Facts of Ethiopia

Read more about transport, price levels and more in connection with your trip to Ethiopia. Visit cellphoneexplorer for East Africa Travel Guide.

  • Language: Amharic, Tigrinya, Oromo, Somali and several others
  • Capital: Addis Ababa
  • Population: 99, 5 million.
  • Religion: Christianity (Orthodox and Protestant), Islam and traditional religions
  • Currency: Birr
  • Surface: 1 104300 km²

Worth knowing

Transport in Ethiopia

Domestic flights in Ethiopia are relatively small and there is no room for hand luggage, even though they are internationally allowed. Therefore, it is better to pack your hand luggage in a smaller bag that can be checked in.

Buses in Ethiopia do not meet quite the same standard as they are used to in Europe. We have of course chosen the best possible category with air conditioning whenever possible.
Traveling in Ethiopia can take time due to the high altitude and the sometimes bad roads.

Time difference

The time difference between Sweden and Ethiopia is +1 or 2 hours, depending on whether Sweden has summer or winter time.

Price level

The money is long enough in Ethiopia. When it comes to pocket money, we know from experience that you usually manage with about 60 kronor a day. If you want to buy extra drinks, postcards, stamps, snacks, you should expect about SEK 120-170 per day. If the trip does not have full board, you should expect about SEK 70-90 / person for a meal.

If you want to buy souvenirs or something else, you need to bring extra money in addition to the above amount.


On our travels, you come into contact with everyday life in Ethiopia, including conditions that may not appeal to you, or that you are not used to. Take for example the system of tips. In many countries, tips are a more organized phenomenon than we Swedes are used to, and you are expected to leave some tips to local guides, and drivers during the trip, because the salary in the service industry is usually based on that. We enter an amount in our travel program so that you can count on this when you make up your travel budget at home. The price of the trip does not include the cost of tips as you decide how much you want to give during the trip. The tip system is part of the culture you visit and something you should therefore respect. We want to emphasize that everyone decides for themselves how much they want to give in tips.

In practice, it is possible to arrange for the tour guide to collect money for the entire trip before departure and ensure that the right people get what they need. An envelope will then be sent around the bus so that those who want can leave tips.

Currency and credit cards

The currency in Ethiopia is called birr (ETB). It is most convenient to switch to the local currency when you are in Ethiopia. We will have the opportunity to change at the first hotel during the trip. We recommend that you bring cash in USD or EUR, preferably a mixture of both larger denominations such as $ 50 or $ 100, as lower denominations, which can be good to have if we do not have the opportunity to exchange at the hotel during our first day.

Credit cards, such as MasterCard or American Express, can be used as a means of payment at most major hotels and in some stores. In recent years, the availability of ATMs for international credit cards has become more common in the larger cities, but it can happen that there is a long way between ATMs.

Ethiopian birr can only be exchanged for foreign currency upon presentation of a valid receipt from an official exchange. Therefore, you should always save the receipt when you have switched from USD to ETB should you need to switch back again. This can only be done at the airport on the way home from Ethiopia.


In Ethiopia, it has 220 volts and the sockets are usually identical to Swedish. To be on the safe side, you can bring an adapter set.

Telephone and internet

The international country code for Ethiopia is + 251. It is expensive to call home, so feel free to contact your mobile operator regarding coverage and prices for calls from Ethiopia. Most hotels have internet service for a fee.

The Internet is becoming more common in the country. Internet cafes are popping up everywhere, but the speed is seldom as fast as here at home. From experience, however, we know that you do not have time to visit such places other than during your own time or after the end of the day program.


Hotels and larger restaurants are of a modern / western standard. Out in the city and in the country, you can count on going to so-called pedal toilets, and that there is a lack of toilet paper. The standard of public toilets or in the countryside can thus be relatively primitive. Bring your own toilet paper, wet wipes and perhaps hand sanitizer (available at Swedish pharmacies, for example), so you will not be as dependent on access to water.

You should not drink tap water, but instead buy bottled water.

Facts of Ethiopia