Though Arrival and Departure transfers are included in your cost, your arrival transfers are arranged based on flight details we received in advance. If flight date and times are correctly sent, ETHIO USA TOURS representative will be waiting for you INSIDE the airport terminal and you will meet him/her right after you finished the baggage X-ray machine. The representative will be holding a SIGNBOARD with the name of yours, ETHIO USA TOURS or the Tour Company that sent you from your hometown.
What to take
You will be on the move a lot, so our advice is to pack as lightly as possible. Your baggage should be clearly labeled and restricted to one soft compact suitcase, or sports bag, maximum 20 kg, plus a daypack. Luggage limits on airlines are strictly enforced and space on vehicles is limited. It is important to pack clothes for warm days and cool evenings, a warm jacket is recommended. You will have a number of early mornings, and because of altitude, the climate in Addis Ababa and in the Dorze village is not typically ‘Tropical”. On the contrary, it can get very cool in the evenings/early mornings. A set of smart casual clothes are also advisable.
- Passport (with photocopies)
- Travel insurance (with photocopies)
- Yellow fever certificate
- Airline tickets (with photocopies)
- USD/EURO cash
- Credit or debit card (see personal spending money)
- Any entry visas or vaccination certificates required
Hand washing of clothes can be done for a fee by maid service at all hotels. However, Most hotels do not allow you to wash clothes in your room. We recommend you to bring a nonpolluting/biodegradable soap, as well as a role of simple string to act as a drying line for your clothes. If you arrive in the late afternoon, or if there is poor weather, it may not be possible for your clothes to completely dry.
All countries require travelers to have a valid passport (with a minimum of 6 months validity). Please note that upon arrival by air to Addis Ababa, nationals of some countries can obtain a visa for approximately US$70. There is often a queue for this. Please do your research before traveling. This information is accurate at the time of writing. Though as fees and policies can change, we highly recommend that you contact your local embassy or consulate for the most up to date visa requirements, or see your travel agent. Please look at this website for additional information.
TOURIST VISA ON ARRIVAL
Tourist visa, can be issued valid up to three months on arrival at Bole International Airport for nationals and residents of the following countries: Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Kuwait, Luxembourg, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Democratic people’s Republic of Korea (northern Korea), Poland, Portugal, Republic of Korea (south Korea), the Russian Federation, Slovakia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom, United States of America.
NOTE: Eritreans nationals shall not be issued a visa on Arrival. They must obtain an entry visa prior to their departure to Ethiopia.
TOURIST/BUSINESS VISA FOR ERITREAN NATIONALS ONLY
All business visa applicants should attach VISA APPROVAL LETTER from Ethiopian Immigration. The host company in Ethiopia should request the approval letter from Ethiopian Immigration on behalf of the applicant.
US Officials or Diplomats traveling with Diplomatic, Official or Service Passport must bring an official letter from US State Department.
Officials or Diplomats of other countries traveling with Diplomatic, official or service Passport must bring an official letter from appropriate Authorities or Embassies.
Detailed Trip Notes
American Dollars that are series 1999 or earlier are not accepted and very difficult to change because of past forgeries.
Ethiopia is ruggedly mountainous country covering 1,098.000 sq km and surrounded by Kenya, Eritrea, Somalia, Sudan and Djibouti.
Ethiopia has two main seasons, Dry season from October through May and a Rainy season from June through September. Temperatures vary according to altitude but are commonly on the mild side. The main rains in Rift Valley occur from March – June and light rains from October – December.
Ethiopia is in the GMT+3 hrs time zone and follows the Julian calendar which consists of 12 months of 30 days each plus a 13 month of 5 or 6 days.
Telephone, fax and email are available in most main towns but are most reliable in Addis Ababa. The IDD code for Ethiopia is +251
Electric supply is 220 volts, 50 cycles AC. The wall socket accepts two circular-shaped prongs, so an adapter is required. Video camera batteries may be re-charged at hotels along the route.
Photographs should not be taken of military or strategic buildings or airports. Ask permission to take photos of any person or home. Sometimes money is requested for photos.
Amharic is the official language, although over 80 local languages are spoken throughout Ethiopia. English is understood by most educated young people. About 45 languages are spoken in rift valley southern region.
Customs at arrival
Cameras, computers, and major electrics may need to be declared on arrival.
Every traveler is different and therefore spending money requirements will vary. Some travelers may drink more than others while other travelers like to purchase more souvenirs than most. Please consider your own spending habits when it comes to allowing for drinks, shopping, and tipping. Please also remember the following specific recommendations when planning your trip.
Local currency; Ethiopian Birr.
Recommended Currency for exchange: it is advisable to take your spending money in Sterling, Euros, US Dollars cash (high denomination notes usually get better exchange rates). Please note that any USD YEAR DATED 1999 or torn bills will not be accepted in Ethiopia.
- Where to exchange: Your guides will advise you
- ATM Availability: very limited.
- Credit card acceptance: limited
- Travelers cheeks: very difficult to change and are not recommended.
Credit cards (VISA only) are useful for cash advances in Addis Ababa, but you must remember to bring your PIN number (be aware that many ATM machines only accept 4Digit PIN’s).
Advanced cost a 12 USD fee locally for transactions under $200 and a 5.5% commission for any transaction over $200.
International debit cards do not generally work in Ethiopia.
While ATM’s are available in Addis Ababa, there are no guarantees that your credit or debit cards will actually work in Africa. Check with your bank, but you are encouraged to bring cash. Large denominations, such as $50 and $100 notes are most easily exchanged.
Do not rely on credit or debit cards as your only source of money. A combination of US dollar cash, Euro and Cards are best.
As currency exchange rates can fluctuate often, we ask that you refer to the following website for daily exchange rates: www.xe.com.
Please note inoculations may be required for the country visited. It is your responsibility to consult with your travel doctor for up to date medical travel information well before departure. We recommend you contact your family physician, or your local travel clinic for the most up to date health information at least one month before departure.
It is very important that you wear sunblock, even on a cloudy day, or at high altitudes when it feels cool, as we are near the equator and the sun is very strong.
Even when days are cool please be sure to drink a minimum of 2 liters of water each day and refrain from drinking too many diuretics, as while when traveling outdoors the breeze can dehydrate you quickly as well as the heat. If you are in our family we will provide for free.
Trip specific responsible travel
It is suggested to bring a few items to give to locals in the community. Clothing and toiletries are very much appreciated, as are pen, pencils, notebooks, or mementos of your country to give as souvenirs. Small items such as sugar- free gum are handy to trade for the opportunity to take photos.
It is recommended to cover legs, and to remove shoes and hats in churches and monasteries. Women should cover their hair with a shawl in churches/monasteries. Please note that Ethiopia is a fairly conservative country, so please dress accordingly.
Malaria pre-cautions should be taken before visiting the lowlands. However, vaccination is not obligatory and not necessarily taken as a major preparation while you arrange your travel document. Visa and vaccination requirements are subject to change and should be confirmed before departure.0