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Practical Information

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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.

Visitors’ Visas can be obtained online at  Citizens of all countries in the globe are eligible for tourist visa provided that the below requirements are fulfilled.

▪Recent passport-size photo of the applicant.

▪Passport of the visa applicant which is valid for at least 6 months from the intended date of entry to Ethiopia.

 it can also be obtained from the nearest Ethiopian Embassy and it takes about 3 days to be obtained, while you can also decide to get it on arrival in Bole international airport Addis Ababa airport (Currently fee of US$80 ) for a single entry one month visa (subject to change). Visa regulations may change without prior notice and SET Ethiopia is not responsible for such changes or any repercussions resulting from them.

Amharic, a Semitic language related to Hebrew and Arabic, is the official national language and is used in commerce and administration. It and Tigrinya are written in a Sabian script. Oromifaa is written in a Latin script. Somali, Guaragunga, Afar and more than 83 other tongues are spoken in Ethiopia.

Before embarking on such a vacation, you should be aware that, given the lack of internet service in the majority of Ethiopia, you might need to manage your wireless Wi-Fi and ensure you have mobile data if you rely heavily on fast network speeds.

Your accommodations will be in the hotels that are usually near the points of interest on your itinerary. They are chosen based on the cultural hospitality, cultural integrity and the sociable surroundings and best available at that time or as per your request.

The most popular Ethiopian foods include a variety of vegetable or meat side dishes and main courses, typically a thick stew eaten with injera, a large Teff flour-based sourdough flatbread. Injera is used to scoop up the entrees and side dishes rather than eating with utensils. In Agame and Awlaelo, tihlo made from roasted barley flour is highly liked (Tigrai).
As pork and all shellfish are banned in the Islamic, Jewish, and Ethiopian Orthodox Christian religions, traditional Ethiopian cuisine avoids using them. Eating from the same little dish in the middle of the table with a group of people is also fairly typical. They have tea, bread, and buttermilk in the morning.

The rainy season is normally from June to September but it is very common for the Sun to shine even during the rainy season. Some irregular showers fall from February to June. In the good travel season (October to February), temperatures range 20-28°C during the daytime and drops to below 20’s in the evenings and is usually a dry time of the year. If you visit the Omo Valley, be advised that it can get hotter.

Ethiopia has one time zone which is 3 hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time. As Ethiopia is located near the equator, day and night times are almost equal.

To cover any necessary hospitalization or illness while in Ethiopia, as well as trip disruptions and cancellations, it is highly advised to acquire good coverage of accident/medical insurance.


All citizens require a valid passport to enter Ethiopia. Validity must be at least 6 months from entry date into Ethiopia and must include empty visa pages.

220 Volts / 50Htz
Plugs are Round pins with round grounding pin. Please make sure you bring a converter / adapter.

On your travels, you may come across some people who are begging, but it is not mandatory to give them money or provide what they are seeking.

Estimated and subject to change without warning.
Before taking pictures of people, it is polite to get their permission. In various areas of the nation, especially among the ethnic groups that live near the Omo River, people will also charge a fee. For video photography, there are various websites that charge.

In general, Ethiopia is much safer than Westerners might expect. Ethiopian people are friendly. Ethiopia is still a low-crime country in africa.


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