Ethiopia has one of the finest climates in the world. The dry season prevails form October to May, interrupted by small rains during the months of February and March. The wettest season in most parts of the country runs from June through September.
Ethiopia’s population is estimated around 107,534,882. Ethiopia is composed of about 80 ethnic groups. Based on the language they speak, they can be divided into Semitic, Hamitic, Nilotic and Omotic stocks.
Amharic with unique alphabet is the official language of Ethiopia . There are over 80 languages and many dialects through out Ethiopia. In areas outside of the larger cities and towns, indigenous languages are likely to be spoken.
Christianity and Islam are the two main religions in Ethiopia making up 90% of the population each with other religions making up the rest. Most of the Christians belong to the Ethiopian Orthodox Church.
WHEN VISITING CHURCHES & MOSQUES
– Shoes must be removed before on enters the building.
– One should never smoke anywhere near a church. & Mosques.
– ( In the Church ) only priests are allowed to step into the Holy of Holies where the ‘TABOT’- replica of the Ark of the Covenant is kept.
Ethiopia follows the Julian calendar, which has 12 months of 30 days and a 13th month of five or six days. New year starts on September the 11th. The Ethiopian calendar is seven years and eight months behind the Gregorian Calendar, hence our motto: ‘come to Ethiopia and be 7 years younger;! Ethiopia is in GMT+3 hours zone; and starting at sunrise; dawn being 12 am, midday 6pm, dusk 12 pm Ethiopian time etc.
The local currency is Birr, and 1 USD is approximately equivalent to 27.58 Birr Importation of foreign currency by visitors is unlimited; but declaration must be made at the point of entry. Foreign currency may only be changed at authorized banks and hotels. The currency declaration form must be retained as this will be required by customs on departure.
All visitors are required to possess a valid Yellow Fever vaccination certificate. Vaccination against Cholera is also required for any person who visited or transited a cholera-infected area within six days prior to arrival in Ethiopia. Malaria occurs in most parts of the country; specially when visiting the lowland, visitors should take preventive does against malaria before, during and after the tour.
Visa is required for any foreign visitors to Ethiopia. This can be secured from Ethiopian Diplomatic and consular missions abroad. In addition visitors from the countries listed below can obtain visa on arrival at Bole International Airport (Addis Ababa). The countries are: Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Korea Republic, Kuwait, Luxemburg, Mexico, Netherlands, Norway, Poland New Zealand, Portugal, Russia, South Africa, Spain Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan and United States of America.