Ethiopia’s Endemic Birds Site 1
Ethiopia has rightly become one of Africa`s leading birding destinations. Its avifauna represents an interesting mixture of east and west African….Birding season: November -to- February
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- Vacation Style Holiday Type
- Activity Level Leisurely
- Group Size Small Group
15 Nights 16 Days : Arrive at Bole international airport and be welcomed by an EETT representative and transferred to your hotel. After a rest and refresh at the hotel, we head north to the Sululta Plains.
Ethiopia regularly hits the top of the list of favourite African birding destinations. The entire country is dripping with birds and one cannot fail to enjoy the myriad of bright species, special mammals, spectacular scenery, superb coffee and wonderfully friendly people — not to mention that the birding is relatively very easy and that there are so many endemics and specials on offer. this tour of the “roof of Africa” racked up over 550 bird species, countless great mammals .
To find some of the most sought-after endemics, including the fabled Prince Ruspoli’s Turaco, the range-restricted Stresemann’s Bush-crow, the rarely seen White-winged Collared-dove and Salvadori’s (Juba) Weaver, we will venture to rarely-visited remote corners of this ancient land. There is also a five-day extension to look for the final four endemics: Harwood’s Francolin and Ankober, Yellow-rumped and Yellow-throated Serins, so it will be possible to see all of the Ethiopian endemics during this comprehensive tour
- Special qualified guide as well as mandatory local guide and scout fees in parks and villages
- 3*-4*star hotels in Addis Ababa and the best available hotels outside of Addis Ababa
- All accommodation based on twin room occupancy
- Meals in Addis, on bed and breakfast basis
- Meals out of Addis, on full board basis
- Farewell dinner in Addis to enjoy traditional Ethiopian food and music
- All entrance fees at sites, churches, parks and villages
- All transfers and visits in Addis Ababa using mini-bus according to the itinerary
- All ground transportation including insurance, fuel and all costs of the driver
- Traditional Ethiopian coffee ceremony at a convenient time in the program
- Government taxes
- Travel insurance and other emergencies
- Visa fees and entry clearing fees
- Single room accommodations*
- Liquors, beeers and bootled beverages
- Laundry services and other personal expenses
- Photography ccessories like cameras etc.
- International & Domestic flight*(if not in your “by Air tour) if you do not opt for our formula: All in One (which would include all flights)
- Any other expense that is not mentioned in the prices section included
- Day1 Addis Ababa
On arrival at Addis Ababa Bole International Airport you will be met and transferred to your hotel. After a rest and refresh at the hotel, we head north to the Sululta Plains. These high-altitude plateau grasslands provide superb birding, despite intensive cultivation. Resident birds we may find here include the endemics Blue-winged Goose, Wattled Ibis, White-collared Pigeon, Erlanger’s Lark and the aptly-named Thick-billed Raven. We will also see White-backed and Lappet-faced Vultures, Lammergeier, Banded Martin, Cape Crow, Groundscraper Thrush (endemic race simensis), African Black Duck and Red-breasted Wheatear. Suddenly, the seemingly endless plain dramatically drops off into the Blue Nile drainage system. Perched on the edge of the gorge is Debre Libanos Monastery, one of Ethiopia’s most sacred Christian sites. We will search here for R¼ppell’s Griffon, Verreaux’s Eagle, African Hawk-eagle, Augur Buzzard (dark-morph birds are commonly seen here), Lanner Falcon, Nyanza Swift, Red-rumped Swallow, Mocking Cliff-chat and two endemics: R¼ppell’s Chat and White-billed Starling. Another speciality of this area is Lion-headed Baboon. In the afternoon we will return to Addis Ababa, where we will spend the night. Overnight: Hotel
- Day2 Drive to Awassa
After an early start we will descend into the Great Rift Valley and make our first birding stop at Debre Zeit Crater Lake. The woodlands surrounding the lake teem with birds and we will look for flocks of approachable Black-winged Lovebirds, Blue-breasted Bee-eater, Black-billed Barbet, Rufous-necked Wryneck, R¼ppell’s Robin-chat, Black-headed Batis, Beautiful Sunbird and R¼ppell’s Weaver. We will also visit Koka Dam and Lakes Gelila and Zeway. Here we will search for Pink-backed and Great White Pelicans, Black Crowned-crane, Intermediate Egret, African Darter, Goliath Heron, Hamerkop, Yellow-billed and Saddle-billed Storks, Spur-winged and Egyptian Geese, Comb Duck, African Pygmy-goose, Red-billed, White-backed and Yellow-billed Ducks, Hottentot Teal, Fulvous Whistling-duck, African Fish-eagle, African and Lesser Jacanas, Senegal Thick-knee, Spur-winged Lapwing, Pied, African Pygmy and Malachite Kingfishers and Winding Cisticola, and also enjoy a picnic lunch. We will spend the night at Awassa.
