BEST TIME TO TRAVEL TO ETHIOPIA
The best time to travel to Ethiopia is during the dry season (mid October to May). Depending on your budget, you may prefer to visit Ethiopia during the low season (June to September). Nevertheless, it is also nice to experience some wide known religious festivals such as Timkat or Meskel. If you are planning to visit the northern highlands of Ethiopia, the best time will be from October to March although it does not rain very heavily during the rainy season. In the northern route a trekking in the Simien Mountains can be included, which it is advisable to do it from September to November when it is dry, green and dust free. If, on the contrary, you prefer to experience the lifestyle of more than 50 unique tribes in the Omo Valley region of South Western Ethiopia, you will have to come from August to October. Finally, the expedition to the Danakil Depression, as one of the hottest places on earth reaching temperatures of 50ºC (122ºF), is better to be visited from November to early January.
Tourist visas (for one or three months, single entry) are available upon arrival at Bole International Airport in Addis Ababa. The fee is payable in US dollars and EURO. Current visa fees are $50 for one month and $70 for three months. It is also possible to obtain a business visa of up to three months validity upon arrival with the prior arrangements made by the sponsoring organisation in Ethiopia. The visa extension fees are currently $100 for a one month extension (first time), $150 for a fifteen days extension (second time) and $200 for a 10 days extension (third time). If the traveler’s visa expires before the departure, it is required to obtain a visa extension at the Immigration Office in Addis Ababa. There is a overstay penalty fee of $5 a day from one up to fifteen days and $10 a day after fifteen days. In such cases, the traveler may also be required to pay a penalty of up to 4,000 ETB ($300) before being allowed to leave Ethiopia.
When travelling to Ethiopia, it is important to know that domestic fares are considerably reduced (by more than 40%) if your international ticket to travel to the country has been purchased with Ethiopian Airlines. Please be aware that Ethiopian Airlines, as the only domestic carrier, requires the tour companies the ticket number in order to make the discount for any domestic flights.