Travel Tips And Facts
ClimateThere are two seasons: the dry season prevails from October through May; the wet season runs from June to September. Temperatures are determined by altitude, with highlands (including Addis Ababa) rarely exceeding 25º C. In the lowlands it can get considerably hotter exceeding 40ºC, while in the Danakil Depression it can approach 60ºC.
CurrencyThe 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 only be changed 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. If you do have Ethiopian Birr cash in at the airport, you must, in addition to the currency declaration form, bring with you all receipts for exchange transactions. Credit card acceptance is now growing throughout the country but not yet in all main cities.
Time and Electricity SupplyEthiopia is three hours ahead of GMT (+ 3 GMT)and follows the Julian calendar which consists of Twelve months of 30 days each and a thirteen months of five and six days . Ethiopia uses 220 volts 50 cycles AC.
CalendarEthiopia has its own ancient calendar. The Ethiopian Calendar has more in common with the Coptic Egyptian Calendar. The Ethiopic and Coptic calendars have 13 months, 12 of 30 days each and an intercalary month at the end of the year of 5 or 6 days depending whether the year is a leap year or not. The Ethiopian calendar is much more similar to the Egyptian Coptic calendar having a year of 13 months, 365 days and 366 days in a leap year (every fourth year) and it is much influenced by the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church, which follows its ancient calendar rules and beliefs. The year starts on 11 September in the Gregorian Calendar or on the 12th in (Gregorian) Leap Years. The Coptic Leap Year follows the same rules as the Gregorian so that the extra month always has 6 days in a Gregorian Leap Year.
Health RequirementsPrior 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: lower lying areas of Addis Ababa (around 2000 meters) are now said to be potentially malarial, but essentially the city is malaria free, although non-malarial mosquitoes can be nuisance in some areas at night. For traveling outside Addis Ababa it is advisable to consult travel agencies on malarial protection for specific areas. Also it is always good to take a simple first aid pack. In most of the larger towns there are now private clinics, but these and local pharmacies may be short of drugs and medical supplies. In Addis Ababa there is range of private hospitals and clinics.
Visa RequirementsVisas are required for all visitors to Ethiopia and can be obtained from Ethiopian diplomatic missions abroad. Except nationals of Argentina, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Republic of Korea, Kuwait, Luxembourg, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Russian Federation, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, United Kingdom and United States are now allowed to receive their tourist visas on arrival in Ethiopia at the regular charge. Passengers transiting Ethiopia within 72 hours only for connection purpose, holding confirmed onward booking and entry visa on arrival.
TransportationRoads : There are some 4,100 kilometres of asphalt roads with a further 19,000 kilometers of gravel and dry-weather roads. Railway : A 778-kilometre long railway line links Addis Ababa with Djibouti, and carries both freight and passengers. Air : Ethiopian Airlines has an extensive domestic network flying to 43 airfields and an additional 21 landing strips.
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