Travel Facts

US State Dept Travel Advisory

The US Department of State currently recommends US citizens Reconsider Travel to Ethiopia due to sporadic violent conflict, civil unrest, crime, communications disruptions, terrorism and kidnapping in border areas. Consult its website via the link below for updates to travel advisories and statements on safety, security, local laws, and special circumstances in this country.

Passport/Visa Requirements

US citizens should make sure their passport will not expire for at least 6 months after they enter the country even if they do not intend to stay that long. They should also make sure they have at least 1 blank page in their passport for any entry stamp and or visa that will be required. A visa is required. US citizens will need to get in touch with the country’s embassy or nearest consulate to obtain a visa prior to visiting the country.

US Embassy/Consulate

[251] 11 130-6000; US Embassy in Addis Ababa; Entoto Street, PO Box 1014, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia;;

LGBTQIA+ Travelers

Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, and asexual (LGBTQIA+) travelers can face unique challenges when traveling abroad. Laws and attitudes in some countries may affect safety and ease of travel. Legal protections vary from country to country. Many countries do not legally recognize same-sex marriage. Approximately seventy countries consider consensual same-sex sexual relations a crime, sometimes carrying severe punishment.

Telephone Code


Local Emergency Phone

Ambulance: 92; Fire: 93; Police: 91


An International Certificate of Vaccination for yellow fever is required for travelers arriving from countries with a risk of yellow fever transmission and for travelers having transited through the airport of a country with risk of yellow fever transmission. See WHO recommendations. On 21 March 2022, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a Travel Alert for polio in Africa; Ethiopia is currently considered a high risk to travelers for polio; the CDC recommends that before any international travel, anyone unvaccinated, incompletely vaccinated, or with an unknown polio vaccination status should complete the routine polio vaccine series; before travel to any high-risk destination, CDC recommends that adults who previously completed the full, routine polio vaccine series receive a single, lifetime booster dose of polio vaccine.


Tropical monsoon with wide topographically-induced variation

Currency (Code)

Birr (ETB)

Electricity/Voltage/Plug Type(s)

220 V / 50 Hz / plug types(s): C, F, G

Plug Type CPlug Type FPlug Type G

Major Languages

Oromo, Amharic, Somali, Tigrigna, Sidamo, Wolaytta, Gurage, Afar, Hadiyya, Gamo, Gedeo, Opuuo, Kafa, English, Arabic

Major Religions

Ethiopian Orthodox 43.8%, Muslim 31.3%, Protestant 22.8%, Catholic 0.7%, traditional .6%

Time Difference

UTC+3 (8 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)

Potable Water

Opt for bottled water

International Driving Permit

A temporary license from a local authority is recommended. An IDP is not recognized.

Road Driving Side


Tourist Destinations

Addis Ababa (incudes Imperial Palace, St. George’s Cathedral, Holy Trinity Cathedral); Axum (Aksum); Bahir Dar; Harar Jugol; Gondar (includes Fasil Ghebbi); Simien Mountains

Major Sports

Track and Field, soccer, basketball

Cultural Practices

It is customary to bow when introduced to an elder or respected person. Elders are also usually introduced first when making new acquaintances.

Tipping Guidelines

A 10-15% tip is normal for good service at restaurants and in bars. Tip $1 (USD) per bag for bellhops who carry luggage to your room and $1-2 (USD) per day for hotel staff.


Coffee, traditional clothing, shema cloth, carved-metal or wood religious crosses and other wooden items, leather goods, wickerwork, handicrafts

Traditional Cuisine

Wat — a stew that may be prepared with chicken, beef, lamb, a variety of vegetables, spice mixtures such as berbere, and niter kibbeh (seasoned clarified butter); typically served with injera (a spongy flat bread)

Please visit the following links to find further information about your desired destination.

World Health Organization (WHO) - To learn what vaccines and health precautions to take while visiting your destination.

US State Dept Travel Information - Overall information about foreign travel for US citizens.

To obtain an international driving permit (IDP). Only two organizations in the US issue IDPs:
American Automobile Association (AAA) and American Automobile Touring Alliance (AATA)

How to get help in an emergency? 
Contact the nearest US embassy or consulate, or call one of these numbers:
from the US or Canada - 1-888-407-4747 or from Overseas - +1 202-501-4444

Page last updated: Tuesday, May 23, 2023