Before starting your Ethiopian trips

Obtaining Ethiopian Tourist Visa

Arrange your Ethiopian visitor visa online or plan to get it on arrival. The government advises visitors to beware of fraud websites that try to sell you their services, which do not exist.

The government has warning on the site about fraud sites that have similar look and feel the official visa website.

Please note that the Ethiopian Government doesn't have any agreement with the owners of those websites. Any visa application submitted or payment made through other websites is not acceptable and the Government of Ethiopia is not responsible for any payments made or for the inconveniences this might create on the applicants.


Make sure that you have your kits ready before your trip. A recommended list of clothing and useful items might be something like:

Other Useful Items:

Guide Books

An Ethiopian trip guide book, Bradt guide book and Lonley Planet guide books are among the most popular ones. Latest versions are recommended as the country is one of the fastest changing countries in many aspects. If your guide book is very old, you may find it not very helpful especially if you are too dependent on it.

Your travel insurance and health insurance

Check that your insurance covers you for trekking and consider a local emergency rescue organization. We advise you to let us know the details of your travel insurance; company name, policy number and emergency telephone number. We advise you to check that at a minimum you are covered for medical expenses including emergency repatriation. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects. We will seek outside medical help for signs of serious illness such as any severe blood loss, any severe continuous pain more than a day. If the situation don’t improve after 48 hrs (or before then if he/she gets a lot worse) we will take you to the nearest medical facility.

Few Ethiopian words help you win friends

Thank you  (Ame-segi-nalo)
Excuse me (Yikirta)
How are you? (Selam New?)
Good morning  (EndeminAderk/(M)sh(F)
Good Afternoon  (EndeminWalke/(M)sh(F)
Good evening – (Endemin Ameshu/k(F)sh(F)
Good bye  (Dehna-hunu/hun(M)hugne(F)
How are you? (Tena-yist-itilgn/endemenen(M)/esh(F)
You’re welcome – (Minim aydel)
What is your name? (Simeh(M)sh(F) man no?)
My name is, __________  (Sime, ______no)
Where do you come from? (Keyet-metu?)
I come from ___, (Ke__Metahu)
My country is ___,  (Hagere ____new)
Only a little - Tinish
I want   (Efelegalehu)
I like it.  (Tes-mam-tognal)

Visit Ethiopian restaurant

If you have the chance in your area. Ethiopia has a unique cuisine of both vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes which many fall in love with. Most of the food is based on injera some spell it Enjera, a large flat spongy and fluffy pan cake like bread made of fermented dough of a tiny grain called teff. It is usually eaten by hand on a shared plate. The different stews are put on the injera so one can cut a piece and wrap the stews before feeding in the mouth.  It is fun to eat and some of course may need an acquired taste for it. If you visit an Ethiopian restaurant in your local, it will be a good opportunity to get acquainted with it. By the way eating with your left hand is not anything inappropriate as some might think.

Malaria tablets, Yellow fever certificate, and insect repellents

At the airport you won’t be required to show yellow fever vaccination certificate unless you live in Kenya or other malaria affected areas. Also most tourist sites in Ethiopia are not malaria risk areas so you don’t necessarily need to take the pills unless otherwise your doctor insists. Insect repellent creams however are advisable.

Gifts and donations

Giving away money on the streets is not advisable. and doing that on traffic lights is even illegal. So best thing to help support the needy is through small local charities. Small gifts like footballs, or teaching aids such as pens or exercise books will help someone in need of them.

Changing money

Everything you pay in the country whether eating out, buying stuff at the markets, etc should be in local currency which you should get it from the banks. Some accept card and also ATMs are widely available, only that sometimes they suffer from a network failure. So trust cash more than your card. Notes of USD, GBP and EURO are accepted everywhere at every bank.

Medical kit

Well stocked medical kit also simple pain killers or an anti – inflammatory like ibuprofen for the head ache are advised in your check list.


Carbohydrate packed goodies and energy giving snacks like chocolate and dried fruit are helpful throughout the day if you are on a trekking holiday.

Come, fall in love with Ethiopia

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