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Full name:- Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia

Capital city:- Addis Ababa

Land:- Ethiopia is located in Northeast Africa and covers an area of 1,235,000 square kilometers. Ethiopia shares its border with Somalia and Djibouti to the east, Eritrea to the north,Kenya to the south and Sudan to the west.

Topography:- The altitude in the country ranges from 116m below sea level in the Danakil  Depression, one of the hottest places in the world, to 4620 meters a.s.l at Mount Ras Dashen in the North.

Time:- Ethiopia follows the Julian calendar, which consists of 12 months of 30 days each and a 13 th month of 5 or 6 days. It is 7 years and 8 months behind the Gregorian calendar. Ethiopia is in the GMT + 3 hours time zone.

People:- The population is estimated at 80 million, the third highest population in Africa .

Language:- Ethiopia is a multi-ethnic state with more than 80 languages. Amharic with its unique script is the national official Language. English is also widely spoken.

Currency:- The Ethiopian currency is called Ethiopian Birr and is issued by the National Bank of Ethiopia. One Birr is made up of 100 cents. The Bank notes are in denominations of 1, 5, 10, 50, and 100 Birr and the coins are in denominations of 1,5, 10, 25 and 50 cents. Visitors may import unlimited foreign currency. Foreign currency can be changed at banks and hotels and the receipts for all exchange transactions must be retained as this may be required by Customs on departure. Visitors may change back any left over Ethiopian Birr to their chosen foreign currency at the airport before departure and must provide the declaration form with all receipts for exchange transactions.

Communications:- Telephone, fax, internet and postal facilities are highly available in most  main towns. The IDD code for Ethiopia is +251.

Accommodation:- Ethiopia boasts quiet a wide variety of hotel ranging from luxury five star hotels to mid-range hotels offering accommodation ranging from luxury products to upscale, mid-range and budget hotels.

Clothing:- Ethiopians are modest dressers and visitors should be sensitive about going undressed into places of worship. Shoes must always be removed before entering Churches and Mosques.

Costume:- The Ethiopian traditional costume is made of woven cotton. Ethiopian men and women wear this traditional costume called gabbi or Netella. Women often wear dresses (Kemis) and netella with borders of colored embroidered woven crosses, but other designs are also used. Other ethnic groups and tribes in the south and west of the country wear different costumes that reflect their own traditions. Some tribes partially cover their body with leather but others do not wear any clothes at all, merely decorating their faces and bodies with distinctive images.

Visitor Visas for Ethiopia :- Visas may be obtained at any of Ethiopia's embassies abroad.  Citizens from many countries may also receive visas upon arrival at Bole International Airport.  However, this only applies if you are arriving by air; you must already have your visa if arriving overland.To receive your visa upon arrival at the airport, you will need to pay a fee of either $50 in cash for each person in your group.  Your passport should be valid for at least six months after your date of entry.  You will need to provide the name and phone number of either your tour operator or the hotel where you will spend your first night.  Passport photos or other documents are not required.If your country is not on the list to the right, you can receive your visa at the nearest Ethiopian embassy or consulate,

Health and Safety:- Ethiopia is one of the safest countries in Africa for foreigners, and violent crime against foreigners is almost unknown.  However, all visitors should take extra precautions to secure their valuables.  A money belt or other means to hide cash and documents is strongly recommended.Prior to entry, visitors should be in possession of a valid health certificate for yellow fever.Vaccination against cholera is also required for any person who has visited or transited a cholera-infected area within six days prior to arrival in Ethiopia.

Ethiopians climate:- Ethiopia is in the tropical zone laying between the Equator and the Tropic of Cancer. It has three different climate zones according to elevation.

