Economy Agriculture is the backbone of the national economy. The sector accounts for over 50% of the country’s GDP and 85% of the labor force. The principal exports from this sector are coffee, oilseeds, pulses, flowers, vegetables and sugar. There is also a thriving livestock sector, as Ethiopia has the largest number of livestock in Africa. As result, the export of cattle hoof, hides and skin has been gaining momentum. The manufacturing sector has shown enormous growth in recent years. Food & beverages and textiles and leather are important subsectors for manufacturing in Ethiopia. Mineral exploration has also stepped up in recent years. There are reserves of oil, natural gas, coal, gold, cooper, tantalum, potash, zinc, iron ore, nickel, marble, precious and semi-precious stones.

The Ethiopian currency is the Birr, made up of 100 cents. Notes are issued in denominations of 1, 5, 10, 50, and 100. There are five different coins: 1, 5, 10, 25, and 50 cents. One birr has started being issued in coin form. Traveler’s Checks are not easily cashed outside of the larger cities, and many smaller towns have no banks at all. Credit cards are accepted in certain hotels, lodges and large shops. There are also ATM machines in numerous locations within Addis, but are rare to find outside the capital. Most ATM machines accept VISA and sometimes MasterCard. Make sure to ask if a commission is charged to your amount you withdraw. The rate of exchange fluctuates moderately. As of December  1 2016 : $1.00 USD = ETB 22.97 (Ethiopian Birr)

Unique Ceremonies, Festival and Rituals Ethiopia has numerous national and local holidays which are celebrated throughout the year. Each of the 54,000 parish Churches and 800 monasteries of the Ethiopian Orthodox Churchs have at least one minor monthly and one major annual festival. If you can, try to plan your trip around one of the following spectacular festivals. Meskel (The Finding of the True Cross): Celebrated on 27th of September at an open amphitheater at Meskel Square in Addis Ababa with a huge bonfire and priests in splendid ceremonial attire. Genna (Ethiopian Christmas): Observed two weeks after European Christmas on the 7th of January. The Genna celebration in Lalibela is known to be spectacular.

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Topographic profile With an area of 1,104,300 square kilometers, Ethiopia is as large as France and Spain combined. It is bounded on the east by Djibouti and Somalia, on the north and northeast by Eritrea, on the south by Kenya and on the west by the Sudan. In Ethiopia, from the north and running down the center are the Abyssinian highlands with an altitude ranging from 2,500meters to 4,500 meters. The rugged mass of mountains that make up the Abyssinian highlands led people to call Ethiopia the Roof of Africa.

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Accommodation Addis Ababa has numerous hotels that can cater for all desires. From the luxurious Sheraton, Hilton, Radisson Blu, Marriott Executive Apartments, Elilly International hotel, Capital hotel and spa, to tourist – class hotels such as Jupiter, and Nexus, you will have wide range of selections. There are also several budget hotels in the city. Hotel standards outside of Addis vary considerably. However, we accommodate our clients at the best available hotels even outside of capital. Ethiopia has shown tremendous growth in new number of hotel and lodges both within Addis Ababa and elsewhere. As a result, the standard is increasing significantly and we make sure our clients get the very best for their money.

Security Ethiopia is generally a very safe country. However, casual theft and pick-pocketing are fairly common in some parts of the country. As a precaution, we recommend a lightweight passport pouch that can be worn under your clothing, either around your neck or waist. The pouch should hold only your passport, air tickets, a credit card and most of your travelers’ checks. You should be alert when traveling in cities and crowded areas. Police can be identified easily through their obvious uniforms.

Electricity/Voltage Electricity in Ethiopia is 220 Volts, alternating at 50 cycles per second. If you travel to Ethiopia with a device that does not accept 220 Volts at 50 Hertz, you will need to purchase a voltage converter. Outlets in Ethiopia generally accept 2 types of plug: Three round pins arranged in a triangle, or two round pins. If your appliances plug has a different shape, you will need a plug adapter. Please be aware that the electricity service can be erratic. You should always travel with a flashlight and spare batteries, and do not rely on an electric razor or hairdryer.

Population The current population of Ethiopia is estimated to be around 99 million, making it the second most populous country in Africa.

Language Ethiopia is a multi-ethnic and multi lingual state. There are over 83 languages spoken in the country with 200 dialects. Amharic is the working language in Ethiopia. Other major languages include Oromigna, Somali and Tigrigna. English is also widely spoken.

Government The government of Ethiopia was an absolute monarch until the late 20th century. In 1974, the last emperor of Ethiopia, Haile Selassie I, was overthrown by a military coup and was replaced by a communist regime until 1991. Since then, Ethiopia has been a Federal Democratic Republic made up of 14 regions based on ethnicity. The present government was reelected in May 2015 for another 5-year term.

Food The Ethiopian national dish consists of Injera, made out of grain known as Teff. Originally, Teff used to grow only in Ethiopia. Now, it is gaining worldwide attentions for its nutritional value as it is gluten and cholesterol free. After Teff is fermented, it is cooked as a flatbread (similar to a pancake) and called Injera. The Injera is then served with different kinds of cooked meat, vegetables and sauce. The sauces are generally spiced with Berbere, a blend of herbs and spices (including hot peppers) which gives the food an Ethiopian taste.

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Cultural Customs In Ethiopia, a handshake greeting is normal, with a pleasant discussion on personal matters before getting down to business. After a close personal relationship has been established, people of the same sex may kiss three times on the cheeks. Greetings should never be rushed and it is appropriate to inquire about the person’s family, health, job, etc. The offer of tea and coffee is very common and provides a setting to discuss and understand Ethiopia through the lens of the local people.

