Ethiopia

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  • Gelada - Bleeding Heart Baboon

Overview

Book an Ethiopia tour & safari trip for a unique and exhilarating experience. Ethiopia, widely regarded as the birthplace of humanity, is a large country located in the Horn of Africa to the north-east of the continent. Dissected by the Great Rift Valley that runs from south-west to north-east, Ethiopia contains monumental mountain ranges and highlands, semi-deserts and steppes alongside the vast plateaus and lowlands that combine to form one of the most ecologically diverse habitats in the world. From the tropical rainforests in the south to the borderland deserts in the east, Ethiopia has long been a desirable destination for safari lovers. 

The best part about Ethiopian vacations is that in combination with the Ethiopian Highlands that cover large portions of the country, the tropical monsoon climate means that Ethiopia is generally much cooler than other nations similarly near to the equator. The Ethiopian Highlands themselves rarely fall below 1500m and are often referred to as the Roof of Africa. However, at lower levels, Ethiopia safari tours take in the tropical savannah and grasslands which are home to countless endangered species including leopards, lions, spotted hyenas and olive baboons. 

At 1788 meters, you will find the lush flora and fauna of Lake Tana. Located in the Amhara region, an hour flight from the capital Addis Ababa, Lake Tana is Ethiopia's largest and the source of the Blue Nile. Here you will find many species of bird and highly distinctive fish, with an estimated 70% of these endemic to the lake itself. Some 37 islands, home to the Gelada baboon and Walia ibex amongst many others, are scattered within the lake and a standard Ethiopia safari itinerary will take in many of these sights.

Travelling even further into the clouds, the Bale Mountain National Park contains Ethiopia's second highest peak. Standing at an imposing 4377 meters, Mount Tullo Deemtu and the surrounding parkland, cover more than 2000 square miles and is divided into five distinct habitats. Entire Ethiopia safari holidays are based within this great expanse and can take in Northern Grasslands, the Northern Woodlands, the Afro-Alpine Meadows, the Erica Moorlands and the Harenna Forest - all of which are remarkable for their diversity and endemicity. 

Finally, no Ethiopian safari would be complete without a glimpse of the mighty African elephant and the critically endangered black rhino. Found within the southernmost part of Ethiopia, a good guided Ethiopian tour will certainly help you enjoy the conservation efforts currently helping these animals regain a foothold in their natural habitat. Alongside other critically endangered animals, such as the Ethiopian wolf (the rarest canid in the world), Ethiopia safaris offer travelers a unique window into the untamed beauty of the natural world - including a number of unforgettable flora and fauna which may not be with us much longer.

 

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Quick Facts - Ethiopia

Ethiopia Safari Travel Seasons

  • Jan to Mar - High Season. Clear skies and warm days. Great time for wildlife watching.
  • Oct to Dec - Shoulder Season. Dry weather and low tourist numbers. This is the green season and is exceptional for birding. If you are trekking this is the time to do it.
  • Apr to Sep - Low Season. This is the rainy season in southern Ethiopia and the scorching hot temperatures in the lowlands can make travel difficult.


General Information

  • Currency - Ethiopian birr, USD
  • Languages - Amharic, English
  • Size - 1.104 million km²
  • Population - 102.4 million (2016)


Health and Safety

  • Travel insurance is essential for all international travel. Click below to find out more:



  • The CDC recommends the following vaccinations for Ethiopia: hepatitis A, typhoid. Check with your doctor which other vaccinations you might need and make sure your routine vaccinations are all up-to-date.
  • Malaria is a risk in some areas - get medical advice about which prophylaxis to take.
  • If you are travelling from a yellow fever infected region a yellow fever certificate is an entry requirement.
  • It is best to stick to drinking bottled water.


Tourist Information

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Ethiopia’s colourful festivals, including Timkat and Leddet
  • Pretty low tourist numbers
  • Amzingly diverse wildlife
  • 20 national parks across the country
  • Great for self drives - perfect for seasoned travellers
  • Diverse and ancient cultures
  • Well connected with international flights

Cons

  • Animals can be sparse in certain areas
  • Long distances between safari areas
  • Roads are improving but some are still ridden with potholes
  • There is an on-going conflict with Eritrea, which can sometimes disrupt travel

Travel Info

Arriving in Ethiopia

  • Most visitors arrive into the main airport at Addis Ababa
  • If you are already in the region it's possible to get in by land from Sudan, Kenya and Djibouti
  • It is best to stay away from the borders of South Sudan and Somalia

Getting Around

  • Ethiopia is a large country with very specific safari areas and distances between them are large
  • There is an expanding road network connecting the main safari areas
  • Most tours will be in a 4x4 vehicle
  • Internal charter flights can be arranged between most of the major areas
  • 4x4s can be rented for self-drive safaris

Visas

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