Ethiopia Travel Information

Travel Alert Status

Level 3: Reconsider Travel

Time Difference

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

Travel Climate

The climate varies from temperate in the highlands to hot in the lowlands.

Addis Ababa's altitude is above 8,000 feet. Addis Ababa has two primary seasons: a dry season from October to February, and for the rest of the year, a rainy season, divided into "small rains" and "big rains." The small rains, February through April, are generally intermittent showers. The big rains, June through September or longer, usually bring heavy daily precipitation. The big rains are rarely continuous, and sunny mornings or afternoons can be expected on many days. Average annual rainfall in Addis Ababa is 50 inches.

Daytime temperatures are fairly constant throughout the year. The dry season has bright, sunny days with moderate to cool temperatures; nights are chilly. The average daily temperature in Addis Ababa is 62.9°F. Daytime temperatures are rarely above 80°F. Sharp drops in temperature occur in late afternoon, sometimes making outside entertainment uncomfortable after 5 p.m. Night temperatures drop to the low 40’s from November to January and are warmer in the period from February to May.

Travel Currency


Language Spoken

Amharic, a Semitic language related to Hebrew and Arabic is the official national language and is used in commerce and administration. Tigrinya is the most widely spoken daily language and Orominga is also used. The liturgical language (Geéz) of the Ethiopian Orthodox church has produced a large and vibrant literature of considerable importance. English is taught in most schools, making it the most widely understood foreign language.

The Amharic alphabet has thirty-three(33) root letters or constants with seven(7) phonetics (vowels) or 231 symbols or letters. Additionally there are 40 characters that are use as combinations or shortenings of the 231 characters.


Amharic, Tigrinya, Oromigna, Guaragigna, Somali, Arabic, other local languages, English

Ethnic Groups

Oromo 40%, Amhara and Tigre 32%, Sidamo 9%, Shankella 6%, Somali 6%, Afar 4%, Gurage 2%, other 1%

National Holiday

Derg Downfall Day (defeat of MENGISTU regime), 28 May (1991)

Geographic Coordinates

8 00 N, 38 00 E


Eastern Africa, west of Somalia



Ethiopia Weather

Ethiopia Currency Exchange

Ethiopia Travel Video

Trekking in the Simien Mountains, Ethiopia
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