top of page
MENU

TOP OF PAGE

Quick Facts

Best Time To Go

Cost & Spending

Travel Tips

Regions & Highlights

Travel Map

What To See & Do

What To Eat

Where To Stay

Trip Planning

ABOUT US

WeWillNomad Profile Pic 2.png

Welcome traveler!

We're Andre & Lisa, adventurers and experienced budget travelers.

We have over two decades of travel experience and since 2018 have led a full-time nomadic lifestyle.

Learn more about us!

Thank you for visiting and we hope you find value in our destination pages! ​We thoroughly research and curate all content ourselves and everything you find on this site is put together by only the two of us.

  • Instagram
  • Youtube
  • Facebook
Image-empty-state.png

ETHIOPIA TRAVEL GUIDE

Ethiopia is an exciting destination, rich in local tradition and history, possessing its own written language and script, and filled with classical African landscapes, flora and fauna. Ethiopia is one of the oldest countries in the world. In the long and disturbing history of the African continent, Ethiopia remains the only country which has never been colonised (except for a brief occupation by Italy during World War II).

 

It may also be justifiably considered the cradle of humanity - its famous Rift Valley is the site of a prehistoric civilisation and the place where the fossils of ‘Lucy’ and ‘Homo Ramidus Afarensis’, the world’s oldest known hominids, were found. Best of all, it has been a virtually unknown tourist destination, which means that you won’t have to contend with scores of camera-wielding tourists.

⬇️ REGIONAL GUIDES ⬇️

TRAVEL GUIDE
TRAVEL GUIDE
TRAVEL GUIDE
TRAVEL GUIDE
TRAVEL GUIDE
TRAVEL GUIDE

⬇️ COUNTRY GUIDE ⬇️

Ethiopia is the oldest independent country in Africa and the second-oldest official Christian nation in the world after Armenia.

  • Capital: Addis Ababa
  • Currency: Birr (ETB)
  • Area: 1,127,127 km²
  • Population: 109,2 million (2018)
  • Language: Amharic (official), Oromo, Tigrinya Guaragigna, Somali, Arabic, other local languages, English (major foreign language taught in schools)
  • Religion: Ethiopian Orthodox, Protestantism, Catholicism, Islam, Judaism, Animism, Baha'i
  • Electricity: 220V, 50Hz (European & Italian plugs)

 

Ethiopian New Year takes place on the 11th of September or on the 12th during a leap year. It is known as Enkutatash, which means "Gift of Jewels". Ethiopian calendar has twelve months of 30 days plus five or six epagomenal days, which comprise thirteenth months. The sixth epagomenal day is added every four years.

 

The New Year signifies the end of the long rainy season and the beginning of a bright sky and a dazzling sunlight. The countryside turns into gold with the yellow daisies (adey abeba) covering the entire fields in rural areas of Ethiopia, which are in bloom at this time of the year.

DO YOU NEED A VISA FOR

ETHIOPIA?

<<VISA RESULT>>

<< Visa Details >>

For the latest requirements or for application click

HERE

Let iVisa take the pain out of travel planning and assist you with Electronic visas, Travel Authorizations, Visas on Arrival, and even Paper Visas. They can also help with Health Declarations and Embassy Registrations. If you're from the US, they provide a One-Stop Shop to renew your Passport securely and error-free.

SEASONS AT A GLANCE

Most destinations have different times of the year when they’re more or less popular with tourists. 

Read more...

Peak Season

Shoulder Season

Off Peak Season

JANUARY

HOT

COLD

MODERATE
DRY

WET

FEBRUARY

HOT

COLD

MODERATE
DRY

WET

MARCH

HOT

COLD

MODERATE
DRY

WET

APRIL

HOT

COLD

MODERATE
DRY

WET

MAY

HOT

COLD

MODERATE
DRY

WET

JUNE

HOT

COLD

MODERATE
DRY

WET

JULY

HOT

COLD

MODERATE

DRY

WET

AUGUST

HOT

COLD

MODERATE

DRY

WET

SEPTEMBER

HOT

COLD

MODERATE
DRY

WET

OCTOBER

HOT

COLD

MODERATE
DRY

WET

NOVEMBER

HOT

COLD

MODERATE
DRY

WET

DECEMBER

HOT

COLD

MODERATE
DRY

WET

Climate Chart with avergae monthly temperatues and rainfall

BEST TIME TO VISIT ETHIOPIA

Ethiopia has two main seasons: the dry season and the rainy season.

 

The dry season, also known as the "Barka" season, typically runs from October to May. During this time, the weather is mostly dry and hot, with temperatures ranging from 20 to 35 degrees Celsius (68 to 95 degrees Fahrenheit) depending on the region. This is considered the best time to visit Ethiopia for sightseeing and outdoor activities as the weather is comfortable and the scenery is mostly dry and arid.

 

The rainy season, also known as the "Belg" season, typically runs from June to September. During this time, the weather is mostly wet and humid, with temperatures ranging from 20 to 35 degrees Celsius (68 to 95 degrees Fahrenheit) depending on the region. This is considered the best time to visit Ethiopia for those who want to experience the lush greenery and see different wildflowers and plants in bloom, also travelers can also enjoy different cultural and religious ceremonies that are held during rainy season.

 

It's worth noting that the seasons may vary depending on the region, as Ethiopia is a large country with diverse climates and topography.

 

The best time to visit Ethiopia depends on the specific regions and activities you plan to visit and do. Generally, the months of October to February are considered the best time to visit as the weather is cooler and dryer. This is also the peak tourist season. However, if you plan to visit the southern or low-lying regions, the months of June to September may be better as it is the rainy season there, and the landscape is greener and more lush. It is always best to check the specific weather patterns and conditions for the area you plan to visit.

BEST TIME FOR:

Although outdoor activities are possible all year round, the best time for hiking in Ethiopia is during the dry season, from October to June. Trekking in the Simien Mountains of Ethiopia is a wonderful experience and for the best experience, try to go from September to November, just after the summer rains.

LOOKING FOR ALTERNATIVES

TO ETHIOPIA?

FIND YOUR
PERFECT
DESTINATION

Advanced, real-time destination filter by visa required, region, health risk, travel budget, country value, tourist seasons, best weather and activity or sport.

gears.gif
LETS GO!

BLOG POSTS ON ETHIOPIA

WEWILLNOMAD

WEWILLNOMAD

WEWILLNOMAD

ETHIOPIA TRAVEL COSTS

The cost of traveling to Ethiopia can vary greatly depending on factors such as the time of year, your travel itinerary, and your personal preferences. In general, Ethiopia is considered a budget-friendly destination, with relatively low costs for accommodations, transportation, and food.

  • Accommodations in Ethiopia vary widely in price, with options ranging from budget-friendly guesthouses and hostels to more upscale hotels. Expect to pay around $10 - $30 per night for a basic room in a budget hotel or guesthouse, and around $50 - $100 per night for a mid-range hotel.
  • Food in Ethiopia is generally quite inexpensive. Meals at local restaurants and street vendors can cost as little as a few dollars, while more upscale restaurants may charge around $10 - $20 per meal.
  • Transportation costs in Ethiopia are also relatively low. A bus ride between cities typically costs around $10 - $20, while a train ride can cost around $5 - $10.
  • Other costs to consider include entry fees for attractions, such as museums and historical sites, as well as the cost of any tours or guides you may want to hire.

Overall, you can expect to spend anywhere from $30 to $100 per day, depending on your travel style, but it can be much lower if you're on a tight budget.

It's worth noting that prices may fluctuate due to different factors such as inflation and currency exchange rates. It's always best to check the current prices before you travel.

22

VALUE RANK:

/ 199

FIND DISCOUNT FLIGHTS TO

ETHIOPIA?

SEARCH

TRAVEL TIPS FOR ETHIOPIA

Here are some travel tips when visiting Ethiopia

  • Get vaccinations for hepatitis A, typhoid, and yellow fever before you go.
  • Make sure you have a valid passport and visa before arriving.
  • Currency: Ethiopian Birr (ETB) is the official currency, but US dollars are also widely accepted.
  • Be prepared for a culture shock and be respectful of local customs and traditions.
  • Be aware of altitude sickness if you plan to visit the highlands.
  • Be cautious when it comes to food and water. Only drink bottled water and be selective about where you eat.
  • Pack light, as many places in Ethiopia are not accessible by car and you may have to walk or take public transportation.
  • Be flexible with your itinerary as many things in Ethiopia may not go as planned.
  • Learn some basic phrases in Amharic, the official language.
  • Avoid traveling during the rainy season (June-September) as many roads become impassable.

