Travel Tips

Ethiopia
Ethiopia is officially known as the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia. Situated   at the Northern east of Africa, an area of 1,112,000 square kilometers. Ethiopia Shares its boundaries with Eritrea North and North east, Djibouti Easter part, Somalia south east and south, Kenya south and Sudan in the western side.

Capital  
The capital of Ethiopia is Addis Ababa founded in 1886 by Empress Taytu  as Addis Ababa, currently Addis Ababa is  known as the capital of Africa by hosting many international organization headquarters, UN for Africa (ECA), the AU (African union) and other Diplomatic mission for Africa.

Currency

The Ethiopian currency is called Birr and is issued by the National Bank of Ethiopia. One Birr is made up of 100 cents. The Bank notes are in denominations of 1, 5, 10, 50, and 100 Birr and the coins are in denominations of 1, 5, 10, 25 ,  50 and 1 Birr  cents. Visitors may import unlimited foreign currency. Foreign currency can be changed at banks and hotels and the receipts for all exchange transactions must be retained as this may be required by Customs on departure. Visitors may change back any leftover Ethiopian Birr to their chosen foreign currency at the airport before departure and must provide the declaration form with all receipts for exchange transactions. Please note that the exchange rate fluctuates from day to day.  Banks are open from 8 AM (2 o'clock local time) to 5:30 PM (11:30 o'clock local time). Some banks close for lunch between 1 PM (7 o'clock local time) and 2 PM (8 o'clock local time).

Money Transfer and Courier Services  

Money transfers can be made through Western Union and Money Gram. Both have representative branches in Addis Ababa and outside in some of the major towns and make their services available from private and national Banks. For courier services, DHL, FedEx, UPS, TNT, and EMS have offices in Addis Ababa.

Time and Calendar

Ethiopia is in GMT +3 hours’ time Zone, and follows the unique Julian calendar which is seven years and eight months behind the Gorgonian calendar, consists of thirteen month, the twelve months consists of 30 days each and the last (13th Month) will have 5 or 6 days during leap year, The New Year fall on the 11th of September.

Accommodation 
Addis Ababa has two 5 stat hotels- the Hilton Addis and the Sheraton Addis  (Luxury collection) and a growing number of tourist class hotels. Standards vary outside the capital, but apart from some remote areas where camping is unavoidable it is generally possible to get relatively clean rooms with en suite toilet and shower.

Communication:
Telephone, Tele fax, Internet, e-mail and postal facilities are available in the country. Internet services are available in major cities and towns. The international dialing code for Ethiopia is +251.
Customs: Duty-free import are permitted for up to: 200 cigarettes, or 50 cigars or 1/2 lb of tobacco
1 liter of alcoholic beverages1/2 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.

Ethiopian Seasons

  • Summer (Kiremt or Meher ) June, July and August are the summer season. Heavy rain falls in these three months.
  • Spring (Tseday ) September, October and November are the spring season sometime known as the harvest season.
  • Bega (winter) - December, January and February are the dry season with frost in morning especially in January.
  • Belg (Autumn) - March, April and May are the autumn season with occasional showers. May is the hottest month in Ethiopia.

Clothing

Warm clothing is essential throughout the year in the highland regions. You may wish to bring light cotton clothing for use in the hot areas in the country. A hat and sunglasses are  must!!

Language

Amharic is the official language, but there are more than 80 other local languages which is dialectic to some 200. English and Arabic are wildly used and also Italian and French are spoken.

Religions

A large number of religions are traditionally practiced in Ethiopia, the most numerous today being Orthodox Christianity, followed by Islam. Protestant Christian and Traditional beliefs, usually categorized as Animism, attract a decreasing number of followers.

Visa

Visas are required for all visitors, however; Nationals of the 36 countries, Listed Here Below are given visa on arrival at Bole international Air Port. 

