Is tipping appropriate ?
Firstly, there is no obligation to make a donation or to tip. We believe that people need to be paid a realistic wage, and inflated tips work against that. Excessive tips can actually spoil the person receiving and be against the work culture. Never the less small appropriate tips to guides and/or drivers are welcome.
Is there a dress code I should be aware of?
It is advisable to be aware in places and times of worship to cover up. However, in other times and places it would not show any disrespect if you wear shorts, jeans and t-shirts as all are acceptable in most parts the country.
What currency should I bring ?
Local payments at restaurants, shops etc will be paid in the local currency. The local currency is the Ethiopian birr (ETB), made up of 100 cents. Birr notes are available in denominations of 5, 10, 50 and 100.
Visitors may import an unlimited amount of foreign currency USD, Euro or GBP which should be declared on arrival to the customs authorities on the appropriate blue-colored form.
Foreign currency may only be exchanged at authorized banks and hotels and a receipt must be obtained. Pounds are as good as Dollars & Euros in banks. The currency declaration form must be retained as this will be required by customs on departure.
Visitors may change back any surplus Ethiopian birr to cash at the exchange form you must bring with you all receipts for exchange transactions.
Are credit cards accepted ?
You can access cash with most visa and master cards at some locations in Addis and at major hotels, airlines and ticket offices mostly in Addis Ababa.
Are mobile networks and internet access widely available in Ethiopia ?
Telephone, fax, and internet access is available in most tourist destinations. There are internet services at hotels, telecommunication offices, and at private internet cafes in Addis and most of the towns out side of Addis Ababa.
Are there any dangerous areas for my safety and security?
Ethiopia is relatively safe to travel in compared to many African cities. However, pick pockets do operate in some places in Addis. In crowds there is also a chance of bag snatching but this is not common and some basic precautions should mean you have a good trip with no major problems.
A money belt or safe pocket is a good idea, with only daily spending money in your outside pocket or wallet.
Is photography prohibited in any areas ?
Yes, there are some areas where photography is prohibited, like in Addis, the main palace; military camps, and organizations and some infrastructures such as the bridge over the Abay (Nile) River.
Is there a departure tax and how much is it ?
There is no departure tax.
How do I get a visa ?
Visa applications may be obtained from https://www.evisa.gov.et/
. Please refer the following requirements for Ethiopian eVISA.
- e-Visa application fees are not refundable
- Your passport must be valid for at least 6 months from the date you intend to enter Ethiopia.
- A passport size photo and scanned copy of passport is required.
- Currently, we allow travelers with e-Visa to enter Ethiopia via Addis Ababa Bole International Airport. Entry via other ports of entry is not allowed.
- The validity of Ethiopian e-Visa starts from the date you intend to enter Ethiopia not from date of issue.
- Please carefully read and comply to the important notices and guidelines stated in each step of the application form.
- Nationals of African States who can't make e-Visa payment online can apply online and make the payment on arrival at Addis Ababa Bole International Airport in cash.
Can I get vegetarian food ?
Yes Addis and the destinations you will be heading to offer a wide selection of tasty and delicious foods both for vegetarians and non vegetarians. It is easy to pick your selection from the menu at a restaurant or just by asking the person providing your service.
Are there any items I am not allowed to take out of the country ?
Visitors may export souvenirs, although some articles (such as animal skin and antiques) require an export permit.
Is it easy to shop in Addis Ababa ?
You don't have to just buy souvenirs and local products from the sellers that greet you at the markets or at the sights. You need to do a little research to find the best prices for genuine and locally made products. At fair trade shops you are still contributing to the right people but you just get to shop in peace.