- Visitor Information
- Visa & Immigration
- Health, Safety, Time
- Ethiopia Customs, Currency & Airport Tax Regulations
Ethiopia, a land of contrast and a truly best kept secret, that offers uncountable gifts and an unforgettable memory for visitors is relatively unique from the rest of the world.
Ethiopia has a proud and long history extending to the known beginning of humankind. The mysterious and the tallest ever standing monolithic monuments of Axum, the astonishing and perfectly designed rock hewn churches of Lalibela, the magnificent and elegant castles of Gondar, the marvelous and decorated wall of Harer(Jegol) and other architectural remnants exist testifying the great civilizations of the country registered centuries ago.
The natural beauty of Ethiopia is amazing. It is endowed with a breathtaking rugged mountains (the Semien Mountains, the highest peak, 4543 m and the Bale Mountains for instance are iconic landscapes), great escarpments and stunning vista is waiting for real adventurers. Thus the country is often awarded as’ the roof of Africa’.
Do you know the only feature of planet earth which is visible from the moon, the rift valley, is a remarkable region of volcanic formed lakes, with their famous collections of birdlife that makes Ethiopia truly a paradise for bird watchers?
Ethiopia is the source of the life giving river of Blue Nile and many other rivers, lakes and waterfalls in which some of them must rank as one of the greatest spectacular in Africa today.
Its biodiversity makes the country an important place for scientific studies and research. Abundant birdlife, endemic mammals (from the goat like Walia Ibex to the Giant molle rat), beautiful flowers, butterflies, and with many more indigenous plants, the country is absolutely a suitable place for living things go through a normal range.
The Danakil depression, the hottest place in the world (48 ◦C/ 118 ◦F), offers you the most color ful world that you couldn’t see anywhere else in the world. The mazes of the beautifully natural curved limestone walls of the Sofomer cave is offering ‘Wow’ feeling and extreme adventure.
Beside the magnificent history and splendid nature, Ethiopia boosts vibrant and colour ful culture. The mass celebrated festival, such as the recently registered world heritage- Meskel (the finding of the True Cross) and the unregistered yet deserved -Timket (Epiphany) have a power even to strangers to set in motion and stick together the crowd without a fear and left inexpressibly happier moment. The spicy based aromatic Ethiopian dishes such as Doro Wot (Stew ) and the exclusively homemade drinks such as Tej (the Ethiopian honey wine) are also creating some good feeling in an extraordinary level.
The indigenous smallest grain, Teff (scientific name), which is an ingredient to make the staple food of Ethiopia, Injera, has become popular in some parts of the world for its gluten free nature and good source of fibres, carbohydrate, iron , phosphate.
Name: Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia
Capital city: Addis Ababa
Location: Ethiopia is located in the horn of Africa. Share borders with Eritrea in the North, Djibouti and Somalia in the East, Sudan and South Sudan in the West and Kenya in the South
Coordinates: 8 00 N and 38 00E
Area: The total area of Ethiopia is 1, 127, 127 square kilometers (27th in the world). The land covers 1 119 683 square kilometers and the water covers 7 444 square kilometers
Climate: The climate in Ethiopia varies tremendously depending on elevation. There are two major seasons: the dry season prevails from October through May; the wet season runs from June to September
Topography: Ethiopia has an elevated central plateau varying in height between 2000 and 3000 meters. In the North and the center of the country there are some 25 mountains whose peaks rise over 4000 meters. The most famous Ethiopian river is the Blue Nile (or Abay), which runs a distance of 1450 kilometers from the source of Lake Tana, to join the White Nile at Khartoum.
Government: Federal Parliamentary Republic:
President: Dr. MulatuTeshome (2013)
Prime Minister: Haile Mariam Desalegn (2012)
Legislature: Federal parliamentary Assembly; House of Federation and House of peoples Representatives
National Flag: The national flag is a horizontal tri color of green, yellow and red with a national emblem (a yellow interlaced pentagram radiating rays of light on a blue shield) superposed at the center)
National Anthem: March forward, Dear mother Ethiopia
Economy: 85% of the Ethiopia’s economy is based on agriculture, which accounts 46% of GDP and 85% of total employment. The GDP of Ethiopia is $47.57 billion (2013 World Bank). The Ethiopian fiscal year is from 8 July to 7 July. The growth rate is 2.6% and the GNI is $ 470 (2013est).
