Information

If you'd like to go to Ethiopia after seeing these pictures, remember that you enter another culture with other habits and values. Things we find normal could be interpreted as insult in Ethiopia. Here are some tips to make your holiday a pleasant one.

Ethiopia is not visited by mass tourism. The roads are not always of good quality and there are many unpaved roads. This especially applies to the Danakil depression, mainly because many (western) governments advice against it. However, now (in 2016) the Danakil depression can be safely visited but a security detail is required by the Ethiopian government. The camps on the Erta Ale and Ahmed Ela have military guards and the accompaniment of a police officer and a military guard is required of one wants to visit the Danakil. So most visiting groups mostly use an organized tour to visit. Please note that most tours only visit the Erta Ale for one night, thus many visitors will not see the spectacular landscape and the north crater.

Preperation at home

Medical

In Ethiopia some diseases exists which are banned in the west. So before you go, contact your medical authority on vaccinations you might need. Consider the following vaccines:

·         Diphtheria - Tetanus - Polio (DTP).

·         Hepatitis A.

·         Yellow fever

·         Typhoid (depending on the length of stay)

·         Malaria prevention (medicines as well as a mosquito net and anti-mosquito spray).

 

Clothing

In Ethiopia it is not appropriate to walk with uncovered shoulders at all places, especially in rural areas or in or near holy places and one always has to obey the wishes of the church or mosque keeper when entering such a place: Take off your shoes before entering.  

Currency

1 Birr is about 4.5 eurocents (2016). The larger cities have ATM’s however since these do not always work as expected, it is advisable to use the ATM only during bank opening hours. It is therefore recommended to take cash with you and change it in Addis Abeba.

Visa

For Ethiopia, a Visa will be required. It can be obtained at the airport for most tourist visitors. Please consult the local Ethiopian embassy for detailed information on this.

In Ethiopia

Food and drinks

Normal tap water in Ethiopia is not drinkable for western people. However almost everywhere bottles of mineral water are sold for about 15-25 BIRR / liter. Please check if the bottle is sealed.

If you want to buy foot in the street please take care that it is fresh! Convince yourself that tea has been boiled properly. Go to a place where it is crowded, The food will be better. See that the foot has been cooked properly.

Habits

You will enter another culture with other habits so please take care of the following

·         Be conservative in your clothing, women showing knees or elbows is not always appreciated. This depends highly on the location where you are..

·         Bargaining is normal in Ethiopia, one expects you to bargain so you need to do so if you want to pay a reasonable price. Ethiopia is not expensive but prices differ a lot between urban and rural areas.

·         Be patient, some procedures may take time.

·         Every Wednesday and Friday (fasting days), people do not eat meat.

·         A tip to a cab driver or waiter or carrier is quite normal, about 10 BIRR.

Have a nice trip!