Travel Tips

  Travel information  and Holidays in Ethiopia

Ethiopia is located in the horn of Africa bordering with Kenya in the south,Somalia and Djibouti in the East, Eritrea in the north and the two Sudan in the west. The land covers an area of 1,104,300 million square kilometer( approx. 426,372.61 square )

There are two main seasons : the dry season, October –May and the wet season, June-September.

Ethiopia has an elevated central plateau varying in height between 2,000 and 3,000 meters. In the north and center of the country, there are some 25 mountains whose peaks rise above 4,000 meters. The most famous Ethiopian river is the Blue Nile or Abbay, which flows north a distance of 1,450 kilometers from its source in Lake Tana to join the White Nile , at Khartoum Sudan.

The population is estimated at 96,633,458 million with a multiethnic state with 83 languages and 200 dialects. Amharic is the working language of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia while Oromiffa, Tigrigna and Guragigna are widely spoken.

Travel Information

Electric supply – Ethiopia use 220 volts 50 cycles AC. Plugs are European two-pin.

Time –Ethiopia is in the GMT+3 time zone. It follows the Julian calendar, which consists of 12 months of 30 days each and a 13th month of five or six days( on a leap year).

Currency- Birr and cents are the unit currency. Notes are 100,50,10 5 and 1 birr. 1 birr coin is also in circulation. ATM are found in Major cities, shops, malls and airports. It is important to retain currency exchange receipts.

Banking Hours- Banking hours are usually 8 a.m-5 p.m. Monday to Friday and 8 a.m -4 p.m. Saturday, most banks work through lunchtime: however, foreign exchange service are closed during lunch hours( noon-1 p.m)

Communications- telephones, fax machines and Internet access are available in Addis Ababa in most hotels and private Internet service centers.

Working  Hours – government office hours are 8:30 a.m -12:30 p.m and 1:30-5:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday. Working hours on Friday are 8:30-11:30 a.m and 1:30-5:30. Private and public businesses are often open on Saturdays.

Health Requirements- a yellow fever certificate is required for some African destinations. Vaccination against cholera is also required for any person who has visited or transited  a cholera-infected area within six days prior to arrival in Ethiopia.

Immigration requirements

Visas are required for all foreign visitors to Ethiopia, with the exception of national of Kenya. Visa applications may be obtained at Ethiopia’s diplomatic missions overseas. Nationals of 37 countries are now allowed to receive their tourist visa on arrival in Ethiopia. Please visit ETHIOPIAN  VISA UP ON ARRIVAL section on website.

Public holidays

Public holidays are celebrated according to the Ethiopian( Julian) Calendar. The calendar is seven years behind  the Western or Gregorian Calendar, with the New Year falling in the month of September

September  12-Ethiopian New Year

September 24- Id ul Ahda(sacrifice)

September 28: The Finding of The True  Cross (meskel), world heritage festival

January 7: Ethiopian Christmas ( Genna)

January 20: Ethiopian Epiphany (Timket)

March 2: Victory of Adwa (1896)

April 10: Ethiopian Orthodox Good Friday

April 12: Ethiopian Orthodox Easter Sunday

May 1: International Labor Day

May 5: Ethiopian Patriots (1941) Victory Day

May 28: fall of the Dergue ( 1991) day