Top Tips for Travellers

The currency is the Ethiopian Birr. The international telephone code is +251. The electrical voltage is 220 volts. Plug sockets are 2-pin. Nationals of many countries can get visas on arrival. Yellow fever certificates are required on entry. And more top tips for travellers…

Top Tips for Travellers

Ethiopia has a cash-based economy. Few hotels, restaurants or shops take credit cards, and at those that do, the machines often don’t work. For any cash that you need, make use of the ATMs when you find them, in the larger towns and at some of the higher-end hotels.

Entry fees, and the hire of a local guide, are compulsory at historical and religious sites, and at national parks. Whether you want a local guide or not, you have to pay for one according to Ethiopian law. If you book with Exclusive Ethiopia, we incorporate these charges in the total cost and we pre-book the most knowledgeable guides for you.

Addis Ababa has some high-end international hotel chains and some Ethiopian boutique hotels. There are also a couple of excellent safari lodges in the national parks, and a few good hotels at popular tourist destinations. Hotels beyond these, however, are rustic.

Addis Ababa has several restaurants serving cosmopolitan food, and the major towns around the country have some good restaurants. However, the food served in restaurants and cafes outside the major towns tends to be a selection of Ethiopian dishes and what Ethiopians call ‘international food’: a few generic pizzas, pastas, soups and salads.

Ethiopia observes over 100 religious days every year. On these days, Ethiopian Orthodox Christians ‘fast’. ‘Fasting’ in Ethiopia means eating vegan food and not drinking alcohol.

The international code is +251. Phone network is good, and covers almost all the country. However, it does not reach the area around Erte Ale Volcano.

Wifi tends only to work in the higher-end hotels, and even in these it is slow.

Local voltage is 220 volts. Plugs use a 2-prong socket.

Drivers and guides are not allowed into Bole International Airport terminal. If you have booked with Exclusive Ethiopia, when you arrive, your driver will be waiting for you outside the airport building, at the front of the car park.

Temperatures are extreme. Some parts of the Danakil Depression can get to 50 degrees Centigrade (122 degrees Fahrenheit), while the top of Erte Ale volcano can be chilly at night, and the peaks of the Simien Mountains and Bale Mountain are very cold. Addis is near the equator, but at high altitude, so it has warm days and cool nights. Bring clothes for both high and low temperatures.

All domestic flight fares are subject to change without notice from Ethiopian Airlines, and seat availability is only confirmed when the reservation is made. Fares and seats are only guaranteed once the tickets have been issued.

Ethiopian Airlines reserves the right to change their flight schedules at any time without prior warning. Full first names and surnames as per the passenger’s passport is required to make reservations – no name changes are allowed once the tickets have been issued. Once the flights are confirmed, the tickets need to be issued prior to the time limit given by the airline.

The baggage allowance on Ethiopian Airline domestic flights is 20kg in total per person.