- Day3 Drive to Wondo Genet
Before breakfast we will explore our wooded hotel grounds. Amongst our targets will be African Mourning Dove, Woodland Kingfisher, Silvery-cheeked Hornbill, Double-toothed Barbet, Red-shouldered Cuckoo-shrike, Spotted Creeper, Brown-throated Wattle-eye, Grey-backed Fiscal, Northern Puffback, Broad-ringed White-eye, African Paradise-flycatcher, Little Weaver and Bronze Mannikin. Reed-beds in the vicinity support Purple Swamphen, Black Crake, Blue-headed Coucal, Lesser Swamp Warbler and Common and Abyssinian Waxbills.
After breakfast we will visit Lake Awassa fish market, where the discarded waste attracts large numbers of Marabou Storks and other birds, giving unrivalled photographic opportunities. We should also see Long-tailed Cormorant, Sacred Ibis and Grey-headed Gull. In the nearby park we will look for the endemic Banded Barbet and White-browed (Heuglin’s) Robin-chat, Buff-bellied Warbler, Grey-backed Camaroptera, Rufous Chatterer, Spectacled Weaver and Grey-headed and Nubian Woodpeckers. In the afternoon we will transfer to Wondo Genet for a two-night stay. Close to the hotel are swimming pools filled with water from nearby hot springs. Overnight: Hotel
- Day4 Wondo Genet
We will spend the day exploring our hotel gardens and nearby forests. Species we may find include several endemics: Yellow-fronted Parrot, Abyssinian Woodpecker, Brown Saw-wing (antinorii race of Black Saw-wing), Dark-headed Oriole, Abyssinian Slaty-flycatcher, and White-winged Cliff-chat.
Other birds may include Scaly Francolin, Little Sparrowhawk, Yellow-fronted Tinkerbird, Double-toothed and Red-fronted Barbets, White-cheeked Turaco, Lesser and Green-backed Honeyguides, Mountain Wagtail, Abyssinian Thrush, Abyssinian Ground-thrush, Brown Woodland-warbler, Brown Warbler lugens, White-rumped Babbler, Collared, Scarlet-chested and Variable Sunbirds, Half-collared Kingfisher, Red-billed and African Firefinches and Slender-billed and the rare Sharpe’s Starlings. We will also have good chance of seeing soaring Crowned Eagle, White-headed Vulture, Black Goshawk, African Harrier-hawk and Ayres’ Hawk-eagle as well as Steppe and Tawny Eagles. The hotel grounds also support families of Grivet Monkeys and Guereza Black-and-white Colobus monkeys.
- Day5 Drive to Bale Mountains
Today we will head for the world-famous Bale Mountains National Park. On the ascent we will start to see flocks of Abyssinian Siskins and Yellow-crowned Canaries feeding on the short grass and many Red-billed Choughs. Just before we reached Dinsho wetlands we will stop for Cape Eagle-owl in a rocky ravine. On the plain nearby there will be groups of Black-winged Lapwings together with many Thekla Larks and Red-throated Pipits. At our picnic spot we will watch out for the endemic Spot-breasted Lapwing and Rouget’s Rail while nearby we will look for another endemic: Abyssinian Longclaw.
We should also see Fan-tailed Widowbird, Winding (Ethiopian) Cisticola, African Stonechat and Buffy Pipit in the same area. At the park headquarters, we will search for Chestnut-naped Francolin together with two more endemics: Abyssinian Catbird and White-backed Black-tit. We will also hope to see a variety of mammals including Mountain Nyala, Menelik’s Bushbuck and Desert Warthog. The park wardens may know of roosting sites for Abyssinian Owl, African Wood-owl and Abyssinian Nightjar.
