Ethiopia Travel Facts
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 his/her arrival in Ethiopia. Harlem Tours and Car Rental clients won’t be worried as our guides and drivers take care of them while on tour. While camping we serve fresh and well cooked meals.
Best Time To Visit
Ethiopia can be visited any time of the year as it provides you with 13 months of sunshine or any kind of weather you like, depending on the region that you want to visit and/or the activities you want to engage in.
Food and Drinks
The food and drink of Ethiopia reflects the many different cultures. A typical dish is wot, a hot spicy stew of meat or vegetables, seasoned with a blend of Berbere (chili powder). It is made with Doro (chicken), and normally served with Injera, the traditional spongy pancake made from a fermented Teff Flour batter. Ethiopia produces its own wines: Dukam and Gouder are fine reds, while Axumite is sweeter. Crystals is a dry white wine. The famous honey wine or Tej is found all over the country as is Tela, a local beer, and Katikala distillated liquor.
Christianity and Islam are the two main religions in Ethiopia making up 90% of the population each with other religions making up the rest. Most of the Christians belong to the Ethiopian Orthodox Church. While visiting churches, shoes must be removed before entering the building. One should never smoke anywhere near a church. Only priests are allowed to step into the Holy of Holies where the ‘TABOT’ replica of the Ark of the Covenant is kept.
Addis Ababa has hotels that cater for all pockets, from the luxurious Sheraton, Intercontinental and Hilton hotels to the tourist class hotels. Outside Addis, mainly in the ‘Historic Route’ good standard hotels are available. However, to visit the remote and the people of the wilderness, our camping equipments are of a high standard.
There are two seasons: the dry season prevails from October through May; the wet season runs from June to September.
Visas are required for all foreign visitors to Ethiopia. These can be secured from Ethiopian Diplomatic and consular missions abroad. In addition, visitors from the countries listed below can obtain their visa on arrival at Bole International Airport (Addis Ababa):
France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Rep. Korea, Kuwait, Luxemburg, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Russia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, United Kingdom, United States.
Duty-free imports are permitted for up to:
- 200 cigarettes, or 50 cigars or ½ Ib of tobacco
- 1 liter of alcoholic Beverages
- ½ liter, or two bottles of perfumes
Visitors may export souvenirs with a value not exceeding Birr 500, although some articles (such as animal skins and antiques) require an export permit.
Ethiopia is in the GMT + 3 hours time zone.
Ethiopian calendar: Ethiopia still retains the Julian calendar, in which the year is divided into 12 months of 30 days each, and a 13th month of five days and six days during the leap year. The Ethiopian Calendar is almost eight years behind the Gregorian calendar.
The local currency is the Ethiopia birr made up of 100 cents. Visitors may import an unlimited amount of foreign currency, providing declaration of such currency is made to customs on arrival. Foreign currency may be changed only at authorized banks and hotels. The currency declaration form must be retained, as this will be required by customs on departure. Visitors, however, will be able to change any excess Ethiopian Birr to foreign currency at the bank in the airport before departure.
Ethiopia has an elevated central plateau varying in height between 2,000 and 3,000 meters. In the north and in the center of the country, there are some 25 mountains whose peaks rise over 4000 meters.
Ethiopia uses 220 volts 50 cycles AC.
The population is estimated to be over 72 million with 50% of those under 20 years old. The average number of inhabitants per square kilometer is 49.
Ethiopia a multi-ethnic state with a great variety of languages spoken in the country. There are 83 with 200 dialects. The main three languages are Amharic (the national language of the country). Tigrigna and Oromigna. English is also widely spoken.