Travel Information in Ethiopia
  1. Say Hello, to all other travelers. You never know when you need help.
  1. Theft.
  • While the privacy of a guest’s room is normally always respected, theft has been reported in some hotels. Belongings are left at your own risk unless you put them in the hotel safe box or hand them to the hotel receptions & ask for an agreed receipt.
  • Petty theft on the street is present in Addis Ababa & big towns and there are these hassles to deal with. Unlike some African countries it would be accurate to say the level of general crime is very low.
  1. Passport:
  • Store your passport, travel check information in your e-mail box or Scan it.
  • Additionally leave a copy of your passport of Operator office and/or for the guide.
  1. Tips: Drivers, guides, porters, waitress and other service providers (it is all up to your interest and satisfaction) and that is not mandatory.

In most hotels and restaurants, a 10 per cent service charge is added to the bill. Tipping is a fairly frequent custom, but amounts are small.

  1. Photo & Video:

In the smaller towns the locals may expect a small payment in return for being photographed. Video photography in famous tourist attractions occasionally carries a small charge.

Photographing is prohibited at (National Palace, Embassies, bridge, near military camps and individuals without permission).

  1. Donations: Giving Leftover foods, Plastic bottles, coins etc to kids on the route is not recommended. If you are interested to do so we take you to Orphanage center.
  2. Caution: For high altitude sickness/ fear please consult the medical doctor
  3. Dressing code: Shoes off at the gate of the churches, wear warm clothes for trekking
  4. Personal Property: Take your cash money, camera, laptops, and any valuable items and keep in safe box or to the reception desk never leave at your room.
  5. Airport Regulations:
  • Any traveler entering or exiting Ethiopia may carry a maximum of 200 Ethiopian Birr on their person or in their luggage.
  • Permits are required before exporting either antiques or animal skins from Ethiopia. Antique religious artifacts, including “Ethiopian” crosses, require documentation from the National Museum in Addis Ababa for export.
  1. Noises from churches and mosques: There is noise from mosques and churches to deal with. Could you cope with this? This is life in Ethiopia. You are a visitor here.
  2. Visa: Travelers whose entry visa expires before they depart Ethiopia must obtain a visa extension through the Main Immigration Office in Addis Ababa. Apply for immigration at least five days before the visa expire date.
  3. Currency: Non-residents traveling to Ethiopia must declare any/all foreign currency in excess of 3000 USD (or its equivalent)
  4. Cultural Difference: Please respect the local culture, laws and regulations as much as you can.
  5. Hand washing before meals: In this regard Ethiopians show exceptional manners. With Ethiopian food try to eat with your right hand, or use a fork if you feel uncomfortable using your hands.
  6. Hotel Rooms: We promise to check the hotel room before we allow you to use it. If you are not satisfied we will ask the management to find you another room. Generally when we book the room we cannot predict the current standard of the fixtures inside the hotel rooms. We use the hotel you request us to reserve. We check the fixtures but sometimes there are loose fittings, not well cleaned etc all to consider as well as bed comfort. We check the bed before we let you use it. But hotel maintenance in Ethiopia is poor. Check the bed yourself and the mattress and the sheets before you accept the room.
  1. Payments: ATM machines exist in Addis Ababa and big towns can often work well or badly. It depends on maintenance and effective telecommunications. You might even ask a friend or family member to be on standby with Western Union in case you find yourself in the unfortunate position of not having any cash to hand. In small towns and villages take smaller bills with you.
  2. Shopping: Try to buy items en route in their specialty area where the price are usually better than in Addis Ababa plus you will find authentic products or materials. However, the large Mercato, Shops at Churchill Avenue and Shiro Meda in Addis Ababa have vast quantities of Ethiopian items you might desire.

List of Banned Souvenirs in Ethiopia

  • Animal and plant fossils and any prehistoric items such as stone tools, bones or pottery
  • Anything with an ancient inscription on it
  • Anything of outstanding anthropological or ethnographical interest
  • Old processional or hand crosses that bear the names of Kings or religious leaders or any currently in use at churches or monasteries
  • Any items(including manuscripts, books, documents or religious objects such as Chalices, crosses and incense burners ) currently servicing in churches
  • Any old wooden items
  • Coins and paper money not currently in circulation
  • Wild life products including all Ivory
  • Any items of exceptional artistic interest whether old or modern
  • Art with outstanding historical value, such as engravings with historical figures
  • Any items formerly belonging to the Emperor, his family or to Ethiopian nobles. For more details please contact:-
    Souvenir and Clearance permit bureau at National Museum of Ethiopia
    Phone No: – 011 111 3684
    Or visit: –
  1. Recommended Travel Books
  • Lonely Planet; Ethiopia
  • Bradt Travel Guide; Ethiopia
  • Spectrum Guide to Ethiopia and
  • Discover Ethiopia (brochure); published by Ministry of Culture and Tourism of Ethiopia

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