All About Ethiopia - Things to Know | Absolute Ethiopia

About Ethiopia

Why you should travel to Ethiopia

A country endowed with fabulous wildlife, epic natural beauty, mind-blowing outdoor experiences, and Africa’s most fascinating history, Ethiopia remains nothing like anywhere else in the world. Here you can climb over 3000 meters high on the world-famous Simien Mountains or even explore Africa’s lowest areas on the Danakil Depression. In between, you can enjoy a scenery whose beauty knows no bounds – sweeping savannas, beautiful lakes, lush highlands, gorgeous deserts, and plateaus.  When it comes to history, Ethiopia has a wealth of it being the only African country to have escaped European colonialism and keep most of its cultural identity. Explore Ethiopia’s historical routes like Lalibela, Axum, Gondar, and Bahir Dar, Lake Tana Monasteries and more; or Ethiopia’s cultural routes like the South Omo Valley tribes and you will already see just how magnificent this country is! 


All international flights arrive and depart from Bole International Airport (ADD) in Addis Ababa, the capital and largest city of Ethiopia. Several airlines from various parts of the world offer flights to and from ADD including major airlines such as Ethiopian Airlines, Emirtes, Alitalia, KLM, SAA, Lufthansa and Kenya Airways.


Best Time to Go

Ethiopia can be visited at any time of the year and given its size, climate can vary from one region to another. In general, the best time to go is during the dry season which is around October until June (except in South Omo which experiences rainy weather on April and May). Peak season is between October and January when scenery is still lush and green.


Visa and Immigration

A visa and a valid passport that is not set to expire within six months upon arrival are required upon entry to Ethiopia. For $50, citizens of the USA, Canada, Mexico, Brazil, New Zealand, Australia, South Africa, China, Japan, Korea, Israel, Russia, the UK and all other European Union nations can buy a single-entry one-month visa upon arrival at the airport. Other citizens will have to arrange a visa in advance in any Ethiopian embassy or through airline offices.


Ethiopia E-Visa Services for Foreign Travellers

The Ethiopian Tourist eVISA was launched by the Main Department for Immigration and Nationality Affairs in Ethiopia in June 2017. The eVISA for Ethiopia authorizes the citizens with passports valid for at least six (6) months from arrival date to Ethiopia to apply for a tourist eVISA online. Once issued, the Ethiopian eVISA is valid for 30 or 90 days depending on the applicant’s selection. The eVISA for Ethiopia is an electronic travel authorization issued by the government of Ethiopia. The eVisa is an entry requirement to travel to and within Ethiopia. The Ethiopian eVISA is for touristic or family visit purposes. Visitors who enter Ethiopia for tourism are required to present a valid eVISA at the port of entry. For more information about the Ethiopia E- Visa please visit this link

Ethiopia is located in the Horn of Africa and is bordered on the north and northeast by…

Capital City
The capital city, Addis Ababa, is the largest and most populated city in the country…

Ethnic Group
According to the 2007 census there are more than 85 ethnic groups in Ethiopia…

According to the 2007 census, the religious composition of the people…

Ethiopia is located in the Horn of Africa and is bordered on the north and northeast by…

The current population of Ethiopia is 107,531,734 as of July 5, 2018…

Ethiopia is a multiethnic state with a variety of languages spoken in the country…

Government type: Federal Republic
Administrative divisions: 9 ethnic-based…

Time Zone

Ethiopia is in the GMT + 3 hours time zone. Being relatively close to equator, there is an almost constant twelve hours of daylight through out the country. In Addis Ababa the sunrise and sunset times are 06:30 and 18:45 hours respectively.

In Ethiopia time counting starts at western 6:00 a.m. Western 7:00 a.m. is therefore one o’clock, noon is six midnight is18:00 hour and so on.



• The local currency is the Ethiopian Birr made up of 100 cents

• Notes are issued in denominations of 1, 5, 10, 50 and 100 birr

• Coins are issued in denominations of 1, 5, 10, 25 and 50 cents and in Sep 2010 a 1 birr coin is issued

All about Ethiopia - Driving


• Driving is on the right.

• Drivers are required to have a valid international driving license at all times when they are behind wheels.

