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Ethiopia Ethiopia

Ethiopia is one of the most populated landlocked countries in the world. It’s a multi-ethnic country and is home to more than 80 ethnolinguistic groups. It also has the most World Heritage sites in Africa, largely due to its ecologically diverse landscapes, including deserts and tropical forests, and its endemic species of wildlife, all reasons why tourism is on the rise. Add to this the country’s storied past and Ethiopia becomes a fascinating destination for travellers.

Whether you are planning to spend your time discovering the country’s national parks, historical locations, World Heritage sites or mountain peaks, you can travel with extra confidence when you invest in comprehensive travel insurance for your trip.

Travel tips for visiting Ethiopia

Canadians must present a passport that is valid for at least six months beyond their date of departure. Tourist, business and transit visas are required. To avoid complications with obtaining a visa on arrival, it is recommended that travellers obtain their visa before departure. Be mindful of your visa expiry date, because overstaying your visit could result in fines or even jail time. If you are travelling for work, you are required to declare laptops and other digital equipment on arrival. There is currently no departure tax, but this can change without notice.

Although crime and demonstrations occur, they are not as severe as in other African countries. However, it is still important to always be aware of your surroundings and take safety precautions at all times. Carry identification with you at all times and remain discreet when in public to avoid drawing attention to yourself.

You must have a local driver’s licence to drive, which you can get by showing your Canadian driver’s licence or an international driving permit. Photographing police, military and government personnel or facilities is prohibited.

The currency in the country is the Ethiopian birr (ETB). You can exchange foreign currency at local banks. Credit cards are not widely accepted, but traveller’s cheques are. The official language is Amharic.

The best time of the year to travel to Ethiopia is during the dry season, between October and March. Earthquakes are possible. Consult the Embassy of Canada in Addis Ababa if an emergency occurs.

Top destinations to visit in Ethiopia

While Ethiopia has a lot more to offer than many of its bordering African nations, there are a few destinations that you should consider visiting during your time in the country. The first stop for most travellers is Addis Ababa, which is known as the diplomatic capital of Africa. Here you can experience the largest market on the continent, explore beautiful historical buildings and experience great nightlife. Other places to visit are Gondar, the real-life Camelot of Africa; the world-famous St. George Cathedral in Lalibela; the unique formations of the Simien Mountains; Omo Valley; the tombs of Kings Kaleb and Gebre Meskel; and Mago National Park.

Travel insurance for Ethiopia

Travel insurance is one of the most important parts of booking a trip. Often overlooked, it can be one of the best purchases you can make if you need to use it, especially for travel to foreign countries that are far away from home. Blue Cross offers travel insurance coverage for all types of travellers and all types of trips. Whether you are booking a vacation, travelling for work or planning a trip home to see family, we have personalized travel insurance solutions that will meet your needs. Get a free travel insurance quote online.

General Ethiopia Canada
Continent: Africa
Population (2012): 91,728,849 34,754,312 (2012)
Area (km2): 1,104,300 9,984,670
Capital: Addis Ababa
Currency: Birr
Official language(s): Amharic
Drive: Right
Diesel (2012): 0.94 1.23 (2012)
Gasoline (2012): 1.05 1.23 (2013)

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