  • Kolla (Tropical zone) – is below 1830 metres in elevation and has an average annual temperature of about 27 degree Celsius with annual rainfall about 510 millimetres. The Danakil Depression (Danakil Desert) is about 125 metres below sea level and the hottest region in Ethiopia where the temperature climbs up to 50 degree Celsius.
  • Woina dega (Subtropical zone) – includes the highlands areas of 1830 – 2440 metres in elevation has an average annual temperature of about 22 degree Celsius with annual rainfall between 510 and 1530 millimetres.
  • Dega (Cool zone) – is above 2440 metres in elevation with an average annual temperature of about 16 degree Celsius with annual rainfall between 1270 and 1280 millimetres.
  • Ethiopian Seasons
    • Kiremt or Meher (Summer) – June, July and August are the summer season. Heavy rain falls in these three months.
    • Belg (Autumn) – September, October and November are the spring season sometime known as the harvest season.
    • Bega (Winter) – December, January and February are the dry season with frost in morning specially in January.
    • Tseday (Spring) – March, April and May are the autumn season with occasional showers. May is the hottest month in Ethiopia.

Ethiopia Food:- Ethiopian food is like nothing you've tried before. Having evolved mostly in isolation from neighboring cultures, the cuisine is different to both the standard dishes found throughout sub-Saharan Africa and also to the Middle Eastern basics of North Africa.Meals are based around the bread-like injera, made from an endemic grain called tef. Sauces, meats and stewed vegetables are then placed directly on the injera, which is eaten with the fingers by tearing sections off bit by bit. The spiciness of the sauces vary according to the amount of berbere, Ethiopia’s famed spice-mix, used by the cook. To find Ethiopia’s specialties, head to a ‘national food’ restaurant. Traditional Ethiopian food does not use pork because most Ethiopians are Muslim or Ethiopian Orthodox Christians. Although Ethiopian dishes can seem heavily dependent on meat, vegetarianism is well understood due to the strict fasting rituals of the Orthodox Church. Every Wednesday and Friday, as well as during the 55 days of Lent, meat is not eaten.

Specialities: 

  • Injera: Slightly sour, flat bread roundel with a crumpet-like texture.
  • Wat: Spicy stew made from red meat (kai), chicken (doro), fish (asa) or vegetables.
  • Dulet: Breakfast dish of pan-fried minced tripe, liver, beef, and chilli.
  • Enkulal tips: Breakfast dish of scrambled eggs with peppers and tomatoes.
  • Kitfo: Raw or very rare ground beef marinated in a hot chilli powder.
  • Messer: Lentil curry.
  • Ayibe: Soft crumbly cottage cheese made from sheep’s milk.
  • Shiro: Chickpea puree.
  • Tere sega: Raw beef delicacy often served at weddings.
  • Kolo: Roasted barley served in cones on the street as a snack.
  • Tibs: Pan-fried lamb cooked with garlic, butter and vegetables.
  • Kita: Herb flatbread.

Ethiopian Drink:- The favourite drink of many Ethiopians is bunna (coffee). Bunna is drunk in Ethiopia in a unique and traditional way known as a "coffee ceremony". First the coffee is roasted, then ground and placed in a Jebena (coffee pot) with boiling water. When ready it is then served to people in little cups, up to three times per ceremony.Other locally produced beverages are tella and tej, which are served and drunk on major religious festivals, Saints Days and weddings. Tella and tej are also sold by numerous designated commercial houses all over the country.

Travel and lodging ;- Ethiopian Airlines is undoubtedly one of the best carriers in Africa with an impeccable safety record.  For the traveler with a limited amount of time, Ethiopian Air is definitely the way to see the major sites.

Airlines Flying to Ethiopia

  • Ethiopian Airlines
  • Lufthansa
  • United Air (with codeshare)
  • Emirates
  • Turkish Airlines
  • Kenyan Airways
  • Gulf Air
  • Egypt Airways

Roads in Ethiopia:- have improved dramatically over the past ten years and asphalt roads now connect all the major towns.  There are still some rough patches so you will want to be in one of our Toyota Land Cruisers, Nissan Patrols, or four-wheel drive minibuses.

Accommodation:-The quality and number of hotels has also increased significantly in the past decade. In Addis Ababaand around most of the major tourist sites, visitors can enjoy western-standard hotels.  However, in some of the rural areas, visitors should be prepared for more rustic accommodations.

Custom:- Duty-free imports are permitted for up to:

  • 1. 200 cigarettes, 50 cigars, or 1/2 lb of tobacco
  • 2 liters of alcoholic beverages
  • Half-liter or two bottles of perfume.

Visitors may export souvenirs, although some articles (such as animal skin and antiques) require an export permits.