivers, guide and scout. Equipment: Very good tents and madrases. Food: Excellent food from Mr Nine and other cooks, even vine with some meals, surprising! Camps: Very good camp sites, except from Ambiko. This camp is too close to the village, noisy dogs and drums kept some of us awake for 2 nights.

The route: Nice walk, but for us it seems a little bit strange to walk more or less on a trail besides a road, and some parts of the route on the road. For the extreme peakbaggers I guess that Ras Dashen could be done in 1 day from Debark with a good 4x4 vehicle. Not more than 2 hours up and down from the road close to summit. I think this is the most negative thing regarding the hike. I complain about this, but I understand that it is not much you can do about it. I knew that there was a road up to Chennek and further south, but the road up to Ras Dashen was a disappointment. Maybe I will try to set up another group of people for the Simiens and other destinations in Ethiopia next winter, time will show! Thank you very much for all good communication regarding the trip."
Best regards
Lars Holme

 5  Jaime Vinals 6 Days Ras Dashen Trek
"My experience hiking to the top of Ras Dashen was very special, with very good guiding from Dajen, good cooking and everybody was friendly all the time. Together with the beautiful scenery around the Simien Mountains, the culture, animals, etc. I would like to do it again in a future. Thank you for your help ... view more organizing everything for me which become as successful trip. I recommend you strongly to keep doing it."

Kind Regards,
Jaime Vinals

 6  Sarah Kurian 6 Days Ras Dashen Trek
Loved, Loved, Loved the trip. Never dreamed that Ethiopia was so beautiful, haunting and judging by the faces my friends pulled when I told them I was going there, nobody else did either. Bloody hard work though. Didn't realize how long the days were going to be esp the last 13 hr day. (Observation, not ... view more criticism). Very well organized, great country, fabulous food esp ..is it Ingera?
Abeya the guide: what a font of information, perfect English, looked after me very well.
Aboy, the cook: tasty food, clean, didn't get tummy upset. Ranger: dedicated to his job, didn't put his gun down even to eat. At no time did I feel in any danger of any sort.
Mule men: appeared to treat their animals well. It is important for tourists to see that the animals are not mistreated. Cannot recommend your company highly enough and I have already given your name to a colleague.
Many thanks for a memorable holiday.
Sarah Kurian
London, England

 7  MJ Kim Treated like family
This tour operator helped me have a great time on my trip to Ras Dashen. They were not only
courteous and professional, but they treated me like family. I highly recommend them.

 8  David Manning An experience that other larger companies could not match
I have just got back from 10 fantastic days trekking and experiencing Ethiopia through this tour operator. They were able to offer me an experience that other larger companies could not match. The unique opportunity to stay with a truly Ethiopian family was wonderful.

For me Ethiopia was a great ... view more destination and I would absolutely recommend them as a great tour operator. If you require any further information or details feel free to contact me. Thanks and I hope your experience of Ethiopia is as fantastic as mine was.

David Manning