Facts for Travelers
What you should know before traveling or do trip to Ethiopia ...
Citizens of 37 countries (See below) can now get visas on arrival, visitors from other countries should obtain visas from the Ethiopian Embassy in the their country of residence. If there is no Ethiopian Embassy, arrangements can be made through 13Suns Tours to obtain one on arrival at the airport.
[Argentina] [Australia] [Austria] [Belgium] [Brazil] [Canada] [China] [Check republic] [Denmark] [Finland] [France] [Germany] [Greece] [India] [Ireland] [Israel] [Italy] [Japan] [Korea Republic] [Kuwait] [Luxembourg] [Mexico] [Netherlands] [Newzealand] [Norway] [North Korea] [Poland] [Portugal] [Russian Federation] [Slovakia] [South Africa] [Spain] [Sweden] [Switzerland] [Thailand] [United Kingdom] [United States]
Travelers are required to have an airline-issued boarding pass while checking in for flight from one city to the other. Travelers are also subject to searches at security checkpoints.
You are welcome to bring a normal-sized suitcase as well as a small carry-on bag. The handling of the normal-sized suitcase will be our responsibility while moving from place to place duiring the tour and the carry-on will be yours. Your Tour guide or bell man will arrange for the suitcases to get to your room. On travel days, your Tour Manager will give you the time your bag should be available for pick-up by the bell man.
PLEASE REMEMBER TO PACK ANY MEDICATION IN YOUR CARRY-ON OR CARRY IT WITH YOU.
Note: If your tour requires flight, airlines have strict regulations concerning luggage weight allowance. You may be asked to pay an additional fee at the airport if your luggage weight exceeds 20kg.
No matter what tour you are traveling on, we do all we can to make your trip rewarding and enjoyable. All of our motorcoaches, mini buses and 4WDs are of standard. A seat rotation program is followed to allow each traveler an equal opportunity for viewing the sights from different perspectives. We appreciate your cooperation in adhering to this courtesy. To prevent injury, please remain seated while the motorcoach is in motion. If you find it necessary to move around, please do so carefully, holding on to the seatbacks of the coach. For the protection of all passengers please be extremely careful when removing your carry-on bag, or other stored items, from the overhead rack.
CLIMATE AND CLOTHING
Because of the elevation, temperatures rarely exceed 25 o C in most of the country, although in some of the lower lying areas (Awash, Omo and Mago parks) it can get considerably hotter.Pack light clothes for the day time and a jacket or sweater for the evenings, and a good pair of walking shoes even if you are not going trekking - path ways around historic sites are usually uneven and stony. Trekkers in the Simien and Bale Mountains will need warm clothes, water-proofs and 3-4 season sleeping bags. On a cultural note - Ethiopians are generally modest dressers, and visitors should be sensitive about going underdressed (shorts, tank tops and bare backed) into places of worship. Shoes must always be removed before entering churches and mosques - for getting around sites like Lalibela with its many churches airline socks are very useful.
The Ethiopian national dish consists of injera, a flat, circular pancake of fermented dough made from a grain seed called teff, on top of which are served different kinds of cooked meats, vegetables and pulses. The sauces are generally spiced with berbere, a blend of herbs and spices (including hot peppers) which gives Ethiopian food its characteristic taste. Vegetarians should try “fasting food” (for devout Ethiopian Orthodox Christians fast days make up more than half the year), a colourful spread of salads, vegetables and pulses, devoid of all meat and animal products.One eats national dishes with the right hand (water for washing is usually brought to the table before the food is served), tearing off pieces of injera to pick up the “toppings”.Addis Ababa now boasts of a wide variety of restaurants, and at hotels in tourist sites European style food such as pasta is always available.
Some Local Dishes and ingridients
Doro Alicha - mild Ethiopian chicken dishDoro Wat - A spicy Ethiopian chicken dishTibs Wet - A very spicy (and fatty!)fried meat dish from Ethiopia Shiro Wet-A Stews enlivened with " spicy mitin shiro"- a flavorful combination of ground beans, spices, and chilies used to season many foods.Yekik Alich'a - An Ethiopian split pea dish, with a mild sauce. Spiced butter -A recipe for clarified, herbed butter, a basic ingredient in Ethiopian cuisineBerbere -A red-pepper based spice mixture, used in Ethiopian dishes DRINK gassy and still mineral water, along with soft drinks, are now available throughout the country. There are several brands of locally produced beer. Ethiopia produces its own wine and spirits, while imported spirits are also widely available. There are home made alcoholic drinks: tela(home made beer or ale), tej(wine made from honey) and kati kala (distilled liquor from various grains.)
220 volts. Plugs are of the two-pin variety.
Many antiques cannot be exported and may be confiscated if found in airport searches. The National Museum in Addis Ababa can issue a clearance certificate.
As a matter of courtesy, permission should be sought before photographing individuals in many parts of the country, particularly among the ethnic groups living by the Omo River, people will demand a fee. In some sites (Blue Nile Falls for example) there is a charge for video photography.
While staying at your lodging, costs you incur for phone calls, room service, laundry, and other special services are your responsibility. Please take care of these charges as soon as possible, either the night before or on the morning of departure, being mindful that your tour’s departure is not delayed.
YOUR TOUR GUIDE
All 13 Suns Tours guides have been carefully selected and specially trained in the skills that assure a rewarding, enjoyable trip. They are knowledgeable, understanding and devoted to making this a relaxing and memorable tour. They supervise the handling of luggage, take care of check-in and departure from hotels, reconfirm included meals, and brief you on the daily events and timetables during the tour. He or she will do all that is possible to accommodate you.
TIPS ON TIPPING
When people go out of their way to do their best, providing extra service with a smile, you like to reward them for a job well done. Since most people would like to say a special “thank you” to their Tour guide and driver, may we suggest the following guidelines: (especially if the group is comprised of five to twelve people ) A gratuity of $10 to $15 per person per day for your Tour guide ; $5 per person per day for your driver. These individuals are with you throughout the entire tour, so please use your own judgment and tip according to services rendered. Please handle this on an individual basis – the best way to present this gratuity is in an envelope with your name on it. 13 Suns Tour request that group collections not be taken.
NO SMOKING PLEASE
13 Suns Tours has a no-smoking policy on the motorcoach. Frequent rest and meal stops are made, providing ample time for those who wish to smoke. Observance of this requirement helps assure the well-being of all members of the tour.
A FINAL WORD
So there you have it! Your next responsibility is simply to sit back, relax and have the time of your life. Enjoy yourself!