Travel Tip

Visa and Immigration Requirements:

Visa applications may be obtained at Ethiopia's diplomatic missions overseas. However, nationals of 33 countries are now allowed to receive their tourist visas on arrival in Ethiopia at the regular charge. The list includes Argentina, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Republic of Korea, Kuwait, Luxembourg, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Russian Federation, South Africa, Spain, Sweden,
Switzerland, Taiwan, United Kingdom and United States

Time difference in Ethiopia:

Ethiopia has a different time calculating system and three hours ahead of Green witch Mean time (GMT). The Ethiopian day is calculated in a manner similar to that in many equatorial countries, where day and night is always the same length. Time remains constant through the year counting starts from western 6 and 6 Western 7 is there fore one o'clock, noon is 6 o' clock and 6 is 12 o'clock. In Addis Ababa, then sunrise and sunset at around 6:30 and 18.45 respectively.

When to visit Ethiopia:

Ethiopia can be visited at any time of the year. People are often advised against traveling during the rainy season, which normally runs from June until early October. But it has its own advantages. The scenery is particularly wonderful green in September and early October. At this time the whole country will be a riot of wild flowers. The ideal time to visit Ethiopia is between October and April, when the rains are over but the countryside is still green.

Tips (restaurants, luggage, and hotels):
Giving tip is depending on your interest. There is no formula for it, Your level of satisfaction will determine how much you will tip. There are no fixed amounts for tipping in Ethiopia. Try to obtain small changes for tips to bar staff, waiters, and porters. It is customary to tip drivers and guides as they will be escorting you throughout the tour.

Health conditions:
Medical facilities whilst limited are of a good standard. It is recommended that tourists and non-citizens should only use private hospitals and clinics.
It is highly advisable to consult your own doctor at least two months before traveling about any immunizations you may need.
Vaccination against Hepatitis A and B, Tetanus, Typhoid and Polio with optional vaccination against Meningitis and Rabies are strongly recommended.
Malaria can be a problem in Ethiopia at the lower altitudes, say through the Rift Valley, so also consult your doctor for a prescription for both chloroquine and paludrine. Insect repellent cream or spray are also extremely useful (but not always effective) for mosquito bites.
If you choose not to take anti-malarial drugs, you should consider bringing Malarone, Quinine or Fansidar tablets as a cure. The side effects of some of these malaria pills can be greatly enhanced by altitude.
You should also ask your doctor about your blood group in case of emergency and about any pre-existing medical conditions which might affect you on tour. You should notify us about any known medical conditions at the time of booking.

It is also necessary to obtain an International Certificate of Vaccination before traveling showing each injection is dated, signed and stamped.
It is also advisable to have a dental check-up prior to traveling.

Electricity: 220 volts

Best time to visit Ethiopia:

Ethiopia can be visited at any time of the year. People are often advised against traveling during the rainy season, which normally runs from June until early October. But it has its own advantages. The scenery is particularly wonderful green in September and early October. At this time the whole country will be a riot of wild flowers. The ideal time to visit Ethiopia is between October and April, when the rains are over but the countryside is still green.

Domestic flights:
Ethiopian’s domestic route network is spread all over the country bringing provincial and administrative cities within easy reach of the capital and the region’s commercial centers. In addition, there is a daily "Historic Route Service" for tourists to the country’s world famous ancient historic sites of Axum, Bahr Dar, Gondar and Lalibela .
An Ethiopian airline also flies to the South and South –west of Ethiopian Tourist destination areas like Jimma and Arba Minch. All in all, the airline flies to 17 cities of Ethiopia.

Destinations List (16 Cities)

DESTINATION
THREE LETTER CODE

ADDIS ABABA ADD

ARBA MINCH AMH

ASSOSA ASO

AXUM AXU

BAHAR DAR BJR

DIRE DAWA DIR

GAMBELLA GMB

GONDER GDQ

GODE GDE

HUMERA HUE

JIJIGA JIJ

JIMMA JIM

KABRI DAR ABK

LALIBELA LLI

MEKELE MQX

SHIRE SHC

Most of the domestic flights are operated with the two propellers, Fokker 50 Luggage allowance 20 kg for check in luggage and 7 kg for hand luggage. You have to keep all your valuables in the hand luggage.

Guide:
Most of Ethiopia’s tour operators arrange your traveling programs and they assign a guide for you. The guides in Addis are mostly well read and comptent who could speak different languages like English, French, Spanish, Russian, Japanese, German and Italian Languages. You just have to inform your ground agent which kind of language you choose so that the chosen guide will be booked for you ahead of time. In the local tourist destination areas, most of the tourist guides speak only one Language; English and if you need more explanation with a fluent language, about the places you are going to visit, you have to take an escorting guide from Addis Ababa.

Meals:
Do not drink tap water unless boiling it first, or having it filtered, or chemically disinfected. Do not drink unbolted beverages or drinks with ice. Avoid unpasteurized milk and products such as ice cream.
Do not eat fruits or vegetables unless they have been peeled or cooked. Avoid cooked foods that have been left at room temperature and are no longer hot. Do not eat raw or undercooked meat or fish.

Shopping:
Shopping in Ethiopia is a great but taxing experience. If you are a type who does not like to haggle then you are in trouble. About 99% of the cases, the price of items /goods is not displayed anywhere, so you have to ask for it. Haggling is very common in many traditional clothes and articraft stores in Mercato, Piazza, Shiro Meda and the Main Post Office area.

Most shops are already open by 9:00 am, and closed by 7:30 pm. A token few supermarkets are open 24 hours as well.
If wanting to experience a traditional open market in Ethiopia, they are common in towns within close proximity to Addis Abeba. However, Bati Market in South Wollo in Amhara Regional state, where locals bring marketable goods every Monday , is also popular . Open –air markets are where the best deals and the most original items are found. The largest open market in East Africa; Mercato is found in Ethiopia, Addis Ababa and you will find everything that you’re looking for in this big market.

Souvenirs:

Artists make different kinds of souvenirs from wood, fiber and other materials. Those souvenirs are placed for sale at different locations in Addis Ababa. Most frequented shopping area for souvenirs is actually at the shops near the Head Post Office on Churchill Street.

There are also different items to choose from in those shops. They also have locally made fabrics, paintings with traditional style, locally made jewelries and different kinds of apparels, which are good for gift.

Art Galleries:

Art galleries are also a good place to consider for anyone interested in paintings. There are different art galleries with collection of works from a number of artists. Some art galleries also provide you with comfort of a restaurant and impression of different art works under the same roof. Makush, St. Giorgis and Asni Art Galleries are among the notable Art Galleries in Addis Ababa.

Traditional Clothes:

Ethiopia has a traditional way of producing fabrics and those fabrics are made into different styles and design. Shiro meda is a neighborhood in Addis Ababa, where well known market for local fabrics serves customers every day. In shiromeda, there are shops, which have different locally made clothes and fabrics of different style for casual wear or for special occasions. The fabrics are made from cotton though small amount of other matterial could be used to make patterns on clothes.

Coffee:
If you are looking for the best coffee in town, go to Tomoca Coffee, located at four and more branches: down the Churchel Avenue, off the churchel Avenue, In front of the Canadian Embassy, Inside the Raddison Blu Hotel and others.

Tags: