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Travel Tips


Ethiopia is a truly magnificent independent never colonized African country with its vast history,culture, national reserves, awesome landscapes, archeology beautiful and friendly countrymen. Ethiopia has its own script, notational system and calendar. The Ethiopian Orthodox Church is the oldest in Africa - Christianity was made the state religion in the Axumite Empire in 330 AD, before Rome. Muslim communities were established in Ethiopia before the triumph of Islam in its birth place, the Arabian Peninsula, while Ethiopian Jews, or Bete Israel, date their provenance back to the time of the first temple.

The Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia is located in the northeastern part of Africa  known as ' The Horn of Africa'. It leis in the equatorial region between 30 - 180 north and 330 - 480 east, Eritrea and Djibouti bound in on the northeast, on the east and southeast by Somalia, on the south by Kenya and on the west by the Sudan. Ethiopia, as large as France and Spain combined, has an area of 1,104,300 km? It is the tenth largest country in Africa. It is a democratic national comprising of 11 semi-autonomous administrative regions organized loosely along major ethnic lines. It has an agriculturally dominated economy, which is about 65 per cent of the land is presently cultivated.


Ethiopia's economy is predominantly agricultural. The highlands and Rift valley are very fertile, which contain many large rivers with enormous untapped potential for irrigation projects. About 90 per cent of the population earns their living from the land, mainly as subsistence farmers. Agriculture is the backbone of the national economy and the principal exports from this sector are coffee, oil seeds, pulses, flowers, vegetables, sugar and foodstuffs for animals. There is also a thriving livestock sector, exporting carrel on the hoof and hides and skins. 25% of the populations grow coffee and it accounts for 55% of Ethiopia's exports.


Ethiopia home more than 80 ethnic groups, each with their own greeting customs. It is best to find out these customs before meeting with any particular group (however Selma is used and common in everywhere), so as to communicate that you are a respectful and well-informed individual. However, in most circumstances when meeting an Ethiopian, smiling and handshaking are usual, although the handshake may be light compared to the firm, solid handshakes you might be used to. In Ethiopia, it is considered proper etiquette to always shake hands with the right hand, as left-handed handshakes, as well as giving a gift with just your left hand, is considered wholly inappropriate. However, to show your respect to the elders’ you can shake with both hand together and hold a while. If you are travelling with children make sure that your children greeting the elders and also many people come and greeting them it is common one greets you will greets to your children so that not to offend and to be offended.


This can depend on where you are going. In most of the country, the main rainy season runs from June to the mid of September, with short rains in March and may that makes loose the soil for highland farmer. In the Omo and Mago parks however, in Southern Ethiopia, the seasons are different with the main rains from March to June and shorter rains in November.


A valid passport is required for travel to Ethiopia containing at least two blank pages per country and a validity of no less than six months beyond the period of your stay.

No visa is required for the following nationals of Kenya Djibouti, and The Sudan. In addition nationals of the following countries can easily get a visa on arrival in the air port.


Nationals out of the mentioned countries above can apply for a visas at where available the Ethiopian Diplomatic Missions Offices.


The possession of a valid Yellow Fever vaccination certificate is no longer mandatory but visitors coming from countries where Yellow Fever has been reported may be asked. Immunization for Hepatitis A and B, Tetanus, Typhoid and Polio is recommended.

In many places even on the highlands frequently reported the occurrence of malaria due to the global warming effect .The Lowland areas along the Awash River, the Omo Valley, Rift Valley and Gambela are subject to malaria outbreaks which have been identified as resistant strains to some medicine, so you should consult your doctor about the prescription. Alternatively, you can keep mosquitoes and other insects at bay with repellent creams and sprays.

Visitors should take a simple first aid pack, which would include: different size plasters, antiseptic cream, anti-histamine cream and/or tablets for insect bites, sun barrier cream (while temperatures are moderate the sun is strong) and anti-diarrhea tablets.


Though the country lays in tropics , temperatures moderated by high altitude not exceed 25 o C in most of the country, however in some of the lowland and rift valley areas (south and west Omo valley and Awash) it can get considerably hotter. Pack light clothes for the day time and a jacket or sweater for the evenings but for Danakil depression it needs also Scarve or toben to cover up from sun and sand blow, and a good pair of walking shoes even if you are not going trekking - path ways around historic sites are usually uneven and stony. Trekkers in the Simien and Bale Mountains will need warm clothes, waterproofs and 3-4 season sleeping bags.

In line with their common conservative ethos, Ethiopians also tend to dress quite modestly. When travelling through Ethiopia, women especially should cover their shoulders and upper arms, particularly when in Muslim areas and while visiting Ethiopian orthodox churches.

Men would be best to opt for (cotton or linen) trousers with a shirt or t-shirt, and women should wear longer skirts and dresses, with a modest and unrevealing top. Again, women especially should avoid wearing shorts, although in particularly well-populated tourist areas, this is generally deemed as acceptable.