- Day6 Bale Mountains
A 1600m descent will find us enjoying some dry warmth in the Sof Omar region. The habitat here consists of broad-leaved and Acacia woodlands, which hold many new species for us. Our main target bird will be the extremely range-restricted Salvadori’s Serin, the most attractive of Ethiopia’s endemic canaries. Other target birds will include D’Arnaud’s Barbet, Somali Crow, Northern Brownbul, Somali Tit, the localised Brown-tailed Chat, Yellow-breasted Apalis (a form likely to be split as Brown-tailed Apalis), Rosy-patched Bushshrike, Black-crowned Tchagra, Pearl-spotted Owlet, Greater Honeyguide, Striped, Grey-headed and Half-collared Kingfishers, Marico Sunbird and the impressive Bristle-crowned Starling. Other likely birds include Crested Francolin, Kori Bustard, Bruce’s Green-pigeon, Ring-necked and Namaqua Doves, Emerald-spotted Wood-dove, Orange-bellied Parrot, White-bellied Go-away-bird, Black-billed Woodhoopoe, Von der Decken’s and Northern Red-billed Hornbills, Black-throated Barbet, Cardinal Woodpecker, Grey Wren-warbler, Northern Crombec, Rufous Chatterer, Brubru, White Helmetshrike, Superb Starling, White-headed Buffalo-weaver, Speke’s Weaver, the local subspecies of Red-headed Weaver, Eastern Paradise-whydah, Straw-tailed Whydah, Village Indigobird, Red-cheeked Cordonbleu, Cut-throat, and Reichenow’s Seedeater. Sof Omar boasts Ethiopia’s longest cave system and we will have the option to take time out from our busy birding schedule, hire a guide and wander through some of these impressive tunnels with underground waterways and roosting Horseshoe Bats.
- Day7 Bale Mountains
During our ascent of the Bale Mountain massif onto the Sanetti Plateau, which lies between 3800m and 4377m above sea level, we will enter a Tid, or Juniper forest zone, where we will search for African Goshawk, Rufous-chested Sparrowhawk, African Hill Babbler, Cinnamon Bracken-warbler, Yellow-bellied Waxbill and the difficult Abyssinian Crimsonwing. Once we reach the unique plateau we will be driving on Africa’s highest road, passing close to the summit of Ethiopia’s second-highest mountain. The habitat is termed ‘Afro-alpine moorland’ and is characterised by Jibrra or Giant Lobelias, which tower over the rich tussock grasslands. This site is an Important Bird Area of immense significance, supporting seven globally-threatened bird species and nearly all of Ethiopia’s highland biome species. If we are very fortunate we will see a pair of endangered Wattled Cranes striding through the moist grassland. We will also search for Ruddy Shelduck, Black Stork and Moorland Francolin, while Moorland Chat is hard to miss! The grasslands are estimated to support an amazing biomass of 4000kg of rodents per hectare. This obviously attracts raptors, and we should see Golden, Steppe and Tawny Eagles together with Pallid Harriers hunting over this green sea. They share the abundant food source with the plateau’s most celebrated resident, Ethiopian (Simien) Wolf, the world’s rarest canid. Finally, we will reach the escarpment of this elevated plateau and stare down through the clouds at the vast Harenna Forest below. This is the largest intact forest block in Ethiopia and the largest protected Afro-alpine forest on the continent. It still supports Lions and the only surviving forest-dwelling African Wild Dogs. Here we will search for the uncommon Mountain Buzzard, Rameron Pigeon, African Emerald Cuckoo, Narina Trogon, Brown Warbler (an endemic subspecies to this National Park — Bale Parisoma) and the virtually endemic African Citril. In the afternoon we will return to Goba across the Sanetti Plateau.
