Ethiopia Travel Information
On April 11, the authorities introduced a state of
emergency in Ethiopia. The purpose is to enable the
authorities to deal with the outbreak of covid-19. For
information on the exception state, see the section on
security. All travelers to Ethiopia are quarantined in
hotels dedicated to this. The traveler has to cover the
costs himself. For information on coronavirus and entry
restrictions, see the section on Health.
On April 11, the authorities introduced a nationwide
state of emergency in Ethiopia which will last for five
months. The purpose of the state of emergency is to
enable the authorities to deal with the outbreak of
covid-19 as well as situations that may arise in this
context. For travelers to Ethiopia, these are the most
important provisions of the state of emergency:
- All border crossings are closed, goods transport
- Anyone arriving in Ethiopia should quarantine in
two weeks, for more information see the section on
- Ban on congregations with more than four people,
a maximum of two people can train together
- Entertainment venues such as nightclubs, bars
and cinemas are closed
- Private vehicles and buses can only be 50
percent full, trains 25 percent
- It is mandatory to keep two meters away from
others in the public space
- It is mandatory to cover the mouth and nose in
the public space
The authorities have stated that the provisions of
the state of emergency may be changed at short notice
and that violations of the provisions will be punishable
by imprisonment or fines. Travelers are encouraged to
stay informed locally, exercise caution and avoid
- Countryaah: Addis Ababa is the capital
of Ethiopia. Check to find information of population, geography, history,
and economy about the capital city.
Travelers should be aware that any unrest,
demonstrations and violent clashes may result in closed
roads and reduced access to transport and services. Such
a situation can arise very quickly, so it is important
to stay informed along the way.
The Embassy of Addis Ababa continuously reviews and
updates its travel information. Travelers should
exercise caution when traveling to the border areas
towards Eritrea and South Sudan. For more details, see
the additional information in the chapters below.
However, the embassy does not have sufficient, reliable
information to be able to design chapters on all regions
of Ethiopia. All travelers are encouraged to register at
reiseregistrering.no. Many people visit several
different cities and regions during their trip to
Ethiopia. Therefore, if possible, you should state when
you will be staying in the different parts of the
Check for official travel advice for Ethiopia.
The situation in Addis Ababa
There is less crime in Addis compared to many other
African metropolitan areas, but petty crime such as
pocket theft and robbery has increased significantly in
recent years. Although the level of crime is relatively
low, one should not carry large sums of money or
expensive valuables. There are areas of Addis Ababa,
such as the large Mercato market area, around Ghion
hotels, outside the National Theater and in the Bole
area, where one should pay particular attention to
pocket theft. Particular attention should be paid to
situations where you are approached by people seeking to
divert one's attention.
It also appears robbery, in part violent. It is
recommended to be careful if you are out in the evening,
and preferably use a car. When using a car, it is
recommended to lock the doors to prevent theft.
Travelers are encouraged to stay informed locally,
exercise caution and avoid crowds.
The situation in Oromia
Violent clashes occur in scattered parts of Oromia.
This also applies to areas close to Addis Ababa. In the
Wollega, Guji and Borena areas a command post has been
created, which in practice means a local state of
emergency. Norwegian citizens traveling to Oromia should
be aware of and stay away from larger crowds and
demonstrations. Travelers should be aware that any
unrest may result in closed roads and reduced access to
transport and services, and that the situation may
Norwegian citizens who are in or considering
traveling to Oromia are encouraged to stay informed
about the situation and take the necessary precautions.
The situation in Gambella
The situation in Gambella is tense, and crime is
occurring. Norwegian citizens who are in, or considering
traveling to, these areas should stay up-to-date on the
situation and take the necessary precautions.
The situation in Benishangul Gumuz
There are violent conflicts and clashes in
Benishangul Gumuz. The situation may be tense in some
places. Norwegian citizens who are in or considering
traveling to these areas should stay up-to-date on the
situation and take the necessary precautions.
Situation in the SNNP (Southern Nations,
Nationalities and Peoples' Region)
Since April 2018, there have been violent conflicts
between ethnic groups in the border areas between West
Guji in Oromia and Gedeo in SNNP. The security situation
Norwegian citizens who are in, or considering
traveling to, these areas should stay up-to-date on the
situation and take necessary precautions.
Other safety information
Although significant progress has been made, Ethiopia
is still poorly adapted for tourism, and one should
prepare for that if traveling alone.
Discharges must be able to identify themselves upon
request, and it is recommended that passports are always
Traffic accidents are the single factor that kills
most visitors. Therefore, be very careful in traffic and
when choosing the means of transport and driver. Traffic
and driving patterns in Ethiopia are different than in
Europe. It can feel a bit chaotic and requires
adaptation. Use of mobile while driving is fined. Speed
checks and celebrity tests are frequent, especially in
Addis Ababa. Traffic accidents are strongly reactive.
On the roads outside and between the big cities, a
lot of unlawful driving is seen at high speed, and there
are a number of fatal accidents. Be careful about using
a minibus on such stretches. Driving on the country
roads after darkness is strongly discouraged.
