FAQs

Do I need to get any vaccinations?

A yellow fever immunization is a requirement. Malaria exists only in the Rift Valley, Omo, and Lake Tana. Malaria does not affect the highlands. You should, however, consult with your doctor at least six weeks in advance before your travels.

Is Ethiopia safe?

Most parts of Ethiopia are safe. To ensure your safety, we avoid the border areas of Eritrea and Somalia, which are relatively insecure. Other parts of the country are stable and safe.

How do I communicate with my family back home during my stay in Ethiopia?

Not many US or European cell phone companies offer international plans which includes Ethiopia. If they do, they are very expensive. If you want to use your phone to call home, you can purchase a local SIM card from Ethio-Telecom and use it through an unlocked phone that uses the GSM network band. To buy the SIM card, you must provide your passport copy and two photographs.

What should I wear during my travels to Ethiopia?

While clothing will depend on the time of the year, it is best to remember that Ethiopians are fairly conservative in their dress. Dress is less conservative in Addis Ababa, where most people dress in western fashion.

Where can i obtain a Visa?

Visas can be attained from the nearest Ethiopia consulate or diplomatic mission. Visas are also issued upon arrival at Bole International Airport in Ethiopia (for citizens of USA, Canada, Mexico, Brazil, Argentina, New Zealand, Australia, South Africa, China, Japan, Korea, Israel, Kuwait, Russia, UK and most EU countries).

Is their sufficient accommodation in Ethiopia?

Addis Ababa has numerous hotels that can cater for all desires. From the luxurious Sheraton, Hilton, Radisson Blu, to tourist – class hotels such as Capital, Jupiter and Nexus, you will have wide range of selections. There are also several budget hotels in the city.

What is the food like in Ethiopia?

The Ethiopian national dish consists of Injera, made out of grain known as Teff. Originally, Teff used to grow only in Ethiopia. Now, it is gaining worldwide attentions for its nutritional value as it is gluten and cholesterol free. After Teff is fermented, it is cooked as a flatbread (similar to a pancake) and called Injera.

How many languages are spoken in Ethiopia?

Ethiopia is a multi-ethnic and multi lingual state. There are over 83 languages spoken in the country with 200 dialects. Amharic is the working language in Ethiopia. Other major languages include Oromigna, Somali and Tigrigna. English is also widely spoken.

What are some of the key economic drivers?

85% of the population get their livelihood from the land. Coffee (the word originates from the name of the province Kaffa, in the south west of Ethiopia) provides 65% of foreign currency earnings.

How many people live in Ethiopia?

The current population of Ethiopia is estimated to be around 95 million, making it the second most populous country in Africa.

What is the climate of Ethiopia?

The climate of Ethiopia varies greatly according to topographical regions. In general, the climate is temperate in the highlands and hot in the lowlands.

How big is Ethiopia, and what is the environment like?

With an area of 1,104,300 square kilometers, Ethiopia is as large as France and Spain combined. It is bounded on the east by Djibouti and Somalia, on the north and northeast by Eritrea, on the south by Kenya and on the west by the Sudan.

What is Ethiopia’s political history ?

When the European powers were scrambling to carve up Africa, Ethiopia retained its independence. The defeat inflicted by the Ethiopian army under Emperor Menelik II on invading Italian forces at Adwa in 1896 was the heaviest suffered by any European army in Africa, and reverberated throughout the world at the time. The occupation of Ethiopia by Mussolini’s forces from 1935-41 was met with strong and continuous resistance, and left no permanent stamp on the character of the country or the psyche of its people.

Which religions are present in Ethiopia?

The two dominant religions in Ethiopia are the Ethiopian Orthodox Church and Islam. The Ethiopian Orthodox Church is the oldest Christian church in Africa. Ethiopia adopted Christianity, and became the first state to do so, during the Axumite Empire in 330 AD. Islam was also introduced quite early in Ethiopia.

Ethiopian Calendar

In 1582, when the rest of the Christian world adopted the Gregorian calendar, Ethiopia continued on using the Julian calendar. With the passage of time, seven and a half years have somehow dissolved, owing to alternate calculations in determining the date of the annunciation of the birth of Jesus Christ. Although many Ethiopians in the cities are equally comfortable using the Gregorian calendar, they are immensely proud in maintaining their own calendar.

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