Ethiopia is a country located in the Horn of Africa with neighboring countries being Djibouti in the East, Eritrea in the North, Sudan in the West, South Sudan in the South West, Kenya in the South, Somalia & Somaliland in the South East.
Ethiopian’s population of 97 million is growing by almost 2.7% a year.
Amharic, a Semitic language related to Hebrew and Arabic, is the official national language and is used in commerce and administration. It and Tigrinya are written in a Sabian script. Oromifaa is written in a Latin script. Somali, Guaragunga, Afar and more than 83 other tongues are spoken in Ethiopia.
All citizens require a valid passport to enter Ethiopia. Validity must be at least 6 months from entry date into Ethiopia and must include empty visa pages.
Visitors’ Visas can be obtained through the nearest Ethiopian Embassy and it takes about 10 days to be obtained, while you can also decide to get it on arrival in Addis airport (Currently fee of US$50.00) for a single entry one month visa (subject to change). Visa regulations may change without prior notice and Image Ethiopia is not responsible for such changes or any repercussions resulting from them. Tourist visas can be obtained upon arrival at Bole international airport to foreign nationals coming from and who are permanent residents of the the following countries: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Korea, , Luxembourg, Mexico, The Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Russia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, the UK, the USA and all other European Union nations.
Foreign currency is rarely used in Ethiopia; instead you’ll be paying for most hotels, tours and food with Ethiopian currency. Current rate of exchange (Feb 2018) is $1.00=27.60 Birr (Ethiopian Birr (ETB)) and 1EURO = 33,- Birr. We suggest travelers should only change small quantities, to suit immediate needs, because of the difficulty in converting the remaining Ethiopian Birr to Dollars at the end of the trip.
Ethiopia has one time zone which is 3 hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time. As Ethiopia is located near the equator, day and night times are almost equal.
Visitors to Ethiopia are recommended (but not required) to
* Be in possession of valid yellow fever vaccination certificate. Immunization for Hepatitis A and B, Typhoid and Polio.
* Malaria: in many sites malaria is not a problem but we suggest you take all the precautions. Chloroquine resistant strains have been identified in some areas so you should consult your doctor about the prescription. Alternatively, you can keep mosquitoes and other insects at bay with repellent creams and sprays.
* Visitors should take a simple first aid pack, which would include: different size plasters, antiseptic cream, anti-histamine cream and/or tablets for insect bites, sun barrier cream and anti diarrhea tablets. Generally, visitors should take out standard holiday health insurance in their home countries.
Image Ethiopia Tour and Travel plc assumes no responsibility for medical care.
Medical & Accidental Insurance
It is extremely advisable to purchase good coverage of accident/medical insurance, to cover any required hospitalization or sickness, while in Ethiopia as well as trip interruptions and cancelations.
Climate & Safety
The rainy season is normally from June to September but it is very common for the Sun to shine even during the rainy season. Some irregular showers fall from February to June. In the good travel season (October to February), temperatures range 20-28°C during the daytime and drops to below 20’s in the evenings and is usually a dry time of the year. If you visit the Omo Valley, be advised that it can get hotter.
Crime and Safety
In general, Ethiopia is much safer than Westerners might expect. Ethiopian people are friendly. Ethiopia is still a low-crime country.
The best known Ethiopian cuisine consists of various vegetable or meat side dishes and entrees, usually a thick stew, served atop injera, a large sourdough flatbread made of Teff flour. One does not eat with utensils, but instead uses injera to scoop up the entrees and side dishes. Tihlo prepared from roasted barley flour is very popular in Agame, and Awlaelo (Tigrai).
Traditional Ethiopian cuisine employs no pork or shellfish of any kind, as they are forbidden in the Islamic, Jewish, and Ethiopian Orthodox Christian faiths. It is also very common to eat from the same small dish in the center of the table with a group of people. In the morning they drink tea and bread, and buttermilk.
About 45% of the population belongs to the Ethiopian Orthodox Church, a leading influence in the culture since the fourth century. Indeed, Ethiopian Christians stress that while Christianity was introduced by European colonizers in other African countries, it was adopted by Ethiopian rulers in A.D. 333 – before many Western nations were exposed to it. Muslims account for 35% of the population and the country accepted Islam in the 7th C. Other Ethiopians follows traditional religious beliefs that stress a reverence for all living things.