If you are planning to spend your next vacation in Ethiopia, there are some tips that you must be at your figure tips and you certainly have the most enjoyable safari in your life. These travel tips play a significant role as they guide you while you plan for your holiday and they include;
- Health and Immunizations
Like any destination, you will be required to take vaccination against some specific diseases before visiting Ethiopia. You will immunize against typhoid, yellow fever, hepatitis A, Diphtheria, Meningococcal as well as polio, tetanus and malaria. But make sure that you have consulted your doctor before taking any tablets for malaria or he or she should prescribe them for you.
- Traveller visa
Travelers on safari to Ethiopia apart from those from Djibouti and Kenya, be aware that you will need a entry visa. You can apply for one at a nearby Ethiopia diplomatic mission in your respective country. And nationals from the following states have opportunity to get their tourist visas on arrival at Bole International Airport in Addis Ababa and or at airport in Dire Dawa.
They include Australia, Austria, Belgium, Argentina, China, Brazil, South Africa, Netherlands, Mexico, Norway, Poland, Israel, Italy, Switzerland, Thailand, UK, USA, Sweden, Spain, Portugal, Luxembourg, Finland, Denmark, France, Ireland, India, Germany, Greece, New Zealand, Slovakia, Russian Federation, the Republic of Korea and many others.
The cost of visas differs depending on which type you are interested in and they range from tourist, business, journalists and others. Tourist visas can be obtained on arrival at 40 dollars and this will be valid for at least a month or 60 dollars for 2 months. For further information and updates, you can visit Embassy of Ethiopia at Washington DC.
- Ethiopia’s currency
Ethiopia nationals use Ethiopian birr as their local currency and it is mad of about 100 cents and notes are also available ranging from 1, 5, 10, 50 and 100birr and coins also range from 1, 5, 10, 25 and 25 cents. However, you can also come with foreign currency and you are free to change it to either local currency or foreign currency. The US dollar is equally recommended and Credit cards can be used for those of you who will take flights with Ethiopian airlines or in hotels in Addis Ababa.
- How to get to Ethiopia
You can reach Ethiopia using various ways and one of them by air using Ethiopian airlines which operates in several routes and takes direct flights to and from US and brief stop in Rome. Other areas include Dubai, Beirut, Bangkok, Cairo, Accra, Lusaka, Johannesburg, Frankfurt, Paris, Stockholm, Brussels, Amsterdam, London and others.
By road, you are required to first inquire about how safe it is to take a drive across the border areas to Ethiopia especially if you are connecting from Eritrea, Sudan, Kenya and others. By rail, there is a passenger train that operates from Addis Ababa to Dire Dawa and then to Djibouti. To get around Ethiopia, there are several tour operators with the best safari cars for hire with driver guide who will take you through various tourist sites of your interest and when you are choosing a vehicle to use, a 4 wheel drive is the best for you to navigate through this country’s remotest routes.
- Power usage
Ethiopia mainly uses 220 volts and 50 HZ and it is better that you come along with your own adapter.
- Best time to visit Ethiopia
Before embarking on actual safari, make sure that you are aware of which period is the best for your vacation depending on your travel interests. Ethiopia experiences mainly tropical monsoon type of climate and it receives rainfall from June to September while its temperatures range from 16 degrees Celsius to 20 to 25 degrees Celsius all year round and reduces at night from 5 to 10 degrees Celsius. You will need waterproof rain jacket or poncho. The historical circuit especially Gondar, Bahir Dar, Lalibela can be visited from October to March; for those of you who would like to engage in trekking adventure, you can pay a visit to Ethiopia from October to March; Omo River tribes from June to September and November to March and others.
This is always the most crucial factor when to travel and every visitor must be keen on it. Regardless of the fact that Ethiopia is believed to be one of Africa’s safest countries, bear in mind that safety starts with you as it is not a 100 percent safe. Try to avoid border areas especially Kenya, Sudan, Eritrea and Somalia. Some rules that you should put into consideration are; make a copy of your passport and pack it with your luggage, avoid walking alone at night, be keen on pickpockets especially in overcrowded areas, and don’t expose your luxurious jewelry as they can attract thieves.
- Unique places to visit in Ethiopia
While on safari in Ethiopia, don’t miss to pay a visit to Addis Ababa, southern circuit especially Awash, Omo Valley, rift valley Lakes; the eastern side especially Dire Dawa, Jijiga, Harar and others; the northern part especially Gondar, Simien Mountains, Lalibela , Bahir Dar and others.