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Visa applications may be obtained at Ethiopia’s diplomatic missions overseas. However, nationals of 36 countries listed below are now allowed to receive their tourist visas upon their arrival at Bole International Airport in Addis Ababa, and at the airport in Dire Dawa. The visa fee is dependent of the type of visa requested (tourist, business, journalists, etc.). The procedure is relatively quick and painless; just look for a door with a sign “Visa” on the left hand Read More
Vaccination Requirements: The possession of a valid Yellow Fever vaccination certificate is no longer mandatory but visitors coming from countries where Yellow Fever has been reported may be asked. Immunization for Hepatitis A and B, Tetanus, Typhoid and Polio is recommended. Read More
A COVID-19 test is no longer required for people who can prove they have received at least 2 doses of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccination or 1 dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccination, or for those travelers who have proof of recovery from COVID-19 within the previous 90 days.
Please check the below government airline website for the most up to date information: https://www.ethiopianairlines.com/aa/Ethiopian-travel-update
– Health screening procedures in place at airports and other ports of entry.
As of 28 October 2022, Ethiopia COVID-19 entry regulations/requirements are lifted effective immediately. However, please note the following prohibited activities and duties imposed:
- It is prohibited for any person who knows he is infected with Coronaviruses to enter the country.
- Any person showing COVID-19 symptoms has the duty to appropriately wear a face mask, get a self-test or test at a health facility and follow and implement General COVTD 19 preventive measures if tests positive.
Any COVID-19 positive person shall isolate himself either at home or health facility according to the severity of the illness until declared recovered by a health Professional.
Throughout most of the country there are two major seasons: the dry season prevails from October through May; the wet season runs from June to mid September with the short rains occurring in March. In the lower lying areas (Awash, the Afar and Somali Regions, Omo and Mago parks, Gambella) however, the seasons are different with the main rains from March to June and shorter rains in November. Because of the elevation, temperatures rarely exceed 25 °C in most of the country; although in some of the lower laying areas it can get considerably hotter.
The best time to visit Ethiopia is between January and March when clear, sunny days bring regular average daily temperatures of 25°C (77°F).
|Capital City:||Addis Ababa|
|International Airports:||Addis Ababa Bole International Airport|
|Population:||80 Million (approx)|
|Time Zone:||GMT + 3 hours. Note: In Ethiopia they use a 12 hour clock with 2 cycles from dawn to dusk and the other from dusk to dawn so 15:00 western time or 03:00 is actually 9 o’clock Ethiopian time, the variable is day or night.|
|Religion:||Ethiopian Orthodox, Muslim, Protestant, Traditional, Catholic, Last Emperor of Ethiopia was worshipped by Rastafarians as a divine being. Home to the Black Jews.|
|Language:||Amharic is the official Language with Oromo, Somali, Tigrayan, being the other main languages. English is widely spoken.|
|Currency:||Ethiopian Birr. All Birr needs to exchanged back to foreign currency prior to exiting the country|
|Exchange Rate:||Please consult your local bank as exchange rates fluctuate.|
|Credit Card Payment Availability:||Not many establishments will accept credit card payments. It’s best to bring cash.|
|ATM Accessibility:||Not readily available – contact your local bank to find out if your card will be compatible with Ethiopian ATM’s.|
|Electricity:||The electricity in Ethiopia is generally 220V, 50HZ, AC. Adapters are necessary but readily available in the country.|
|Water:||It is advisable to drink only bottled or distilled water.|
|Business Hours:||Business Hours; Monday – Thursday 08:3 – 17.30 (lunch break from 12.30 to 13.30 ) Fridays 11:30 to 13:30.
Shops; Monday – Saturday up to 18:00, supermarkets, are open on Sundays and public holidays.
|Banking Hours:||Banking hours: Monday – Saturday 08:00 – 17:30 .
Please note that the banking infrastructure is not well developed in Ethiopia and can cause problems for independent travellers. Therefore, it is advisable to use a reputable tour operator, as they will be able to assist you with dealing with payments whilst travelling.
|Photography Restrictions:||Professional photography/ filming requires a valid permit from the authorities.
Caution: Please consult with you Tour Operator when travelling with multiple lenses and more than one camera as you may be at risk of having the equipment confiscated if immigration misunderstands your intentions.
|Tipping:||In most hotels and restaurants, a 10% service charge is added to the bill. Tipping is a fairly frequent custom, but amounts are dependant on service quality.|
|Vaccination Requirements:||Yellow Fever Certificate is required if you are travelling from or have travelled via a risk country. Please consult with your medical practitioner before travel.|
|Dress Code Restrictions:||Dressing code – Dress conservatively, Ethiopians are generally modest dressers, and visitors should be sensitive about going underdressed (shorts, tank tops and barebacked) into places of worship. Shoes must always be removed before entering churches and mosques – for getting around sites like Lalibela with its many churches, airline socks are very useful.
Clothing: Because of the elevation, temperatures rarely exceed 25oC in most of the country. Pack light clothes for the day time and a jacket or sweater for the evenings, and a good pair of walking shoes even if you are not going trekking – path ways around historic sites are usually uneven and stony. Trekkers in the Simien and Bale Mountains will need warm clothes, water-proof sleeping bags.
|Peculiar Customs to Observe:||Greeting is a serious affair, and the elderly are treated with the utmost respect. When an elderly person enters a room it is customary to stand until they are seated. Then as a male it is impolite to be the first to extend a handshake to a female, it is best to wait for her to extend her hand first.
Since all meals are eaten with your hands it is polite to wash your hands prior to the meal.
The celebration of Meskel Festival in Addis Ababa: – The celebration of Meskel commemorates the Finding of the True Cross. It is celebrated on September 26th and 27th (September 27th and 28th in a leap year) in the major cities. The origin goes back to the fourth century AD when Queen Helena (the mother of Constantine the Great) discovered the cross upon which Jesus was crucified. In December 2013 the Meskel celebrations were inscribed as the first Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity in Ethiopia by UNESCO.Read More
Timket festival or Epiphany in Gondar: The Timket festival or Epiphany in Ethiopia is the most colourful and exciting festival of the year and a great celebration for locals and travellers alike. During the eve of Timkat there is an option to go to the overnight resting place of the tabots, the bath house of Fasil. Tabots are replicas of the Ark of the Covenant – the sacred chests described in the Book of Exodus as carrying the stone tablets on which the 10 Commandments were written. The tabots are blessed with water by the priests and then singing and dancing accompany the tabots back to their churches.
“Ethiopia’s ancient culture reflects Animist, Judaic, Byzantine, Christian and Islamic heritages. One of it’s notable qualities is its calendar.”
– Nita Bhalla