Transportation was the most frustrating part in the Ethiopia experience. These series of posts aims to help with this aspect.
There are direct buses from Mekele to Aksum, but they are slow and infrequent. A much better option is to first to take a minibus to Adigrat and there change to a minibus going to Shire. So
- First take a tuk-tuk to the new bus station (we paid 50 birr from the ETT office).
- Ask about a mini-bus to Adigrat (45 birr). For some reason locals pointed to a slow local bus, but keep insisting on taking a mini-bus. The journey to Adigrat takes approximately two hours.
- In Adigrat take a mini-bus to Shire and get off in Aksum. The journey takes about two hours and half.
Important note: while the ticket price is fixed, you will end up paying extra for your baggage. This is a common practice that concerns both locals and faranji, though the latter has to pay way more. On different prices we paid from 0 to 1.5 times the ticket price itself. Bargaining helps to some degree, but in many cases you are faced with the choice of either paying the fee or getting off the bus. Also try to avoid middlemen and pay directly to the ticket man or a bus station hustler.
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