Aug 202017
 

Ethiopia, located in Eastern Africa, is the oldest independent nation in Sub Sahara Africa. The country has very magnificent landscapes ranging from desert landscapes to mountain forests. The landlocked Ethiopia is bordered by Kenya on the South, Somalia and Djibouti on the East, Eritrea on the Northeast, and Sudan on the West. Ethiopia occupies an area of over 1,000,000 sq km, approximately five times the size of the United Kingdom.

Bole International airport is the main point of entry for international travellers to Ethiopia. Located in Ethiopia’s capital city, Addis Ababa, this airport is the fifth busiest in Africa. The airport is the home of Ethiopian Airlines, Africa’s pioneering airline that currently operates flights between Ethiopia and 48 other travel destinations in the world. Addis Ababa has a population of over 2 million people. The city is nestled at the bottom of the 3000 metres Entoto Mountains, presenting a pleasant landscape of wooded hillsides and gullies occupied by fast flowing streams.

Some of the most amazing scenic sites in Africa are found in Ethiopia. These include the Danakil depression and the jaggedly curved Simien mountains, which are a UNESCO world heritage site. The Danakil depression lies at 120 metres below sea level, making them one of the lowest dry land points on planet earth.

Ethiopia has more than twenty mountains towering more than 4,000 m high, led by Mount Ras Deshen that rises 4,620 m high. Ras Deshen is the fourth tallest mountain in Africa. Ethiopia is often referred to as the ?water tower? of eastern Africa because of the many rivers that pour off its high tableland. Some of the major rivers of Ethiopia include the Blue Nile, Omo River, Baro River and Awash River.

The Blue Nile originates from Lake Tana in Ethiopia and constitutes aprroximately 80% of the water volume of the Great Nile River. The Blue Nile merges with the White Nile (whose origin is Lake Victoria) at Khartoum in Sudan, to form River Nile, the world’s longest river. Along the Blue Nile route, the Blue Nile Falls is one of the most popular tourist destination in Ethiopia. The falls are located 30 km to the east of Bahir Dar, about a 30 minutes walking distance from Tiss Abey.

Located about 560 km from Addis Ababa, Lake Tana is the largest lake in Ethiopia. The lake has 37 islands some of which harbor churches and monasteries. These buildings carry beautiful murals and paintings, remains of emperors, church crosses, icons, manuscripts, crowns and other articles of historical and cultural significance.

Among the activities you can enjoy while on an Ethiopia vacation, mountain trekking is perhaps the most popular. Both Simien and Bale mountains national parks provide good conditions for trekking as well as some excellent spots for mountain climbing. The highland regions to the east and the west of the Omo valley are the other increasingly famous areas for trekkers.

Another popular tourist attraction in Ethiopia is birdwatching. Ethiopia has over 800 bird species, 16 of which are endemic. You can spot a wider variety of bird species in the national parks owing to reduced human interference there. In Bale national park alone, a record 161 species of birds have been observed. The best time for birdwatching falls between early September and February. During this time, especially from November, many migratory birds flock into the region, significantly increasing the bird population and widening the bird species diversity.

Ethiopia was formerly known as Abyssinia. The nation has a rich cultural and traditional heritage, with over 80 ethnic groups each with unique traditional customs, culture and language. Religion is a core part of the Ethiopian culture, especially the many religious festivals and celebrations.

There are plenty of international hotels offering excellent accommodation for visitors, among them the Sheraton, Hilton, Dagim Millennium Hotel, Adot-Tina Hotel and others. Entry to Ethiopia requires a one-month visa going for US$ 20 at airport. 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.

Andrew Muigai is the MD of Africapoint.com, a travel agency that provides Ethiopia travel services such as Ethiopian hotel and lodges reservations, Ethiopia vacation packages, plus many others
Jul 212017
 

when to visit Ethiopia

This can depend on where you are going. In most of the country, the main rainy season runs from June to the beginning of September, with short rains in March. In the Omo and Mago parks however, in Southern Ethiopia, the seasons are different with the main rains from March to June and shorter rains in November.

Passport
A valid passport is required for travel to Ethiopia containing at least two blank pages per country and a validity of no less than six months beyond the period of your stay.

Visas

Any foreigners except those who hold the Kenyan, Tanzanian and Djibouti passport needs a visa!
You can get your visa from the Ethiopian embassies or consulates in your country but for the following listed countries, visa can be obtain on arrival at the airport in Addis Ababa: – Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Korea Republic, Kuwait, Luxemburg, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Russian Federation, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, UK, and US can obtain a visa on arrival for US$ 20 and two passport photos. This is only available at Bole International Airport in Addis Ababa. !

Money Matters

It is no longer obligatory for visitors to declare currency in their possession on arrival, but should visitors wish to change money back on departure, it will be necessary to produce receipts from banks and authorized foreign exchange dealers. The Ethiopian currency is the Birr, the rate of which against the US dollar is fixed in weekly auctions. Current exchange rate.
Credit card acceptance is now growing throughout the country, but only one bank (Dashen Bank) can issue cash on cards, to a limit of US$ 500.00 per day, and does not yet have branches in all main cities.
The Commercial Bank of Ethiopia also introduced ATM for Visa and other cards. But the service is still available only in the capital city.

Climate and clothing

Because of the elevation, temperatures rarely exceed 25 o C in most of the country, although in some of the lower lying areas (Awash, Omo and Mago parks) it can get considerably hotter. Pack light clothes for the day time and a jacket or sweater for the evenings, and a good pair of walking shoes even if you are not going trekking – path ways around historic sites are usually uneven and stony. Trekkers in the Simien and Bale Mountains will need warm clothes, waterproofs and 3-4 season sleeping bags. On a cultural note – Ethiopians are generally modest dressers, and visitors should be sensitive about going underdressed (shorts, tank tops and bare backed) into places of worship. Shoes must always be removed before entering churches and mosques – for getting around sites like Lalibela with its many churches airline socks are very useful.

I am an Ethiopian professional tour guide and tour operator. Currently I am working in a private tour operation company ,based in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. My company isAberus Ethiopia Tours. For details visit
http://www.aberusethiopiatours.com
solomon@aberusethiopiatours.com
aberusethiopia@gmail.com/

Solomon Admasu

Aberus Ethiopia Tours

I am proud to introduce you with Ethiopia as a destination where only few have been before. Ethiopia is a country bestowed with all tourist attractions be it historical, cultural and natural. Ethiopia is unique with no resemblance to your past experience anywhere in the globe. I tried my best to make this Blog informative about Ethiopia as a tourist destination and help travelers to choose Ethiopia as a destination and what to look forward in Ethiopia before set off their foot.

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