Safari in Ethiopia: prices, when to go and where

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Lluis Enric Mayans

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Among the most interesting states to visit on the African continent, theEthiopia it is one of those still little known by mass tourism, which makes it the ideal destination for those who want to immerse themselves in the unspoiled nature of Africa. Ethiopia is characterized by one landscape variety remarkable: the country is crossed by mountains and plateaus divided by Rift Valley which extends from south-west to north-east, around which steppes, lowlands and semi-desert areas develop. Having no outlets to the sea, however, Ethiopian resources are mainly linked to the natural environment of the valleys and savannahs, which have always been a destination and source of attraction for lovers of excursions and safari. In this article, we propose five in particular, leaving you also some advice on the climate, the documents necessary for the trip and much more.


  1. Travel informed: useful information
  2. When to go: climate and best time
  3. Ethiopia: Historic Route
  4. Ethiopia: culture & wildlife
  5. Ethiopia: central and southern parks and tribes Safari tour
  6. Ethiopia: history & culture
  7. Ethiopia: Omo Valley Routes
  8. What to wear and what to pack
  9. User questions and comments

Travel informed: useful information

  • Inhabitants: 105.350.000
  • Capital: Addis Ababa
  • Languages: Amharic (official language related to Hebrew and Arabic), English
  • Local currency: Ethiopian Birr (€ 1,00 = 32,29 ETB)
  • WeatherThe predominant climate type is the tropical monsoon, with frequent rainfall mostly occurring between mid-June and mid-September. Being a country rich in plateaus, however, the average temperatures are cooler than those found in the neighboring states (Average Temperarture in Addis Ababa between 25 ° during the day and 5 ° at night).
  • vaccinations: no vaccination required (Yellow fever vaccination is only required for travelers from specific African countries).
  • Entry requirements: Passport, return ticket. Electronic visa.
  • Travel / health insurance: recommended.

    When to go: climate and best time

    In Ethiopia, the climate varies greatly depending on the altitude at which one is and the type of natural environment: in fact, one can easily pass from the cooler and more ventilated climates at high altitude to the arid ones of the lower plains. At the same time, however, they do not occur never excessive climatic changes throughout the year, as the average temperatures remain constant regardless of the season in question.

    • Weather: The Ethiopian climate can be differentiated into three main groups: that of the plateau, that of the arid areas and, finally, that of the Danakil depression. If the climate of the plateau is generally mild and rainy between June and September (average temperatures vary between 25 ° maximum and 10 ° minimum), that of the arid areas is torrid with irregular rainfall and average temperatures varying between 20 ° and 38 °. The only area that has a desert climate all year round is that of the Danakil depression, considered one of the hottest places in the world! (Some peaks have even exceeded 42 ° C.) Keep in mind that in some periods of the year, especially between May / June and October / December, the phenomenon of cyclones (coming from the Arabian Sea) can occur which affects the south- eastern part of the country with abundant rainfall.
    • Best time: from November to February, or in the coolest and driest period almost everywhere
    • Period to avoid: from May to August, due to possible high-altitude downpours and the hot climate in many areas of the country (safaris in this period are not recommended, due to the very hot days that can occur).

    1 - Ethiopia: Historic Route

    This type of safari is especially suitable for visitors who wish to retrace the historical roads of the country, crossing mostly architectural and cultural sites (including Debre Libanos Monastery and Debre Birhan Sellasie Church), but also natural beauties (such as the spectacular Blue Nile Falls). During the safari it will also be possible to visit / stay in some traditional village and watch the very famous one coffee ceremony, a fundamental part of Ethiopian culture.

    If what you are looking for is an on the road itinerary in the footsteps of the past (during the movements there may be sightings of animals, even if this is not the primary purpose of the trip), which is still quite adventurous and unusual, this is the best choice for you.

    • Best time: all year round, preferably between November and February
    • Recommended duration: a week
    • Average price: starting from € 950,00 per person

    2 - Ethiopia: culture & wildlife

    Ethiopia is a country rich in attractions, both cultural and natural, and with this safari you can explore its different aspects up close by entering close contact with the locals: archaeological sites, traditional villages, colorful markets, ceremonies with folk songs and dances, ethnographic museums, plains and much more.