- Day 8 Drive to Borena
An early start is required to reach the dry thorn savannah in the remote southern part of Ethiopia. We will head up over the Sanetti Plateau again, giving us an opportunity to look for species we may have missed, then drop down to the amazing Harenna Forest, where we will make opportunistic stops and also take a lunch break. We may see mixed flocks of Bronze and Black-and-white Mannikins hanging on the grass by the road. Later, as we reach Acacia forest, we are likely to see Red-and-yellow Barbet, Abyssinian Ground-hornbill, Grey Kestrel, Wahlberg’s and Martial Eagles, Spotted Morning-thrush, Stout Cisticola and Shelley’s Starling. In the afternoon we will reach a dry wadi on the Genale River, home to Ethiopia’s most sought-after endemic, Prince Ruspoli’s Turaco. We should enjoy excellent views of this very unusual and beautiful bird. New for us in the area will be Bearded Woodpecker, Grosbeak Weaver and Sulphur-breasted Bush-shrike. In the late afternoon we will arrive in Negele, where we will spend two nights.
- Day 9 Borena
East of Negele lies the Liben Plains, the only place in the world to find Liben Lark. We will walk across the plains in search of this special bird, which we will hope to watch performing its parachute display flight. We should also find Pectoral-patch Cisticola, Long-billed Pipit, Crowned Lapwing and the range-restricted Somali Short-toed Lark. Ethiopian Swallow is common here as are White-crowned Starling and Shelley’s Rufous Sparrow. The surrounding dry woodland and thorn savannah support Egyptian Vulture, Bateleur, African Harrier-hawk, Eastern Chanting-goshawk, Diederik Cuckoo, Abyssinian Scimitarbill, Eastern Yellow-billed Hornbill, Red-and-yellow Barbet, the rare and enigmatic Gillett’s Lark, Dodson’s Bulbul, Boran Cisticola, Golden-breasted Starling, African Grey and Pale Flycatchers, Mouse-coloured Penduline-tit, Slate-coloured Boubou, Northern White-crowned Shrike, White-winged Widowbird, Crimson-rumped Waxbill and Somali Bunting. If we are lucky, we may see Salt’s and G¼nther’s Dikdiks, while Anubis Baboons may also be encountered.
- Day 10 Drive to Yabelo
After passing close to the Kenyan border we will finally reach the Yabello region, home to two of Ethiopia’s most sought-after endemic birds, both listed as globally-threatened: Stresemann’s Bush-crow and White-tailed Swallow. This area of Acacia savannah is characterised by giant red termite mounds, some towering 5m above the plains, and both of these birds seem to be associated with these marvels of natural architecture. We will also have a good chance of seeing flocks of Vulturine Guineafowl feeding by the road, Yellow-necked Spurfowl, Levaillant’s and Pied Cuckoos, Steel-blue Whydah and Vitelline Masked-weaver. The late morning will be spent walking along the Dawa River in search of the extremely localised White-winged Collared-dove, Juba Weaver and Black-bellied Sunbird. We may also see Grant’s and Thomson’s Gazelles and Gerenuk. Two nights will be spent in Yabelo.
- Day 11 Yabelo
A walk before breakfast should give us a closer look at Stresemann’s Bush-crow and we are also likely to see Bare-faced Go-away-bird, Croaking Cisticola and Rock Hyraxes waiting for the sun on the top of the rocks. We will spend a full day exploring this bird-rich area. In addition to the two special endemics we will look for Ostrich, Gabar Goshawk, Pygmy Falcon, Somali Courser, Mottled Swift, Grey-headed and Pygmy Batis, Blue-naped Mousebird, Pale Prinia, Rufous-crowned and Lilac-breasted Rollers, Golden and Bush Pipits, Pringle’s Puffback, Red-naped Bush-shrike, Taita Fiscal, Yellow-bellied Eremomela, Kenya Violet-backed, Hunter’s and Shining Sunbirds, Somali Crombec, Banded Warbler, Purple Grenadier, Three-streaked Tchagra, Wattled Starling, Yellow-spotted Petronia, Chestnut Sparrow, Northern Grosbeak-canary, Grey-headed and Black-capped Social-weavers, Chestnut Weaver, Black-cheeked Waxbill, Green-winged Pytilia and White-bellied Canary. In the evening we will make a local excursion to look for Donaldson-Smith’s Nightjar and Three-banded Courser.
