An Ethiopian visa can currently be purchased by nationals of many countries upon arrival at Bole International Airport in Addis Ababa. Please check with an Ethiopian Embassy or other reliable source for latest information. Ethiopia offers 1 and 3 month as well as multiple entry visas. The multiple entry and sometimes the 3-month visas are not available at the airport. When applying for your Ethiopian visa, make sure you get the appropriate amount of time for your travel period. If you plan to travel to Somaliland from Ethiopia it is advisable to get a multiple entry visa before you come as getting a return visa in Somaliland is usually time consuming.
Take into account the seasons in Ethiopia when planning your tour. In Addis Ababa and Ethiopia's northern highlands, the rainy season begins at the end of May and continues to mid September. The greenness and splashes of color brought on by the rains linger into November making September through November a good period to be in Ethiopia for its colorful landscapes with less chance of rain.
The big rainy season in the South Omo Valley region occurs between March and June with a short rainy season occurring the end of September to the beginning of November. Recently, weather patterns have become less predictable but you are less likely to encounter rain if you visit the South Omo between July and August and December through February.
Ethiopia's highlands can be very cool in the early mornings, evenings and when overcast. Prepare yourself with layered clothing when trekking in the mountains where weather can change unexpectedly. Equip yourself for the cold nights while camping in the Simien and Bale Mountains.
The South Omo, Afar, and other low altitude regions of Ethiopia are very hot and in some places such as along the Omo River, quite humid. You will want shorts, t-shirt and hat in these places.
Your experience in Ethiopia will be enhanced immensely by complying with cultural norms. We will instruct you on the proper methods of conducting yourself in the different places you go. Some practices like taking your hat and shoes off when entering an orthodox church or holy place are very important to follow.
Time your visit to encounter the very colorful religious festivals in Ethiopia. The most interesting ones to experience are Meskel in September and Timket in January. Check the following website for other amazing Ethiopian Holidays.
First and foremost, consult with your doctor. Various intensities of altitude sickness are sometimes felt in the highland areas (2500-4000 m). Stomach problems (traveler's diarrhea) due to foreign bacteria is frequent. Malaria is common in areas less than 2000 m altitude such as in the Rift and South Omo Valleys.
Protect yourself from the sun with both clothing, sunglasses and suncream as Ethiopia is very close to the equator and in many places the high altitude makes the sun's rays very intense.