Ethiopia is an ancient country whose unique cultural heritage, rich history and remarkable biodiversity are reflected in a tally of nine UNESCO World Heritage Sites – more than any other country in Africa. Within its borders, you’ll find the world’s fourth-holiest Islamic city, along with the oldest continuously-occupied town south of the Sahara. Compelling antiquities include the medieval rock-hewn churches of Lalibela and Gheralta, palaces and temples dating back 3,000 years, the magnificent 17th century castles of Gondar, and the oldest human fossils unearthed anywhere on the planet. Add to this the beautiful Simien and Bale Mountains, the spectacular volcanic landscapes of the Danakil Depression, and a wealth of mammals and birds found nowhere else in the world, and it’s little wonder that Ethiopia has become the most attractive and popular emergent tourist destination in Africa.
Land of Origins
Ethiopia is the cradle of humanity, where we first walked on two legs.
…It is also the source of the Blue Nile, the great river whose power and fertility nurtured the origin of civilisation itself.
…And it is the origin of one of life’s greatest pleasures – coffee, Ethiopia’s gift to the world.
So come to Ethiopia and be enchanted by her extraordinary past and share in her dynamic present.
Come, and you will discover why Ethiopia is original in so many ways.
Plan your trip
Ethiopia’s national carrier, Ethiopian Airlines, is the fastest growing airline in Africa. In its seven decades of operation, Ethiopian has become one of the continent’s leading carriers, unrivalled in efficiency and operational success.
It also offers the continent’s most extensive flight network, with international routings connecting Addis Ababa to more than 90 cities outside Ethiopia, as well as 20 domestic destinations.
Ethiopian Airlines flies daily from Heathrow to Addis Ababa, providing connectivity to 54 destinations on the African continent and more than a total of 98 worldwide.
Your flight to Ethiopia is bookable online, by phone 0800 016 3449 or via travel agencies.
A complete list of airlines that fly to Addis Ababa are listed on the Ethiopian Tourism Organisation website.
All international flights arrive and depart from Bole International Airport on the outskirts of central Addis Ababa.
Ethiopian Airlines operates a daily “Historic Route Service” for tourists connecting Addis Ababa to the historic cities of the northern circuit i.e. Aksum, Bahir Dar, Gondar and Lalibela. Connecting flights also run daily between these northern cities.
There are also domestic flights to several other key centres including Arba Minch, Assosa, Dire Dawa, Gambella, Gondar, Jijiga, Jimma, Mekele and Semera.
An increasingly popular option with tourists is to travel overland with one of many reliable operators in Addis Ababa offering group tours and a range of bespoke 4×4 itineraries.
More remote parts of the country, such as the Danakil Depression and Erta Ale, or the tribal lands of South Omo, can only realistically be visited on an organised 4×4 expedition with a specialist local operator.
Things to Do
The hotel supply in Addis Ababa is growing quickly with an increasing number of properties offering international standards including several apartment hotels and branded hotels: Sheraton, Hilton, Radisson Blue, Golden Tulip, Marriott and Ramada. Smaller hotels and cozy guest-houses are also available.
In the main tourist destinations, there is a range of accommodation available including urban hotels as well as smaller properties with local charm and lodges in national parks and other unique locations.
For more information, visit the Addis Ababa Hotel Owners Association.
Ethiopia is a safe and reasonably healthy country provided you take a few common-sense precautions. For more information visit the Ethiopian Tourism Organisation
Ensure your inoculations are up to date, mainly if you are traveling out of the capital or you will stay away from the largest hotels. We advise that you talk to your GP, practice nurse or travel health clinic about any immunisations you may need at least two months before travelling. For more information on immunisation, please visit the NHS Fit for Travel website or the TravelHealthPro website.
For the latest advice by country including safety and security, entry requirements, travel warnings and health, please visit the Foreign and Commonwealth Office
There are a number of tour operators worldwide offering a range of trips to Ethiopia encompassing cultural, adventure, trekking and birdwatching packages, among others.
Tour Operators in the UK
Tour Operators in Ethiopia
Incoming tour operators in Ethiopia offer a variety of trips covering the main tourism destinations as well as the lesser known and more remote areas of the country. They can operate road and air circuits, and can put together special interest tours, bespoke luxury tours, air charters and helicopter tours.
There are two associations of incoming tour operators:
Members of these organisations provide services countrywide.
Apply for Tourist Visa
All visitors to Ethiopia, with the exception of nationals from Djibouti and Kenya, are required to apply for a visa. An increasing number of nationals can also get a visa online or on arrival at the airport. Please check before you travel.
Is yellow fever vaccination required when entering Ethiopia
No. A certificate of vaccination for yellow fever is no longer mandatory.
What is the currency in Ethiopia?
The Ethiopian currency is Birr. Changing money is straightforward in cities and bigger towns.
Although credit cards are accepted in large hotels and lodges, restaurants and shops, you might need cash for smaller establishments and on the roads less travelled.
What language is spoken in Ethiopia?
Ethiopia’s official language is Amharic. English is widely spoken but a few words of Amharic can make you new friends.
I am bringing professional photographic equipment, will I require a permit?
If you are bringing professional photographic or video equipment, check with your tour operator or local contact before you travel as special customs regulations may apply. You may also contact the Press Office for further information and advice.
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