Ethiopia Travel Facts

The Basics

Country: Ethiopia

Where is it?: Ethiopia is in East Africa, just west of Somalia and north of Kenya

Why do people go here?: Despite being known for famine and poverty, Ethiopia has a very rich Orthodox Christian culture, which travelers come to see in areas like Askum

What are the main entry points?: Travelers usually enter via airplane through Addis Ababa. A number of backpackers come through Kenya, although until the Ethiopian border, you must travel by convoy.

Currency used: Birr

Country Code for Phones: 251

Area codes for Major Cities: Addis Ababa=1

Religion: Ethiopian Orthodox 40%, Muslim 45%, Animist 12%, Other 3%

Population: 82.8

Ethnic Breakdown: Oromo 34.5%, Amhara 26.91%, Somali 6.20%, Tigray 6.07%; Sidama 4%, Gurage 2.5%, Welayta 2.3% and around 80 other small ethnic groups.

Government: Federal Parliamentary Republic

Languages: Amharic, Tigrinya, Orominga, Guaraginga, Somali, Arabic

Travel Information

Major Cities: Addis Ababa

Attractions: Aksum, Bahar Dar

Accommodation: Ethiopia Hostels, Ethiopia Hotels

Tourism Office locations and links: Ethiopia Ethiopian Commission for Hotels and Tourism PO Box 2183 Addis Ababa, Ethiopia Tel. No. +251-1-517-470

Tips for Visiting

Off-the-Beaten-Path: Gondar, Omo Valley, Simien Mountains

Health Issues: Schistosomiasis (Bilharzia), HIV/AIDS, Malaria, Meningococcal Meningitis, Yellow Fever, Hepatitis, Intestinal Worms

When to go: Ethiopia has a temperate climate and can be visited year round.

Common Phrases: Hello = teanastellen, How are you? = dehna neh?, OK = eshi, Thank You = amesegenallo, Yes = owo, No = ie, I want = afellegallo

Specific Events/Holidays: Leddet Ethiopian Orthodox Christmas: January 7, Timkat: January 19, Kiddus Yohannes: April 6, May 1, May 5, May 28, September 11, September 27

Getting Around: Ethiopia is a difficult country to travel. In the big cities, buses service the major cities. Otherwise, you need to hitch or just walk!

Cheapest airport to fly into: Though there are two main airports serving Ethiopia, it is more possible to get cheaper flights that fly into Addis Ababa or the Bole International Airport.

Need more information?: Check out the Ethiopia travel guide for more on what to see, where to stay, and how to get there.

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