Travel to and around Ethiopia
Here is some information you may find helpful when planning how you travel to and around Ethiopia.
The national carrier is Ethiopian Airlines. Visitors are encouraged to use Ethiopian Airlines for their international flights since priority is given to these clients when flying on the domestic circuit. Most travel between major towns and sites is easily accessible by air and prices are relatively cheap by international standards. The airline has an excellent safety record and is noted for its excellent service. In addition, British Mediterranean Airways now has regular flights from the UK to Ethiopia.
Addis Ababa Bole International Airport
Ethiopia's major point of entry by air is Addis Ababa Bole International Airport, which provides full passenger facilities - currency exchange, postal services, banking facilities, telephones, a duty-free shop, gift shops and a restaurant and bar service. A new terminal will open shortly with all the modern conveniences and comforts.
Taxis and rental cars are available at the airport for transport into Addis Ababa.
In order to fully experience the vast array of Ethiopian scenery it is a good idea to travel by road. However, visitors must be aware that due to the nature of the terrain, road conditions in Ethiopia are poor. Consequently, travel by road can be time consuming and a four-wheel drive can be an advantage.
There are four official points of entry by road into Ethiopia from the bordering countries. Moyale serves as the border post from Kenya, Sudan has border controls to Ethiopia at Humera and Metema, and Dewele is the point of entry from Djibouti. All have full customs and immigration checks in place.
Visitors intending on driving their own vehicle into Ethiopia should first obtain the necessary permit by writing to the Ministry of Transportation and Communication, PO Box 1238, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
Rail links are from Addis Ababa to Dire Dawa and on to Djibouti. The 782 km railway line from Djibouti to Addis Ababa revolutionised travel for visitors to Ethiopia when it was completed in 1916.
Today the line handles a large proportion of Ethiopia's important and exports. Although the quality of rolling stock and lengthy travelling time make the rail option unattractive for many travellers. The line takes a scenic route through the Rift Valley and the Awash National Park. Once a planned multi-million dollar modernisation of the railway is completed it will again be an attractive option for travellers.
Djibouti-Ethiopian Railroad Company
PO Box 1051
Tel: 00 251 11 5447250
The sole point of entry into Ethiopia is at Dewele on the Ethiopia-Djibouti border. Arrivals undergo full customs and immigration checks. Visitors wishing to travel by rail should be prepared for occasional delays.