Exports: Coffee, oilseeds, Khat, hides, cattle, sugar cane and cut flowers
Industries: Food processing, beverages, textile, chemicals, metal processing and cement
Population: The population is estimated at 94.1 million (2014 World Bank)
Language: Amharic is Ethiopians official language and the most widely spoken. Others include Oromigna, Tigrigna, Guragigna, Somali and Arabic. English is the major language taught in schools. French, Italian and Spanish are spoken in the spheres of commerce and education. There are more than 83 languages with 200 dialects spoken in the country.
Ethnicity: Ethiopia is a multi-ethnic state. The Oromo (34.5%), Amhara (26.9%), Somali (6.1%), Tigray (4.0%), Sidama (2.5%), Gurage (2.3%), Welayta ( 1.7%), Hadiya ( 1.7%), Afar (1.5%), Gamo (1.3%), Gedeo ( 1.3%) and others
Religion: Major religions in the country are Christianity and Islam
Currency: 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 custom authorities. Exchange of foreign currency only via authorized banks and organizations.
Courtier Service: Service providers: DHL, FedEx, UPS, TNT, Aramex, DPP, Air express, EMS, Trans Africa have offices in Addis Ababa
Excursion: Tours within Ethiopia, whether for a day or for a month, organized by any of the travel agencies located in Addis Ababa
Hotels: Various sorts of hotels from luxurious, top end such as Sheraton, Hilton, Radisson Blue, Jupiter and Intercontinental to budget class such as Ghion, Ethiopia and Wabeshebelle are available in Ethiopia. All resorts offer a choice of modern hotels.
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
Health Requirements: 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.
Clothing: 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).
Banking hours: Banking hours are usually from 8:00 – 04- pm from Monday to Saturday. Most banks work also during the Lunch time (12:00 noon 0 01:00 pm)
Shopping hours: Shops are open Monday to Saturday 08:00 am -12:00 pm and 01: 00 pm very flexible, often longer opening hours. This day, a few supermarkets and beauty salons in the capital are working 24 hours. Most shops are closed on Sundays.
Electricity: Ethiopia uses 220 volts 50 cycles AC (European and Italian Plugs)
Time: Ethiopia is in the GMT + 3 hours’ time zone. Ethiopia follows the Julian calendar
Communication: Telephone, fax and internet service is available in Addis Ababa and major cities in Ethiopia
Drives on: The right
International dialing code: +251
Major cities: Adama, Awassa, Arba Minch, Bahir Dar, Dessie, Dire Dawa, Gonder, Harer, Mekelle, Jimma, Nekemte, Ambo…..
Ethiopia’s main attractions:
- Lower Omo
- Bale mountain National Park
- Semien mountains national park
- LaworAwsh valley
You are allowed to come with the following items in Ethiopia:
- 400 cigarettes or 250g of tobacco (adults only);
- 2 liter of alcoholic beverages;
- 500ml of perfume;
- 100g of jewelry
- electronic equipment for personal use
Export regulations: Free export of goods obtained in Ethiopia, up to a value of ETB 500.-. For the export of skins and hides and any kind of antique articles (e.g. swords, bibles, etc.) export certificates are required.
Crew member’s customs regulations: Same regulations as for passengers apply.
Pet: Cats and dogs must be accompanied by veterinarian good health certificate issued at point of origin.
Baggage Clearance regulations: Baggage is cleared at first international point of entry (Bole International Airport (ADD)).
Exempt: baggage of transit passengers with a destination outside of Ethiopia when the onward flight is within 24 hours.
Airport Embarkation Tax: No airport tax is levied on passengers upon embarkation at the airport.
Import regulations: Local currency (Ethiopian Birr-ETB): up to ETB 200. – Per person; foreign currencies: unlimited, provided declaration (only valid for 6 weeks from the date of issue) is made to customs on arrival.
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
Currency Export regulations: Local currency (Ethiopian Birr-ETB), provided passenger holds a re-entry permit: ETB 200. – Per person; foreign currencies: up to the amounts imported and declared.