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Ethiopia Travel Tips

Ethiopia travel tips on money saving, personal safety, sightseeing, and enjoying your trip to the fullest from InfoHub suppliers and community members.

What to pack to Ethiopia
Submitted by M20393
The climate will range from very mild in Addis Ababa, to hot in Bahir Dar and cold in the Simien Mountains. In Addis, all types of dress are appropriate. However, in smaller towns women should dress conservatively - covering their shoulders and below their knees.

Suggested Packing List:

Long pants
Comfortable shirts
Backpacking clothes/gear (if you're visiting simien mountains)
Rain Jacket
Comfortable Shoes
Hiking boots

A good ... view more book
Cellphone (it is possible to purchase an Ethiopian SIM card in Addis)
Personal Items

Ethiopian Visa
Spending Money (you can exchange USD into Ethiopian Birr at any point during our trip – current exchange rate is $1=13.4 Birr)

Host Family (It is common to give gifts when staying at an Ethiopians’ house. Suggestions: any Obama gear, clothes, snacks, pictures, trinkets, toys). Simien Mountains (We ask that you bring a jacket or warm clothes to give to shepherd children living near Ras Dashen) Simien Mountains Packing List, Weather, Hiking Difficulty?

We will provide you with a tent and 3 meals a day. (There is water available each day from fresh springs). A mule will carry most of your gear, however you will carry a daypack with water, snacks, and personal items.

Sleeping Bag
Trekking Poles
Hiking Boots
Hiking Pants/Shorts
Rain Jacket
Fleece Jacket
Long Underwear
Water Bottle

We will be hiking in the dry season so there isn’t a big threat of rain. It does get cold in the evenings so be prepared. While hiking, wearing shorts and a t-shirt will be comfortable. The hiking in the Simien Mountains, including climbing Ras Dashen, is not technical and can be done by anyone in decent shape.

Ethiopian Money Devaluation
Submitted by M17566
It pays to check current prices with all tour operators because of recent devaluations happening in Ethiopia at the present time. It is better to try to do group travel if possible or go with a minimum of at least 3 or 4 people. Four wheel drives have become very expensive.
Submitted by M19317
- Telephone, Tele fax, Internet, e-mail and postal facilities are available in the country.
- Internet services are available in major cities and towns only.
- The international dialing code for Ethiopia is +251.
- Major towns and cities are connected with properly maintained highways of asphalt and gravel.
- Ethiopian Airlines is one of the most reliable airlines in the world and has domestic flight programs in the destinations.
Submitted by M19317
- Hotels in Addis Ababa range from 3 star to 5 star.
- Outside Addis Ababa standards vary but possible to get relatively clean rooms with toilet and shower.
- In some areas there is camping with camping equipments.
Submitted by M19317
Traditional dress is commonly seen in the countryside and on festival days. However, in the towns and cities people tend to dress lightly and casually.

Since the temperature drops, for Simien and Bale Mountains, trekkers should bring warm clothes and water proofs for unseasonal rains.

Shoes must always be removed before entering churches and mosques.
Food in Ethiopia
Submitted by M19317
- The national dish for most Ethiopians is Injera, a flat, sour pancake which can be made from a special grain called teff. It can be served with a variety of fasting (vegetarian) and non fasting sauces.
- When eating national food, Ethiopians eat together, on a large circular plate.
- Vegetarians should try “fasting food”, what Orthodox Christians eat during lent and other fasting periods, and which is free of meat and animal products.
- You can easily find a variety of international and other specialty ... view more restaurants in all major towns of Ethiopia.
Submitted by M19317
Ethiopian currency is the Birr. At the moment 1USD is equivalent to about 11.25 Birr. It is possible to get foreign exchange in major towns and cities of Ethiopia from Banks. The rates do change from time to time.
Entry Visas
Submitted by M19317
A valid passport is required and also must have entry visas. Entry visas can be obtained from Ethiopian Diplomatic and consular missions in your country or at Addis Ababa airport.
Submitted by M19317
Medical facilities are found in almost every part of the country. However, it is advisable to take anti-malarial tablets. Visitors should take preventive dose against malaria, before, during and after the tour if their tour program is in the low land.

Malaria is found especially in the low land of Ethiopia.
Time / Calendar in Ethiopia
Submitted by M19317
Ethiopians are some seven years younger than the rest of the world! Ethiopia uses the Julian calendar. In the Julian calendar, a year comprises thirteen months; twelve of these months have 30 days. The 13th month has 5 or 6 days. New Year starts on September 11. Ethiopian time is three hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT).

Days and nights are of equal length as in other equatorial countries. Each day is 12 hours long. An Ethiopian day starts at 7 am (counted as 1:00) and ends at 7pm (12:00 Ethiopian time). ... view more While you are in Ethiopia, in order to tell what the local time is, just add 6 hours onto your watch reading.
What should I pack?
Submitted by M19430
- Don't over pack, your travel sack will need to fit in the vehicles with everybody else,
- You will need sun block no matter what time of year,
- Pack for swimming, there are many natural hot springs and lakes,that are to inviting to pass up,
- With the high altitudes in some areas,it does get chilly at night, warm pj's and a jacket are advisable,
- A pair of good walking shoes,
- A hat,
- Plenty of film,
- Mosquito repellent.

It is always a good idea to contact your tour operator, before ... view more traveling and ask for more details on what is necessary for the trip.
Getting a visia
Submitted by M19430
Foreign visitors must have entry visas. Entry visas can be obtained from Ethiopian Diplomatic mission or consulate from your place of departure, which saves you about 30 min in the visa section.

If you areE a national or a permanent resident in any of the following countries: Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Korea Republic, Kuwait, Luxembourg, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Russian ... view more Federation, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom, United States - Visas can be obtained upon arrival at bole international airport for 20 dollars or 17 Euros. Don't for get your pen.
Submitted by M17566
The dollar is not the best bet in Ethiopia in terms of value for money. Euros and pound sterling go further. Also cash advances on credit cards stings your pocket further