The researcher's guide to Ethiopia: What travel guides don't tell you

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1 Citation (Scopus)


Being an academic in a Third-World country is fraught with challenges that test the endurance of even the most travel-hardy researchers. From negotiating passport bureaucracy to navigating one's way through hordes of religious pilgrims at Easter, amidst livestock and cattle, travelling in Ethiopia certainly requires astute negotiating skills and a healthy dose of caution. It does have remarkable attributes that make the trip worthwhile, though, as the rustic, old-world charm and sheer magnitude of 11 th-century churches, intricately hand-painted and engraved with scenes from biblical narratives, are awe-inspiring. However, the old-world charm is in tandem with old-world technology, like pen and paper bureaucracy systems that take eons to be processed. This narrative extrapolates on wide-spread unhygienic food preparation practices, the surcharging of white foreigners (locally known as ferengies) due to their perceived wealth, and Ethiopia's inability to participate in international economic competition due to its digital divide. This wry account of the idiosyncrasies of travelling in Ethiopia offers an honest and unflinching perspective rarely seen in academic writing.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)237-253
Number of pages17
JournalCritical Arts
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Ethiopia
  • Third-World travel
  • cultural tourism
  • digital divide
  • international economic competition

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • Communication
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)


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