You know... how to tell you... Shashamane NEEDS the attention of Rastafari worldwide because this is the landgrant, and that is why I n I need good people down there to tidy up that place. But this is an old topic, all those who are interested to know an Ifficial statement, the I them should read the Hon Ras Nathaniel's eye-report of a few years ago. But you know it is getting better slowly, as I hear. Because you have new people from around the world who do not carry this jamaica-vibe with them.... there is a reason WHY Shashamany is internationally known as "lil Jamaica" or even "lil Trenchtown". If I go to ITHIOPIA I would not want to end up in lil JAMAICA. Get what I'm saing? This whole pseudo-Rasta Jamaica bizness is keeping down I n I Internationally. And so it is in Ithiopia too.
Why do you think has Shashe one of the highest crime rates in ithiopia? Didn't know that? Oh it's no paradise, don't expect that.
And why do you think do we read again and again of Rasta being victims of local crime? Just a few weeks ago there was an Executive of the EWF attacked with a machete.
It's because Ithiopia is still poor and in some places desperate... and some newcomers do not seem to b very sensible to that. A brethren once called Shashe "a type of Rasta-Disneyworld". And that isn't very farfetched, you know. Just hear around internationally... if there is one place Rastas abroad know it IS Shashamane... and it is this ONE place all ah them wanna go. The guys down there know for a long time how to use this financially. I could tell you some stories about what has happened to donations of Rastas from abroad in the various houses.
So you see, it isn't difficult to find some good "options" to Shashamane. Of course you will get started in Addis, for this is where the international airport is. I would suggest to keep in town and check the things right there first of all. You know there is MUCH to see... the palace, churches, entoto.... HISTORY. You should spend days to accomodate to the life there.
And then I would suggest to go NORTH. This is where the "better" climate is in the highlands, and I n I Incient Israelite-Christian culture and history.
There are two routes into the northern plateau.... let's call it the western and the eastern one. Most visitors go up the western one and take the socalled "historical circuit" and go down to Addis back on the eastern route.
If you look for a beautiful town to stay I would recommend Bahir Dar at Lake Tana. With about 160.000 people it has both sides... calm relaxing lake places and very busy ones too. I heard the best way to discover this beautiful town and surrounding with rented bikes... so you can go and visit one of HIMs palaces nearby.
It is said that HIM wanted to take his Government to Bahir Dar because of the beautiful scenary.
But one negative aspect is, that there is a higher risk of malaria because of the lake waters, while the north plateau usualy is considered malaria-free.
But as I said... I recommend GOOD backpacker's guides for individual travel... there you have ALL the informations you need....