Ethiopia is a country located in Africa with name that begins with letter E. The East African country Ethiopia is three times the size of Germany and has around 98 million residents. The landlocked country borders Djibouti, Eritrea, Somalia, Kenya, South Sudan, and Sudan. In addition to the national language Amharic and the lingua franca of English, around 70 other recognized regional languages are used. Ethiopia is one of the oldest Christian countries in the world. The rock-hewn churches of Lalibela are among the most visited attractions in the country.
For Ethiopia, tourists need a visa, which Austrian and Swiss citizens can apply for at the Permanent Representation of Ethiopia to the United Nations in Geneva, Germans at the Ethiopian Embassy in Berlin or the Consulate General in Frankfurt / Main.
The climate of Ethiopia is determined by the altitude: In the southeastern lowlands there is a hot and dry desert climate, the lowlands in the west are tropical hot and humid. The Abyssinian highlands have a temperate climate with rainfall from July to September and February to March. The annual average temperature in Addis Ababa is 16 °C.
Food and drink
The spice blend Berbere, which can be found in many dishes, is responsible for the spiciness of Ethiopian food. Many dishes are based on the sourdough flatbread, injera, which is also used as a plate and cutlery for dipping sauces. One eats with the (right) hand. The most popular meat comes from lamb. In addition to Tej mead, millet beer and of course Ethiopian coffee are among the preferred drinks.
In Ethiopian society great respect is shown to the elderly. When talking to them, it is considered polite to take off your hat. Churches and mosques should be entered with appropriate clothing. If you want to photograph people, ask for their consent beforehand. Please give pushy traders or begging children a friendly but firm rebuff.
Medical care does not come close to European standards. The list of potential health threats is long and ranges from malaria to dengue fever. It is advisable to have the vaccinations, which are common in Europe, refreshed if necessary before traveling to Ethiopia. It is also advisable to bring a first-aid kit including sterile syringes with you for treatment. In Ethiopia, measures to protect against mosquito bites must be taken in any case, as well as protective measures against diarrhea. You should also pay attention to the strong tropical sun and appropriate sun protection.
- Military and security-relevant facilities (airports, bridges, government buildings…) may not be photographed.
Climate and travel time
The altitude creates three climatic zones in Ethiopia. Up to an altitude of 1000 meters there is a humid or dry hot climate. At an altitude of 1,000 to 2,500 meters, the climate is temperate with pleasant average temperatures of 20-25 °C. It is very cool above 2,500 meters. Ethiopia has two seasons. The dry season from mid-September to mid-June and the rainy season from mid-June to September. The capital Addis Ababa is 2,440 m above sea level. The best time to travel to Omo Land is from late July to mid-October and from late November to mid-February. The Danakil area is best visited from November to March and the Historic Route in the north is mostly traveled between September and April. The Danakil Desert is considered to be one of the hottest places in the world. Accordingly, daytime temperatures of over 40 degrees Celsius in the shade must be expected. TheThe best travel time for Ethiopia is between October and May, the months November to January are the most pleasant.
All about money
1 birr (ETB) = 100 cents
The currency in Ethiopia is the Ethiopian Birr (Br). 1 euro corresponds to 24 birr. (As of April 2016). It is advisable to bring a mixture of euros and US dollars in small notes (5, 10, 20, 50) with you. You can easily exchange these for local Birr in any bank or exchange office. US dollars can be used to pay for the visa (50 USD) or for tips. You need the local currency when paying in supermarkets, restaurants or for private use. The use of credit cards has increased significantly in Ethiopia in the last few years. There are now ATMs even in the south (Jinka) or in Lalibela where you can withdraw local currency using your card and PIN number. So please do not rely solely on this means of payment. However, a credit card is highly recommended as a reserve.
For meals not included in the services, optional excursions and entrance fees, video fees and souvenirs for loved ones at home, you should expect around 150 EUR per person / week on this trip.
Other essential information
The time difference to CET is +2 hours
In Ethiopia the sockets type C, E, F and L are used. The mains voltage is 220 V at a frequency of 50 Hz
The trip is partly accompanied by an armed scout – he is responsible for your safety.