The Mad Vervet Hostel

By Surafel Solomon, May 01, 2019

Our Beloved city Addis Ababa, dubbed the capital of Africa, has an ever-growing number of hotels. Regardless of this rapid growth in the hotel sector, there are only a handful of hostels scattered throughout the city. The Mad Vervet is a newly opened hostel, that came from the realization that there is a scarcity of options and alternatives when it comes to lodging in Addis Ababa. Nestled in the residential pocket of Hayahulet (22), a short drive from most of the city’s attractions, the location is optimal for dropping in and out as you please.

But that’s not all that makes The Mad vervet, aptly named, I must mention, a one of a kind establishment. Hosting events and activities such as film screenings and networking events, guests can stay in and still experience new things, that is if they want to.

When we arrived at the house on a rainy afternoon and were greeted warmly by Beza, the co-founder of the hostel, who gave us a concise tour of the hostel. The building has a shared kitchen and spacious common area with a balcony on the first floor. Above that are two floors which house the guest rooms which offer either shared or private rooms, varying in price.

Outside in the compound, we make our way to the bar. There, we are greeted by Nebiyu, the other co-founder. Right off the bat, the bar has a welcoming, friends and family vibe to it that you don’t find elsewhere. Its shack like design fits the overall underlying theme of the place. Offering more than ten different types of shots and five different cocktails, we were spoiled for choice and decided to go with the recommendations of the owners rather than test lady luck. First off, the list of shots was hot vervet, a shot combining a base liquor with hot sauce. Fiery and true to its name, it was just what we needed on the drizzling afternoon. We then had a calmer, sweeter set of cocktails and started talking about everything under the sun.

Among the interesting things we discussed with Beza was a weekly networking event called couch surfing. It’s an event where expats, diasporas, and locals can meet and mingle. This was interesting because this offers guests the opportunity to meet a wide group of likeminded people that would have been otherwise inaccessible. All without leaving the compound.

The drinks keep flowing, conversations sprout everywhere and the wider our table starts to get. Every patron of the bar seems to be extremely friendly and sociable and we are all already making new friends. A round of three wise men goes around, a mixture of three whiskeys, and everyone is getting pumped up again. We find out that there is a “Game of Thrones” screening every Monday evening which explains the movie inspired cocktails and shots such as Lady Sansa, White Walker, Cersies revenge and my favorite, Little Finger.

With their Greek restaurant set to open soon, The Mad Vervet is a place you could stay at if you are in town from elsewhere, recommend it to similar people, attend one of the events that they host or just go with friends and enjoy the cocktails in a relaxing environment. What I have found out about my relationship with The Mad Vervet, named after a monkey which I have a lot in common with time really does fly when you’re having fun.

Photo: Courtesy of  Mad Vervet