Video Source: Youtube
Flag Source: CIA World Factbook
Getting In and Around
Although Ethiopian tourist visas may be available upon travelers’ arrival at Bole International Airport in Addis Ababa, we strongly recommend obtaining an Ethiopian visa prior to your vacation to prevent any delay or confusion.
Ethiopia has 24,000 km of roads, but only about 3,300 km of them are paved. That means that even primary roads connecting Addis Ababa to other cities and towns across the country are gravel. The good news is that the Road Sector Development Programme is in the process of upgrading paved and nonpaved roads, and 75 percent of government infrastructure spending is aimed at improving road transportation.
A railroad connects Addis Ababa to the port of Djibouti, which carries more than 800,000 travel passengers per year, for now the passenger services have been discontinued. Taxis are available in Addis Ababa and other metropolitan towns, but fare
s aren’t metered, so negotiate before you travel. Your best bet for traveling from city to city within Ethiopia is by utilizing a car with a driver, with which the National Tour Operation
can help you.
Ethiopia has two international airports: one in the capital city of Addis Ababa and the other in Dire Dawa. Approximately 40 smaller domestic airports are scattered throughout the rest of the country. We recommend buying your flights directly with Ethiopian Airlines, not a codeshare: prices can get expensive, but if you buy all your flights together, the airline will give customers a discount.
There is decent phone coverage around major cities like Addis Ababa, Dire Dawa, Adama, Bahir Dar, and Awasa. You can buy a SIM card from any place that sells phones, but be prepared to show at least two forms of identification and have an extra passport photo handy.
Safety and Security
Ethiopia is a relatively stable country, but it’s best to use your good judgment in any travel situation. Make sure to do your research, and be sure to exercise heightened caution especially when traveling to any remote area of the country, including borders near Eritrea, Somalia, Kenya, and Sudan. The U.S. Department of State
’s website on Ethiopia is a great place to check for any rare advisories.
The Mo Ibrahim Foundation has created a security ratings system called the Ibrahim Index
, wherein scores are based on each country’s quality of government. Before traveling to Ethiopia or anywhere on the continent, check the index and do your research.