One allows oneself to be overwhelmed by a particular feeling when approaching the lands of Ethiopia: fascination. A territory of strong geographical, climatic and cultural contrasts, a conservatory of history and an incredible diversity of populations, Ethiopia's identity is based on myths and legends that are still deeply rooted in the collective unconscious. Considered the cradle of humanity since Lucy's discovery in the Omo Valley, contemporary Ethiopia is home to more than eighty distinct peoples, each with their own language and culture. From Western Muslims, Afars and Somalis, to Highland Orthodox, Tigrayans and Amharas, to ancestral tribes on the borders of Kenya and South Sudan (Hamers, Karo...), this ethnic range is one of the richest in the world. In this incredible diversity, the country has been able to develop a national culture and forge close ties between its peoples. Ethiopia's wealth also lies in the diversity of its geographical and historical heritage: the monolithic churches of Lalibela and Tigray - magnificent settings for colourful religious festivals -, the breathtaking landscapes of the Simien and Bale massifs, reaching nearly 4,600 m, the medieval castles of Gondar, the desert and lunar regions of Danakil (which include the incredible geological depression of Dallol and the active volcano Erta Alé).

It is time to explore these lands of travel and encounters, these lands of ancestral history, of plural people and of grandiose landscapes.

The must-see places in Ethiopia

When to go to Ethiopia?

There is no real high or low season for tourism in Ethiopia. However, it is during the dry season from October to March that the country is most visited. In July and August, it rains in the North, but it is nevertheless pleasant to visit southern Ethiopia where rains are much less abundant at this time of year. For Lalibela, avoid December and January, a period of religious celebration that is certainly spectacular, but during which prices suddenly rise to US$100 per night...

During this period, a peak is recorded : between Christmas and Timkat, around mid-January, and it is then necessary to book hotels and domestic flights well in advance. Outside this period, during which prices are subject to a certain inflation, it is possible to negotiate discounts with luxury hotels. Also avoid Addis Ababa at the end of January at African Union summits, hotels are full and prices are soaring.

April, May and June are the months when tourist demand is dormant.

October, November and December are months with a favourable climate during which the country is very green after the rainy season. These months also correspond to the time of the harvests that animate the campaigns with typical scenes. Since tourist demand is not excessive, it is not difficult to find hotels at major tourist sites.

In July, August and September, most of the tourist demand is concentrated on the southern routes (Omo Valley), while the highlands are in the middle of the rainy season.

The period from November to March is ideal for trekking in the Bale or Simien mountains. Still a little wet, October also corresponds to the flowering period when the landscapes become even more beautiful.

The desert region of Danakil should be avoided from mid-May to November, a period of hot weather.

How to go to Ethiopia? Our advice & tips

  • Organised trips
  • Going alone
  • Moving around

More and more organized tours are being offered to visit Ethiopia from different angles (nature, culture, history, meeting the people). They usually last between two and three weeks. Tailor-made trips are also possible, and will take you to Ethiopia's main points of interest: Addis Ababa, the Danakil desert, the Erta Ale volcano, the Rift Valley lake region and the Omo Valley.

Discover our selection of travel agencies for this destination

Several airlines offer flights to Ethiopia and the price depends on the one used. To obtain attractive rates, it is strongly recommended to do so well in advance (six months before departure). Bole International Airport, located in Addis Ababa, is the country's main airport

The most comfortable and quickest way is to travel by plane and 4x4. It is also the most expensive option. Intermediate backpackers will take the upper buses that travel long distances and privatize taxis or tuk-tuks by the day or half-day over short distances. The less fortunate will take the minibuses but will have to be patient and vigilant on the road because there are many accidents. You can adopt a much slower pace and travel in a trekking mode, on foot or on horseback.

Prepare for your trip Ethiopia

Transportation
  • Sea crossing
Accommodations
  • Find a hotel
  • Airbnb rental
  • Holiday rental
Stays
  • Tailor-made trip
Services / On site
  • Airbnb experiences
  • Book a table
  • Activities & visits

Ethiopia travel inspiration

Pictures Ethiopia

Discover Ethiopia

Practical information
When to travel?

There is no real high or low season for tourism in Ethiopia. However, it is during the dry season from October to Mar...
Read more about it

Weather forecast

Ethiopia has six types of climate. The highland region enjoys a temperate climate. The rainy season runs from mid-Jun...
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Budget

The Ethiopian currency is birr (pronounced "beur"). The 1 and 10 birr denominations are particularly useful for payin...
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Formalities

A tourist visa is required for any new arrival in Ethiopia.

Single entry visa 1 month: 36 € if you re...
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Health

A vaccination certificate with a valid yellow fever vaccination certificate is required for travellers from countries...
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How to travel by yourself?

Several airlines offer flights to Ethiopia and the price depends on the one used. To obtain attractive rates, it is s...
Read more about it

How to get organized?

More and more organized tours are being offered to visit Ethiopia from different angles (nature, culture, history, me...
Read more about it

Getting around

The most comfortable and quickest way is to travel by plane and 4x4. It is also the most expensive option. Intermedia...
Read more about it

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