Explore Ethiopia

Ethiopia, in the Horn of Africa, is a rugged landlocked country bisected by the Great Rift Valley. With archaeological findings of more than 3 million years old, it is a place of ancient culture. Among its important sites is Lalibela with its stone-carved Christian churches from the 12th and 13th centuries. Aksum corresponds to the ruins of an ancient city with obelisks, tombs, castles and the church of Santa Maria de Sion.

Capital: Addis Ababa

Continent: Africa

Currency: Bir

Population: 120.3 million (2021) World Bank

• Mandatory vaccinations: the Yellow Fever vaccination certificate is required for travelers older than one year, coming from countries with risk of fever transmission. Although it is not common, if you come from a country without risk, the immigration authorities can require any traveler to present an updated card with this vaccine when entering the country.

• Recommended vaccinations: it is convenient to have the official vaccination calendar updated. Other vaccines may be recommended, the prescription of which must be carried out in a personalized way in any of the authorized International Vaccination Centers. It is recommended to consult the section on international vaccinations of the Guide for travelers of the Ministry of Health at the following link:

Medical insurance with medicalized air repatriation: as indicated at the beginning of these recommendations, it is essential to always travel with travel insurance that covers all medical expenses during your stay in the country and, in any case, includes medicalized air repatriation Spain or a third country.

What to know before you travel..

Covid-19 Situation

The Ethiopian Institute of Health has published, in November 2022, a directive with which they eliminate all the entry regulation related to the fight against COVID19.

The main measures it includes are the following:

• Whoever has a positive COVID-19 result will not be able to enter the country.

• Whoever has symptoms should wear a mask, use hydroalcoholic gel and take a test.

• Positives should isolate at home until determined to have recovered by a healthcare professional.

• Travelers who enter the country by land, in the Directive that you will find below, can find the details of the regulations.



Since November 4, 2020, an armed conflict has been taking place in northern Ethiopia, with still intense fighting and which has spread to neighboring regions. The parties announced a unilateral ceasefire last March, but hostilities resumed in mid-August this year. Telephone communications are constantly interrupted in the regions affected by the conflict; and the internet connection has been permanently interrupted in those areas.

Spanish citizens must carry their identification and comply with the instructions of the authorities. Roadblocks can be established with little or no warning. It is likely that there will be a greater presence of security forces. Large gatherings and demonstrations should be avoided.

Given the risks described below, and the instability that is difficult to predict in various areas of the country, the convenience of gathering updated and accurate information before making a trip to the country is insisted on. It must be taken into account that the Ethiopian authorities do not usually report on the security situation.


Tigray, Amhara and North-West Afar Region (Dalol, Kenebo, Berahle, Aba’ala, Megale, Yalo, Gulina and Ewa woredas): Due to intense fighting and the occupation of large territories by rebel forces, strongly recommends against traveling to such geographic areas.

Border areas with Eritrea, Somalia, Kenya, Sudan, and South Sudan: displacement to the border with Eritrea and the border regions with Somalia is discouraged, due to the risk of kidnapping and frequent outbreaks of violence. Likewise, it is not recommended to travel to the eastern part of the border with Kenya, especially the Borena region, and the borders with Sudan and South Sudan, due to the crime rates and violent confrontations registered in these areas.

Somali Region: Travel to this region is discouraged as it is a very unstable area. Violent riots and looting and looting are common throughout the region, but particularly in the Ogaden. There have also been various attacks against tourists and foreign NGOs. Alerts about the presence of terrorist groups and threats to kidnap Western citizens occur cyclically, the latter particularly in the Dolo-Ado refugee camps. In various areas of the region there is still a high risk due to the presence of antipersonnel mines.

Gambela Region: Visiting this region is discouraged due to cyclical tribal clashes in this region, particularly in the Akobo, Wantawo, Jikawo, Lare, Nuer and Jore zones and woredas (districts). In addition, there have been recent attacks on NGO vehicles, so the area should be completely avoided.

Benishagul-Gumuz Region: It is not recommended to visit this region due to the tribal clashes that occur cyclically in this region.

Oromia Region and the rest of the Ahmara Region: Travel to various areas of the Oromia Region (particularly Moyale, Hararge, Welega and Shewa, Guji and Arsi) as well as Amhara (Mirab Armacho and Tach Armacho) is discouraged. In recent months, frequent ethno-political clashes have been taking place in various places in these two regions, so extreme caution must be exercised.


Rest of the Afar region: movement through this region, and in particular through the Danakil desert and the Erta Ale volcano, must be accompanied by security forces and local experts. Until 2017, several attacks against tourists took place in this region, and various antipersonnel mines are currently active in more inaccessible parts of the border area. Finally, it must be taken into account that due to the extremely remote nature of the region it can be extremely complex to guarantee a medical evacuation in the event of an accident.

