Ethiopia travel advice


In Ethiopia  the continuous rainfall change the dry riverbeds into swirling flows. In the past the rising water took several lives. Also the landslides as a result of this rainfall caused fatal accidents. In southern Ethiopia (the Omo Valley) the rainy season is in november and in the months of march and april. Between February and June Ethiopia has the ' small rainy season '. July is the month of ' the large rains '. If you are considering a trip to Ethiopia than the months of november to february are the best months to travel.
Ethiopia also has periods of extreme drought causing famines. We all know the terrible pictures of malnourished children with their mothers and fathers. If you are in Ethiopia and are faced with natural disasters, we advise you: follow the advice of local authorities and your tour operator! Tune your radio to the local stations and follow the news.

In our blog about the survey concerning the improvements of the services of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to the Dutch traveller we already wrote that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs can help you with preparing your trip. It gives travel advice based on information from the Dutch embassies, the intelligence services and representatives of other countries such as the local authorities, companies and other organizations. The main goal is to inform you about safety in a country.
The travel advices are formulated by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs takes no responsibility for any harm resulting from your use of a travel advice. The motto is and remains that you are solely responsible for your own safety.
Crime and delinquency in Ethiopia

As in all countries and in all major cities of the world there is also crime in Ethiopia where it should be noted that the number of violent attacks on foreigners in Addis Ababa increases. Especially the entertainment areas in Addis Ababa are dangerous. Poverty and the poor economic situation play a large role and are a fertile ground for increasing crime. Robberies and pickpocketing and theft are common. Be careful and take precautions. Watch your personal possessions when visiting shopping malls, beaches and amusement parks and entertainment occasions where many tourists come. Do not leave your valuables behind in your (rental) car but keep your passport, airline ticket and money safe on and do not wear distinctive jewelry and cameras in public space. Should you be faced with violence do not opposit. This often leads to more violence.
Please note that the LHBTI community in Ethiopia is not accepted. Often this group is faced with arrests and convictions.

The security situation: terrorism, political developments and the unsafe areas:
We advise our customers to follow the Ethiopian news. Follow the media and social media accurate about what they report over the area where you are staying, and then select your tour operator for more information.
There is political tension in Ethiopia. Ethnic conflicts feed this turmoil. Consider these tensions and stay away from demonstrations.
There are many serious political irregularities reported. The whole country is confronted with it. There were violent demonstrations along the border between Oromia and Somali Regional State and the border crossing to Kenya. Also in the border area between Oromia and Amhara and the border between Afar and Somali Regional State it was restless. Further reports of violent riots came from the border area between Afar and Amhara and the area around Gedeo and the East and West Guji. There are quite a few unsafe regions in Ethiopia. We advise not to travel to the border with Eritrea. The Debre Damo and Yeha tourist attractions are easy to reach. In short, all border areas are dangerous. Only the border crossing of Djibouti and the border crossing to Sudan are relatively safe.

If you visit as a tourist certain areas, we advise you to know the local security. If there is a warning that there are riots, then travel only if it is necessary. Ask your travel agent if you want to travel with professional and reliable guides. They have the contacts that are required.  
As a result of the continuing threat of violence the Ethiopian Government responds with road checks. These checks will take place not only at the border crossings but also on main roads and roads of the large cities. At these so called ' checkpoints ' everything is checked. Your travel documents, your phone data, your place of residence and the purpose of your trip. Make sure you have your passport and visa on you and follow the instructions of the policemen. We recommend that you have your travel documents up to date if you cross the Ethiopia border. When purchasing  a ' visa on arrival ' a lot can go wrong.
The Ethiopian Government is regularly criticized for the crackdown on protesters by the use of weapons and tear gas. By deploying army units the Ethiopian Government often makes an end to a demonstration  against foreigners. By the social unrest in the country new security measures are taken in which the travelers are checked regularly by police or army. We advise you to have your ID always on you so that you can identify yourself. If you still need to make journey, make sure adequate security measures are taken.
Unfortunately Ethiopia knows terrorism. There is even an increased risk. Be careful in crowded places such as shopping malls, markets and hotels. Please note the left behind packets and luggage.

Use of cannabis is penalised relatively slightly in Ethiopia. Trade in cannabis is punished more heavily in Ethiopia. Involvement in drug trafficking outside Ethiopia can also lead to an arrest. The use of cannabis is widespread in Ethiopia and is socially widely accepted.
The Qat use is high. This light stimulant drug expels hunger and fatigue and has been used for centuries. The Qat is legally bred and used.
Tip: Stay away from drugs! Don’t use cannabis! Be wise!

