Important Travel information
Fuel name: Federal democratic of Ethiopia
Capital city: Addis Ababa
Land : 1.14 Million square Kilometers
Topography and Climate: Ethiopia has an elevated plateau ranging in height between 2,000 to 3000 meters. In the north and south east part of the country there are high mountains whose picks rise to above 4,300 M. one of the bigets lake which is the source of famous Nile river is also found in the northern part of the country. Ethiopia also has two major favorable seasons wet and Dry seasons. We season runs from June to September and dry prevails October trough May.
Economy : Ethiopia is a multi-ethnic state with a great variety of languages spoken in the country, of which there are 83 with 200 dialects. Amharic is the working language of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia while Oromigna, Tigrigna and Guragina are widely spoken. Moreover, English, Italian, French and Arabic are widely spoken in the spheres of commerce and education.
Religion: Major religions in the country are Christianity and Islam but there are also some Catholic and protestant.
Internet, telephone and fax service:
Internet domain or country code suffix .et Numerous internet cafes are available in Addis Ababa and in other cities. They all give Fax and telephone calling service. The country Dialing Code is +251.
Ethiopia uses 220 volts 50 cycles AC.
The population is estimated at 83.1 million (UN 2007)
Ethiopia is in the GMT + 3 hours time zone. Ethiopia follows the Julian calendar
Main product Exports:
Ethiopian main exports are based on agricultural products as such as: Coffee, hides, oil seeds, beeswax, meat, sugarcane, and flowers.
Banking hours are usually from 8:00 am – 4:00 pm from Monday to Friday and from 8:00 am – 11:00 am on Saturdays. Closing times may be an hour longer in some private banks. Most banks work through lunchtime; however foreign exchange services are closed during lunch hours (12:00 noon – 1:00 pm
Couriers and Money transfer services
Money transfers can be made through Western Union and Money Gram. Both have representative branches in Addis Ababa and also make their services available from private and national banks.
Four courier service providers DHL, FedEx, UPS, TNT and EMS have offices in Addis Ababa
Currency and currency regulations:
The local currency is the Ethiopian Birr (ETB), made up of 100 cents. Birr notes are available in denominations of 5, 10, 50 and 100. Visitors may import an unlimited amount of foreign currency but this must be declared on arrival to the customs authorities on the appropriate blue-colored form.
Foreign currency may only be exchanged at authorized banks and hotels, and a receipt must be obtained. The currency declaration form must be retained as this will be required by customs on departure. Visitors may change back any surplus Ethiopian Birr to cash at the airport before departure.
In addition to any Ethiopian Birr, along with the currency exchange form you must bring with you all receipts for exchange transaction
Addis Ababa has hotels that cater for all pockets, from the luxurious Sheraton and Hilton hotels to the tourist-class hotels such as the Ghion, the Ethiopia and the Wabi Shebelle. All tourist resorts offer a choice of modern hotels.
In general between seasons clothes are appropriate. At higher altitudes, woolen clothes or a coat are needed in the evenings. Travelers should take rain coat or other rainwear, particularly when visiting the country during the period from February to October. It is usually possible to have clothes laundered at or near hotels within a short period of time (frequently services are offered 24 hours a day).
Public holidays are celebrated according to the Ethiopian (Julian) Calendar which consists of twelve months of thirty days each and a thirteenth month of five days (six days in leap year). The calendar is seven years behind the Western or Gregorian Calendar, with New Year falling in the month of September. Sunday is the weekly day of rest.
• September 11 Ethiopian New Year
• September 26 The finding of the True Cross (Meskal)
• October 2 Id ulFitr (Ramadhan)
• December 9 Id ulAhda (Sacrifice)
• January 8 Ethiopian Christmas
• January 20 Ethiopian Epiphany
• March 2 Victory of Adwa
• March 20 Birth of Prophet Mohammed (Mauwlid)
• April 25 Ethiopian Good Friday
• April 27 Ethiopian Easter
• May 1 International Labour Day
• May 5 Ethiopian patriots’ victory day
• May 28 Downfall of the Dergue Regime
• The holidays of Id al Fater and Id al Adaha and the Prophet Muhammad S.A.W.) are subject to moon sighting.
Visa and immigrations requirements:
Visa applications may be obtained at Ethiopia’s diplomatic missions overseas. However, nationals of 33 countries are now allowed to receive their tourist visas on arrival in Ethiopia at the regular charges. List includes:
27. Russian federation
28. South Africa
33. United kingdom
34. United states of America
Prior to entry, visitors should be in possession of a valid health certificate for yellow fever. 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.
Visitors may export souvenirs, although some articles (such as animal skin and antiques) require an export permits.
1- Choose your route wisely. think about your interests, what you like to do and tailor your trip accordingly
2- SLOW DOWN
Too many people try to cram too much in to a visit to Ethiopia. Don’t be one of them! Seeing one place slowly is so much more rewarding than seeing many places in flashes. You will be less stressed, gain deeper understanding of where you are and have more time to build relationship with the people you met.
3- STAY HEALTH
Avoid tap water, and any food that may have been washed in it, at all times.
4- MONEY BELT, NOT FANNY PACK
Definitely take a money belt.by this I mean one that’s worn inside the clothes , against the skin. There are two main types of one which go around your neck and one which go around your waist. Either is fine. Keep your passport in there as well as your emergency cash (100-200 us) and if you have them, any paper airline tickets, etc…
5- SPARE DOCUMENT COPIES
Always photocopy your photo page of your passport, your tickets, and visa. Etc…
(It’s a great idea to do these no matter where you are going) keep the photo copies separate from the real documents, so that you have back up..