Travel info & useful tips_ethiopia

Visa applications may be obtained at Ethiopia's diplomatic missions overseas. Ethiopian
embassies may charge a fee for visas, and usually require an onward air ticket, a yellow-fever
vaccination certificate and proof of sufficient funds.

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. Malaria is endemic in some parts of low
land areas. Visitors should begin taking a recommended chloroquine-based prophylactic two
weeks before their arrival and continue taking them for six weeks after their departure. In addition,
medication for chloroquine-resistant malaria is a wise precaution. Medical facilities are improving
and quite a number of public and private medical centres (open 24h/7) are available in Addis
Duty-free import are permitted for up to: 200 cigarettes, 50 cigars, 1/2 lb of tobacco, 1 litre of
alcoholic beverages, two bottles of perfume. Visitors may export souvenirs with a value not
exceeding Birr 500, although some articles (such as animal skins and antiques) require an export
The local currency is the Ethiopian Birr made up of 100 cents. Visitors may import an unlimited
amount of foreign currency, providing declaration of such currency is made to customs on arrival.
Foreign currency may be changed only at authorized banks and hotels. The currency declaration
form must be retained, as this will be required by customs on departure. Visitors, however, will be
able to change back any excess Ethiopian Birr to foreign currency at the airport before departure.

There are two main seasons: the dry season from October through May and the wet season from
June to September. Climate is typically very mild to cold, with temperatures on the wide-ranging
highlands averaging below 20°C. The heaviest rains traditionally start falling in June, so it is
advised to have appropriate clothes and umbrella.

Ethiopia follows the Julian calendar, which consists of twelve months of thirty days each and a
thirteenth month of five days (six days in a leap year). The calendar is seven years and eight
months behind the Western (Gregorian) calendar.
Ethiopia is in the GMT + 3 hours time zone (three hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time). Time
remains constant throughout the year. The Ethiopian day is calculated in a manner similar to many
equatorial countries, counting starts at Western 6.00 a.m. and 6.00 p.m. Western 7.00 a.m. is
therefore one o'clock, noon is six, 6.00 p.m. is twelve o'clock midnight, and so on. In Addis
Ababa, the sunrise and sunset are at around 06.30 and 18.45 respectively.
Ethiopia uses 220 volts and 50 Hz cycles AC. It is best to bring your own round, two-prong
adapter and transformer if necessary.
Internet Services (Dial up) and Broadband network (WiFi) are available at every Hotel &
Guesthouse and many Internet Cafes are available in the city. Since last March, Ethio telecom has
launched the 3G high-speed Internet service offering 3G dongle and 3G WiFi router. Prepaid
mobile phone SIM card can either be rented at the hotel or buy at any EthioTelcom offices
providing 2 photos and a copy of passport.


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