Taxi services in cities are large and prices are low.
Both regular taxis and small minibuses can be found
everywhere in Addis Ababa. In smaller cities, the offer
of tricycles (tuk-tuk) and horse-drawn cabins is
dominated. The standard of the cars is sometimes very
poor. On the taxis it is usual to bargain for the price.
This does not apply to the yellow taxis with a
taximeter, they are often cheaper than the blue ones and
of a better standard.
"Homosexual acts" are prohibited in Ethiopia and can
be punishable by up to five years in prison.
Homosexuality is generally not tolerated in Ethiopian
society, neither by religious actors nor otherwise in
the population. Aggressive reactions to gays have been
recorded in public.
In the Danakil area of Afar, about 30 kilometers
from the border with Eritrea, armed groups can pose a
security risk. You should exercise caution, listen to
local knowledge and carefully consider safety when
planning visits to the area.
For trips to the Danakil area, tour operators must
use their own safety routines. Trips to the area in
general, and the volcano in particular, are usually
conducted in accordance with armed security guards and
local guides. In August 2008, there was an eruption in
Danakil in the Afar region. Ethiopia has several
volcanoes, but they have not been active for hundreds of
years. There are earthquakes in Ethiopia, but these are
mostly of low strength.
Norwegian citizens staying for a shorter or longer
period in Ethiopia are encouraged to register at http://www.reiseregistrering.no/.
Norwegian citizens are encouraged to have valid travel
Local emergency numbers: Fire Department 912, Police
991, Ambulance (Red Cross) 907/(Nordic Medical Center)
In crisis and emergency, contact the Norwegian
Embassy by phone: + 251-11-317 04 20
Nifas Silk Lafto Sub-City
House No. 744.
Opening hours: Monday to Thursday 08:00 - 16:00. Friday
08:00 - 13:30.
Outside the opening hours of the embassy, the
public is invited to contact the UD's operational center
by phone: +47 23 95 00 00 or by e-mail: UDops@mfa.no
Please note that entry regulations may change. The
Foreign Service is not responsible if the following
information on entry regulations or visa requirements is
changed at short notice. It is the responsibility of the
traveler to ensure that travel documents are valid for
entry and to familiarize themselves with the current
entry rules for each country.
Norwegian citizens must have a visa when entering
Ethiopia. The Ethiopian Embassy in Stockholm covers
Norway. Usually, a visa application from Norway takes
two to four weeks.
If you are going on a business-related trip, studying
or volunteering in Ethiopia, you need a business visa.
This is obtained from the embassy in Stockholm, with a
letter of support from the Norwegian/Ethiopian
organization / company for which you are traveling.
It is possible to obtain a tourist visa on arrival at
Addis Ababa airport. The fee is $ 50 for one month and $
75 for three months. This scheme is intended exclusively
for tourists, and business travelers must obtain a
You can also apply for a tourist visa and conference
visa electronically. If granted, you will receive an
e-mail with authorization and the passport will be
stamped upon entry. For more information and application
see Ethiopia's e-visa website.
It is not possible to change a tourist visa to a
business visa after arriving in the country. Norwegian
citizens of Eritrean origin cannot obtain a visa upon
arrival, it must be obtained through the Ethiopian
Embassy in Stockholm in advance. One can renew the
tourist visa for one month, but the total duration
cannot exceed three months.
Ethiopian authorities require a valid visa or
residence permit at all times. Illegal stay is punished
with a fee of ten - 10 - USD per. day and one risks
arrest and custody until the case is closed and the fine
paid. You have to cover your own journey home.
For the latest updated information on entry rules to
Ethiopia, travelers are encouraged to check with the
Ethiopian Embassy in Stockholm.
Coronavirus (covid-19): Norwegian
travelers are encouraged to consider returning home as
soon as possible - in a safe and quiet manner. Norwegian
citizens living in Ethiopia are asked to follow the
advice, guidance and instructions of local authorities
on how to deal with the situation.
Ethiopian authorities have created a 24-hour
information and notification service. You can call 8335,
952 or 0118276796. Alternatively, e-mail email@example.com.
If you are calling from a non-Ethiopian sim card, use
country code 00251 and remove the 0 that is first in the
All travelers to Ethiopia by air will be quarantined
in hotels dedicated to this. The traveler must cover the
costs himself and the stay must be paid before arriving
Travelers with Ethiopian Airlines note that the
Oslo-Stockholm-Addis Ababa route has been changed to
Stockholm-Addis Ababa. Travelers must therefore use
SAS's flights between Oslo and Stockholm, both when
entering and leaving Addis Ababa. We recommend those who
have tickets to contact the travel company to find a
solution for the itinerary.
For full and up-to-date information on entry rules
and quarantine, see Ethiopian Airlines' pages.