• An international driving license can be obtained by exchanging your local driving license at the Transport and Communication Office located at Haile Gabreselassie Road, Addis Ababa.

• Visitors can recover their original license a day or so prior to their departure.

• Those with their own vehicle are also required a permit from the Minister of Transport and communication to use their vehicle.



• The country calling code is (00) 251


Electricity Supply

• Ethiopia uses 220 volts 50 cycles AC.

• Plugs are of the round two-pin variety.

With the total area of 1,104,300 sq km (426,371 sq mi) of which 0.7% is water; Ethiopia is the 27th largest state in the world and the 10th largest in Africa.

The capital city, Addis Ababa, is the largest and most populated city in the country. According to the 2007 census the population of the city is 2,738,248, of which 47.6% are male and 52. 4% are female. The area is 530.14sq km (204.7 sq mi) with a population density of 5165.1/ sq km (13,377.5/sq mi). With elevation ranging from 2,200 to 2,600 meters, maximum temperature is 26o C and minimum 4o C. The weather is usually sunny and dry with the short (belg) rains occurring February-April and the big (meher) rains beginning in mid-June and ending in mid-September. Addis Ababa (meaning new flower) is established in 1886 by Empress Taitu Bitul, the wife of Emperor Menelik II (1889–1913).

According to the 2007 census there are more than 85 ethnic groups in Ethiopia. Ten ethnic groups with a population of 1 million and above are Oromo34.5 %, Amehara 26.9%, Somali 6.2%, Tigre, 6.1%, Sidama 4%, Guragie 2.5%, Welaita 2.3%, Hadiya 1.7%, Afar 1.7% and Gamo 1.5% of the total population.

According to the 2007 census, the religious composition of the people is Orthodox Christian 43.5%, Protestant Christian 18.6%, Catholic Christian 0.7%, Sunni Muslim 33.9%, Traditional 2.6% and others 0.6%.

Ethiopia is located in the Horn of Africa and is bordered on the north and northeast by Eritrea, on the east by Djibouti and Somalia, on the south by Kenya, and on the west and southwest by Sudan. 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 some mountains rise over 4,000 meters.

The current population of Ethiopia is 107,531,734 as of Thursday, July 5, 2018, based on the latest United Nations estimates. Ethiopia population is equivalent to 1.41% of the total world population. Moreover, the population density in Ethiopia is 108 per Km2 (279 people per mi2). 20.6 % of the population is urban (22,180,245 people in 2018), and the median age in Ethiopia is 18.8 years.

Ethiopia is a multiethnic state with a variety of languages spoken in the country, of which more than 85 are indigenous languages with 200 dialects. The main three languages are Amharic, Tigrinya and Oromifa. Amharic is the working language of the federal state with each regional state having their working language. English is a widely spoken foreign language both in urban and tourist attraction sites, as well as being taught in schools from an early age. At secondary and tertiary levels, English is the medium of instruction. In some parts of Ethiopia Italian and Arabic are fairly spoken.

Government type: Federal Republic.

Administrative divisions: 9 ethnic-based states and 2 self-governing administrations; Addis Abeba , Afar, Amhara , Binshangul Gumuz, Dire Dawa, Gambela Peoples, Hareri People, Oromia, Somali, Tigray, Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples.


Head of State: President Mulatu Teshome ; president elected by the House of People’s Representatives for a six-year term.

Head of Government: Prime Minister Dr. Abey Ahmed (since May 2018). The Prime Minister is elected by Members of the lower house of parliament having first been designated by the party which has won majority seat in the House of Peoples’ Representatives following National Elections which take place every five years. 


The bi-cameral Parliament consists of the House of Federation – an upper chamber of 108 seats whose members are chosen by Members of State Assemblies for a five year term, and which is responsible for interpreting the Constitution and Federal-Regional issues. The House of Peoples’ Representatives is the lower chamber of 547 seats whose members are directly elected by popular vote from single-member districts for a five-year term. Elections were last held on 23 May 2010.

National Day: National day is on 28 May, to mark the day in 1991 when the military dictatorship that ruled Ethiopia from 1974-1991 was overthrown.