All visitors to Ethiopia required a valid passport and visa for entry. It is possible to obtain a visa at the airport/entry point at a cost of US $50. However it is advisable to obtain your visa prior to travel from the Ethiopian high commission in your country. Nationals of 33 countries are now allowed to receive their tourist visas on arrival in Ethiopia at the regular charge, including western European and north American countries and Argentina, Australia, China, Israel, Japan, Korea republic, Kuwait, Mexico, New Zealand, Poland, Russia, South Africa and Taiwan.
All visitors are required to possess a valid yellow fever vaccination certificate. Vaccination against cholera is also required for any person who has visited or been in transit through a cholera infected area within six days prior to arrival in Ethiopia. Malaria is endemic through out the country. Visitors should begin taking any recommended anti malarias before their arrival.
The Official language is Amharic however English is widely spoken in the major cities. All of our office staffs and driver guides can speak English.
The monetary unit of Ethiopian currency is the "Birr" with an average exchange rate of 20.15 against the dollar and 23.43=1EUR (for randomly selected days in Jan 2015), subject to weekly revisions. Copper coins are circulated in values of 1, 5, 10, 25, 50 cents and 1 birr coin. Currency notes are printed in denominations of Birr 1, 5, 10, 50, and 100. Foreign currency can be exchanged at the Airport on arrival, at the public and private banks, or licensed hotels.
Drivers require a valid International driving licence which can be obtained by exchanging your local licence at the Transport and Communications office on Asmera Road in Addis Ababa. Visitors can recover their original licences a day or so prior to departure. Those with their own vehicles will require a permit from the Ministry of Transport and Communications. Driving is on the right.
In the West the use of the Julian calendar was replaced by the Europeans calendar some 400 years ago, but Ethiopia still uses the Julian calendar which divides the year into 12 months of 30 days each, and the remaining five or six days) constituting the short and 13th month of "Pagume." The Ethiopian New Year commences on September 11th, and on the 12th (every leap year). Ethiopia is in the GMT + 3 time zone. Ethiopia, having its own ancient calendar and clock, celebrates its new year every year on the 11th September and every four years, on the 12th September, because of the leap year.
Ethiopia uses 220 volts and 50 Hz. It is best to bring your own round, two-prong adapter and transformer if necessary.
Only drinks bottled water throughout your stay. Bottled water is provided by your local tour operator in case of camping, also widely available in local shops around the country. Culture, Please is aware that taking photographs of local people will be deemed to be highly offensive. Always ask permission fist and don’t be offended if the answer is no!