In December 2008 we went down Omo river from Gibe Bridge to Mui junction. It was 10 day paddling...


When is the best time to travel to Ethiopia?

The rainy season in most of the country occurs between the months of June and September, with a short afternoon trickles in March. Down south however in the Omo region and Mago National parks the seasons tend to be different with the majority of rains between March & June. With the upgrading of the airports along the historic routes of Lalibela, Bahir Dar, Axum & Gondar it is now possible to visit the northern regions even in the rainy season. Although there are times of downpour almost always in the morning, a spectacular countryside full of crops and flowers are to be seen in the afternoons for holidaymakers who choose to escape the peak season pandemonium.

What should a pack for my journey?

Addis is the 5th highest capital city in the world, at an altitude of 2300m. Due to the high elevation, the temperature rarely exceeds 25°C (77°F) in the majority of the country. Although some of the lower lying areas such as Awash, Omo and Mago parks it can get substantially hotter in the summer months. Not to mention the Danakil Depression that is considered the hottest place on earth and one of the lowest.

Exciting Ethiopia Tours suggests you pack light clothes for the daytime shorts & t-shirts, with a jacket and pants for the evenings. If you’re planning to come during the rainy seasons, make sure you bring your wet weather gear and umbrellas. Even if you are not trekking, the walkways around the historical sites are usually potholed and imbalanced so don’t forget a supportive pair of comfortable walking shoes. Trekkers in the Simian and Bale Mountains will of course need proper hiking shoes, warm clothes, waterproofs and 3-4 season sleeping bags.

Please be aware that Ethiopians are generally modest dressers and visitors should respect the conservative dressing, especially in places of worship. Shoes must almost always be removed before entering churches and mosques, thus bringing a spare pair of thick socks to walk around in is a rather clever idea.

What if I get sick or am in an accident? Are there registered doctors and safe hospitals within reach?

Firstly and most importantly, all visitors should be in possession of valid yellow fever vaccination certificate. Immunization for Hepatitis A and B, Typhoid and Polio is also highly recommended. In many sites such as Axum, Gondar and Lalibela malaria is not at all a problem because of the altitude. However it can occur in Bahir Dar at the end of the rainy season and after unseasonable rains or around water. Chloroquine resistant strains have been identified in some areas so you should consult your doctor about the prescription. Otherwise, you can keep mosquitoes and other insects at a distance with various repellents. There are also mosquito nets in almost every guesthouse and lodge. Climatic changes and phenomena such as el-Nino has meant the appearance of Malaria at unseasonable times, and its spread to areas previously malaria free, so just be aware and take all necessary precautions. A simple travellers first aid pack is always a great idea. Band-Aids, antiseptic ointment, anti-histamine cream/tablets and sunscreens – while temperatures are quite moderate the sun is still very strong. Taking anti diarrhea tablets such as Imodium for emergencies are also a necessary precaution. It is wise for all travellers to take out standard holiday health insurance in their home countries for any kind of travel.

Currency Converter

Click here for US dollar to Ethiopian Birr conversion

Visa Requirements

In order for visa to be granted, the following are prerequisites:

  • Current passport, it must be valid for at least six months
  • One recent passport-size photograph.
  • Copy of Green card or I-94 or Work Permit (Except US National)

Tourist Visa Prior to Arrival 
A completed visa application form can be attained from your nearest Ethiopian Consulate. Service fees will be paid in money order or Cashiers Check or Certified bank check made payable to Embassy of Ethiopia;

Tourist Visa on Arrival Tourist visa, can be issued for three months on arrival at Bole International Airport for nationals and residents of the following countries: Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Kuwait, Luxembourg, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Democratic people's Republic of Korea (northern Korea), Poland, Portugal, Republic of Korea (South Korea), the Russian Federation, Slovakia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom, United States of America.

Business VISA 
All business visa applicants should attach a letter addressed to Ethiopian Embassy from his /her organization explaining the purpose of his/her travels. US Officials or Diplomats traveling with Diplomatic, Official or Service Passport must bring an official letter from US State Department. Officials or Diplomats of other countries traveling with Diplomatic, official or service Passport must bring official letter from appropriate Authorities or Embassies.

The passport must be valid for at least six months.
One recent passport-size photograph.
Copy of Green Card or I-94 or Work Permit (Except US National).
A letter from his/her organization explaining the purpose of his/her travels.

Photography and Filming tours

Film crews interested in visiting Ethiopia must submit a media accreditation application to the Ministry of Information, and follow the guidelines for filming in Ethiopia.

Travel Insurance

  • Travel and cancellation insurance is recommended for all of our clients. The purchase and processing of insurance coverage is the responsibility of the client. Prior to starting a Tour with Exciting Ethiopia Tours, an insurance protection should be one of the major considerations for the full duration of the travel, to cover personal injury, medical expenses, and repatriation expenses. If a client falls ill, all hospital expenses, medical expenses, doctor's fees and repatriation costs are the client's responsibility and Exciting Ethiopia Tours shall not be liable for any refund of the tour.
  • We recommend baggage coverage to be added to your insurance plan.
  • Exciting Ethiopia Tours does not sell insurance plans, please contact your insurance agent.

Terms and Conditions / Liability Policy

  • 1. Exciting Ethiopia Tours and its agents act only as agents of Tourist or business travelers as it relates to hotel accommodation, tour by aircraft, boat or other means of transportation. There is a risk that accompanies your Tour package request. All agents of Exciting Ethiopia Tours will go the extra mile to serve our customers but for situations that are beyond our control, we will not take responsibility. Exciting Ethiopia Tours will not cover the loss or damage of possessions, injury or illness to the client, loss of life or consequential damages.
  • 2. Exciting Ethiopia Tours liability to passengers using our vehicles is governed by laws of Ethiopia, and all claims are subject to the jurisdiction of the court of Ethiopia in which the case of actions arises.
  • 3. Exciting Ethiopia Tours reserves the right to employ subcontractors to carry out any or all parts of the services agreed to be supplied and in any event of the exercise of such right the terms of clause (2) relating to Exciting Ethiopia Tours liability shall apply.
  • 4. Exciting Ethiopia Tours will not be held responsible for the loss or damage of personal belongings. We suggest customers to purchase travel insurance prior to their trip.

Policy on Refunds, Purchases and Cancellations

On confirmations of tours, agencies or individuals making bookings with Exciting Ethiopia Tours shall make payments as follows: 25% immediately after the tour is confirmed 75% 30 days prior to the commencement of the tour. If complete payment hasn't been made as per guidelines above, Exciting Ethiopia Tours isn't obliged to accept the client to tour unless other arrangements have been made beforehand, and no refunds will be made.

Written request has to be made to cancel tour bookings and will be subject to the following:

  • 1. From 30-60 days prior to departure an administrative fee of $50.00 per person will be made.
  • 2. 7-30 days prior to departure, a fee of 75% of the tour price will be charged.
  • 3. Cancellations made within 7 days prior to departure, no refund will be made.
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