REGIONS & HIGHLIGHTS OF ETHIOPIA

Ethiopia is a diverse country with many different regions, each with its own unique culture and attractions. Some of the main regions and their highlights include:

  • Addis Ababa: The capital city of Ethiopia, Addis Ababa is a bustling metropolis with a mix of modern and traditional culture. Highlights include the National Museum, which houses the famous Lucy fossil, and the Merkato, the largest open-air market in Africa.
  • Northern Ethiopia: This region includes the historic towns of Lalibela and Gondar, both of which are known for their impressive medieval architecture. Lalibela is famous for its rock-hewn churches, while Gondar is known for its 17th-century castles and palaces.
  • The Omo Valley: This remote region in the south is home to many different ethnic groups, each with their own unique culture and customs. Highlights include the colorful tribal markets, traditional villages, and the chance to see some of the last remaining nomadic tribes in Africa.
  • The Danakil Depression: This remote and inhospitable region in the northeastern part of the country is known for its otherworldly landscapes, including the Dallol hot springs, the salt mines of Lake Asale, and the Erta Ale volcano.
  • The Bale Mountains: This national park is a hikers paradise, known for its rugged landscapes, high altitude plateaus, and a variety of wildlife including the Ethiopian wolf.
  • The Blue Nile and Tis Issat Falls: The Blue Nile is one of the main tributaries of the Nile River, and the Tis Issat falls is the largest waterfall in Ethiopia. The area around the falls is known for its scenic beauty and is a popular spot for rafting and other adventure activities.

WHAT TO SEE AND DO IN ETHIOPIA

There are many things to see and do when visiting Ethiopia, as it is a country with a rich history, culture, and natural beauty. Some of the best things to see and do include:

  • Visit the historic rock-hewn churches of Lalibela: These 11th-century churches are carved out of solid rock and are considered some of the most important religious sites in Ethiopia.
  • Explore the medieval castles and palaces of Gondar: This historic city is known for its 17th-century castles and palaces, including the Royal Enclosure, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
  • Experience the traditional culture of the Omo Valley: This remote region in the south is home to many different ethnic groups, each with their own unique culture and customs. You can visit traditional villages, attend tribal markets, and see some of the last remaining nomadic tribes in Africa.
  • See the otherworldly landscapes of the Danakil Depression: This remote and inhospitable region is known for its unique landscapes, including the Dallol hot springs, the salt mines of Lake Asale, and the Erta Ale volcano.
  • Explore the Bale Mountains: This national park offers a hikers paradise, known for its rugged landscapes, high altitude plateaus, and a variety of wildlife, including the Ethiopian wolf.
  • Visit the Blue Nile and Tis Issat Falls: The Blue Nile is one of the main tributaries of the Nile River, and the Tis Issat falls is the largest waterfall in Ethiopia. The area around the falls is known for its scenic beauty and is a popular spot for rafting and other adventure activities.
  • Visit the capital city of Addis Ababa: The capital city of Ethiopia, Addis Ababa is a bustling metropolis with a mix of modern and traditional culture. Highlights include the National Museum, which houses the famous Lucy fossil, and the Merkato, the largest open-air market in Africa.
  • Discover the local cuisine: Ethiopian food is delicious, made with a variety of spices, and usually served with injera, a type of sourdough flatbread.

WHAT TO EAT IN ETHIOPIA

When visiting Ethiopia, you should definitely try some of the local cuisine, which is known for its rich flavors and spices. Some traditional dishes and snacks to try include:

  • Injera: This is a type of sourdough flatbread that is a staple in Ethiopian cuisine. It is usually made from teff flour and is used to scoop up stews and vegetables.
  • Tibs: Tibs is a popular dish in Ethiopia, it's usually made with meat (beef, lamb, chicken or fish) and vegetables, and seasoned with spices like berbere, a spicy blend of chili peppers, ginger, and other spices.
  • Doro Wat: Doro Wat is a spicy chicken stew, it's considered the national dish of Ethiopia, and it's usually served with injera.
  • Kitfo: Kitfo is a dish made from raw minced meat, it's often seasoned with spices, and served with bread or injera.
  • Shiro: Shiro is a thick stew made from ground chickpeas, lentils, or split peas, seasoned with spices and served with injera.
  • Tibs Firfir: Tibs Firfir is a traditional dish made from sautéed injera mixed with spiced meat or vegetables.
  • Kategna: Kategna is a traditional snack, it's made from injera that is smeared with spicy butter or berbere, rolled up and toasted.
  • Traditional Coffee ceremony: Ethiopia is the birthplace of coffee, and you can't leave without experiencing traditional coffee ceremony, it's a ritual that includes the roasting, brewing and serving of coffee in a traditional way.