It is no longer obligatory for visitors to declare currency in their possession on arrival, but should visitors wish to change money back on departure, it will be necessary to produce receipts from banks and authorized foreign exchange dealers. The Ethiopian currency is the birr, the rate of which against the US dollar is fixed essentially by market demand.Credit card acceptance is now growing throughout the country, but banks which issue cash withdrawals on cards will only do so to a limit of US$500.00 per day (paid in birr), and this only in Addis Ababa and a few other main cities.ATMs for Visa and other cards can now be found in some banks, and in some of the main hotels in Addis Ababa, and this service is expected to be available soon in other main urban centers.


On arrival at Addis Ababa airport please proceed through immigration and baggage collection and custom clearance. Once through proceed out of arrival hall, where Aberus Ethiopia Tours (AET) representative will meet you holding the sign with AET (or passenger) name on it, AET representative will accompany to your hotel. He/she will also inform you start time of the tour.


Ethiopia is generally a safe country, and Addis Ababa a safe capital city, but one should still take the normal precautions, avoiding unfamiliar areas at night and not carrying large sums of money in accessible pockets. It is advisable to beware of pickpockets operating in certain areas, skilled at

identifying new arrivals, other than that violent robbery and muggings are rare and generally visitors can tour the city day and night in safety.


Please reconfirm your onward international flight or hand over the responsibility to one of our staffs in office through the AET representative you will meet at the airport. Departure is contemporarily included in the airfare and you need not worry about it unless specified. Not all but most domestic flights are operated with the two propellers Fokker 5O. Luggage allowance 20kg for check in luggage and 7kg for hand luggage. Please keep all your valuables in the hand luggage. Whether the purchase of your flight ticket is made by us or by you, reconfirmation of all domestic flights are on our shoulder.


It is of the utmost importance that you are properly insured and make sure that you carry details of this insurance with you on your tour. For more information please ask the help of your travel agent.


Photographing Military camp, Ministry buildings, Embassy and important bridges are totally forbidden Ethiopia has a different time calculating system and three hours ahead of Green witch Mean time (GMT). The Ethiopian day is calculated in a manner similar to that in many equatorial countries, where day and night is always the same length. Time remains constant through the year counting starts from western 6 and 6 Western 7 is there fore one o'clock, noon is 6 o' clock and 6 is 12 o'clock. In Addis Ababa, then sunrise and sunset at around 6:30 and 18.45 respectively.


Telephone, Tele fax, Internet, e-mail and postal facilities are available in the country. Internet services are available in major cities and towns only. The international dialing code for Ethiopia is +251.


Addis Ababa has two 5 star hotels - the Hilton and the Sheraton (5 star plus) - and a growing number of tourist class hotels. Standards vary outside the capital, but apart from some areas on the west bank of the Omo and in parts of the Afar Region where camping would be necessary, it is generally possible to get relatively clean rooms with en suite toilet and shower.


For proffesional camera and filming  you should be processed and get permision from Minitry of information ahead of your arrival.Suntrek Ethiopia Tours will assist you facilitating your permision.

For ordinery Tourist camera you may come acrose the airport security to check your camera you should be cooperative. we always ask you to take more film, digital camera cards and spare batteries than think you will need. Ethiopia is very photogenic and it will be easy to use at least one roll of 36 exposures per day or fill half your digital camera card.

Usefull information about Photography and Videography:

Taking pictures of very important bridges is prohibited; your guide or driver will inform you which bridge are these on the spot

Except the Omo valley people and some dominantly Muslim regions most people in Ethiopia like their picture to be taken. Acceptance for picture is expressed either with smile or with proper positioning oneself for picture. While rejection is expressed through giving oneself back or covering face with hand or cloth.

In the Omo valley there is picture fee which amounts 2-5 birr per picture of individuals even if you take group of people at one shot (Our guides and driver guides always take enough small changes with them, they will assist when you need). This rule applies also when you make a shot of their house. A shot to the whole market and whole village is permissible for free but it must be after you take some pictures that require fee. Please don’t take any picture until your guide or driver gets permission, which the answer is always OK

In the Afar and some dominantly Muslim region you need to wait until your guide or driver negotiates with the locals. This doesn’t include the most photogenic regions like Harar and Bati Market where there is no picture fee.  Except for the above mentioned places, please don’t pay picture fee!

No photography fee in all natural attractions and heritages sites but there are few places with prohibition.

There is Videography fee almost in all churches and in some historical and natural sites.

To photograph old paintings it is must to put of the camera flash first.


This is difficult to suggest but What we remind is that tipping is not compulsory, nor have any fixed amounts. The bottom line in determining whether and how much to tip is to ask yourself how much the individual did make your travels more enjoyable and worth.

Feel free to ask any question concerning your holiday plans and we will take much pride in sharing with you the wealth of knowledge and expertise

Our guest relation staff is in attendance 24 hours a day, seven days a week to handle any eventuality that might crop up any odd hour. Telephones at our head office in Addis are manned 24 hours daily.