Are you still undecided about travelling to Ethiopia this summer?
We are all eager to catch a plane and disconnect for a few days in the upcoming months. Now that vaccination is a reality, planning a vacation this summer is probably an improvised and last minute task. If you are still considering travelling to Ethiopia this summer, we got you! At Inside Ethiopia Tours, we are used to organise last minute tours. You can choose now one of our special offers to travel this summer and visit the main destinations in the North and South. We know there is a lot of confusing information out there about travelling restrictions to Ethiopia, the entry requirements for tourists and the current political situation in the country. That is why we would like to create this brief travel guide for those wanderers out there who still have some doubts about travelling to Ethiopia this summer.
Covid-19 requirements for tourists to Ethiopia
As we have been gathering in our Covid-19 updates and protocols section, the Ethiopian Government announced the opening of the borders for tourists last October 2020. As in any international destination nowadays, the only requirement to enter in Ethiopia is to hold a negative PCR test taken at least 120 hours (or 5 days) before the arrival day. Please note that starting from June 7th, 2021, all travellers exiting, entering or transiting through Ethiopia to all destinations shall be expected to present a digital negative COVID-19 certificates at all ports of entry based on the Africa Union’s Trusted Travel guidelines and the UNDP-sponsored Global Haven Program.
At Inside Ethiopia Tours, we have undertaken preventive measures by implementing safety and hygiene protocols in our office and vehicles. On the other hand, we have been working along with our providers to ensure the safety of our employees and customers during their trips. Nevertheless, this task needs a global collaboration and therefore we urge people to use face masks and practice social distancing during their stay in Ethiopia. We have hereby compiled the most frequently asked questions about entry requirements for tourists in Ethiopia:
Is it necessary to quarantine when travelling to Ethiopia?
Although it is advisable to self-quarantine for 7 days upon arrival in Ethiopia, the reality is that it is not mandatory and there is no control from the local authorities. Once you arrive to Bole International Airport in Addis Ababa, you will be required to go through a medical control and fill out a form with your address during your stay in Ethiopia.
What are the entering requirements for tourists to Ethiopia?
All tourists arriving to Ethiopia must present a digital negative COVID-19 certificate based on the Africa Union’s Trusted Travel guidelines and the UNDP-sponsored Global Haven Program. Travellers entering Ethiopia from countries yet to onboard to the Trusted Travel Initiative should use the special uploader available through the UNDP-supported Global Haven partnership (www.globalhaven.org) for Covid-19 test results and vaccine certificates verification, which is available both on the Globalhaven.org website and the trustedtravel.panabios.org check-in pages.
Do I need to be vaccinated to travel to Ethiopia?
At this moment it is not mandatory to provide a vaccination registration or international certificate of vaccination against Covid-19, although we are still not sure whether the Ethiopian Government will decide to change this. For those who have been fully vaccinated, we highly advise them to bring a certificate and not forget the compulsory PCR negative test to enter Ethiopia.
What are the requirements for transit passengers in Ethiopia?
Transit passengers in Ethiopia are also required to present a digital RT PCR COVID-19 negative test taken at least 120 hours before entering Ethiopia and be issued with Trusted Travel (TT) codes that can be verified by airlines and Port Health authorities across the continent.
Travellers transiting Ethiopia from countries yet to onboard to the Trusted Travel Initiative should use the special uploader available through the UNDP-supported Global Haven partnership (www.globalhaven.org) for Covid-19 test results and vaccine certificates verification, which is available both on the Globalhaven.org website and the trustedtravel.panabios.org check-in pages.
What are the departing requirements from Ethiopia?
Travellers wishing to exit Ethiopia must first visit an authorised laboratory to take an RT PCR COVID-19 test and be issued with Trusted Travel (TT) codes that can be verified by airlines and Port Health authorities across the continent. The travellers will receive a text message from PanaBIOS and in addition an email from the testing laboratory with a link to activate their account on trustedtravel.panabios.org website.
What if I can not get a digital PCR test without the Trusted Travel code?
Travellers entering or transiting Ethiopia from countries yet to onboard to the Trusted Travel Initiative should use the special uploader available through the UNDP-supported Global Haven partnership (www.globalhaven.org) for Covid-19 test results and vaccine certificates verification, which is available both on the Globalhaven.org website and the trustedtravel.panabios.org check-in pages.
Can I take a PCR test in Ethiopia?
Yes, it is possible to take a PCR test in Ethiopia and unfortunately it is mandatory when flying out of the country. As we have already mentioned it in our last blog post, there are many laboratories in Addis Ababa where you can take the test and get the results within 24 hours or less. One of Inside Ethiopia Tours staff members will accompany you to the clinic to assist you. However, we highly recommend our customers to plan their trip ahead and add an extra day in Addis Ababa at the end of the tour to have enough time to get the results before the international flight.
