Here is a summary of the practical information you should know when traveling with “Adventures in Ethiopia”.
- Types of Vehicles – several types of vehicles are available to accommodate group needs according to the number of people in the group and places to be visited. Our fleet includes 4WD Toyota Land cruisers (or similar), minibuses, and Coaster buses.
- Domestic Flights – all domestic flights are handled by Ethiopian Airlines. However upon the guest request we can arrange Charter flights with helicopters, transportation for medical evacuations, film crews, VIP services and trip to Dankile Depression to visit Earta Ale. Travelers arriving by Ethiopian Airlines receive a discount on domestic flights. Be prepared to show boarding passes or a receipt.
- Accommodations in Ethiopia varies greatly in price, quality and service. We will do our best to provide your comfort and budget needs during your stay, based on availability. Reservations are recommended, particularly during tourist high seasons (June – September and December – January).
- Camping may and can be included in our tour itinerary. Camping materials like tents, sleeping mattresses, sleeping bags, blankets, tables, chairs, kitchen supplies, etc. can be supplied upon request by our company.
- Meals are responsibility of the guests in general, though we will provide assistance in selecting quality dining establishments. While camping in remote areas where no public eateries are available, a professional cook and cooking supplies may be supplied upon request.
- Guiding services are given by our professional and experienced tour guides in English. Official local guides are always recommended, as they are proficient in the history, culture, and customs of each location. Guides speaking languages other than English may be available upon request.
- Itineraries and tour packages – Adventures in Ethiopia realizes that customers have a wide range of interests and budgets. Adventures in Ethiopia is therefore happy to provide fully customized and individualized itineraries and package options. A number of sample itineraries could be presented to the customer, but it must be emphasized that we will work with each group to meet their travel needs and expectations.
- Prices will vary from group to group according to tour itinerary and package. Please contact Adventures in Ethiopia to discuss the costs of your tour request.
And, please, note that the price also depends on the brand and age of the rented car, and from the experience of work and knowledge of the guide.
- Safety is our priority. For the most part traveling in Ethiopia is safe, but you should take the same precautions as in any African country. It is also wise to avoid all border areas (with Somalia, Eritrea, Kenya and Sudan) since there’s still pockets of political unrest, and kidnapping of tourists in these areas have occurred in the past.
- Every national (except Kenyans) need a visa to enter Ethiopia. Single-entry 1 -3 month tourist visas can be issued upon arrival at the Bole International Airport in Addis Ababa for most European, US, Australian and Canadian nationals.
To get the most current visa information; for business visas and multiple-entry tourist visas, contact the Ethiopian Embassy .
Proof of an onward or return ticket is frequently asked for upon arrival in Ethiopia. If you are planning to enter Ethiopia by land, you should obtain a tourist visa in advance from your local Ethiopian Embassy.
- Currency exchange and Banking hours – the local currency is the Ethiopian Birr (ETB). Birr notes are available in denominations of 5, 10, 50 and 100. Foreign currency may only be exchanged at the international airport, authorized banks and hotels. Visitors may change back any surplus Ethiopian Birr to cash at the airport before departure. Banking hours are usually from 8am-5pm, Monday to Friday as well as Saturdays from 8am to 11am.
Adventures in Ethiopia can help you to exchange your currency.
- Health and medical care – all visitors should be in possession of valid yellow fever vaccination certificate. Immunization for Hepatitis A and B, Typhoid and Polio is recommended.
Malaria exists and is a health issue for many people living in lowland, rural areas. In the Ethiopian highlands, however, malaria is not a problem. This includes Addis Ababa, Harar, Axum, Mekele, Gondar and Lalibela.
Popular destinations such as the South Omo Valley, the Rift Valley including Hawassa, and Bahir Dar on Lake Tana do pose a risk for malaria, especially at the end of the rainy season (October-November). Prophylactic, you can keep mosquitos and other insects at bay with repellent creams and sprays.
Visitors should take a simple first aid pack, which would include: different size plasters, antiseptic cream, anti-histamine cream and/or tablets for insect bites, sunblock (while temperatures are moderate the sun is still equatorial) and anti diarrhea tablets. Generally, visitors should take out standard holiday health insurance in their home countries.
- In Ethiopia the standard voltage is 220 V and the frequency is 50 Hz. You can use your electric appliances in Ethiopia, if the standard voltage in your country is in between 220 – 240 V (as is in the UK, Europe, Australia and most of Asia and Africa). Manufacturers take these small deviations into account. If the standard voltage in your country is in the range of 100 V – 127 V (as is in the US, Canada and most South American countries), you need a voltage converter in Ethiopia. You can also consider a combined power plug adapter/voltage converter.
