About the Founder
A warm welcome! My name is Nik Puppato and I am from Basel, Switzerland. Before I founded my first own tour operator in Ethiopia in 2015, I worked in various pharmaceutical companies in the Basel region for almost 20 years. Among other things, I was also Regional Manager for Africa in an international company for several years and was thus able to visit many African countries on a professional basis. I have always had a passion for travelling and of course for Africa! As a former person responsible for the approval of medicines at the health authorities, I am used to paying attention to details and carefully assessing the costs and safety of products. In this respect, my core tasks in my new job as managing director of a tour operator have not even changed that much. My main task is still to ensure that our guests get the best possible value at a fair price during their trip, while enjoying the highest safety standards. Now this may sound a bit very technical, but it’s basically about making sure that your trip goes smoothly, and that you return home happy and satisfied and can live off the unforgettable experiences for as long as possible.
In 2009, I came to Ethiopia for the first time for a longer professional project and since then I have been fascinated by this incredibly diverse country with its hospitable people. Ethiopia seemed to me to be just the right place to realise a big dream, namely to start my own tour operator. Quite a few people thought I was crazy when I moved from tranquil Basel to rather chaotic Addis Ababa in 2015 and founded Welcome Ethiopia Tours there. I can only say that it was not always easy and that there have been many ups and downs since then, but that I have never regretted this step!
Of course, every country has its own advantages, but Ethiopia particularly appealed to me from the very first moment. The country simply ticks differently from the rest of the world. You can tell just by looking at the fact that its own calendar is 6 hours ahead and seven years behind that of its neighbouring countries! But what fascinates me most here are the people. Nothing can faze the Ethiopians and they all radiate an enormous joie de vivre, even though the living conditions for many are often anything but easy. Disputes, aggression or even violent crime are extremely rare here. In fact, the high level of security was one of the main arguments that convinced me to move permanently from Basel to Addis Ababa. Ethiopian society is based on a strong spirituality, solidarity and tolerance. This fascinates me every day anew and also gives me an enormous amount of purpose in life. Another great advantage of Addis Ababa is that Ethiopian Airlines, by far the largest airline in Africa, flies to over 50 destinations in Africa from the Ethiopian capital and has many direct connections to Europe and the USA.