Passport: is generally required for travel in Ethiopia, the passport must be valid for at least 6 months upon entry.
Visa: Generally required.
Documents upon entry: The passport must be valid for at least six months; two passport photos (as up-to-date as possible) must be presented and a copy of the return flight ticket.
If the visa cannot be applied for in time, a transit and tourist visa (business visas must be applied for before entry) is issued at the international airports of Bole (Addis Ababa) and Dire Dawa (fee: 174 Birr) for nationals of the following countries possible: Federal Republic of Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Greece, Great Britain, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Spain and Sweden
For entry by land, it is generally necessary to obtain the entry visa in advance.
Transit: Transit travelers who travel within 12 hours, do not leave the airport and have valid documents for the onward journey do not need a visa.
Entry must take place within 14 days of the visa being issued.
Application: In person or by post to the responsible consular mission (see Ethiopia – important addresses).
Documents: Tourist visa: a completed, original application form (for Swiss 2, no copy, no fax) – passport that must be valid for at least 6 months – 2 passport photos (no scans) – booking confirmation from the travel agency about the outward and return flight – proof of one Yellow fever vaccination – fee (in Germany and Switzerland: crossed check, in cash or proof of transfer, in Austria: cash payment only). Business Visa: additional company letter with details of the Ethiopian business partner, purpose of travel or certificate of a company about the type of business activity in the country and confirmation of cost acceptance – invitation letter
A franked and addressed envelope and proof of payment must be attached to the application.
You can download the visa application for Ethiopia here.
Cost of Visa::
Tourist visa and business visa
Single entry: 17.00 euros
Multiple entry: 25.50 euros for 3 months
Multiple entry: for 6 months 34.00 euros or 42.50 euros for business visas
Transit Visa: 17.00 euros for 1 x transit, 15.50 euros for 2 x transit
Processing time: between 5 and 7 working days
Sufficient funds: In theory, travelers must have funds of $ 50 per day of stay, but this is not always controlled.
Extension of stay: A one-time visa extension is possible in person at the immigration office in Addis Ababa against payment of US $ 20 (not payable in local currency).
Entry with children:
Germany: Children need their own passport (children’s passport or electronic passport) to enter Ethiopia.
Austria: own passport.
Switzerland: own passport.
The same visa requirements apply to children as to their parents.
National currency: 1 Ethiopian birr is divided into 100 santim.
Currency abbreviation: Br, ETB – ABBREVIATIONFINDER.ORG
Banknotes worth 100, 50, 10, 5 and 1 birr are in circulation. Coins are available in nominal amounts of 50, 25, 10, 5 and 1 Santim, but these are practically no longer used.
Currency exchange: Travelers should bring cash in euros and US dollars or travelers checks. Euros are rarely changed or accepted outside of Addis Ababa. Within the capital, the exchange of euro banknotes as well as euro traveler checks is possible without any problems. For US dollar bills, you should make sure that you acquire new bills if possible, since notes from older series are no longer accepted in Ethiopia.
Exchange rate Ethiopian Birr:
Currency calculator at OANDA
Credit Cards: You can get cash with credit cards at banks, but the fees are high. You can only pay with credit cards in hotels and airlines in Addis Ababa.
: Traveler’s checks are accepted are in major cities of the country, advised travelers checks, which are issued in US dollars.
ATMs: there is an ATM in the Hilton Hotel in Addis Ababa.
Foreign exchange regulations: Unlimited amounts of foreign currency can be imported into Ethiopia. Theoretically, these must be specified at customs, but normally there is no demand. No more currencies may be exported than imported. The export of the national currency is prohibited.
Bank opening times: Mon – Fri 8.30am – 11am and 1.30pm – 3.30pm, Sat 8.30am – 11am.
Health and Diseases
The Health Service of the Federal Foreign Office recommends that vaccination protection be sensible :
Protection against tetanus, diphtheria, polio and hepatitis A, for long-term stay over three months also hepatitis B. With special exposure (stay in the country, hunting, jogging etc.), vaccination against rabies (rabies) and typhoid, possibly also meningococcal meningitis, can be very useful. The decision is made in a personal consultation with the tropical doctor or the vaccinator with tropical and travel medicine experience.
A valid yellow fever vaccination is in principle necessary for entry from a yellow fever area, but proof is often not required.
HIV / AIDS is a major problem in the country and a great danger for everyone who runs the risk of infection: Sexual contact, dirty syringes or cannulas and blood transfusions can pose a considerable life-threatening risk.
Through hygienic eating and drinking (only boiled, nothing warmed up) and consistent mosquito protection (repellents, mosquito net, covering clothing, behavior), most of the dangerous diarrhea and many infectious diseases can be completely avoided. This includes dengue fever and malaria.
Malaria protection is required all year round for all regions below 2000 m. High chloroquine resistance of the more dangerous malaria species Plasmodium falciparum (85% occurrence). Recommendation: mosquito repellent and drug prevention. There is no risk of malaria in Addis Ababa. Various prescription medications (e.g. malarone, doxycycline, Lariam) are available on the market for malaria prophylaxis. The selection and personal adjustment as well as side effects or intolerance to other medications should be discussed with a tropical or travel doctor before taking chemoprophylaxis.
Medical care in the country cannot be compared with Europe and is often technically, apparatusally and / or hygienically highly problematic. European-trained English / French-speaking doctors are also often lacking. Adequate, valid health insurance coverage and reliable travel return insurance are strongly recommended.
