Ethiopia covers an area more than the size of France and Spain combined, and nearly twice the size of Texas. About 65 per cent of the land is arable, with 15 per cent presently cultivated.
There are two seasons: the dry season prevails from October through May; the wet season runs from June to September.
Ethiopia has an elevated central plateau varying in height between 2,000 and 3,000 meters. In the north and centre of the country there are some 25 mountains whose peaks rise over 4,000 meters. The most famous Ethiopian river is the Blue Nile (or Abbay), which runs a distance of 1,450 kilometers from the source in Lake Tana, to join the White Nile at Khartoum.
About 90 per cent of the population earns their living from the land, mainly as subsistence farmers. Agriculture is the backbone of the national economy and the principal exports from this sector are coffee, oil seeds, pulses, flowers, vegetables, sugar and foodstuffs for animals. There is also a thriving livestock sector, exporting cattle on the hoof, hides and skins.
Ethiopia is a multi-ethnic state with a great variety of languages spoken in the country, of which there are 83 with 200 dialects. The main three languages are Amharic, Tigrigna and Oromigna. English is also widely spoken.
Ethiopia uses 220 volts 50 cycles AC.
Ethiopia is in the GMT + 3 hours time zone. Ethiopia follows the Julian calendar.
The population is estimated about 70 million, over 50 per cent of whom are under 20 years old. The average number of inhabitants per square kilometer is 49.
Tour and travel
Travel within Ethiopia, whether for a day or for a month, may be organized for you by the Tour Operator, African Adventure Tours, Visit our website http://www.africanadventuretours.net/ or Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Addis Ababa has hotels that cater for all pockets, from the luxurious Sheraton and Hilton hotels to the tourist-class hotels such as the Ghion, the Ethiopia and the Wabi Shebelle. All tourist resorts offer a choice of modern hotels.
Banking hours are usually from 8:00 am "“ 4:00 pm from Monday to Friday and from 8:00 am "“ 11:00 am on Saturdays. Closing times may be an hour longer in some private banks. Most banks work through lunchtime; however foreign exchange services are closed during lunch hours (12:00 noon "“ 1:00 pm).
Telephone, fax and Internet access is available in Addis Ababa in most hotels, at the Ethiopian Telecommunications Authority main office and at private Internet service centers.
Courier and Money Transfer Services
Money transfers can be made through Western Union and Money Gram. Both have representative branches in Addis Ababa and also make their services available from private and national banks.
For courier services, DHL, Fedex, UPS, TNT and EMS have offices in Addis Ababa.
The local currency is the Ethiopian Birr (ETB), made up of 100 cents. Birr notes are available in denominations of 5, 10, 50 and 100. Visitors may import an unlimited amount of foreign currency but this must be declared on arrival to the customs authorities on the appropriate blue-coloured form. Foreign currency may only be exchanged at authorized banks and hotels, and a receipt must be obtained. The currency declaration form must be retained as this will be required by customs on departure. Visitors may change back any surplus Ethiopian Birr to cash at the airport before departure. In addition to any Ethiopian Birr, along with the currency exchange form you must bring with you all receipts for exchange transactions.
Duty-free imports are permitted for up to:
1. 200 cigarettes, 50 cigars, or Â½ lb of tobacco
2. 2 liters of alcoholic beverages
3. Half-liter or two bottles of perfume.
Visitors may export souvenirs, although some articles (such as animal skin and antiques) require an export permit.
Prior to entry, visitors should be in possession of a valid health certificate for yellow fever. Vaccination against cholera is also required for any person who has visited or transited a cholera-infected area within six days prior to arrival in Ethiopia.
Visa and Immigration Requirements
Visa applications may be obtained at Ethiopia's diplomatic missions overseas. However, nationals of 33 countries are now allowed to receive their tourist visas on arrival in Ethiopia at the regular charge. The list includes Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greek, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Republic of Korea, Kuwait, Luxembourg, Mexico, Netherlands, Newzealand, Thailand, citizens of United Kingdom and United States. For China including passports issued in Hong Kong (SAR China) and MACAO (SAR China), Visa is available on arrival.
Bole International Airport
The New Bole International Airport is situated 8 kilometer from the centre of the city (a 15 minute drive under normal conditions). Paid parking, luggage carts and uniformed porters are available at the airport terminal.
Airport tax is levied on all non-transit passengers departing from Bole International Airport. This fee is collected at a booth in the check in area. For international flights, Ethiopian passport holders and foreign passport holders who have identification cards issued to foreign nationals of Ethiopia origin (issued by the Authority for Security, Immigration & Refugee Affairs) are charge ETB 100.00. All other foreign passport holders are charged USD20.00. For domestic flights all passengers are charged ETB 10.00.
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I am interested in learning more about your Ethiopia tour and other African tours. Thank you. Bonnie Brody
Our writer, Jenny, made this trip on her own. However, there are loads of reputable folks offering tours to Ethiopia. Consider contacting Ethiopia’s Minister of Tourism. Most national tourism offices can help you find registered tour operator that service their country.
There are loads of reputable folks offering tours to Ethiopia. Consider contacting Ethiopia’s Minister of Tourism. Most national tourism offices can help you find registered tour operator that service their country.