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Ethiopia Visitor Information

Climate Chart for Ethiopia
Climate Chart for Ethiopia

Ethiopian climate varies according to the different geographical regions. The central plateau has a moderate climate with minimal seasonal temperature variation. The mean minimum during the coldest season is 5.5°C (42°F), while the mean maximum rarely exceeds 26°C (79°F). Temperature variations in the lowlands are much greater, and the heat in the desert and Red Sea Coastal areas is extreme, with occasional highs of 60°C (140°F). Heavy rainfall occurs in most of the country from June to September. The central plateau also experiences a second, through much milder, rainy season between December and February. Average annual precipitation on the central plateau is roughly 48 inches. Average annual rainfall in the Ogaden, however is less than 4 inches. The western most region of Ethiopia receives an annual rainfall of nearly 80 inches.

Apart from nationals of Kenya all visitors to Ethiopia are required to have an entry visa and if you arrive by air it is expected for you to show an onward ticket. Obtaining a single entry tourist visa is not a problem but multiple entry visas are only issued to business travellers.

Ethiopian immigration issues visa upon arrival for the following countries:- Argentina Austria Australia Belgium Brazil Canada China Denmark France Germany Finland Greece Ireland Israel Italy Japan Korea Luxemburg Mexico Netherlands Norway Poland Portugal Russia South Africa Sweden Switzerland Taiwan UK USA

We recommend you check your local Ethiopian Embassy or Consulate for the latest visa requirements.

Listing of tourist offices and Embassies located round the world

Official Currency:    1 birr=100 cents
Current Exchange Rate:    Today's Exchange Rate

Travellers cheques are best taken in US Dollars or Pounds Sterling and cash is best taken in US Dollars. Some major credit cards are accepted at major hotels.


Ethiopian Airlines from Asia, Europe, USA and Africa

Domestic Flights
Probably the best way of getting round the country is the good domestic flight service offered by Ethiopian Airlines between the major towns and prices are reasonable.

Railways / Train Services

There is only one route running from Addis Ababa to Dire Dawa and conditions can be overcrowded.


The bus service is run by the government and is extremely slow and unreliable. Fuel shortages often means there is no form of public transport available and this will also have an affect on those who want to hitch.


Driving is on the right hand side and a valid British licence is acceptable. Although if you intend to drive you should obtain a temporary Ethiopian driving licence. Car are available for hire in Addis Ababa.

Due to the nature of the terrain, road conditions in Ethiopia are poor. Consequently, travel by road can be time consuming and a four-wheel drive can be an advantage.

Jan 7th - Ethiopian Christmas
Jan 19th - Epiphany
Mar 2nd - Battle of Adowa
April 6th - Victory Day
May 6th - May Day
Sept 11th - New Year's Day
plus moveable Muslim holidays

Electric Power is 220V - 240V running at 50Hz.
The Plug type used in Ethiopia is: "Type C, E & F"

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