Ethiopia is a Tourist Paradise
is truly a land of contrasts and extremes; a land of remote and wild
places. Some of the highest and most stunning places on the African
continent are found here, such as the jaggedly carved Simien Mountains,
one of UNESCO's World Heritage Sites - and some of the lowest, such as
the hot but fascinating Danakil Depression, with its sulphur fumaroles
and lunar-like landscape. Ethiopia is old; old beyond all
imaginations. As Abyssinia, its culture and traditions date back
over 3,000 years. And far earlier than that lived "Lucy" or Dinkenesh,
meaning 'thou art wonderful', as she is known to the Ethiopians, whose
remains were found in a corner of this country of mystery and contrasts.
Many people visit Ethiopia - or hope to do so one day - because of the remarkable manner in which ancient historical traditions have been preserved. And, indeed, the ceremonies and rituals of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church, open a window on the authentic world of the Old Testament. In no other country is it possible to find yourself so dramatically transported back in time or to participate with such freedom in the sacred rituals of an archaic faith.
Ethiopia is a land of
natural contrasts, from the tops of the rugged Simien Mountains to the
depths of the Danakil Depression, at 120 meters below sea level one of
the lowest dry land points on earth. The cornucopia of natural beauty
that blesses Ethiopia offers an astonishing variety of landscapes:
Afro-Alpine highlands soaring to around 4,300 metres, moors and
mountains, the splendor of the Great Rift Valley, white-water rivers,
Savannah teeming with game, giant waterfalls, dense and lush jungle...
the list is endless.
Ethiopia's many national parks enable the visitor to enjoy the country's scenery and its wildlife, conserved in natural habitats, and offer opportunities for travel adventure unparalleled in Africa.
The wildlife consists mainly of East African plains animals, but there are now no giraffe or buffalo. Oryx, bat-eared fox, caracal, aardvark, ccolobus and green monkeys, Anubis and Hamadryas baboons, klipspringer, leopard, bushbuck, hippopotamus, Soemmerings gazelle, cheetah, lion, kudu and 450 species of bird all live within the park's 720 square kilometres.
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.
Duty-free import are permitted for up to: 200 cigarettes, 50 cigars, 1/2 lb of tobacco, 1 litre of alcoholic beverages, two bottles of perfume. Visitors may export souvenirs with a value not exceeding Birr 500, although some articles (such as animal skins and antiques) require an export permit.
Addis Ababa's Bole International Airport is a gateway to the rest of Ethiopia. The airport also serves many destinations in Africa, Middle East, Asia, Europe and North America. The country's national carrier Ethiopian Airlines has an extensive domestic network flying to 43 airfields and an additional 21 landing strips. There are many other airlines that also serve Ethiopia. Please Click here to get information about Airlines Offices in Addis Ababa.
Roads: There are some 4,100 kilometers of asphalt roads with a further 19,000 kilometers of gravel and dry-weather roads. Railway: A 778 kilometers railway line links Addis Ababa with Djibouti, and carries both freight and passengers.
Ethiopia is in the GMT + 3 hours time zone. Ethiopia follows the Julian calendar, which consist of twelve months of 30 days each and a 13th month of 5 or 6 days.
The local currency is the Ethiopian Birr made up of 100 cents. Visitors may import an unlimited amount of foreign currency, providing declaration of such currency is made to customs on arrival. Foreign currency may be changed only at authorized banks and hotels. The currency declaration form must be retained as this will be required by customs on departure. Visitors, however, will be able to change back any excess Ethiopian Birr to foreign currency at the airport before departure.
There are two seasons: the dry season prevails from October through May; the wet season runs from June to September.
Ethiopia is on an elevated central plateau varying in height between 2,000 and 3,000 meters. In the north and center of the country, there are 2 mountains whose peaks rise over 4,000 meters.
About 90 percent of the population earns their living from the land, mainly as subsistence farmers. Agriculture is the backbone of the national economy and the principal exports from the sector are coffee, oil seeds, pulses, flowers, vegetables, sugar and foodstuffs for animals.
Ethiopia is a multiethnic state with a variety of languages spoken in the country, of which there are 83 with 200 dialects. The main three languages are Amharic, Tigrigna and Oromigna. English is also widely spoken.
Ethiopia uses 220 volts 50 cycles AC.
The population is estimated at 65 million, over 50 per cent of whom are under 20 years old. The average number of inhabitants per square kilometer is 49.
Excursions within Ethiopia, whether for a day or for a month, may be organized by any of the travel agencies or tour operators.
Addis Ababa has hotels that cater to all budgets, from the luxurious Sheraton and Hilton hotels to the tourist class hotels. All tourist resorts offer a choice of modern hotels.
Taxis are available in cities and major towns. These include the blue-and-white mini buses, pickups with a closed Canopy or Saloon Cars. They normally operate on a fixed rate and standard route. Personalized and specific trips should be negotiated with the driver in advance. In the Capital, there are Luxury Mercedes Benz taxis operated by National Tour Operation (NTO). They are stationed outside major hotels and at the airport. They also do not have meters. In addition, there are yellow taxis stationed at the airport for special hire which necessitates a prior negotiation with the driver for the price.
The Content in this page is taken from http://tourismethiopia.org/pages/travelinfo2.asp
The Ministry of Culture and Tourism
Tel:+251 11 551 23 10
+251 11 551 70 20
Fax:+251 11 551 28 89
Addis Ababa Ethiopia