Road access with Sudan, South Sudan and Kenya (particularly in the Moyale region): these are accesses that can pose many difficulties, so it is advisable to exercise extreme caution and ensure at all times that the chosen border crossing is open. You must be accompanied at all times by a local guide or expert.


Addis Ababa: Although crime rates in Addis Ababa have traditionally been low, in recent times there has been a notable increase in the number of robberies, with or without violence, against foreigners, both on the streets of the capital and in homes and in places frequented by tourists and expatriates. It is recommended to remain vigilant at all times, avoid traveling at night and always move accompanied by other people without carrying valuables. Particularly avoid the neighborhoods of Merkato, Piazza, Meshualekya and Menaharya, around the new stadium, and the wooded hills north of the city.

Rest of the country: you can visit and move around these areas, always taking into account the precautions included in these recommendations and the indications of the local authorities.


Foreign exchange

The local currency is the Ethiopian birr (ETB). Currencies must be declared when entering the country. The form must be kept together with the supporting documents of the changes made in banking entities, to deliver when leaving the country.

The Birr is not a convertible currency. International currencies can be exchanged for Birr at any bank or authorized exchange office just by presenting an identification document (residence card, passport). Large hotels also offer this service.

On the contrary, it is not easy to exchange Birr to international currency since, in principle, it is necessary to have a government authorization. For this reason, it is convenient not to change large amounts of currency to Birr at once, but to change as local currency is needed. It is recommended that, if you need to exchange Birr for dollars or euros before starting your return to Spain, you go, with enough time in case there is a problem of a shortage of foreign currency, to one of the main offices of the bank of your choice in the capital. It is recommended to avoid making this change at airport branches on the same day of the return flight, or even smaller branches in the city. It is increasingly common, due to the scarcity of foreign currency, for banks to have availability problems to carry out this change; For this reason, it should not be ruled out not being able to recover the euros exchanged upon arrival in the country.

You are not allowed to enter or leave Ethiopia:

– with more than 4,000 US$ (or equivalent in another currency), unless a customs declaration or a bank note showing the purchase of foreign currency is presented.

– with more than 200 ETB per person under any circumstances. If this is done, the customs officers at the airport could confiscate the excess of those 200 ETB, and it cannot be recovered.

The telematics network is quite deficient. In Addis Ababa, the network of ATMs that dispense limited amounts of money (maximum 4,000 Birr per card per day in a dispensing machine) is gradually expanding using major international credit cards. They can be found in the main hotels, as well as in some points of the city. Outside of Addis Ababa it is practically impossible to find them.

Electronic commerce is very incipient and it is not easy to be able to pay with a card outside of the main hotels.

Mobile telephony and Internet in Ethiopia

Compared to the world average, Ethiopia lags massively behind in telecommunication development. Under the country code +251 there were a total of 65.39 million connections in 2021. Among them were 64.50 million mobile phones, which corresponds to an average of 0.54 per person. Worldwide, this figure is 1.1 mobile phones per person.

With approximately 179 web hosts, Ethiopia is below the world average by population.

Voltage: 220V

Frequency: 50Hz

Pegs: Type C / F


The weather

The climate of Ethiopia varies, according to the altitude. The tropical zone, below 1,800 m, has an average annual temperature of approximately 27 °C and receives less than 510 mm of rain per year. The subtropical zone, which includes most of the elevated plain and rises between 1,830 and 2,440 m above sea level, has an average temperature of approximately 22 °C with annual rainfall ranging from 510 to 1,525 mm.

Above 2,400 m there is a temperate zone with average temperatures of around 16 °C and annual rainfall between 1,270 and 1,780 mm. The rainy season takes place between mid-June and September, followed by a dry season that can be interrupted in February or March by a short rainy season.



The so-called Ethiopian massif or plateau covers more than half of the total area of ​​the country. It is divided diagonally, from the northeast to the southwest, by the Great Rift Valley. The average altitude of this massif is 1,680 m.



Ethiopian cuisine typically consists of spicy meat and vegetable dishes, usually in the form of a wat (or wot), a thick stew, served on top of injera, a large sourdough flatbread about 50 cm in diameter and made from wheat flour. fermented teff.

Ethiopians eat directly with their hands, using pieces of injera to take chunks from starters and garnishes. no utensils used.

Of all the typical Ethiopian dishes, injera is the best known, this thin bread is similar to a crèpe. It is prepared with teff, a cereal that is grown in the country. Once the dough is made, it is left to ferment for three days and then it is poured into a clay dish that has been previously heated over a fire.