The great land of Ethiopia is one of Africa's veiled treasures.
Archaeological, cultural and natural riches await for travellers keen to delve into this ancient yet often overlooked destination. Trekking rugged ranges, visiting simple mountain villages, marvelling at time-worn relics dipped in mysticism and meeting genuine, unaffected people who have overcome famine and war makes for a life-affirming journey.
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Our Ethiopia trips
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Ethiopia tour reviews
Our Ethiopia trips score an average of 4.63 out of 5 based on 8 reviews in the last year.
Ethiopian Highlands Northbound, February 2017
Great trip, fascinating culture and cities; however the terrain was the best highlight!
Review submitted 12 Mar 2017
Ethiopian Highlands, April 2016
Don't take much with you - you won't need a lot on this trip. Prepare yourself for some very basic accommodation but breath-taking landscape. People are sometimes very rude and enjoying / constant hassle and begging. I didn't expect that. When visiting the merkato in Addis make sure you don't go alone. It is a place full of pickpockets! The trip challenged me on various levels and I can recommend this for anyone who would like to stop dealing with first world problems and experience a country of amazing beauty.
Review submitted 24 May 2016
Articles on Ethiopia
Ethiopia travel highlights
Get acquainted with the customs and culture of remote Omo Valley tribes
Trek through the dramatic scenery of the Simien Mountains
Taste sweet Ethiopian coffee in Addis Ababa
Ethiopia holiday information
At a glance
Best time to visit Ethiopia
Geography and environment
Top 5 Must-See Sights of Ethiopia
Health and safety
Ethiopia travel FAQs
Most nationalities require a visa for entry to Ethiopia. Please see this website to find your closest embassy or consulate: http://www.embassiesabroad.com/embassies-of/Ethiopia. If you are flying into Addis Ababa you can obtain a visa on arrival. You'll need two passport photos and approximately US$40. You may be asked for proof of a return ticket - please carry your tour notes as proof that you are leaving overland. If you are entering at any border other than Addis Ababa airport you MUST obtain your visa in advance.
Tipping isn’t mandatory in Ethiopia but is considered polite in restaurants and bars. It's up to the individual to choose to tip or not but rounding up a bill for good service or leaving 1-2 birr is appropriate.
Internet cafes can be found in cities and large towns but less so in rural and remote places.
Mobile phone coverage is quite good in Ethiopia's urban areas, but less so in rural, remote and mountainous areas. Ensure you have global roaming activated before leaving home if you wish to use your mobile phone.
Squat/pit toilets are the standard in Ethiopia, except for western-style flushable toilets that are sometimes available in large hotels and other modern buildings. Carry your own supply of soap and toilet paper, as this is rarely provided.
Cup of coffee = 10-15 ETB
Bottle of beer = 30-40 ETB
Simple lunch = 40-60 ETB
Nice dinner in a restaurant = 150-200 ETB
Tap water isn't considered safe for tourists to drink. For environmental reasons, try to avoid buying bottled water. Ask your leader and accommodation provider for local advice on where drinking water can be accessed. Also, avoid ice in drinks and peel fruit before eating.
Credit cards are accepted only by a few large hotels in Addis Ababa as cash is the main mode of payment in Ethiopia. Ensure you have adequate cash to cover purchases not able to be made on credit.
There are a few ATMs that accept foreign cards in Ethiopia, mainly in Addis Ababa and other large cities. Withdrawing cash from ATMs can't necessarily be relied on, so carrying foreign currency (like US dollars) is recommended.
Absolutely. All passengers travelling with Intrepid are required to purchase travel insurance before the start of their trip. Your travel insurance details will be recorded by your leader on the first day of the trip. Due to the varying nature, availability and cost of health care around the world, travel insurance is very much an essential and necessary part of every journey.
For more information on insurance, please go to: Travel Insurance
- 7 Jan Genna / Ethiopian Christmas
- 19 Jan Timket / Epiphany
- 2 Mar Adwa Victory Day
- 14 Apr Siklet /Ethiopian Good Friday
- 16 Apr Fasika / Ethiopian Easter
- 1 May Labour Day
- 5 May Arbegnoch Qen / Patriots' Victory Day
- 28 May Dergue Downfall Day / National Day
- 26 Jun Id Al-Fetir / End of Ramadan
- 11 Sep Enkutatash / Ethiopian New Year
- 2 Sep Id Al-Adaha / Feast of Sacrifice
- 27 Sep Meskel / Discovery of the True Cross
- 1 Dec Mawlid / The Prophet's Birthday
Please note these dates are for 2017. For a current list of public holidays in Ethiopia go to: http://www.worldtravelguide.net/ethiopia/public-holidays
Intrepid is committed to travelling in a way that is respectful of local people, their culture, local economies and the environment. It's important to remember that what may be acceptable behaviour, dress and language in your own country, may not be appropriate in another. Please keep this in mind while travelling.
Top responsible travel tips for Ethiopia
- Be considerate of Ethiopia’s customs, traditions, religion and culture.
- Dress modestly and respectfully. Shoulders to knees should be covered, especially when entering places of worship.
- For environmental reasons, try to avoid buying bottled water. Instead, fill a reusable water bottle or canteen with filtered water.
- Always dispose of litter thoughtfully, including cigarette butts.
- When bargaining at markets, stay calm, be reasonable and keep a smile on your face. It's meant to be fun!
- Learn some local language and don't be afraid to use it - simple greetings will help break the ice.
- Shop for locally made products. Supporting local artisans helps keep traditional crafts alive.
- Refrain from supporting businesses that exploit or abuse endangered animals.
- Please ask and receive permission before taking photos of people, including children.
- When on community visits or homestays, refrain from giving gifts or money to locals.