- Day 12 Drive to Langano
Following some early-morning birding around the hotel we will head north towards Addis Ababa. After lunch in Awassa we will travel along Awassa Lake shore, where we may see the endemic Fawn-breasted Waxbill and have a reasonable chance of seeing Basra Reed-warbler. In the late afternoon we will arrive at Lake Langano for two-night stay on the shores of the lake with views of the 4000m Arsi Mountains in the background. In the evening we will look for Greyish and Verreaux’s Eagle-owls, African Scops-owl, Northern White-faced Owl and Freckled, Slender-tailed and Sombre Nightjars around our hotel.
- Day 13 Langano
The three neighbouring lakes in the central Ethiopian Rift Valley are totally different from each other but all are superb birding sites. The morning will be spent around the vast hotel grounds, where we will look for Clapperton’s Francolin, White-winged Black-tit, Hemprich’s Hornbill, Little Bee-eater, Little Rock-thrush, Abyssinian (Schalow’s) Wheatear and many other special birds of the area. The afternoon’s destination will be the magnificent Bishangary area, where we will look for Narina Trogon, Lemon and Tambourine Doves, African Emerald Cuckoo, Red-fronted Tinkerbird, Ethiopian Boubou (race aethiopicus of Tropical Boubou), Black Cuckoo-shrike, Black Scimitarbill, Cape Teal, Southern Pochard, Intermediate Egret, Dark Chanting-goshawk, Imperial and Long-crested Eagles, Black-chested and Banded Snake-eagles, Kittlitz’s Plover, African Snipe, Pallas’s Gull, African Pipit, African Thrush, Red-faced Crombec, R¼ppell’s Long-tailed Starling and Red-billed Oxpecker. Mammals may include Oribi and Spotted Hyena.
- Day 14 Drive to Awash
After further early-morning birding around Lake Langano we will head to Awash National Park. The route will take us through savannah habitat and close to numerous Rift Valley Lakes with great birding. As we skirt around the lava fields at the base of the Fantale Crater, we will look for Sombre Rock-chat, Blackstart and Chestnut-headed Sparrow-lark. In the late afternoon we will arrive at the park entrance where we are likely to see Abyssinian Roller, Ashy Cisticola and Green-winged Pytilia. We will stay in Awash for two nights.
- Day 15 Awash
Today will be spent in the superb Awash National Park, specifically around the Bilen and Fulhowa Hotsprings, the Awash River and the Kirayawa Gorge, exploring riverine forests, wetlands, thorn woodlands, savannah grasslands, rocky hills, cliffs and escarpments.
The park boasts a bird list of 460 species and we will look for Greater Spotted Eagle, Scissor-tailed Kite, Shikra, Arabian, Buff-crested, Hartlaub’s and White-bellied Bustards, Three-banded Courser, Helmeted Guineafowl, Small Buttonquail, Eastern Grey Plantain-eater, Chestnut-bellied and Lichtenstein’s Sandgrouse, Black-billed Barbet, White-browed Coucal, African Palm-swift, Plain Nightjar, Northern Carmine and Madagascar Bee-eaters, Wire-tailed Swallow, Red-winged and Flappet Larks, Singing Bushlark, Red-backed Scrub-robin, Eastern Olivaceous Warbler, Southern Grey, Isabelline, Red-backed, White-rumped and Woodchat Shrikes, Somali Fiscal, Nile Valley, Shining and Marico Sunbirds, Grey-headed and Sulphur-breasted Bush-shrikes, Fan-tailed Raven, African Pied Wagtail, Red-billed Quelea and Crimson-rumped Waxbill. Mammals may include Lion, Leopard, Beisa Oryx, Aardvark, Soemmering’s Gazelle, Impala, Hamadryas Baboon, Abyssinian Hare, African Wild Cat, Black-backed Jackal, Striped Hyena and Greater and Lesser Kudu
- Day 16 Return Addis Ababa
Some early morning birding around the lodge will be followed by the return journey to Addis Ababa . We will have another opportunity to look for Sombre Rock-chat in the lava fields of the Fantale Crater before stopping for lunch en-route. Upon reaching Addis Ababa you will have time to shower and change before dinner, following which you will return to the airport for yout late evening flight back to your country. Those taking the optional extension will spend the night in Addis Ababa.
End of the Tour and Departure
In recent years, the level of comfort and services of the Ethiopian accommodation has improved significantly. You will stay in the accommodations selected by our local advisors based on the criteria of location and comfort.
We are working with different hotels and lodges to continue improving the quality services demanded by our visitors.
According to your itinerary you will stay in one of these hotels or lodges / or similar :
– Abay Minch Lodge
– Abay Minch Lodge
– Haile Resort
– Taye Belay
– Lal hotel
– Panaromic (Amde)
– Haile Resort
– Lewi Resort
– Haile Resort
– Sabean hotel
– Yared Zema hotel
– Atse Yohanes Hotel
– Harar Ras Hotel
Afar : Camping
Hamer (Turmi) Jinka :
– Jinka Resort
– Kanta Lodge
– Korebta Lodge
Your opinion and comments help us to continue improving our accomodation services.
Between September and February the main dry season of the year takes place. In March and April the rains are present, they are interrupted in May and they return in June, July and August. Ethiopia has a wide variety of climates, from the occasional snow in the mountain peaks of Bale to the very high daytime temperatures of the Danakil desert, that can reach 50 ° C. Normally, the central highlands have an average temperature of 16 ° C. The east and the south have a drier and warmer climate, being able to reach 28 ° C. The western plains have a more humid and hot climate. In August, there may be heavy showers in the afternoon, so it is advisable to bring a water layer or similar.
To travel to Ethiopia you need a valid passport with a minimum validity of 6 months. All visitors require an entry visa. For citizens of the European Union the visa is processed upon arrival at the Addis Ababa airport and costs $ 50 USD or 43 euros per person. Since June 2018 it is possible to make the electronic visa on this website: www.evisa.gov.et
Ethiopia is a high risk destination in terms of sanitary conditions. According to the source, the vaccine against yellow fever is mandatory (Ministry of Foreign Affairs) or recommended (Ministry of Health). In addition, the recommended vaccines for a trip to Ethiopia are: Tetanus, Meningitis, Cholera, Typhus and Hepatitis A and B. There is also a risk of malaria in areas less than 2,000 meters above sea level.
The capital, however, is free of this risk. For more information on health and vaccines, we advise you to visit the website of the Ministry of Health (from your country of origin). It is recommended to bring a kit with analgesics, antibiotics, antihistamines, anti-diarrheals , antiseptics, sun protection, insect repellents, soothing lotions against stings and cures material. Do not drink tap water or take food without cooking. Keep in mind that in the wet season there are mosquitoes, although they do not produce excessive discomfort, at least compared to other places in Africa. That’s because of the cool temperature of Ethiopia. In any case, most hotels provide mosquito nets. In the churches, the floor is covered with carpets and they usually have fleas, especially in those of Lalibela. It is advisable to always carry some socks in the backpack because it is mandatory to take off when entering and insect repellent.
It is recommended not to bathe in swamps or lakes because there is a risk of getting Bilarziasis. Lake Langano is the only one where this precaution is not necessary. It is advisable to travel with medical insurance.
Lightweight cotton clothing, short sleeve shirts and long sleeves, fleece lining or some similar warm clothing, comfortable and resistant shoes, sunglasses, hat and some rain coat.
It is convenient to take all the necessary photographic material from the country of origin since it is not safe to find it in the country and if it is found more expensive, as well as provide spare batteries. There are continuous blackouts of light and in the most remote areas of the country and sometimes in large cities.
The predominant climate type is tropical monsoon, with wide topographic-induced variation. As a highland country, Ethiopia has a climate which is generally considerably cooler than other regions at similar proximity to the Equator. Most of the country’s major cities are located at elevations of around 2,000 – 2,500 metres (6,600 – 8,200 ft) above sea level, including historic capitals such as Gondar and Axum, and Addis Ababa – the highest capital city in Africa at 2,400 meters (8,000 feet).
Ethiopia has three different climate zones according to elevation:
* Kolla (Tropical zone) – is below 1830 meters in elevation and has an average annual temperature of about 27 degree Celsius with annual rainfall about 510 millimeters. The Danakil Depression (Danakil Desert) is about 125 meters below sea level and the hottest region in Ethiopia where the temperature climbs up to 50 degree Celsius.