    During the journey, the movements will take place through jeep and / or 4x4, while the type of accommodation will change from time to time depending on the destination: tented camps, eco-lodges, hostels, hotels / motels. One of the central stops of this safari, by far one of the most popular with visitors looking for curiosities, is the stop inside the Mago National Park where you can do birdwatching, but also cross the Konso villageHere, local women usually use round stones inside the lower lip, which is considered an expression of great beauty.

    • Best time: all the year
    • Recommended duration: 13 days
    • Average price: starting from € 1.770,00 per person

    3 - Ethiopia: central and southern parks and tribes Safari tour

    This type of safari is mainly concentrated in the area occupied by the large natural parks in the center and south of the country. Ethiopian nature and life inside the small villages are the focus of the trip: between eucalyptus forests, lakes that are home to protected species of large and small birds, excursions at dawn and sightings of zebras and gazelles, the adventure is guaranteed.

    A stop at the traditional village of the gods Konso it is a must: with the King's House, the terraces, the wooden statues it has become part of the UNESCO World Heritage! Even the New York Village, however, it is a particularly interesting destination: its name derives from a phenomenon of vertical erosion, which has created unnaturally high formations, compared to the skyscrapers of the Big Apple.

    Finally, the strong point of this experience is certainly the excursion to Lake Chamo: at some particular times, if you carefully examine the surface of the water, it is easy to notice several examples of hippopotamuses e crocodiles intent on resting in the sun.

    • Best time: November-January
    • Recommended duration: a week
    • Average price: starting from € 800,00 per person

    4 - Ethiopia: history & culture

    This is another type of safari suitable for exploring the culture and history of Ethiopia up close, with a particular focus on the capital, Addis Ababa, and its main attractions (National and Ethnographic Museum, Church of San Giorgio, open air market, etc.).

    In addition to this, the safari will focus more on the most famous sites in the country, including churches and main palaces, but also lakes, forests, and some of the famous Ethiopian churches carved into the rock better preserved. However, it is the day at Rift Valley Lake of Langano and the nearby forest of Munessa to particularly attract tourists: here it is possible to do bird-watching, long rides or approach sweet (but spiteful!) specimens of Culubus monkey. So pay attention to your personal belongings, such as your camera and sunglasses!

    • Best time: all year round, although the months between November and February are especially recommended
    • Recommended duration: 14/16 days
    • Average price: starting from € 1.700,00 per person

    5 - Ethiopia: Omo Valley Routes

    Finally, we offer you a safari that retraces the Omo Valley and all the possible attractions that are in its surroundings. Among all the safaris proposed, it is perhaps one of the best to get in touch with local populations and with theauthentic lifestyle that lead: among the many visits, the one in the banana plantations to find out how the "bread" that is consumed in the area is made, and the one in a village of the Hammer tribe to attend a wedding ceremony.

    While traveling, it will be possible to spot some of the most famous examples of African fauna (make sure you always have binoculars and a camera at hand!), While on the shores of Lake Chamo you might come across the longest crocodile in the whole continent (we are talking about 6 meters in length!). As this is quite an adventurous safari, don't be caught unprepared by packing everything you need.

    • Best time: all year round, although the months between November and February are especially recommended
    • Recommended duration: 9-10 days
    • Average price: starting from € 950,00 per person

    What to wear and what to pack

    Packing a suitcase for a trip to Ethiopia is easier than you might think. The most important thing is to make sure you bring all necessary documents (Passport, visa, etc.), but also clothes suitable for the different climatic conditions that may be encountered. That's why the best choice is to pack both light clothes, suitable for daytime temperatures, which a few heavier items, suitable for the cool of the evening or for possible rainy days. If your safari will take place during the summer, bring shorts and light t-shirts, sun hat, insect repellent, comfortable hiking shoes / boots, as well as a few shirts / sweatshirts for the evening. If, on the other hand, you are planning your trip during the other cooler periods of the year or you intend to go to the highlands, also bring some thermal garments, woolen hats, jackets, gloves and scarves, waterproof footwear to be ready for any eventuality. . Don't forget the home camera: the landscapes you will see will be truly spectacular and it would be a real shame not to go home with some shots to show to friends and, why not?

    • Recommended clothing: in "layers", both light and heavy clothes in order to face any situation. Comfortable walking boots or shoes with waterproof soles.
    • Useful accessories: medicine, flashlight, camera, binoculars, hat, sunglasses, insect repellent.

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