1. Argentina
2. Australia
3. Argentina 
4. Australia
5. Austria  
6. Belgium 
7. Brazil
8. Canada   
9. China 
10. Check Republic
11. Denmark             

10. Finland      
11. France                   
12. Germany  
13. Greece  
14. India                    
15. Ireland                
16. Israel               
17. Italy      
18. Japan       

 

19. Kore Republic               
20. Kuwait                    
21. Luxembourg                       
22  Mexico                                     
23. Netherlands                            
24. NewZealand                      
25. Norway                                
26. Poland
27. Portugal      

               

28. Russian Federation  
29. Slovakia                          
30. South Africa                         
31. North Korea                   
32. Spain                      
33. Sweden              
34. Switzerland            
35. United Kingdom
36. U.S.A 

 

Entry Points

Travelers using rail ways Dewele on the Djibouti border is the only point of entry to Ethiopia and those driving to Ethiopia via surface, Moyale (in Kenya), Humera and Metema (in Sudan), and again Galafi in Djibouti are the available means of entries. All arrivals undergo full customs and immigration checks. For the major part of travelers accessing via flight, the Bole International Airport is the only terminal available in the Capital Addis Ababa though there are other domestic airports and airstrips serving domestic needs.

When to come to  Ethiopia

Ethiopia’s climate is typically very mild, with temperatures on the wide-ranging highlands averaging below 20°C. Only on the lowland fringes of western, eastern and southern Ethiopia can temperatures soar past 30°C.

The heaviest rains traditionally fall June to early October, making the rest of the year prime time to visit. Directly after the rains the highlands are wonderfully green, covered with wildflowers and sublime for trekking .

Business hours

Banks, post offices and telecommunications offices are open at least 8.30am to 11am and 1.30pm to 3.30pm weekdays and 8.30am to 11am Saturday. Government offices’ hours are 8.30am to 12.30pm (to 11.30am Friday) and 1.30pm to 5.30pm Monday to Friday. Shop hours are 8.30am to 1.30pm and 2.30pm to 5.30pm weekdays.

  • 2 Days/ 1 Night
  • 3 Days /2 Nights
  • 4 Days/3 Nights
  • 5 Days/4 Nights
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2 Days /1 Night Northern Historical Tour

Flying out one day from Addis Ababa and returning back on the second day to discover one of the most popular Historical sites.

Day 1: Early Morning transfer to Bole international air port to fly to one of the most attractive historical place such as Bahir Dar, Gondar, Axum, Lalibela, Harar or Dre - Dawa. These are the most popular historical sites to be visited within two Days and one Night By Flight. Overnight hotel.

Day 2: Early morning fly back to Addis Ababa.

Bahia Dar

Tour code: My.T.T 0029
Package Title: Bahir dar 
Duration: 2 days and 1 night
Transport: by flight

Within one day you can discover Bahir Dar, the capital of the Amhara  region ,  which has all rounded facilities and serves as a major gateway to the main attractions of the region. With its wide avenues of palms & flamboyant trees and its scenic location near Lake Tana, Bahir Dar is well known for its many churches, Bezawit Palace, open air market, time memorial papyrus boats and lake side resorts, traditional music, etc
Bahir Dar is the ideal centers from which to explore Lake Tana, the island monasteries, the Blue Nile Falls and It Is where the Great Blue Nile start the journey.

Gondar Discover the 17th century town of Gondar with its Medieval Castles. 

Tour code: My.T.T 0030
Package Title: Gonder
Duration: 2 days and 1 night
Transport: by flight

This site of tour is famous for its ancient century Castles and ancient Church named Debre  Birhan-Selassie, whose walls and ceiling are covered with vivid Murals and Flasha (Black Jews) village. Fasil Gimb (Castle of Fasiledes) the first and most imposing of Gondar edifices, the five–towered castle of Fasiledes, a massive solid looking building constructed of  unequaled dark stone and mortar; cut stone arches of red Tufa  from Quesqwam above the windows and doors. Inside the royal enclosure the oldest and the most impressive Gonderian structure built of hewn brown basalt stone held together with mortar which is said to be the work of an Indian Architect. The bath of King Fasiledes (Currently baptismal place during Ethiopian Epiphany, in January every year) this is the most unique religious ceremony by Ethiopian Orthodox Christians.

Axum The Imperial Capital of the Mighty Axumit Empire  

Tour code: My.T.T 31
Package Title: Axum
Duration: 2 days and 1 night
Transport: by flight

Discover the ancient city of Axum, regarded as the cradle of Ethiopian Christianity, is the country’s oldest extant urban settlement starting from around 200BC to 700AD, the 16th century Cathedral of St. Mary of Zion built on the site of a much older church probably resembling that of  Debre Damo, dating from the 4th century AD. Only a platform and the wide stone steps remain from the earlier structure. The Cathedral is the repository of the crowns of some of Ethiopians former emperors. According to church legend, it also houses the original Ark of the Covenant - thus making St. Mary’s the holiest sanctuary in Ethiopia.

