Diversity Tours Ethiopia

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Traveller tips

Ethiopia is located in north eastern Horn of Africa  with an area of approximately 1.2 million square kilometers (445,000 square miles) having  a population of over 77 million. It is bounded in the south by Kenya, north by Eritrea, South east by Somalia, northwest by Sudan and north east by Djibouti. It is the third largest country in Africa with. 


Ethiopia has a topography that ranges from flat-topped plateaus to deep river canyons and altitude from 124meters below sea level to 4620m above sea level. There are nine major river basins that include the Abay (Blue Nile), Awash, Baro, Omo, Tekeze, Genalle and Wabe-Siebel. The Great Rift Valley divides the Ethiopian highlands from north to south. 


The popular saying "Ethiopia-13 Months of Sunshine" is derived from Ethiopia's all year round mild climate with a lot of warm sunshine and a calendar system that has 13 months. With approximately 850 mm (34inches) of rainfall, the countrywide average annual rainfall is deemed to be moderate by global standards. Over most of the highlands, rainfall occurs in two seasons: the short rainy season during February through March and the long rainy season from June through September. Ethiopia has two main seasons, the dry season from October through May, and the rainy season from June through September. Temperatures will depend on altitude. 


While the scenic beauty of Ethiopia makes it a photographer's paradise, photographs should not be taken of military or strategic buildings. Before photographing any person, religious festival or rural homestead it is courteous to ask permission. While film is readily available in most towns. We recommend that visitors bring plenty of film with them. Commercial photographers require permission from the Ministry of Information to take video graphing and press related information. Certain tourist sites charge for video photographing.


The Ethiopian Birr is the national currency. Credit cards can be used in big hotels and in some shops though not widely accepted outside the major cities. Traveling with small cash is highly recommended.


Regular telephone, mobile phones, telex, internet, fax and postal facilities are available in most main towns. The IDD code for Ethiopia is +251. Pre paid phones can be arranged up on request.

Medical Facilities

While both physician and dentists are available throughout many areas of the country, the major hospitals are located in the main towns. It is recommended that visitors bring sufficient supplies of any drugs that they regularly need. All visitors must be in possession of valid vaccination certificates against yellow fever, against hepatitis and cholera. Malaria precautions should be taken before visiting the lowlands.


Electrical supply is generally 220 volts 50 cycles AC.


Ethiopia is 3 hours ahead of GMT. Apart from a different calendar, Ethiopia reckons the day in two 12 hour cycles (as in much of East Africa). Therefore midday could be 6 o'clock.

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