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The Hospitality Club is the world's largest hospitality exchange organization. We are thousands of friendly members world wide who offer each other free accommodation when traveling. Membership is free and joining just takes a minute - we would love to have you onboard!

Travel Guide for Ethiopia

Here you will find travel information and insider tips about Ethiopia that has been cooperatively contributed by other friendly Hospitality Club members. Please become active as well, and share your vast budget travel and backpacking knowledge with other members and the internet community - it is very easy to edit any information here (more info in the Help File). We hope that these Travel Guides will quickly become a great and fun resource. If you want to print this guide out to take with you, we have prepared this Printer Friendly Travel Guide for you. Enjoy!
For Introduction, Top Things to See and Do, Neighboring Countries, Who is coming?, Want more guests!, Hospitality Club Meetings and the geographic navigation please see the main Ethiopia Page.

Basic Facts

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In 1974, a military junta, the Derg, deposed Emperor Haile SELASSIE (who had ruled since 1930) and established a socialist state. Torn by bloody coups, uprisings, wide-scale drought, and massive refugee problems, the regime was finally toppled in 1991 by a coalition of rebel forces, the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF). A constitution was adopted in 1994, and Ethiopia's first multiparty elections were held in 1995. A border war with Eritrea late in the 1990's ended with ... more

Attractions and Things to See and Do

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The Historical sites which are, the rock hewn churces of Lalibela, the Obelisk of Axum, the castle of Gondar, the lake Tana islands, the Blue Nile falls, the Simein mountain and also History and nature are not the only attractions of this surprising country. It is a unique experience to come into contact with its people, so deeply rooted in their traditional culture, to participate in religious rites in one of the many Coptic churches, to meet native populations like the Hamer, the Mursi, the Ca ... more


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For map of Ethiopia, please visit:

Off the Beaten Path and Insider Tips

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Suggested Itineraries

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Suggested tour operators in Ethiopia: Ethiopian WIne Trek: Kibran Tours Timeless Tours


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Of course Ethiopian airlines is the biggest and best airline in Africa and it's a world class airline so to travel from your country to Ethiopia you can use the Ethiopian airlines, Lufthansa, Emirates, KLM, BA.... Transportation in the country is good that there are public bus cross regions and the Ethiopian airlines also flies in most of the major city in the country.


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If you do not want to stay with other HC members, or noone is available, here is what other members suggest. Hostels Hotels Camping Other Options ARE THERE NO HOTELS IN ETHIOPIA???

Food and Drinks and Local Specialties

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There are many local and international restaurants in Ethiopia!!!
But please don't miss to try our traditional and national dish, Injera with Doro wet and also shero wat!!!

Money and Costs

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Money can be exchange in any banks, credit card is not much advisable!! 5 -10% Tip is expected in major restaurants and bars. visitors from Uganda you can not use ugandian shilling .it can not be exchandedBargaining in Ethiopia just a normal thing so you should bargain when you buy something!!!

Visa and Documents and Embassies

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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, Pol ... more

Borders and Customs

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Passport Passport is required. Exemptions Holders of a Laissez-Passer, when travel on duty issued by United Nations Holders of documents issued to stateless persons and refugees Document Validity Passport and/or passport replacing documents must be valid on arrival As of January 2010, the government of Montenegro/ Rep. of/ only recognizes biometric passports issued to nationals of Montenegro. All non-biometric passports, even though they may have an expiry date of after 1 January 2 ... more

Post and Communications and Internet

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Post: The post office in Addis is reliable, I used it not too long ago (Jan 06) and everything arrived home, Telephone, International phone calls are fairly cheap; only a few cents/minute to North America Fax, don't know Internet Access: the internet is widely available and cheap, although fairly slow; I wouldn't recommend doing much more than simple emails.

Questions and Answers or Forum

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Here anything goes, you can post questions you have, and other members will answer you. If you do answer, please send the reply directly to the asking member as well, and try to integrate the information into the categories above. If too difficult to do, just answer right here and a volunteer will integrate in the future. Also, you can put thanks notes in here. Add new questions on top so they show up on the Travel Guide page. Please post messages not related to traveling or the aim of the Hospi ... more

Hospitality Club Meetings

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Use this section to add more info if you organize meetings and events (you can add a short note on the main country page). You can also invite other members to parties, sports events, whenever you would like to meet up with someone.


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Have you written a story about a trip to this country? Just paste your text in here and share your experience with other members.


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Here you can include photos that are hosted somewhere on the internet. As with maps, you have to make sure that it is ok for us to use the photos here (so they should be either your photos, or you should ask the owner), and that it is allright to call them up from here.

Activities and Sports

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Nightlife and Entertainment

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'Azmari Bet'small traditional party houses with traditional drinks, bars especially around 'bole' and 'arat killo'. well,if you want to party 'arat killo' is better ,the traditional and modern night clubs with a friendly atmosphere will make your nightlife in Addis Ababa very joyful.