Nationwide there is an increased risk of infection for various infectious diseases (e.g. hepatitis A, typhoid, Bacterial dysentery, amoebic dysentery, lambliasis, worm diseases), which are transmitted through contaminated food or beverages. Therefore, careful food and drinking water hygiene measures should always be carried out. In general, water should either be boiled or otherwise sterilized prior to use for drinking, brushing teeth, and making ice cubes. Milk is not pasteurized outside of urban areas and should also be boiled. Avoid dairy products from uncooked milk. Meat and fish dishes should only be cooked well and served hot. Avoid eating pork, raw salads and mayonnaise. Vegetables should be cooked and fruit peeled.
In addition to my general disclaimer, please note the following important note:
A guarantee for the correctness and completeness of the medical information as well as a liability for possible damage cannot be assumed. You stay responsible for your healthy.
Travel opportunities in the country
Airplane: Ethiopian Airlines flies to over 40 cities in Ethiopia. These national connections are inexpensive, but often also irregular.
Rail: A 681 km railway line connects Addis Ababa with Djibouti. The route is in poor condition, which is why the European Commission granted a loan of EUR 40 million for repair in 2003. This loan was increased to 50 million in 2006 on the grounds of rising prices for fuel and steel. At the moment there are often delays in passenger transport.
Cars: The infrastructure of Ethiopia is weak, there are only a few well-developed roads for overland trips. A total of 36,469 km of country roads (but only only 6,980 km of paved roads) run through the rugged landscape of Ethiopia. In the dark, overland journeys should be avoided due to the lack of traffic safety.
In the rainy season, floods often occur in the southern Omo area, which means that travelers there must face disabilities caused by flooded roads. The floods are also responsible for hygienic and sanitary problems (with an increased risk of gastrointestinal diseases).
Good all-weather roads lead to most cities. Unpaved roads should only be driven with off-road vehicles, this is especially true in the rainy season.
With buses you can reach all major cities in Ethiopia. Tickets are available at the local bus stations, and bus tickets in Ethiopia are generally reasonably priced.
In the Omo region (southwestern Ethiopia) one often has to rely on being taken by truck to the various market places. That means getting up early (since the trucks usually start at dawn) and uncomfortable journeys on the loading area.
Taxis in Addis Ababa are blue and white, you can decide whether you want to use the taxi alone (and pay) or share it with other passengers. It is essential to agree prices prior to departure.
Rental cars are available in addition to Addis Ababa in major cities in the country. Documents: The international driver’s license is not recognized, an Ethiopian driver’s license is available in Addis Ababa. However, this regulation is hardly enforced and most travelers do not have an Ethiopian driver’s license. A Carnet de Passage is also required.
Attractions in Ethiopia
Aksum, the royal city of the first Ethiopian kingdom, lies in the far north of the country. The richly decorated granite obelisk, some of which are over 2,000 years old, are famous.
Gondar was the capital of Ethiopia between 1632 and 1855. The numerous castle ruins and religious buildings testify to the former importance of the city.
The imposing Tiss Issat waterfalls are easy to reach from Baher Dar. The small town is located on Lake Tana, on whose islands there are medieval religious buildings.
Sanctuaries were built in Lalibela, which are rightly counted among the wonders of the world. Eleven monolith churches were carved out of the raw rock here. How the richly equipped and architecturally complex rock churches were built is as incomprehensible to today’s archeologists as former chroniclers. No wonder that the legend arose that angels helped build it.
Harar, on the other hand, is Islamic. A walled Arab city, towered over, with whitewashed houses and mosques. Arab traders founded Harar in the 7th century.
The state capital Addis Ababa is 2,440 m high in the central highlands. Sights include the St. George’s Church (19th century), the Trinity Church, the Menelik Mausoleum and the Old Ghibbi Palace. Also worth seeing is the Ethnographic Museum (with a copy of the skeleton of Lucy, one of our oldest ancestors), which is housed in the former Haile Selassies residence.
Ethiopia has nine national parks, the Simien National Park (in the mountain range of the same name in the north, here is Ras Dashen, the highest mountain in Ethiopia at 4,620 m), the Awash National Park (east of Addis Ababa; species-rich wildlife, impressive waterfalls), the Omo -National and Mago National Park (both southwest of the capital), the Gambala National Park, the Shala-Abijata National Park (south of the capital), the located in the southern highlands Bale National Park (rich bird life), the Nechi Sar National Park and the Yanguli Rassa National Park.
There are only a few areas in Africa that can be called true wilderness. Forgotten by history, very poorly mapped and cut off from the outside world to this day by natural obstacles such as high mountains, impenetrable swamps and crocodile-contaminated rivers, the Lower Omo is one of the true “remote areas”.
The Omo flows slowly over approximately 1,000 km through the west and southwest of Ethiopia and flows into Lake Turkana, the fourth largest lake in Africa, on the border with Kenya. The lower reaches of South Omo are among the most inaccessible and untouched areas on the continent.
Kushite, omotic, Nilotic and Semitic groups settled here thousands of years ago and formed a complex structure of related or completely different tribes, some of which are still fighting bitterly today. Some, like the Ari or the Banna, have tens or even hundreds of thousands of members; others, like the Tsemay or the Dzadze, number only a few hundred and are practically unknown even in Ethiopia. Different forms of body modification are a common sight for almost all tribes on the Omo.