Habtu Tekeba
Founder and Owner

Since childhood, Habtu has walked hand in hand with tourists and tourism in Ethiopia. His hometown of Lalibela is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and boasts Ethiopia’s number one tourist site. He remembers playing in those “mystical” rock-hewn churches and spending the day with visitors learning their language and customs. Today, under the banner of VAST Ethiopia Tours, he takes tour groups back to his hometown.

Habtu graduated with a degree in Tourism and Hospitality in 2007 and has devoted himself to VAST Ethiopia Tours. Habtu not only specializes in Lalibela, but has traveled far and wide and wants to take travelers to every corner of Ethiopia. You can rely on Habtu’s expertise, both practical and honest, to make the perfect travel arrangements.

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Chris Kurtz

Chris is a long time resident of Ethiopia and an avid traveler who has been all over the country. Early on, he was a key investor in Vast Ethiopia Tours. Chris speaks Amharic and left the country of his youth in 1977 while still in high school. He became a teacher and came back to Ethiopia where he taught English for two years. He and his sister are also accomplished authors of children’s books and work hard to establish libraries for children in Ethiopia under the program Ethiopia Reads.

Habtu first partnered with Chris organizing his tours, and what began as a tourist-tour guide relationship glided naturally into a business partnership and Vast Ethiopia Tours. Chris and Habtu hope to treat many more visitors to the possibilities of travel through Ethiopia.

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Rik Stulens
Group Leader

Rik is a veteran tour leader who first made his mark in European tourism and since has been all over the world with all types of groups.  He made his first trip to Ethiopia in 2012, where he fell in love both Ethiopia and VAST and has been back several times leading groups. He represents and promotes VAST in Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany. He says it’s not always easy to convince visitors to give Ethiopia a chance, but admits that those who visit once, more than likely visit twice!

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Nico Parkinson
Tour Designer

Originally from Utah, Nico loves traveling, rock climbing and speaking local languages to negotiate a hot meal or a place to put his tent.
He was a trekking tour guide in the Andes before moving to Ethiopia on 2010. He and Vast Ethiopia Tours go back to 2011 when he first partnered with Vast to discover and create trekking routes and create unique tours rarely seen or offered from other operators. He also created the first sport climbing wall in Ethiopia, located just outside of Addis Ababa.

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Etsehiwot Fantahun
Logistics Manager

You will find Etsehiwot in the VAST Ethiopia Tours main office in Addis Ababa making reservations, organizing vehicles and keeping the general logistics of every tour in tight, working order.
She has the honorable distinction of being the first woman graduate from Gondar University’s school of Tourism. Etsehiwot has been with Vast since 2013.

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