Why I Went There?
Recommended by my friend Phillip, Eritrea was part of our Horn of Africa trip which also included Djibouti and Somaliland. After traveling for two years in more comfortable countries, I was ready to experience the “rawness” of Africa.
Where Did I Go?
I joined a tour group so the itinerary was set up by them. We landed in the capital city of Asmara, where we visited a few churches and cemeteries. We also spent one night in Massawa before returning to Asmara again. From there we made a day trip to Qohaito, before taking a ride on the Asmara Railway train.
My Other Blog Posts on Eritrea
Total Days: 7
Total Expenses: 1,296 USD
Average: 185 USD/day
The total cost of the tour for seven days was 1,119 USD. This included accommodation, all meals (but not beverages), and transportation within the country (but not flights in and out of the country). I paid 70 USD separately for the visa, and I exchanged about 100 USD in local currency, which was enough for water, snacks, and a few beers for all seven days.
How Is It Like to Travel in Eritrea?
We saw no other tourists besides us. There are no backpacking hostels or anything resembling a budget tourist industry. I think most people who go to Eritrea join a tour.
The streets of the cities are usually calm and mellow, unlike the other countries I visited in the region. I felt safe walking around with a DSLR camera on my hand at all times.
You’ll have to be patient when dealing with the service industry which, despite being friendly, is slow and inefficient. Also expect regular power and water outages.
Internet is incredibly slow. Sometimes it would take 5 minutes just to send a text email. Do anything you need to do online before arriving to the country.
There’s decent Italian food to be found in Asmara, but I wasn’t a fan of the more local dishes.
In the end, and despite some frustrations with my tour group, I enjoyed the sights of Eritrea and the interactions with the locals, who were very friendly and curious. It’s a very unique country with its blend of local and Italian culture.