Tourist Visa for Ethiopia
The tourist visa is mandatory to enter Ethiopia. An eVisa can currently be obtained online. It must be obtained online in advance, it is not possible to obtain it upon arrival at the airport. The agency can help with the management, but it is the traveler's responsibility to obtain it. See all details in https://www.ethiopiaonlinevisa.com/
Documentation required to enter Ethiopia: https://www.ethiopiaonlinevisa.com/required-documents-travel-ethiopia/
Health - Vaccines for Ethiopia
In this link you can see the regulations and recommendations of the Ethiopian government regarding vaccines: https://www.ethiopiaonlinevisa.com/vaccines-travel-ethiopia/. We advise that, in due time, you go to Foreign Health or Health Center to inform the traveler about the specific health recommendations of the area to which you are going to travel and to guide you on the guidelines to follow for the prevention of diseases.
COVID-19: A negative PCR test is required to enter Ethiopia. See all the details in https://www.ethiopiaonlinevisa.com/entry-restrictions/
Securyty en Ethiopia
Safety in Ethiopia
Generally speaking, Ethiopia is a safe tourist destination. However, depending on the area of ??the country to which you travel, some precautions must be taken.
That is why in this section we want to give you the guidelines to travel to Ethiopia safely. Follow our recommendations to make your trip to Ethiopia easy and safe!
There are certain places in Ethiopia that are considered a risk zone, these places being mainly the following:
Border with Somalia: travel to the border regions with Somalia is discouraged.
Somali region: 2 types of incidents have occurred in the Somali region in recent years. Firstly, clashes between the Ethiopian army and the armed group of the Ogaden National Liberation Front, and secondly, there have been some abductions of Western citizens.
As for the Gambella Region (South Sudan border), there are sometimes ethnic conflicts in the area. That is why, before traveling there, it is recommended to obtain updated information from the your Embassy, or by contacting directly with the staff of Last Places East Africa.
Climate - Best time to travel to Ethiopia
Last Places West Africa organizes trips throughout the year to Ethiopia.
The climate in Ethiopia varies a lot within its territory, with more humid areas in the north except around Axum and the Danakil depression.
Generally, the best time to visit Ethiopia is from October to March, when the temperatures are not so extreme. At night in mountain areas, such as Gondar, night temperatures can drop to 5ºC. If you plan to visit the Simien Mountains NP, keep in mind that night temperatures can be almost 0ºC and you will need warm clothes.
From April to September the temperatures are high and even suffocating in some places, mainly in the Omo Valley and the Danakil. If you want to visit this last area, you should avoid those months because temperatures of almost 60ºC are reached. In addition, in the months of July and August, the roads sometimes flood and make communication between some towns impossible.
Currency in Ethiopia
The currency of Ethiopia is the Birr.
You can carry euros, as they are easily exchanged at banks, hotels and travel agencies. NO need to carry dollars. Generally, hotels offer the same change that is available on the internet.
See information about currency, credit cards and comments on the cost of traveling in Ethiopia at this link: https://www.ethiopiaonlinevisa.com/travel-costs-in-ethiopia/
GMT/UTC + 3. (Easter Africa Time) In Ethiopia there is no time change in summer.
Electricity, battery charging, cameras and mobiles
For Ethiopia there are two associated plug types, types C and F. Plug type C is the plug which has two round pins and plug type F is the plug which has two round pins with two earth clips on the side. Ethiopia operates on a 220V supply voltage and 50Hz. It is also a good idea to bring a car charger or an external battery for the south.
Comunications / Internet in Ethiopia
The international phone code for Ethiopia is +251. Only the hotels along the route and some guesthouses have Wi-Fi, sometimes with a weak signal. You can buy a SIM card to have a connection during the trip. In some remote areas there will be no possibility of internet connection.
The official language of Ethiopia is Amharic, see https://www.ethiopiaonlinevisa.com/amharic-the-ethiopian-language/ , although English is understood in hotels and certain establishments. In villages and tribes it is difficult to find people who speak English, so a local guide-interpreter will help us communicate during visits.
Recommendations and Prohibitions - Protocol when visiting tribal societies
The majority of the following behaviour guidelines are observed in a daily basis, but sometimes, fascinated by what we encounter, one might forget them. Some recommendations are to protect their habitats and traditions..
• Greetings and introduction: on arrival, and with the help of our guide-interpreter, we will encounter the chief of the community. We will introduce ourselves and explain the reason of our visit. After a brief chat, we ask for permission to wander around the village, interact with its inhabitants and take pictures. This way, the visit flows in a more natural and relaxed atmosphere
• Interaction: although the chief of the community has granted us permission to visit his village, if we wish to enter inside a house or private area, we should ask explicit permission to the owner. This applies not only to buildings, but also to the lands, animals, totems and natural surroundings. Tribal life is a whole and has a much wider meaning which affects the lives of its inhabitants who live in symbiosis with their animals and nature.
• Presents: We will avoid bringing clothes, footwear, toys, plastic and utensils which do not belong to their culture, because this would accelerate the global process against the preserving of their customs. Simple apparently harmless gestures, like giving sweets to the children, can have major consequences like cavities. We will bet for presents which already belong to their culture, like fabrics bought at their local markets and which are already a regular product for them. If we bring medicines, we will take them to the medical center to ensure its correct administration.
• Photography: Like in many other countries in the world, .
When taking pictures at people in their villages (tribes), it is always preferable to start the visit by greeting the chief of the community and after the introductions are done, we can discuss and come to an agreement on the photography protocol. We will ask for explicit permission to the person or people if we wish to take a picture of them. Sometimes we might be asked to pay for the posing, so it is advisable to discuss this price beforehand in order to avoid misunderstandings.The guide in Last Places can help deal with this once in the villages.
• Observing without judging: Despite being sometimes difficult, it is the best way to plunge into other societies. The experience of interacting and learning from cultural diversity is the best legacy that we will acquire from tribal life.
• Environment: In our trips we promote the protection of the environment and try to respect the natural surroundings by minimizing our impact and leaving no trace behind.