Keep in mind that, for religious reasons, many Ethiopians don't eat pork or alcohol, so you may have trouble finding these items on menus. Also, be cautious when it comes to food and water, only drink bottled water and be selective about where you eat.

LGBTQ IN ETHIOPIA

I'm a paragraph. I'm connected to your collection through a dataset.

WHERE TO STAY IN ETHIOPIA

For a first-time visit to Ethiopia, choosing the right base is essential to immerse yourself in the country's rich history, culture, and natural beauty. Here are some suggestions for different regions and cities along with accommodation options:


Where to stay in Addis Ababa:

As the capital and largest city, Addis Ababa serves as the country's political, economic, and cultural hub.

  • Budget: Stay at the Weygoss Guest House for affordable accommodation with basic amenities.

  • Mid-range: Golden Tulip Addis Ababa: Situated in the Bole district, Golden Tulip Addis Ababa offers mid-range accommodations with modern amenities. Guests appreciate its convenient location, comfortable rooms, and on-site facilities such as a fitness center, sauna, and restaurant.

  • Luxury: Sheraton Addis, a Luxury Collection Hotel: Located in the heart of Addis Ababa, Sheraton Addis is a luxury hotel offering upscale accommodations and world-class amenities. Guests can stay in elegantly appointed rooms and suites, enjoy multiple swimming pools, a spa, fitness center, and various dining options.


Best value tip: Look for accommodation deals during the offseason (June to August) or book well in advance to secure better rates.


Where to stay in Lalibela:

Lalibela is famous for its rock-hewn churches, UNESCO World Heritage sites, and spiritual significance.

  • Budget: Top Twelve Hotel Lalibela: Located near Lalibela's main attractions, Top Twelve Hotel offers budget-friendly accommodations with a cozy atmosphere. Guests appreciate its clean rooms, friendly staff, and convenient location.

  • Mid-range: The Maribela Hotel offers comfortable accommodations and stunning views of the surrounding landscape.

  • Luxury: Experience luxury at the Cliff Edge Hotel, featuring upscale rooms and personalized service.


Best value tip: Visit during the shoulder seasons (March to May and September to November) to find better deals on accommodation and avoid crowds.


For hassle-free bookings, use platforms like Booking.com for competitive rates or Holiday Swap for unique homes worldwide. Ensure to book in advance, especially during peak seasons, and align your preferences with nearby activities such as surfing, snorkeling, or cultural exploration.

CHOOSE ANOTHER DESTINATION

GO

RECENT BLOG POSTS

PLAN YOUR TRIP

VISA SERVICES

Let iVisa take the pain out of travel planning and assist you with Electronic visas, Travel Authorizations, Visas on Arrival, and even Paper Visas. They can also help with Health Declarations and Embassy Registrations. If you're from the US, they also provide a One-Stop Shop to renew your Passport securely and error-free.

FLIGHTS
Find a cheap flight by using Skyscanner or Momondo. These are our favorite flight search engines. They index other travel websites and airlines across the globe to easily find you the best deal.

ACCOMMODATION

Booking.com is our number one resource for researching and booking accommodation. In addition to Booking.com, we have found Agoda.com to consistently returns the cheapest rates in Southeast Asia. For longer stays, find unique homes worldwide on Holiday Swap, the most affordable travel platform that allows you to book homes anytime, anywhere in only a few clicks.

TRANSPORT

DiscoverCars.com is a leader in online car rental bookings; we compare car rental deals from many companies so that you can choose which is best for your trip. 12Go connects the world door-to-door, from transfers to flights, under the same user-friendly ticket.

INSURANCE
Travel insurance can protect you against unexpected illness, injury, theft, and cancellations.

 

Need more help to book your trip?
Check our complete resource page for all the best companies to use when you travel. You will only find the companies we use ourselves.

Please note that some of the links above may be affiliate links, and at no additional cost to you,

we may earn a commission if you end up making a purchase and the income goes to keeping the site ad free.

bottom of page