Ethiopia Information that is Important to Know
Ethiopia is made up of several different ethnic groups with the official language being Amharic.
The city of Addis Ababa which translates to "new flower" is a relatively new city, having been established in the late 1800's.
Ethiopia is the largest landlocked country in the world and the second largest country in Africa with a population of well over 100 million.
Health in Ethiopia
There are a lot of pharmacies in Ethiopia and they are well stocked to handle most common medicines but rare medicines might pose a problem.
Although, many locals drink the tap water, it is deemed unsafe and should be boiled thoroughly.
Addis Ababa is one of the highest placed cities in the world, with an altitude of about 2,300 meters or 7,500 feet above sea level.
Due to this high elevation it is above the anti malarial line and anti malarial medicines are not needed.
Visas in Ethiopia
Most visitors to Ethiopia are able to receive a visa upon arrival and an online service is also available for tourists: E Visas for Ethiopia.
At the time of this writing the visa is $50 for a one month tourist visa or $70 for three months.
Credit cards are accepted and be advised these are single entry visas.
Travelers with layovers that are less than 24 hours and are customers of Ethiopian Airlines can get transit visas for free.
Safety in Ethiopia
Ethiopia is one of the safest countries in Africa but petty theft is common especially those targeting foreign visitors.
Pickpockets are mostly young children found around the city selling confectionaries.
For more on crime, criminals, and safety in Ethiopia: Crime in Ethiopia.
Local Flights in Ethiopia
Ethiopian Airlines provides local flights discounts for those that flew their carrier to enter into the country.
There are also private carriers other than Ethiopian Airlines, for more details: Flights in Ethiopia.
Transportation in Ethiopia
For moving about in the cities, contract taxies, minibuses, and sometimes bajajes are available.
Contract taxies can be a bit costly, but you are free to negotiate a better price.
The average prices range between 150 to 300 birr. These prices can vary depending on the distance you plan to travel.
The other forms of transport are usually fixed prices which are relatively low.
Climate in Ethiopia
The climate in Addis Ababa remains quite constant all year round. The rainy season begins in July all the way through to September.
For more on Ethiopia's climate: Climate in Ethiopia.
Clothing in Ethiopia
With such a high altitude, the temperature throughout the day might vary, with the mornings and nights being a bit chilly and mid day being a bit warm.
Ethiopians mostly wear pants and long skirts with no variation depending on the temperature; foreigners can wear shorts but should refrain from clothing that is too revealing.
Money in Ethiopia
ATM's in hotel lobbies are a good place to withdraw Ethiopian birr. 4,000 birr or about $175 is the limit for withdrawals per transaction.
Credit cards are only now gaining momentum in Ethiopia as a form of payment. But all in all, it is a cash economy.
One should be wary of black market exchange places, as they are illegal in Ethiopia. For more on this: Ethiopian Birr.
Telecommunications in Ethiopia
Local sim cards cost only 15 birr or less than a US dollar and come equipped with 3G and 4G connections.
For more on mobile and internet usage in Ethiopia: ttelecom.html.
Free Wifi can also be found around the city, mostly in hotels and cafes. For a list of the best places with good wifi connections, see: Best Wifi in Ethiopia.
17 Important Services to Know in Ethiopia
Cars, 4x4's, Buses, etc.
There are various automotive rental service providers located in Ethiopia. You can choose from a wide array of choices: sedans, hatchbacks, 4 wheel drives for touring, mini buses and buses, etc.Rentals in Ethiopia
3 Star, 4 Star, 5 Star Ratings, etc.
There are various hotels to choose from in the many parts of Addis Ababa and the regions of Ethiopia.Hotels in Ethiopia
There are a large number of banks, including private banks that operate throughout all the regions in Ethiopia. These banks are in the final process of finalising services which will be very instrumental for local and international customers, such as accessing local and international cards like Visa, MasterCard and UnionPay cards. Card payments are possible for service...Banks in Ethiopia
Official Carrier & Private Carriers
The world reknowned Ethiopian Airlines offers coverage of many international and local destinations. It has flights to cities such as: Bahir Dar, Gondar, Mekelle, Axum, Dire Dawa, Jijiga, Gode, and Gambella.Agentsin Ethiopia
To Plan the Perfect Tour
Tour operators facilitate tour packages, car rentals, hotel reservations, ticketing, special vacations, packaged tours, etc.Tour Operators in Ethiopia
Hospitals, Pharmacies, & Ambulances
There are many health service providers at various levels of capacity in Ethiopia, as well as the regions in which tourists travel often. However, it is always advisable to pack all recommended medicines as directed by the physician before beginning a trip.Hospitals in Ethiopia
EMS, TNT, FedEx, UPS, DHL
There are Ethiopian Postal services throughout Ethiopia, with the Main Office around the Ambassador area. Courier services such as DHL, FedEx, UPS, TNT, and EMS are also available.Couriers in Ethiopia
Ethio Telecom offers a variety of connection speeds through its package deals. There are lots of internet cafes to choose from throughout the city and most hotels offer this service too. The broadbank internet connection is widely used throughout with speeds starting at 128kb/s to 3.1 mb/s...Telecom in Ethiopia
Hotels, Resorts, Organizations, etc.
The UN-CC (United Nations Conference Center) is the largest conference center in Addis Ababa. It plays host to several meetings and conferences a year. With the large number of embassies and international organizations: Ethiopia is said to be the fourth in the world in regards to the number of conferences and meetings held in a city.Conference Halls in Ethiopia
Souveniers, Art Galleries, Traditional Clothes
The well known district in near the Head Post Office on Churchill Street houses many types of souveniers such as: locally made fabrics, paintings, jewelery, handicrafts, etc. If you are interested soley on paintings, then the art galleries are a good place to look.Shopping Areas in Ethiopia
Traditional, Modern, Off the Beaten Path, etc.
There are several resorts in Ethiopia, some developed by lakes, others on the mountain side. With traditional architecture and locally built furniture, they give you the feeling of living in a unique place and time.Resortsin Ethiopia
Wollisso, Ankober, Semien Mountains, etc.
There are a plethora of lodges to choose from. Depending on the surroundings you enjoy. There are lodges by hot springs, by historical palaces, by national parks, etc.Lodges in Ethiopia
Live Like the Locals
Guest Houses are a great way to interact with the locals. If you are interested in a trip that will give you the full impression of the country's culture, then guest houses are a great way to go. You will be guaranteed a memorable trip.Guest Houses in Ethiopia
Beauty Salons & Health Spas
From Hair Salons to Modern and Traditional Saunas
You will not have a problem finding beauty salon and spa services in Ethiopia. Even traditional hairstyles can be obtained. There are also tradtional saunas called "kokoba tis" and "weiba tis", as well as, ultra modern saunas and spas.Salons & Spas in Ethiopia
International and National Cuisines
Be prepared with a full listing of the various wonderful restaurants located throughout Ethiopia.Restaurants in Ethiopia
Experience Cultural Cuisine
Ethiopia is known for its ancient history, heritage, culture and uniqueness. With this in mind, prepare your taste buds to experience this vibrant history. They serve food for vegetarians as well, and this is where you should try the local cuisines such as: doro wot, shiro, kitfo, and the local honey brew tejj.Traditional Restaurants in Ethiopia
Universities/Colleges in Ethiopia
Medical, IT, Engineering, etc.
Ethiopia has a plethora of universities and colleges located throughout the country. From medical colleges to information technology to agriculture...the options to choose from are endless.Colleges and Universities in Ethiopia