Ethiopia Travel Tips and advice: information you need to know before you go
Full name: Federal democratic Republic of Ethiopia
Capital city: Addis Ababa
Land: 1.20 Million square Kilometers
Topography and Climate travel tips:
Ethiopia has an elevated plateau ranging in height between 2,000 to 3000 meters. In the north and southeast part of the country, there are high mountains whose picks rise to above 4,300 M. one of the biggest lakes which are the source of famous Nile River is also found in the northern part of the country. Ethiopia also has two major favorable seasons’ wet and dry seasons. We season runs from June to September and dry prevails October through May.
Ethiopia is a multi-ethnic state with a great variety of languages spoken in the country, of which there are 83 with 200 dialects. Amharic is the working language of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia while Oromigna, Tigrigna, and Guragina are widely spoken. Moreover, English, Italian, French, and Arabic are widely spoken in the spheres of commerce and education.
Religion: Major religions in the country are Christianity and Islam but there are also some Catholic and protestant.
Internet, telephone and fax service:
Internet domain or country code suffix .et Numerous internet cafes are available in Addis Ababa and in other cities. They all give Fax and telephone calling service. The country Dialling Code is 00251.
Ethiopia uses 220 volts 50 cycles AC.
The population is estimated at 105,634,150 million
Ethiopia is in the GMT + 3 hours time zone. Ethiopia follows the Julian calendar
Banking hours are usually from 8:00 am – 4:00 pm from Monday to Friday and from 8:00 am – 11:00 am on Saturdays. Closing times may be an hour longer in some private banks. Most banks work through lunchtime; however foreign exchange services are closed during lunch hours (12:00 noon – 1:00 pm
Credit card acceptance is now growing throughout the country, mainly in star hotels and Tourist Restaurants. ATM is becoming available in most major cities and towns with a limited amount to withdraw daily.
Couriers and Money transfer services:
Money transfers can be made through Western Union, Dhabshil, Money Gram and many others . Both have representative branches in Addis Ababa and also make their services available from private and national banks.
Four courier service providers DHL, FedEx, UPS, TNT, and EMS have offices in Addis Ababa
Addis Ababa has hotels that cater for all pockets, from the luxurious Sheraton, Radisson Blu, Harmony, Intercontinental , Ellelle International and Hilton hotels to the tourist-class hotels such as the Ghion, Caravan, the Ethiopia and the Wabi Shebelle. All tourist resorts like Kuriftu, Leisak Resort, Babogaya, Jinka Resort , Lewi Resort, Haile Resort and lodges like Buska , Turmi, and many others offer a choice of modern hotels in various destinations.
In general, between seasons clothes are appropriate. At higher altitudes, woolen clothes or a coat are needed in the evenings. Travelers should take a raincoat or other rainwear, particularly when visiting the country during the period from February to October. It is usually possible to have clothes laundered at or near hotels within a short period of time (frequently services are offered 24 hours a day).
Prior to entry, visitors should be in possession of a valid health certificate for yellow fever. Vaccination against cholera is also required for any person who has visited or transited a cholera-infected area within six days prior to arrival in Ethiopia.
Always take more film, digital camera cards and spare batteries than think you will need. Ethiopia is very photogenic and it will be easy to use at least one roll of 36 exposures per day or fill half your digital camera card.
We suggest you take a U/V filter and dust cover to protect your camera. Out of Addis Ababa, it is hard to find spare camera batteries and digital camera cards so we recommend you bring these with you or to buy before you leave Addis Ababa. AET local tour guide assists you where to find these in Addis.
Custom travel tips
Duty-free imports are permitted for up to:
- 200 cigarettes, 50 cigars, or 1/2 lb of tobacco
- 2 liters of alcoholic beverages.
- Half-liter or two bottles of perfume.
Visitors may export souvenirs although some articles (such as animal skin and antiques) require an export permit.
When to Visit Ethiopia Travel Tips
This can depend on where you are going. In most of the country, the main rainy season runs from June to the beginning of September, with short rains in March. In the Omo and Mago parks, however, in Southern Ethiopia, the seasons are different with the main rains from March to June and shorter rains in November.
The following months are festival seasons in Ethiopia when larger numbers of tourists visit Ethiopia; earlier booking of your travel needs is advisable if your trip coincides with one of the following days.
September 11 Gregorian calendar-Enkutatash (Ethiopian New Year)
September 27 Gregorian calendar-Meskel (Finding of the True Cross)
October 24 Gregorian calendar-Debra Damo (Feast of Saint Aregawi)
December 01 Gregorian calendar-Hidar Tsion – (Celebration of St. Mary)
December 28 Gregorian calendar -Kulubi (Feast of Saint Gabriel)
January 7 Gregorian calendar – Ledet (Christmas)
January 19 Gregorian calendar- Timket (Epiphany)
Hossaena (Palm Sunday) – (celebrated one week before Easter on April month)
Fasika (Easter) – Fasika (Easter) is celebrated after 55 days severe Lent fasting (Hudade or Abye Tsome).
A valid passport is required for travel to Ethiopia containing at least two blank pages per country and a validity of no less than six months beyond the period of your stay.
Visas Processing and application travel tips
Any foreigners except those who hold the Kenyan, Tanzanian and Djibouti passport needs a visa!
You can get your visa from the Ethiopian embassies or consulates in your country but for the following listed countries, visa can be obtained on arrival at the airport in Addis Ababa: – Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Korea Republic, Kuwait, Luxemburg, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Russian Federation, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, UK, and US can obtain a visa on arrival for US$50 and two passport photos. This is only available at Bole International Airport in Addis Ababa.
Ethiopia start issuing visa online so you can apply for Ethiopian visa using this link. https://www.visa.org.et/#/home