* Woina dega (Subtropical zone) – includes the highlands areas of 1830 – 2440 meters in elevation has an average annual temperature of about 22 degree Celsius with annual rainfall between 510 and 1530 millimeters.
* Dega (Cool zone) – is above 2440 meters in elevation with an average annual temperature of about 16 degree Celsius with annual rainfall between 1270 and 1280 millimeters.
The average annual temperature in Addis Ababa is 16°C (61°F), with daily maximum temperatures averaging 20 – 25°C (68 – 77°F) throughout the year, and overnight lows averaging 5 – 10°C (41 – 50°F). A light jacket is recommended for the evenings, though many Ethiopians prefer to dress conservatively and will wear a light jacket even during the day.
The local currency is the Ethiopian birr, made up of 100 cents. Notes are issued in denominations of 1, 5, 10, 50, and 100 birr. There are five different coins: 1, 5, 10, 25, and 50 cents.
Currency regulations: There is no limit to the amount of foreign currency imported into Ethiopia, but it must be declared on arrival, using a currency declaration form. Foreign currency may be changed only at authorized banks and hotels. The currency declaration form will be required by Customs on departure. Visitors may change back any excess birr into foreign currency at the airport before departure, but you must, in addition to the currency declaration form, bring with you all receipts for exchange transactions.
You can find mobile and internet coverage in most of the country but it works quite badly. To call Ethiopia from abroad, dial 00-251 plus subscriber number. To communicate from Ethiopia with the rest of the world it is necessary to dial 00 + the area code + the telephone number.
The Ethiopian time is GMT +3 (one hour + in summer time and 2 + in winter time). They have a different way of measuring time. They have 12-hour periods that start at 6:00 and 6:00 p.m. At dawn it is hour 0 in the morning and at sunset it is 0 in the afternoon. Therefore the Ethiopian time has a lag of 6 hours compared to ours. Thus, given an hour in the Ethiopian system it is enough to only subtract 6 to obtain our time. In many places, especially at the official level or for plane flights, they work with the international system, but at the level of the local population, they usually work with the Ethiopian system. This is especially important with bus schedules, because if they tell us, for example, that a bus leaves at 11:30 h. Normally they will mean that it leaves at 5:30 h. (international time) If there is any doubt, it is always necessary to clarify if the time they give us is ethiopian time (Ethiopian time) or faranji time (foreign time). The custom in Ethiopia is to wake up very early, have breakfast around 6 in the morning, eat at 12 and about 6 in the evening, dinner and go to sleep. (Dinner between 6:00 pm and 8:00 pm).
Ethiopia follows the Julian calendar, which has 12 months of 30 days and 1mes more than 5 days (6 days in leap year). The New Year begins on September 11. There are 7 years and 8 months less than in the Gregorian calendar. Therefore the Ethiopian calendar consists of 13 months (the country’s tourism motto was, until recently: Ethiopia, 13 months of sunshine, was updated by: Ethiopia Land of Origins).
* The official language is Amharic, English, Italian, Harari, Oromiña, Sidama, Tigrinya, Somali and about a hundred other ethnic languages are also spoken.
* Electric current operates at 220 volts at 50 Hz. It is not necessary to use an adapter.
Compared to other surrounding countries, Ethiopia is an oasis of tranquility for the traveler. It is safe to travel almost the entire country by public transport and, except for the inconvenience of being the object of persecution of groups of children asking for a birr, you do not have to take special precautions.
Basic safety rules for travelers
* Dont walk on your own at night in Addis Ababa and other major tourist towns.
* Watch out for pickpockets at the Mercato in Addis Ababa
* Don’t wear jewelry. Don’t carry too much cash with you.
* Don’t carry a lot of camera equipment especially in the major cities.
* Avoid travel at night because roads are perilously filled with potholes, livestock, and broken down vehicles.
It is not advisable to travel to border areas with Eritrea and Somalia. The land border crossings are Sudan, Kenya and Djibouti may present difficulties. It is advisable to inform yourself in advance.