This is an account of an overland
journey from Khartoum in Sudan to Gonder in Ethiopia, made in 2004.
LPAOAS = Lonely Planet Africa on a Shoestring (edition likely to be circa 2003)
Fotopic links not working, as of 2015.
In Khartoum I met someone who was from Gedaref. We travelled to
Gedaref together (and I stayed at his house there).
I met him in the Khartoum bus station (Suq as-Shabi) early one morning
(before 5:30am). We took a normal bus. I don't remember the
price, but the LPAOAS (p.88) prices seem
to be a good indicator. I guess it cost less than $15, perhaps
I don't remember the journey's duration, but we definitely arrived some
time before, say, 3pm. The bus dropped us at an out-of town bus
station. The only building I remember there had the some police
in, and I had to show my passport. I don't think I needed a
travel permit (as described on LPAOAS p.93), but things change
so much you should probably check with the tourist office in Khartoum.
There should be shared truck-taxis from the bus station to Gedaref town
centre, where there is a hotel that - I was told - backpackers normally
stay in. There is also a more upmarket hotel around
somewhere. I don't think anything is very well signed though.
A few days later, from somewhere in the town centre, my friend took me
on a shared truck-taxi to another out-of-town bus station; probably the
main one. Not the one I arrived at from Khartoum.
This was about 8/9/10am. There was a pickup truck for
Gallabat. The front seats were all taken, so I had to pay for a
standing space in the back:
(first 7 pictures)
I don't remember the price but LPAOAS p.678 says SDD1500 for the reverse
journey; that's probably about right. Maybe I paid only 1200.
I think LPAOAS p.84 should say "some pick-ups do run between Gedaref and
Gallabat" (not Gonder). 5 hours sounds about right.
I crossed to Ethiopia straight away. The village on the Ethiopian
side is called Metema. The hotels are not signed, but are just a
few minutes walk up the road. The one I stayed at wanted to
charge 20 Birr. I paid 15. The correct price was 12.
(Welcome to Ethiopia!)
I left it too late that day to buy my bus ticket in advance. So I
just got up extra early the next morning and it wasn't a problem.
In fact I think there were two buses. One thing I was never
overcharged for in Ethiopia was bus tickets. I think it was about
50 Birr to Gonder. Left before dawn, arrived mid-afternoon.
In Gonder I stayed at the Yalew Ayker hotel. 20 Birr (maybe less)
for a room with a balcony on the main road, looking in one direction to
the castle and the other to the 'Piazza':