8th wonder of the world Lalibela

Tour code: My.T.T 0032
Package Title: Lalibela
Duration: 2 days and 1 night
Transport: by flight

Rock Hewn churches of Lalibela are the most interesting sights you ever likely see with unforgettable memories; all of them are built at the end of 12th century and at the beginning of 13th century. The area today Lalibela is named after one of the famous kings of the dynasty who carved out the 11 churches from the living rock. There have been so many legends mythologies and scholarly written documents regarding the astonishing architectural and technical perfection of these 11 rock hewn church which are still in active church service. After 900 years of active church service and Ethiopian Christian worshiping place world have agreed that the rock hewn churches of Lalibela should be registered as the 8th wonder of the world. Certainly, there are more than thousands of rock hewn churches in Ethiopia but the most impressive ones are concentrated around Lalibela and Tigray region.

There are also many accessible churches from Lalibela to be visited   with additional 2 days and more staying in   Lalibela, either by horse ridding, driving or trekking. The mountain around Lalibela  are studded with medieval monasteries and churches many of which are very different from the Lalibela counterparts ,and are rarely visited by tourists  with the exception of monasteries  at Nakute  Le’ ab and Asheton  Mariam both are  relatively  straight forward a day trips from Lalibela .    

Churches near Bilbila are 10km from the village of Bilbila and 30km from the Lalibela off the road northwards to Sekota and Adwa. To explore the following listed churches along this circuit by vehicle takes maximum 8hrs including walking time of 5 to 20 minutes each way to the various churches.

This relatively compact and very varied circuit of churches comprise;

  • Yemerehanna kirstos: Situated at an altitude of around 2,700m. This is located 45 km form Lalibela.
  • Arbatu ensessa: church south west of Yemrehane  Kiristos, reached on foot .
  • Bilbila cherqos:
  • Bilbila Giyorgis:
  • Genetemariam:
  • Ashetom Mariam:
  • Nakuto leab: 

 3 Days/ 2 Nights Bahir Dar

Tour code: My.T.T 0033
Package Title: Bahir dar
Duration: 3 days and 2 nights
Transport: by flight

Day1:Early morning transfer to ADD to fly to Bahir Dar after an hour flight   arrive at BJR, transfer in to hotel for check in then proceed for a boat cruise on Lake Tana to visit the 13th century Monasteries. There are more than 20 monastic churches the most famed ones Ura Kidanne Mihret and Kibran Gebrieal , found on Zeghe peninsula, Back to the  town  after Lunch visit the colorful open markets , a variety of handicrafts and weaving centers, locally made ( Tankwas) along with panoramic viewpoint .O/n stay in a reserved Hotel.

Day 2: After breakfast drive to Blue Nile falls locally known (Tiss Issat) ( the water that smokes)it is about 35 kms after it exists Lake Tana , and Mount Bezawit  which is  an  ideal point to  visit the most magnificent  Palace of Emperor Haile Selassie , which is gracefully situated. At night you will be invited by Sof Omar tours for Dinner and traditional dancing houses to one of the Azmari Houses to witness the night life in Bahir Dar. O/ n in same hotel.

Day 3: To day morning after breakfast transfer to BJR to fly back to Addis; City tour in Addis and Departure.

3 Days / 2 Nights Bahir Dar and Gondar

Tour code: My.T.T 0034
Package Title: Bahir dar and Gonder 
Duration: 3 days and 2 nights
Transport: by flight

Day 1: Early in the morning Transfer to Bole international Airport to fly to Bahir Dar, upon arrival at Bahir Dra   Air port (BJR) meet our representative to assist you for the entire trip. After check in to your reserved hotel go out to explore Bahir  Dar attractions such as the ancient monasteries and Blue Nile falls and Bezawit palace.  O/n and Dinner at reserved hotel.

DAY2:  Morning after breakfast drive to Gondar for about 3 hrs. After setting in to the hotel. Visiting of the ancient century Castles and ancient Church named Debre Birhan-Selassie  and other sightseeing of Gondar .  O /n Gondar Taye or  Goha hotel.

DAY 3: Fly Back to Addis Ababab.