In Ethiopia, all authorised RT PCR COVID-19 testing laboratories have already been registered on the African Union TT system.
Do I need to have a special Covid-19 travel insurance to travel to Ethiopia?
The answer is no, although we always advise our customers to have travel insurance before coming to Ethiopia, specially during these uncertain times. We encourage you to contact different insurance providers and compare the best coverage in case of infection.
Is there curfew in Ethiopia?
There is no curfew in Ethiopia at this time and both restaurants and other establishments remain open at their usual schedule.
Are hotels open in Ethiopia?
Most hotels in Ethiopia are currently open and operating as usual. Nevertheless, some hotels in the main cities of Tigray such as Axum and Mekele, remain closed.
Rainy season in Ethiopia during the summer: how does it affect my trip?
If you are planning on travelling to Ethiopia this summer (from June to September), you need to know that this is what we call the “rainy season”. This may cause a step back on your wish to travel to Ethiopia during the summer, specially because we normally relate Africa with sun and heat and we just want to enjoy the good weather. If you are thinking that it is not the best decision to travel to Ethiopia during these months because you will end up being soaking wet and therefore you will not be able to enjoy the trip, you are completely wrong.
In general, the rainy season starts from June and it ends in September in the Northern part of the country and it lasts longer in the South (from April to October). In this area, where you can visit the famous Omo Valley tribes, the temperature is still high and the main problem of the rain is the muddy roads causing disruptions on the routes.
The rain in Ethiopia are normally concentrated during the late afternoon. These showers last about one or two hours and if we take into account that Ethiopia’s sunset is at 6 pm and therefore there are no tours scheduled after that time, you may not been ever bothered by the rain. On the other hand, rain does not affect the temperature much since it is mainly warm during the day in most parts of the country, although the South is warmer; and the nights are a bit cooler but still nice. We do not want to act as meteorologists or weathermen and we know this “rule” may not always apply, specially nowadays with the climate change.
In spite of the rain in Ethiopia during the months of June, July and August, you will be able to enjoy your trip and these are some of the reasons why:
Reason #1: Since the rainy season is also the low season, your trip will be cheaper
Reason #2: You will be able to enjoy the green Ethiopian landscapes, specially in the North of Ethiopia
Reason #3: You will encounter less travellers during your visits and therefore you will enjoy a more authentic travel experience
To sum up, the weather should not be a reason to erase Ethiopia from your bucket list this summer. If you are coming from a warm country, you will certainly enjoy the weather in Ethiopia. You just need to pack wisely in case you want to add a trekking tour with camping overnight and the rest is on us 😉
Safety in Ethiopia: 2021 elections and Tigray conflict
After being constantly asked about safety when travelling to Ethiopia, we explained why we think it is safe to travel to Ethiopia in 2021 a few months ago. Once Ethiopia got the Safe Travel Stamp by the WTTC (the World Travel and Tourism Council) and the hygiene and health protocols have been implemented, the focus now is on the current political situation in Ethiopia and the tensions between the different ethnic groups.
The Ethiopian Elections are finally scheduled to be celebrated on June 21 this year after postponing them last August 2020. The reason to postpone the elections were the Covid-19 crisis along with the alleged lack of logistics. Although the elections were initially set up on June 5th, the Ethiopian Government announced the new date just a few days ago. The reason this time: lack of ballots.
It was precisely the cancellation of the elections in August 2020 what it caused the conflict between the TPLF (the Tigray’s People Liberation Front) and the central Government. This confrontation, which is still on, has caused a severe humanitarian crisis in this area and we still do not know the official data about the casualties. Although the tourism is mostly re-established throughout the country, Inside Ethiopia Tours team still does not recommend our customers to travel to this area and avoid any entry by car.
We hope the celebration of this elections does not lead to any social conflict that affects tourism in Ethiopia. Nevertheless, we remain at your disposal in case you need to solve any question about safety in Ethiopia.
Discover Ethiopia with Inside Ethiopia Tours
If you are still up to travel to Ethiopia this summer, we have created a special 12 days tour package with the main highlights from the Northern Historic Route and the Omo Valley. This tour is based on the current flight restrictions and we have already taken several groups with no issues. We have based the route on our customers most demanded destinations. Within this 12 days tour, you will leave Ethiopia with a good insight on our history, culture and diverse landscapes. Do not miss this opportunity and take advantage of our special prices during the months of July and August. Contact an Inside Expert now!