Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need a passport?

A valid unexpired passport is required to gain entry into Ethiopia. Passports must be valid a minimum of six (6) months from the date of entry into the country. As well, a minimum of two blank pages on the passport must exist to be eligible for entry.

Do I need a visa?

Obtaining a visa is a requirement to gain entry into Ethiopia. Visas can be procured online or at the airport upon arrival. It is recommended to process the visa online to avoid the long lines at the airport. The duration of visas are one (1) month for $50 USD or three (3) months for $75 USD. A valid passport is required to receive a visa. See the official website for additional information.

Are immunizations required?

The only immunization that is required for entry into Ethiopia is the yellow fever vaccination which is not inclusive of US citizens. The following vaccinations are recommended: polio, typhoid, hepatitis A, hepatitis B, cholera, rabies, meningitis, and influenza.

What languages are widely spoken in Ethiopia?

Amharic is the official working language used in Ethiopia although there are up to 83 different languages spoken with up to 200 different dialects. English is the most spoken foreign language in Ethiopia.

Are accommodations comfortable and clean?

Arada Tours have vetted and built relationships with the best accommodations throughout Ethiopia. The highest expectations for a clean and comfortable environment is Arada Tours’ uppermost priority.

How are the toilets in Ethiopia?

Squat and sit down toilets are available in Ethiopia, subjective to the location. Most hotels have traditional western style toilets.

Will my Automated Teller Machine (ATM) card work?

Ethiopian ATMs will accept international visa cards only. Other cards such as Master Card or American express will not work. There are many ATMs throughout major cities that will dispense currency in Birr.

What is the currency?

The official local Ethiopian currency is the Ethiopian Birr (ETB). The notes are printed in denominations of Br1, Br5, Br10, Br50 and Br100. Most businesses accept the local currency, but some hotels and shops accepts the United States dollar.

Are credit cards accepted in Ethiopia?

Generally, Master Card and Visa are accepted in limited locations such as hotels and airline offices within Addis Ababa city limits. Outside of Addis Ababa it is rare that credit cards are used as a form of payment.

What time zone is Ethiopia?

Eastern Africa Time (EAT) which is UTC/GMT +3 hours

Is it true that Ethiopia has its own Calendar and Time?

Ethiopia uses a solar calendar which derives from the Egyptian Calendar beginning the year on September 11th or September 12th depending on leap year. The Ethiopian Calendar uses 12 months of 30 days standard plus 5 or 6 days as the 13 month. Ethiopian time is based on a 12 hour clock with a cycle of 1 to 12 or dusk to dawn. The 12 hours is repeated from dawn to dusk on a 12 hour clock with a cycle of 1 to 12.

Is there a cultural dress code?

Ethiopia is a traditional country where the people dress conservative and modest. It is not against any laws to dress in any particular manner although travelers are advised to use general sense and dress to local standards. The local standard consist of casual comfortable clothing.

What type of food is available in Ethiopia?

There are a variety of food options in Ethiopia including Italian, Chinese, American, and traditional Ethiopian cuisine. The restaurants that are choice providers of Arada Tours have menus with an assortment of items including meat and non-meat options. Traditional Ethiopian cuisine is generally prepared spicy and is accompanied with injera. Injera is a type of sour dough flatbread made with a teff flour, unique to Ethiopia.

Can I drink the water in Ethiopia?

As a precaution to prevent diarrhea or an uneasy stomach we recommend drinking water from a clean source such as bottled water.

Will my cell phone work in Ethiopia?

Telecommunications in Ethiopia is centralized by Ethio Telecom. Most cell phone providers will work in Ethiopian but roaming fees apply, please check with your specific telecom provider. Visitors can get an Ethio sim card to replace their current sim card or for placement in a temporary phone. Service on the Ethio sim card is achieved by purchasing minutes from a phone card.

Is there internet connection (WIFI) available?

Wifi is available throughout the country in specific locations such as but not limited to cafes, hotels, and restaurants.

When is the best time to travel to Ethiopia?

The best time to travel to Ethiopia is highly subjective depending on the travelers’ preference. The summer months consist of June, July and August which are also the country’s rain season. The spring months consist of September, October, and November. The winter months consist of December, January, and February which are also the country’s dry season. After the rainy season has ended, to experience the lush and green lands, October is thought to be the best month for travelers who intend on trekking. Travelers should consider January if emphasis are placed on traveling during the annual Christian celebration of Timkat.

Are international flights included in tour packages?

Arada Tours does not offer international flights for any tour packages. Arriving in the Ethiopia is the responsibility of all customers.

What type of electricity does the country use? Do I need a converter or adapter?

Ethiopia uses a 220 volt 50 hz electrical system. The power sockets used throughout the country varies from type C, E, F, and L. Appliances capable of dual voltages will operate properly but a converter or transformer is mandatory for all other applications.

Can I travel alone without a group?

Arada Tours can accommodate solo travelers. Individuals travelling alone may be paired with groups in which schedule and availability will dictate the size of the group. Some tours require a minimum amount of travelers to execute the planning of the tour.

Is airport transportation to and from lodging available?

All tour packages include the transfer to and from the airport. Arada Tours will provide all details concerning the scheduling of transfers prior to arrival.

Is the altitude a concern?

Altitude in Ethiopia can vary depending on the location but in general the altitude can range from 1290 to 3000 meters (4232 to 9843 feet) above sea level. Travelers that are trekking can reach altitudes of 4533 meters (14,872 feet). High altitudes can cause anxiety and difficult breathing. As a precaution, all travelers should be prepared mentally and physically for the difference in altitudes.