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TRAVEL TIPS

Climate

Ethiopia in the equator has high altitude i.e. a temperate, moderate, even chilly climate. There are rainy seasons, the irregular short rain and the long rain season.

In Ethiopia there are two main seasons, the dry season locally called ‘Bega’ prevails from October to May and the rain season locally called ‘Kiremt’ runs from June to September. In the South it usually rains in March and April, in other periods it may seldom rain.

Topography

Ethiopia is central plateau varying height between 1800 and 3000 meters, with several mountains whose peaks rise over 4000 meters. Ethiopia has different rivers; the Blue Nile is the most famous Ethiopian river, which runs a distance of 1400 kilometers from the source in the Tana Lake to the White Nile in Khartoum.

Calendar

Ethiopia has its own calendar of 13 months. It follows the Julian calendar which is divided in to 12 months of 30 days each and 13th month with five or six days (leap years) at the end of the year. The time difference is +3 hrs from Greenwich Mean Time.

Language

Ethiopia is a multi-ethnic state with 83 languages and more than 200 dialects. The main languages are Amharic, Tigrigna and Oromigna and have more than 200 dialects. English is also widely spoken.

Time

Ethiopia is three hours ahead of Green witch mean time (GMT+3) Time remains constant throughout the year. In Ethiopia, the day is calculated in a manner similar to many equatorial countries, where days and nights always have the same length.

Medical service

Medical facilities are improving and public and private medical centers are rapidly growing in number, through there are quite a number of public hospitals and private medical institutions are recommended.

Health requirement

All visitors (including infants) are required to possess a valid yellow fever vaccination certificate. Vaccination against cholera is also required for any person who has visited or been in transit through cholera –infected area within six days prior to arrival in Ethiopia.

Electric Supply

Ethiopia uses more than 220volts. The opening of one of the biggest hydro electric dam (Gilgel Gibe 1&2)

Currency

The local currency is the Ethiopia birr, made up of 100 cents, notes are issued in denomination of 1, 5, 10, 50 and 100 birr. There are five different coins 0.1, 0.5, 0.10, 0.25 & 0.50 cents. Visitors may import an unlimited amount of foreign currency. Credit cards work only in the hotels 3*, 4* and 5* and big super markets and in the Ethiopian Airlines offices.

Internet

(e -video or broad band)

is available in the main historical localities.

Driving

Driving requires a valid international driving license, which can be obtained by exchanging your local licence at the transport and communication ministry office.

Visa and immigrations requirements

Visa applications may be obtained at Ethiopia’s diplomatic missions overseas. However, nationals of 34 countries are now allowed to receive their tourist visas on arrival in Ethiopia at the regular charges. Those countries are:-

1. Australia

2. Austria

3. Argentina

4. Belgium

5. Brazil

6. Canada

7. China

8. Denmark

9. Finland

10. France

11. Germany

12. Greece

13. India

14. Ireland

15. Israel

16. Italy

17. Japan

18. Korea

19. Kuwait

20. Luxemburg

21. Mexico

22. Netherlands

23. Newzealnd

24. Norway

25. Poland

26. Portugal

27. Russian federation

28. South Africa

29. Spain

30. Sweden

31. Switzerland

32. Thailand

33. United Kingdom

34. United States of America

Custom

Duty-free items permitted are:

1. 200 cigarettes, 50 cigars or 1/2 lb of tobacco

2. 2 litters of alcoholic beverages

3. Half-litre or two bottles of perfume

Visitors may export souvenirs, although some articles (such as animal skin and antiques) require an export permits.

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