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Film crews interested in visiting Ethiopia must submit a media accreditation application to the Ministry of Information, and follow the guidelines for filming in Ethiopia. When you submits the application on the email address listed on the application, please remember to include us on the email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. so that we can follow up on your application with you.

In order for visa to be granted, the following are prerequisites: Current passport, it must be valid for at least six months One recent passport-size photograph. Copy of Green card or I-94 or Work Permit (Except US National).

Tourist Visa Prior to Arrival.

A completed visa application form (click to download). Service fees will be paid in money order or Cashiers Check or Certified bank check made payable to Embassy of Ethiopia; view a chart (click to download) of the visa types and associated fees. A self addressed return envelop with sufficient prepaid postage (for those using mail service); If all the necessary requirements are fulfilled, the visa can be issued on the next two or three business day.

Tourist Visa on Arrival

Tourist visa, can be issued for three months on arrival at Bole International Airport for nationals and residents of the following countries: Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Kuwait, Luxembourg, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Democratic people's Republic of Korea (northern Korea), Poland, Portugal, Republic of Korea (South Korea), the Russian Federation, Slovakia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom, United States of America.

Business VISA

All business visa applicants should attach a letter addressed to Ethiopian Embassy from his /her organization explaining the purpose of his/her travels. US Officials or Diplomats traveling with Diplomatic, Official or Service Passport must bring an official letter from US State Department. Officials or Diplomats of other countries traveling with Diplomatic, official or service Passport must bring official letter from appropriate Authorities or Embassies. The passport must be valid for at least six months. One recent passport-size photograph. Copy of Green Card or I-94 or Work Permit (Except US National). A letter from his/her organization explaining the purpose of his/her travels.

All visitors should be in possession of valid yellow fever vaccination certificate. Immunization for Hepatitis A and B, Typhoid and Polio is recommended. In many sites malaria is not a problem because of the elevation — this is true of Axum, Gondar and Lalibela for example, but it can occur in Bahir Dar at the end of the rainy season and after unseasonable rains. Chloroquine resistant strains have been identified in some areas so you should consult your doctor about the prescription.

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Because of elevation, the temperature rarely exceed 25°C (77°F) in most of the country, although in some of the lower lying areas (Awash, Omo and Mago parks) it can get considerably hotter. Pack light clothes for the daytime and jacket or sweater for the evenings, and a good pair of walking shoes even if you are not going trekking-path ways around historic sites is usually uneven and stony. Trekkers in the Simian and Bale Mountains will need warm clothes, waterproofs and 3-4 season sleeping bags. A cultural note: Ethiopians are generally modest dressers and visitors should be sensitive about going underdressed into places of worship. Shoes must always be removed before entering churches and mosques — for getting around sites like Lalibela with its many churches airline socks are very useful.

In most of the country, the main rainy season runs from June to the end of September, with short rains in March. In the Omo and Mago parks however, in Southern Ethiopia, the seasons are different with the main rains from March to June, and shorter rains in November. With the upgrading of the airports along the historic route (Axum, Lalibela, Gondar and Bahir Dar), it is now possible to visit the north even in the rainy season. For travelers who do not mind waiting out a downpour (usually followed by brilliant sunshine) there are certain rewards — a green countryside full of crops and flowers and the sites largely to yourselves.


There are many great national and local holidays and celebrations throughout the year in Ethiopia. Every one of the parish churches and the monasteries of the Orthodox Tewahido Church all have at least one minor monthly and one major annual festival. These may share origins with Christian, Muslim and tribal festivals elsewhere in the world, but have indigenous characteristics unique to Ethiopia. If you can, try to plan your trip around one of the following spectacular festivals:

Genna (Ethiopian Christmas) in Lalibela

Observed two weeks after European Christmas on January 7 with a colorful midnight mass on January 6.

Timket (Epiphany)

Celebrated on the 18th to 19th of January annually or the 20th January during a leap year. This involves a colorful procession of priests and followers singing and dancing. They carry the Tabots (replicas of the Holy Ark of the Covenant that sanctifies and sits on the altar of every Ethiopian Orthodox Church inside the Holy of Holies) from their sanctuaries amongst the celebrants. Observed on January 19, Timket is the most popular national holiday among Ethiopian Christians. The best venues for Timket are Addis Ababa, Gondar and Lalibela.

Meskel (Finding the true cross)

The Feast of the Finding of the Holy Cross, Meskel, is celebrated by Ethiopian Christians throughout the country every year on September 26/27, in honor of the Finding of the True Cross of Christ.

Fasika (Easter)

The Lenten fasting for fifty-five days before feasting on Fassika is the most popular prayer season in the Orthodox Tewahido Church. The attractions of this festival are the Good Friday service and the lively midnight mass on the eve, which adds to the exuberance of the holiday. The best venues for Fassika are Addis Ababa and Lalibela.

Ashenda or Shadey

is a festival celebrated in August (G.C.) in the Amhara and Tigray regions of Ethiopia, and in neighboring Eritrea.


Erecha is celebrated in many parts of Ethiopia and the most popular one takes place at Bishoftu south-east of Addis Ababa and by the shores of Lake Hora.

About us

Welcome to Ethiopia- an ancient wonderland with rich cultural traditions, architectural remains, natural beauty and enormously hospitable people. Ethiopia has a history of over 3,000 years, which has been preserved in a remarkable manner. Only in Ethiopia will you find yourself dramatically transported back in time through the participation in sacred rituals of an archaic faith. The rock-hew churches of Lalibela and the obelisks of Axum are known worldwide for their architectural beauty and mesmerizing history, giving you a glimpse of one of the greatest empire in history

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Our Address

Ayat Apartment ground and first Floor

Walking Distance from UNECA, Guinea Conakry Street
Addis Ababa  Ethiopia
Po.Box. 9438
Office:   +251 118 720 810