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Travel Tips

Land
Ethiopia is the tenth largest country in Africa & has an area of 1.13 million square kilometers, about 60 percent of which is arable with 15 percent presently cultivated.

Climate
There are two seasons in Ethiopia. Dry season, which prevails from October through May, and the west season which runs from June to September. Temperature comment on the mild side in Ethiopia

Topography
The dominate feature of the topography is the high central plateau varying from 2,000 to 3,000 meters with some mountains over 4,000 meters dissected by numerous rivers most notably by the Blue Nile (or Abay), which runs a distance of 1,450 k.m from the source in Lake Tana, to join the white Nile at Khartoum, and splitted by the Rift Valley.

People 
The Ethiopian population is estimated 74 million. Ancient Ethiopians were of Hermitic stock. Those were later intermingled with Semitic from the southern Arabia. The result is that at present, Ethiopia has a rich & complex human pattern, altogether there are over 80 ethnic groups in Ethiopia. Oromo, Amhara, Tigre, Gurage, Somali are the majorities.

Language
Ethiopia is a multi-ethnic state with a great variety of languages spoken in the country, of which there are 83 with 200 dialects. Amharic with its unique alphabet is the official language while Oromigna (Afan Oromo), Tigrina & Guragina are widely spoken.

Economy
Agriculture is the backbone of the national economy accounting for 47% of GDP, 60% of export & 80 % of total employment. The principal exports from, agriculture are coffee, oil seeds, pulses, flowers, vegetables, sugar & food staffs for animals. There is also a thriving live stock sector, exporting cattle on the hoof, hides & skins.

Electricity
Ethiopia uses 220 volts AC

Time
Ethiopia is in the GMT+3 hours time zone. Ethiopia follows the Julian calendar, which consists of twelve months of 30 days each and a thirteenth month of five or six days.

Visa 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,  
New Zealand,
Norway,
Poland 
Portugal, 
Russian Federation, 
South Africa,
Spain,
Sweden, 
Switzerland, 
Thailand, 
citizens of UK 
United States
 For China including passports issued in Hong Kong (SAR China) and MACAO (SAR China), visa is available on arrival. 


Health Requirements   
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 with six days prior to arrival in Ethiopia.

Currency
The local currency is the Ethiopian Birr (ETB), made up of 100 cents. Birr notes are available in dominations 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 blue-colored form. Foreign currency may only be exchanged at authorized banks & hotels, and a receipt must be obtained. The currency declaration form must be obtained at 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.

Customs
Duty free imports are permitted for up to:
•    200 cigarettes, 50 cigars, or ½ Ib of tobacco
•    2 liters of alcoholic beverages
•    Half- liter or two bottle of perfume
Visitors may export souvenirs, although some articles (such as animal’s skin & antiques) require an export permit.