Transport and transport medical problems: At a medical evacuation, the costs are often high. Check your travel insurance and make sure you have well assured the medical side of your travel. If these costs are not covered by your insurance, make sure you have a sufficient supplementary  insurance.
Hospital admission covers your basic health insurance this cost. The amount reimbursed is equal to the cost of the treatment in the Netherlands. Sometimes these expenses  are abroad higher than in the Netherlands Then you need to make an additional travel insurance or by a travel insurance policy with medical expenses
On the website of the National Coordination Centre for travel advice  you will find information on various infectious diseases and vaccinations. If you would like more information please contact you doctor. Also see our chapter: the vaccinations.
Addis Ababa is at 2400 meters altitude so the air is often thin. In combination with air pollution, this can cause problems to the respiratory tract for many travellers.
What to do in an emergency: are you in the country and there is an emergency? Always follow the instructions of the local authorities. If you have an organized trip, please contact your travel agency.

The traffic situation in Ethiopia:   the road safety in Ethiopia is not great. There are unlit vehicles on the road and driving is dangerous. Also the pedestrians and the stray cattle on the roadway that are full of pits and holes make it not easier. The roads are not safe after dark. The main road from Addis Ababa to Djibouti has many traffic accidents.
Apply for your tourist e-visa for Ethiopia: before you submit your request for your holiday trip, we advise you to read the terms and conditions for access to Ethiopia. You should meet all the conditions. Check them and if you are in doubt, please contact us and we will advise and assist you. The processing time of your request for a tourist visa is 3 days. We advise you to request your Visa 7 days in advance. Mistakes are made quickly which can cause your trip to be delayed.

Until recently it was possible for everyone to buy a tourist visa ' on arrival ' in the country. In our investigation into this possibility we found that there are several websites that claim that these visas are no longer available at all. The following information is available on the website of the consular Department of the Ethiopian Embassy in Belgium:

' A tourist visa can be issued upon arrival at Bole International Airport for residents of the following countries (we will show the most important countries): Belgium and the Netherlands.
 In response to the above we advise you if you wish to use the ' on arrival ' option to contact the Ethiopian Embassy and get informed! Your trip can get corrupted if your visa is not in order. If you use the ' on arrival ' visa, then realize that there is no guarantee that you will also have access to the country. Therefore, it is advisable to arrange your visa prior to your departure.

The tourist e-Visa:
The Ethiopian tourist e-visa was put into service by the Head Department for Immigration and Nationality in Ethiopia in June 2017. The e-Visa for Ethiopia empowers citizens, who meet all conditions, to travel to Ethiopia.
On our website you can request your online tourist e- visa and fill out your application form for unlimited hours, 7 days a week for both yourself or an entire group. Before you start filling in, make sure that you have the following documents and information on hand of yourself and your fellow travellers:
Your passport and the passports of your fellow travellers, your credit or debit card, your e-mail address, a planned itinerary and the purpose of your current trip, the contact details of your accommodations including telephone number, your departure place with arrival and departure date, a copy of your return flight ticket, a passport photograph that complies with the Dutch standard, if you are travelling with underage children: they also have to apply for a tourist visa and must have their own valid passport and if these children do not fall Under your authority, you must submit a form certifying that you have permission from parents or guardians that you may make the journey with these children. You can download this form on this website.

Before we explain how you can apply for an e-visa, we first clarify three concepts that are closely linked: E-Visa, E-TA and E-STA.

The Three concepts have one common agreement: they are all three electronic travel authorizations, or visas that can be requested online. Canada calls this application an E-TA (Electronic Travel Authorization), the United States calls this application an E-STA (electronic System for Travel Authorization) and Ethiopia uses the term e-visa (the electronic visa).

The conditions and documents required for the tourists e-Visa:
If you want to go for a holiday as a tourist to Ethiopia than you need a tourist e- visa. It is the official permission to move and reside in the country. Without the e- visa you don’t have access to Ethiopia.  Before we go into the conditions for obtaining an e-  visa first the following advice: check before applying for an electronic tourist visa (e-Visa) for Ethiopia that you meet all the required conditions stated by the Ethiopian Government. Avoid problems and prepare yourself well on the journey that you are about to make. The terms relate to various parts of the journey and apply only to the online application: the e-visa for the holiday trip.

The following is a small list: there are conditions for the trip, the traveler values,the conditions of the passport and conditions to the validity and length of stay.

The travel conditions and required documents  are:

One of the conditions is that the trip to Ethiopia is a vacation trip. You need a single entry visa with the validity of 30 or 90 days. You have a copies of your return ticket and your hotel accommodations including the phone numbers. You should also be in possession of your e-visa and  your travel plan before you go on the plane to Ethiopia. The Ethiopian Government has the right to deny access to Ethiopia when they see reasons for it. If you do not have sufficient financial resources or you are a security risk then The Ethiopian Government  denies access to the country.