In Ethiopia the power plugs and sockets are of type C, E, F and L. Check out the following pictures.
Type C: also known as the standard “Euro” plug. This socket also works with plug E and plug F.
Type E: this type is of French origin. This socket also works with plug C and with plug F if it has an additional pinhole.
Type F: also known as “Schuko”. This socket also works with plug C and plug E.
Type L: This type is of Italian origin. This socket also works with plug C.
Basic safety rules for travelers to Ethiopia
- Make a copy of your passport and keep it in your luggage or somewhere safe.
- Don’t walk on your own at night in Addis Ababa and other major tourist towns.
- Avoid travel at night.
- Watch out for pickpockets at crowded places, especially when shopping at Mercato area in Addis Ababa
- Don’t wear jewelry (if you wear, make sure it is not easy to see by bystanders).
- Don’t carry too much cash with you. Take basic precaution to avoid bystander noticing you are carrying significan money with you.
- Wear a money belt that fits under your cloths.
- Don’t carry a lot of camera equipment or expensive items, especially in the major cities.
Top responsible travel tips for Ethiopia
“Adventures in Ethiopia“recommends – the traveling to Ethiopia is a responsible travel – to be respectful of local people, their culture, local economies and the environment. It’s important to remember that what may be acceptable behaviour, dress and language in your own country, may not be appropriate in another. Please keep this in mind while travelling.
* Be considerate of Ethiopia’s customs, traditions, religion and culture.
* Dress modestly and respectfully. Shoulders to knees should be covered, especially when entering places of worship.
* When bargaining at markets, stay calm, be reasonable and keep a smile on your face. It’s meant to be fun!
* Learn some local language and don’t be afraid to use it – simple greetings will help break the ice.
* Shop for locally made products. Supporting local artisans helps keep traditional crafts alive.
* Please ask and receive permission before taking photos of people, including children.
* When on community visits or homestays, refrain from giving gifts or money to locals.
Here you can find the translation of most important words and expressions into Amharic.
It’s nice to be important, but it’s more important to be nice.
If you are about to travel to Ethiopia, this is exactly what you are looking for! Adventures in Ethiopia will helps you to learn the most important words in Amharic just for the sake of being “friendly,” please do not use the informal greetings with the elderly, dignitaries or generally with people who are not your friends. Respect for elderly and people with authority is paramount in Ethiopia. Therefore, in order not to give your acquaintance a wrong impression of yourself, make sure you adjust your behaviour according to the circumstances.
Tena yistilign! – Hello. (formal)
Selam – Hello. (informal)
Chao – Bye
Dahna hun – Good bay (M)
Dehna hugni – Goodbye (F)
Endamn aderka – good morning! (M)
Dena adersh – Good Morning! (F)
Dena aderachu – Good Morning (Plural)
Dena aderu – Good Morning (Formal)
Dena walek – Good Evening (Male)
Dena walsh – Good Evening (Female)
Dena walachu – Good Evening (Plural)
Dena walu – Good Evening (Formal)
Dena ederu – Good night (Plural & Formal)
Dehna ederi – good night (W)
Dehina eder – good night(M)
Dehina eder ! Melkam enkilfe – good dream
Endemin-neh? – How are you (informal, to a man)
Endemin-nesh? – How are you (informal, to a woman)
Dehna negn – Fine, thank yo, I’m fine
Tiru – good
Amesegnalehu – thenks
Amesegenalew – Thank You
Ebakish – please (F)
Ebakih – please (M)
Ene – I/me
Ante – You (Male)
Anchi – You (Female)
Enate – You All
Erso – You (Formal)
Awo – Yes (in response to a question)
Ay – No
Ashee, ishi – alright (OK)
Yellem – no, not there
Alawkem – I dont Know
Menem – Nothing
Cheger Yelewem – You are welcome
Yiqirta – Excuse me
Algebinem – I don’t understand.
Shintabet yet new? – Where is the toilet?
Tewugn (M), likekugn(F) – Leave me alone.
Atinkagn (M), atinkign (F) – Don’t touch me!
Min albat – maybe
Sint new? – how much?
Doro – chicken
Ataklt – vegetable
Qmemama – spicy
Bunna bet – coffee shop
Buna b’ wetet– coffee with milk
Beka – enough
Konjo – beautiful
Tinish-tinish – a little
Dabo – bread (Ethiopian)
Wet – curry
Siga – meat (red)
Asa – Fish
0 – Zero
1 – And
2 – Hoolet
3 – Sost
4 – Arat
5 – Amest
6 – Sidist
7 – Sebat
8 – Sement
9 – Zetegn
10 – Aser