4 Days / 3 Nights Gondar and Semien Mountains National park

Tour code: My.T.T 0035
Package Title:  Gondar & Semien MT. National Park 
Duration: 4 days and 3 nights
Transport: by flight

Day 1: ADDIS ABABA- GONDAR – DEBARK – SANKABER CAMP (3,200M) 
Early in the morning transfer to Bole International Air port to fly to Gondar. Our representative will be waiting for you at the Gondar Air port and assist you the entire trip in Gondar and Semien Mountains. 

After breakfast in Gondar start driving to   Debark in a 4x4. The road is rough and very dusty, but if you haven’t left the built up areas in Ethiopia yet, it is a real eye opener into the life of the rural majority. At Debark you will sign in at the park headquarters, pick up your guide and scout and head up into the mountains (by 4x4). The road continues all the way to the first camp at Sankaber, but you’ll be dropped off on the way for a leisurely three hour acclimatization hike. The stunning views hit you as soon as you get out of the vehicle as you walk along the ridge. There will be time to stop for a picnic lunch and after a short but demanding climb (at this altitude) to Sankaber you’ll be met as every day on this trek with a tray of fresh coffee, tea and snacks.  7km 2/3 hours walking .

Meals: Lunch and Dinner. Overnight Camping.

DAY 2: SANKABER (3,200M) – GEECH CAMP (3,600M)
after   breakfast, you’ll set off trekking along the ridge with stunning views over the foothills 800m below. For the first two hours the trail passes through low bush of Giant Heather, soda apple, Abyssinian rose, St John’s Wort and Globe thistle. The highlight of the trek from Sankaber to Geech is Genbar Falls, an incredible 500m sheer drop. From the viewpoint opposite, you can watch the falcons, augur buzzard and lammergeier bearded vulture soar on the thermals below. From the Genbar falls, the trail passes drier dustier land, broken by lunch at a somewhat less intimidating and more peaceful waterfall. Klipspringer and bush buck may be seen in the steep rocky and wooded slopes, whilst troops of Gelada Baboons roam the dusty fields for roots. Just before you reach Geech camp site, there is a wonderful opportunity to visit one of the traditional village houses for home roasted coffee and injurra. Geech Camp itself is set on a grassy plateau with stunning sunset views.
 Overnight: Camping

DAY 3:  GEECH (3,600M) – IMET GOGO - GONDAR
After breakfast you’ll trek for 2 hours along the grass plateau past countless bizarre outsized Giant Lobelia plants. The destination is Imet Gogo, an incredible rocky promontory that grants 360 degree views over the Simien Range. At an altitude of 3,926m you can see West back along the ridge towards Sankaber and Geech and South East across a deep gully towards the tomorrow’s ridge walk to Inatye and Cheneck Camp. The views here are arguably the best in the Simien Mountains and the drop is terrifying. From Imet Gogo you'll head back to the nearest road access point and be driven back to Gondar. 
Transfer Simien Mountains - Gondar 4-5 hours.

Overnight: Gondar Hotel.

Day 4: Late morning, after breakfast exploring the Historical center of Gondar or transfer to fly back to Addis Ababa.

5 Days /4 Nights Lalibela and Its surroundings

Tour code: My.T.T 0036
Package Title: The 4 major historical Circuits 
Duration: 5 days and 4 nights
Transport: by flight

Day 01: Morning transfer to Bole international airport to fly to Lalibela. After check in to your hotel start visiting the 11 rock hewn churches in the  town,  in the morning  visit the first and the second groups and  in the afternoon visiting the remaining churches after.

Overnight: Hotel in Lalibela.

Day 02: Trek to Wodebye (5 hours Trek), altitude is 3600 – 3800 m.

Overnight: camping

Day 03 : Trek 4 hours to Abune Yoseph 4130m. This day you will visit the 6th century Rock hewn church of Abune Yoseph. You will also have a chance to see the endemic Ethiopian wolf some gazelles as well as vegetations such as giant Lalibela and some endemic flowers.

Overnight: camping

Day 04: Trek 5 hours to visit 6th church of Yemrhane Christos and for camping at the village.

Day 05: Be met by the car and drive to Lalibela on the way visiting Arbatu ensesa Belbale gyoris and Belbale churches. In the Afternoon Fly Back to Addis. Overnight :Hotel in Addis.

Itenaries Package Tour