Conditions the traveller:

As we have seen it is necessary that you have a valid e-visa. Through our website you can have a valid e-visa if you meet the conditions placed by the Ethiopian Government. You will get an e-visa if you meet the following requirements:
your jpurney has a tourist purpose. You can use the requested tourist e- visa if you are not working in Ethiopia and certainly not in the service of an Ethiopian company. Do you want to work you will need to apply for a work permit at the Ethiopian Embassy.
you will have your visa application form fully completed and signed

you ask an e-Visa and you have the Dutch-or Belgian nationality. Ethiopia has drawn up a list of countries whose citizens are allowed to apply for an e-visa.
children must also ask for an e- visa. For a minor you need an extract from the birth certificate. Is the minor not under your authority than you need a signed form stating that you have the consent of the parents/guardians to travel with these children.

-When applying for your e- visa you were not in Ethiopia
-you are in possession of a valid Dutch or Belgian passport.
-you will need to have the following documents in your hand luggage:  your passport, all your bookings and flights on Ethiopia, a travel plan and your hotel reservation

Conditions of the Passport:

-You can only request an e-visa Ethiopia if you have a valid passport.  
-After your arrival in Ethiopia your passport has a validity for at least 6 months.
-Your passport must contain one blank page
-The passport you have on you, should be the same passport that requested the e-Visa. The visa control is based on the passport number.
-If you are traveling with a new passport you will need a new e- visa.

 The validity conditions:

-the tourist visa is a single entry visa with a 90 or 30 days period of validity. In the application the traveller can indicate which option he wants.
-If the expiration period has been reached the traveller must leave Ethiopia.
-If the traveller wants an extension of his visa he must go to the Head Office for Immigration and Nationality Matters  for renewal. We emphasize once again that you must meet all the conditions. If not, you run the risk that:  
-access to Ethiopia is denied
-you may not be eligible for future travel to Ethiopia.

Introduction period of validity of the e-Visa tourists:

 Ethiopia has a number of different visas that mutually differ from each other in terms of cost, conditions and validity. Please note that we mediate in the tourist visa which allows a:
A Single Entry Visa that is intended for persons who need a visa to travel to Ethiopia once for a tourist trip.  

The validity of the tourist visa for Ethiopia:

we have noticed that reading about the period of validity of an e- visa can cause confusion to the reader. Hence a little explanation about two concepts closely linked:
-The length of the period of validity
-The length of stay

The period of validity and length of the Ethiopian tourist visa:

The period of validity of the tourist visa will be based on the date of the application: the date of arrival. This means for the traveller that if unexpectedly his flight date is changed that he should contact us to adjust the validity period.
The period of validity of the visa is the time you are allowed to enter Ethiopia. The length of stay means the number of days you are allowed to reside in the country. The validity and length of stay, which the Ethiopian Consulate in Rotterdam uses, is 30 and 90 days. Validity and length of stay are the same. Depending on the wishes of the traveller this can be 30 or 90 days. You will be denied access to Ethiopia if you wish to travel outside the period of validity of Ethiopia. If you exceed the length of stay than this can lead to substantial penalties.
You can renew your validity and length of stay once upon arrival. You should contact the Ethiopian Immigration Department.

Expiry of the period of validity:
Unfortunately there are situations where the validity of the Ethiopian visa expires earlier.
Some examples:
·  You do not adhere to the laws of the country
·  You do not meet all the required conditions
·  Your passport expires earlier than the mandatory validity of 6 months    after arrival

Latest Tips:

Make Sure You have a good preparation for your trip. That can prevent many problems. Ensure a good travel insurance. And pay attention to what you can and cannot take with you.
Do not walk with your friend hand in hand across the street. The LHBTI community is not accepted.
Do not take pictures of military objects, demonstrations, government buildings and political gatherings and make sure you do not have contact with political groups. Keep yourself far from political activism such as spreading political messages through social media or radio or television.
The Dutch Embassy is in Addis Ababa, Old Airport Zone, Kaczorek Ketema, Lideta Kebele 02/03, P.O. Box 1241. If you would like to know more about the Dutch Embassy please visit the website
Are you in an emergency situation and do you need immediate help? Call The emergency number 911 (police), 902 (Ambulance and Fire department).
For consular assistance and advice abroad, the 24/7 BZ Contact Center is always reachable via + 31 247 247 247 or on Twitter via @ 247BZ.
Stay accessible in crisis situations! Let the Ministry of Foreign Affairs know where you are. Leave your details so you can reach us.


Ethiopia visa