Population and People

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Population of Ethiopia 77,053,286 note: estimates for this country explicitly take into account the effects of excess mortality due to AIDS; this can result in lower life expectancy, higher infant mortality and death rates, lower population and growth rates, and changes in the distribution of population by age and sex than would otherwise be expected

Culture and Conduct or Local Customs

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Language and Useful Phrases

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Language Ethiopia has 83 different languages with up to 200 different dialects spoken. The largest ethnic and linguistic groups are the Oromos, Amharas and Tigrayans. Ge'ez is the ancient language, and was introduced as an official written language during the first Aksumite kingdom when the Sabeans sought refuge in Aksum. The Aksumites developed Ge'ez, a unique script derived from the Sabean alphabet, and it is still used by the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church today. Tigrigna and Amharign ... more

Events and Holidays

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Festivals, Sports, Concerts, Public Holidays... Religious Festivals Religion plays an important part of life in Ethiopia. The Orthodox Tewahedo Church ceremonies are unique and impressive; especially Timket and Meskel festivals which provide colourful ceremonies and celebrations. People dress in traditional costume and celebrate festivals across the country with colourful unique ceremonies such as Enkutatash (New Year), Meskel (Finding of the True Cross), Ledet (Christmas), Timket (Epiphany ... more

Climate and When to Go

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Ethiopia is in the tropical zone laying between the Equator and the Tropic of Cancer. It has three different climate zones according to elevation. Kolla (Tropical zone) - is below 1830 metres in elevation and has an average annual temperature of about 27 degree Celsius with annual rainfall about 510 millimetres. The Danakil Depression (Danakil Desert) is about 125 metres below sea level and the hottest region in Ethiopia where the temperature climbs up to 50 degree Celsius. Woina dega (Sub ... more


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At 15.1 km (9.5 miles) long, Sof Omar Cave is the longest cave in Ethiopia; one source claims they are the largest system of caves in Africa.It is situated in the Bale province in southeastern Ethiopia ( 6°55′N, 40°45′E) through which the Web River flows. It sinks at the Ayiew Maco entrance and reappears at the Holuca resurgence 1 km away. Long a religious centre, it is sacred both to local traditional religions and to Islam. The caves are known for their many pillars, particular ... more

Environment and Flora and Fauna

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Dangers and Warnings

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Tourist Traps

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Ethiopia is generally a safe environment to travel in Africa and some Asian countries, but still for tourist (especially who travel alone) may face some inconveniences in their trip. One of the problem is Coffee Ceremony Scam, in which most traveller are asked to go to Coffee ceremonies organized by some low self steem guides or students. You should say no unless you know the person who is offering. You may be asked alot of money for that.


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Government and Politics

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GDP, GDP per head, Annual growth, inflation, Major Industries, Major trading partners...


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Music, Literature, Theater, Movies ...


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Newspapers, Radio and TV, Magazines ...


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Religion of ethiopian The main religions in Ethiopia are Christianity, Islam, Judaism and Paganism. Ethiopia is a predominantly Christian country and the majority of Christians are Orthodox Tewahedo Christians, who belong to the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church. There are a minority of Christians who are Roman Catholic or Protestant. The Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church is headed by a patriarch and is related to the communion of the Coptic Orthodox Church, the Armenian Orthodox Church, the ... more

Volunteer Opportunities and Work

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There are organizations and companies that offer volunteer opportunities for travellers. Strawberry Fields Eco-Lodge is one of them. They have Permaculture farms, and training. They pay for food, transport and lodging for contributing your proffession for free. For info: Ethiopian Wine Trek also offers accomodation for volunteers interested in helping out their work. for info: , you can request them at T ... more

Organized Tours

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From the peak of Semien Mountains to the Danakil Depression (the lowest place in the world), from the warily inaccessible age-old rock hewn churches to the island monasteries, from the jagged ridges to the lush forests, from the archeological findings to the live cultures of the multi-ethnic diversity, from endemic bird species to the rich flora – fauna & biodiversity, from the off-road safari to the helicopter tour, from the ancient historical monuments to the medieval castles, from the highl ... more

What to Bring or Packing List

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Books and Further Reading

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Guidebooks, Travel, History and Politics
Please enter Amazon links to the books - we will put info on how to do this here shortly. This way we hope to get a bit of funding for the running of the club, if someone buys the books you recommend.

Other Information

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Could not fit it into any of the categories above? Put it here...:-)

External Links

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Useful links:

Offtopic Messages

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If you need more information in traveling in Ethiopia, please talk to your travel agent,
Disclaimer: The Hospitality Club has no control over the information above and accepts no responsibility for any loss, injury or inconvenience sustained by anyone using this website. Please correct false information or send us feedback about it.
Copyright: Feel free to use the text on your website as long as you notify us and include a clearly visible link to above the text.

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