Travel Information

Ethiopian climate varies according to the different geographical regions. The central plateau has a moderate climate with minimal seasonal temperature variation. The mean minimum during the coldest season is 5.5°C (42°F), while the mean maximum rarely exceeds 26°C (79°F). Temperature variations in the lowlands are much greater, and the heat in the desert and Red Sea Coastal areas is extreme, with occasional highs of 60°C (140°F).


Heavy rainfall occurs in most of the country from June to September. The central plateau also experiences a second, through much milder, rainy season between December and February. Average annual precipitation on the central plateau is roughly 48 inches. Average annual rainfall in the Ogaden, however is less than 4 inches. The western most region of Ethiopia receives an annual rainfall of nearly 80 inches.

VISAS & IMMIGRATION Apart from nationals of Kenya all visitors to Ethiopia are required to have an entry visa and if you arrive by air it is expected for you to show an onward ticket. Obtaining a single entry tourist visa is not a problem but multiple entry visas are only issued to business travellers. Ethiopian immigration issues visa upon arrival for the following countries:- Argentina Austria Australia Belgium Brazil Canada China Denmark France Germany Finland Greece Ireland Israel Italy Japan Korea Luxemburg Mexico Netherlands Norway Poland Portugal Russia South Africa Sweden Switzerland Taiwan UK USA We recommend you check your local Ethiopian Embassy or Consulate for the latest visa requirements.  

MONEY Official Currency:    1 birr=100 cents  Travellers cheques are best taken in US Dollars or Pounds Sterling and cash is best taken in US Dollars. Some major credit cards are accepted at major hotels.

BANKING & BUSINESS HOURS Banks:     Monday to Thursday 0800-1200 and 1300-1700    Friday 0830-1130 and 1300-1700 Shops:     Monday to Friday: 0800-4230 and 1530-1930     Saturday: 0900-1300 and 1500-1900

LOCAL TIME Ethiopia is three hours ahead of GMT


Domestic:: probably the best way of getting round the country is the good domestic flight service offered by Ethiopian Airlines between the major towns and prices are reasonable.


There is only one route running from Addis Ababa to Dire Dawa and conditions can be overcrowded.


The bus service is run by the government and is extremely slow and unreliable. Fuel shortages often means there is no form of public transport available and this will also have an affect on those who want to hitch.


PUBLIC HOLIDAYS Jan 7th Ethiopian Christmas, Jan 19th Epiphany, Mar 2nd Battle of Adowa, April 6th Victory Day, May 6th May Day, Sept 11th New Year's Day plus moveable Muslim holidays


Electric Power is 220V running at 50Hz. The Plug types used are : Round pins with ground  Round pins with round grounding pin (offset) 

Round pins with round grounding pin (in-line)

TRAVEL INSURANCE If you need medical care whilst in Ethiopia, it is best to be aware that medical providers may not accept payment through your insurance company. In these circumstances you will have to pay in full after your treatment and file a claim with your insurance company for reimbursement. Therefore you should have access to cash, either from a credit card or by wire transfer. If you need assistance contact the country's local embassy or representative. To be compensated you must be treated by licensed medical personnel and provide your insurance company with proper documentation and receipts. It is advisable to always ensure you have a comprehensive travel insurance policy which covers you for repatriation to your home country. You can check out the following websites which specialize in long term travelers, adventure travelers, backpackers and workers based abroad