You can find more information and guidance from the
Norwegian health authorities on the website of the
Norwegian Institute of Public Health. See also UD's
answers to frequently asked questions about travel and
The risk of developing malaria in Addis Ababa is very
small due to the elevation above the sea, but malaria is
present in low-lying areas of Ethiopia and malaria
prophylaxis is recommended. The sanitary conditions in
the city are generally poor, stomach ailments and amoeba
infections are common to many foreigners during the
first period of their stay. Visitors should exercise
caution in eating fruits and vegetables that are not
cooked, fried or peeled. Drinking water must be boiled
and preferably also filtered, but safe drinking water
can be bought reasonably for bottled. Cholera is found
in Ethiopia, and there have been several outbreaks in
recent years. As large parts of Ethiopia are at
altitude, UV radiation is considerable and it is
recommended to use sunscreen. Addis Adeba's air
pollution is high and poses challenges for many.
Hospitals of international standard do not exist in
Ethiopia, but a number of private health services have
been established in recent years. HIV/AIDS risk is high
in Ethiopia. It is estimated that approx. 2.1 million
Ethiopians today live with HIV. Unprotected sex involves
a significant risk of infection for HIV and sexually
For information on vaccines see the Public Health
Institute's website. Gulf vaccination is required and
can be controlled upon entry.
Medications are available, but it is recommended that
solid drugs and pharmaceuticals are brought along. It is
then recommended to include documentation from a
physician on which fixed medications you are using. For
more information see WHO's Ethiopia website.
Ethiopia has a very varied climate, with the main
difference between the highlands and the lowlands. The
country has its own calendar and way to set the clock.
Time difference to Norway is two hours during winter
time and one hour at summer time. In Ethiopia you set
the clock after sunrise/sunset. This means that seven
o'clock in the morning will equate to one for many
Ethiopians. You should be aware of this when making
Ethiopia has a mains voltage of 220 volts, 50 Hz.
Sockets are like in Norway. Power outages are common.
English is far from being spoken, especially in the
big cities. But be aware that there are over 80
languages in the country. The most commonly used are
Amharic, Oromic, Tigrinya, Sidamo, Guaraginja and
The flight connections between Addis Ababa and Europe
are good - with many daily departures/arrivals.
Domestically, Ethiopian Airlines has a good network.
There have been a couple of new bus companies offering
higher standard bus journeys between most major cities
in the country.
Bus and taxi are easily accessible and reasonably
priced. Prices for regular taxi must be agreed in
advance, there are also taxi companies with taximeter.
In 2015, Addis Ababa also received a light rail
The road standard has gradually improved in Addis
Ababa and is undergoing major improvements. The same
applies to the road network between Ethiopia's big
cities, but if you are going to visit smaller places,
four-wheel drive cars may be necessary. Outside the
capital, this is often a necessity as many of the
tourist attractions are unpaved. The supply of gasoline
and diesel fuel can vary, and in certain periods it can
be difficult to obtain gasoline in particular. This
should be taken into account if planning longer car
trips in the country.
National phone code is +251
The telephone network can be unstable, especially the
mobile network. In Addis Ababa, it is both 3G and 4G.
The Internet, 3G/4G and the ability to both send and
receive text messages may be restricted by the
authorities when they consider the situation to be so.
The Internet domain is.et. The internet has gradually
become more accessible and the speed has improved.
However, there is still great variation in capacity and
The currency unit is Ethiopian Birr (ETB).
Credit cards are accepted at the big hotels, some
restaurants and in some banks. ATMs can be found at
hotels, malls, banks and some other central places in
the cities. Ethiopia's economy is still largely
cash-based, so you shouldn't bother paying with cards
when traveling around the country.
Opening hours for shops vary, but most stores have
long opening hours, and are usually closed Sundays and
holidays. Grocery stores are open every day, some of
which are open 24 hours a day.
The climate in Ethiopia is very variable. In the
central highlands (where Addis Ababa is located) most
Norwegians find that the climate is pleasant. The
daytime temperature in Addis Ababa is rarely above 28 กใ
, but due to the altitude, the solar heat can be
experienced as intense. At night, the temperature can
drop below 10 กใ C.
The long rainy season in the highlands, which
includes Addis Ababa, lasts from June to
September/October. During this period it can be cool as
in autumn in Norway. But the rainy season also has sunny
periods. The country has several climate zones. In the
lowland areas in the south/southwest and on Lake Tana in
the north, the humidity is higher and the temperature
variations between night and day are smaller than in
Addis Ababa. In the desert areas, the daytime
temperature can reach closer to 50 กใ C.
In Ethiopia, the Julian calendar, which is almost
eight years behind our Gregorian, is used. Local public
holidays are January 7 - Genna (Ethiopian Christmas),
January 19 - Timed (Jesus' baptism), March 2 - Victory
at Adwa (commemorating victory over Italy in 1896),
Sickle (Ethiopian Good Friday), Fasika (Ethiopian Easter
Day), May 5 - Patriots Day (recalling opposition to
Italy's invasion and occupation 1936-41), May 28 - The
defeat of Derg, September 11 Enkutatash (Ethiopian New
Year), September 27 - Meskel (found by the True Cross),
mawlid (Prophet's birthday), Eid-al-Fitr (end of
Ramadan), Eid-al-Adha (sacrificial feast).