Ethiopia Travel

Page Updated: Mar 2020

Ethiopia Travel - Ethiopia is in North Eastern Africa bordering Sudan in the north and north-west, Eritrea in the north and north-east, Djibouti in the east, Somalia to the east and south east and Kenya in the south.

Ethiopia has some of the highest and most stunning mountains on the African continent - the Simien mountains, and the lowest flats - the Danakil depression. However, the most distinctive feature is the Great Rift Valley, which runs through the entire length of the country.

Ethiopia Flag

  • March 2020: The UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) is advising against travel to Ethiopian border regions. Read more
  • March 2020: The US Travel Advisory has a Level 4 Alert advising no travel to the border areas with Kenya, Sudan, South Sudan and Eritrea. For other areas, a Level 3 advisory recommends reconsider travel. Read more

Ethiopia Travel Facts

  • Formerly: Abyssinia
  • Capital: Addis Ababa
  • Area: 1,127,127 km2
  • Population: 74,777,981
  • Language: Amharic, Oromo, Tigrinya Guaragigna, Somali, Arabic, other local languages, English

Time & Date In Ethiopia

In Ethiopia, the 12 hour clock is sometimes used locally which may be somewhat confusing to visitors. The first time cycle starts with 'one' at 7 am and goes to 'twelve' at 6 pm. The second time cycle starts with 'one' at 7 pm and goes on to 6 am at 'twelve'. Airline schedules and most businesses work on Western time but if you are making a casual appointment to meet a local, it may be worth confirming the time as 'English' rather than Ethiopian.

Ethiopia also follows the Julian calendar, which consists of twelve months of 30 days each and a thirteenth month of 5 days ( six days in a leap year). The calendar is about eight years behind the Western (Gregorian) calendar. The Ethiopian New Year begins on the first day of the month of Meskerem, which falls on September 11th on the Gregorian calendar.

Ethiopia Money

  • The local currency is Birr (ETB). Unlike some other African hunting countries where the US$ can commonly be used for most transactions, the Birr must be used in hotels and shops etc.
  • If you intend to exchange currency in Ethiopia, it is best to bring US$ cash which can be easily exchanged in banks and bureaux de change. Traveller's cheques are not accepted.
  • Major foreign credit cards are accepted in big hotels in Addis but are not accepted by local ATMs.
  • Read more on money in Africa.
  • It is illegal to carry more than 200 Birr when entering or leaving Ethiopia. If you are found to be carrying in excess of 200 Birr the money will be seized and a prison sentence is possible.

Electricity In Ethiopia

There are 2 plug configurations in Ethiopia.

Ethiopia Electricity Plug
Ethiopia Electricity Plug

Voltage: 220 V | Frequency: 50 Hz | Power sockets: Type B & E

Ethiopia Map

Getting To Ethiopia



  • Non-Stop from Dulles, Washington DC to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
  • 1-Stop return Addis Ababa via Rome, Italy to Dulles, Washington DC
  • Non-Stop from CDG, Paris to Addis Ababa
Air France

Air France

  • 1-Stop from CDG, Paris via Nairobi, Kenya to Addis Ababa


  • Non-Stop from Frankfurt to Addis Ababa

Ethiopia Travel Health

Vaccinations/boosters are strongly recommended for:

Note, you must carry the WHO Yellow Fever certificate when travelling to Ethiopia from a country with risk of YFV transmission including transit of more than 12 hours in an airport located in a country with risk of YFV transmission.

Malaria In Ethiopia

Ethiopia Malaria Map Malaria Map Of Ethiopia

Malaria prophylaxis is recommended for all travellers to Ethiopia at all times of year even though the risk of getting it is low if you are hunting highland areas of over 2000m above sea level. The red area indicate substantial risk of malaria.

Other Health Hazards In Ethiopia

Getting A Visa For Ethiopia

You can apply for an Ethiopia visa online with eVisa. There are full instructions and requirements on the website.

You can apply for a tourist visa at the Embassy in person at any time during working hours. Full instructions and requirements are listed here.

Ethiopia Embassy Websites

Taking Video & Camera Equipment To Ethiopia

Any foreigner who wishes to do professional filming of any kind in Ethiopia needs to apply for a permit in advance from the Ministry of Communications. This would include professional videographers who are hired by hunters to film their hunts.

However, Ethiopian Customs have been requesting permits from ordinary tourists for all types of video cameras entering the country, considering them to be professional filming equipment. Also carrying multiple cameras with extra lenses etc may also be considered to be professional camera equipment. Ethiopian Customs have been occasionally prohibiting individuals from bringing cameras and other equipment into the country for personal use, confiscating all their equipment. Officially the Ethiopian customs law says that you are allowed to bring in one camera with accessories.

Recommended Reading For Ethiopia Travel

Ethiopia Travel Guide

The Bradt Travel Guide (2018) to Ethiopia is the most thorough guide available to this country rich in culture, history and dramatic scenery and has been highly praised by both travel press and readers.

Useful Ethiopia Travel Resources

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