Practical Information

Visiting a new country always brings a new set of circumstances and a different way of life. That’s why we travel, isn’t it?Here’s a bit of information to make your stay as smooth as possible.Language With more than 80 ethnic groups in Ethiopia come just as many languages. The main working language is Amharic, a Semitic language, related to both Arabic and Hebrew. Amharic with its own unique alphabet and numbers. The alphabet consists of over 200 unique symbols, or fidel, each representing a syllable, usually a consonant and a vowel sound together. Amharic numbers are rarely used, mainly due to the lack of a character for zero (0). Rather, Indo-Arabic numbers are used, which is the same as in the Western world (1, 2, 3, etc). Other widely spoken languages include Oromifa (Oh-roh-mee-fa) in the Oromo region and Tigrigna(Tee-gree-nya) in the region of Tigray. Money The local currency isthe Ethiopian birr. US dollars, Euros and GB Pounds can easily be exchanged at local banks. BUT We recommend to bring enough cash from home and not to rely on obtaining cash from ATMs since machines may often be out of order and/or money.

Tourists arriving from the following “tourist-generating” countries can obtain a Tourist Visa valid for 3 months at Bole International Airport upon arrival for a fee of $20 (USD): Argentina, Australia, Austria,Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland,France, Germany, Greece, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Kuwait,Luxembourg, Mexico,Netherlands, New Zealand, Democratic People's Republic of Korea (NorthKorea), Norway, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Korea (South Korea),Russian Federation, Slovakia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden,Switzerland, United Kingdom, United States. Nationals from all other countries must obtain a visa before arrival.
With proper precautions, visitors to Ethiopia can enjoy a healthy stay. All visitors are recommended to have travel insurance, and SIMIEN ECO TREK operates under the assumption that all of its clients have current policies. It is recommended to obtain recommended vaccinations before arrival, including Yellow Fever, which is required. Malaria is present in low-lying areas, so proper precautions should be taken. There is no malaria in Addis Ababa and most highland locations in the northern part of Ethiopia (except Bahir Dar, where there is a malaria risk). Water should always be boiled or treated before drinking. Alternatively, bottled water is always safe. Visitors may be cautious when eating raw vegetables or salads that may have been washed in local water. Food should always be eaten freshly cooked. Remember the traveler’s mantra: “Boil it, cook, it, peel it, or forget it.” Hospitals will vary greatly in quality throughout the country. In Addis Ababa, recommended hospitals include: St.Gabriel Hospital, Bethzatha Hospital and My unsung Christian MedicalCenter (Korean Hospital)
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