Visas are required for any foreign visitor to Ethiopia except Kenyans. This can be secured from Ethiopian Diplomatic and consular missions abroad. In addition visitors from many countries Australia, the U.S, U.K and many European Union nations can obtain a visa on arrival at Bole International Airport (Addis Ababa) for a varying cost.
All visa information is subject to change. You should confirm all visa related issues with the relevant local Ethiopian Embassy prior to departure.
Prior to entry, visitors should be in possession of a valid health certificate for yellow fever. (It is no longer mandatory but you will need to hold the certificate for proof if you’ve travelled to a country where yellow fever still exists.) Vaccination against cholera is also required for any person who has visited or transited a cholera-infected area within six days prior to his/her arrival in Ethiopia. In addition to these, several other vaccinations are recommended. These includes : Typhoid ,Hepatitis A, Diphtheria and Meningococcal.
It is also recommended that you are up to date with your polio and tetanus vaccinations. Please make sure that you’ve got all your vaccination at least 8 weeks prior to your arrival in Ethiopia.
There's a high risk of catching malaria in many parts of Ethiopia especially in areas that are below 2000 meters . So we urge you to take an appropriate precaution earlier before you start planning of trekking with us.
Please do make sure that your doctor is well informed that you are traveling to Ethiopia so s/he can prescribe you the right anti-malarial medication.
Since the Simien Mountains are at high elevations and high altitude can affect healthy individuals in a number of ways including: dizziness, nausea, shortness of breath, fatigue and headaches , we recommend you to bring pills that would enable you resist or prevent such unpredictable illnesses.
Walking Grades and Fitness
To enjoy any trek such as the exciting Simien Mountains Trek it is essential to be in shape before you arrive. It is not wise to regard a trek as a means of getting into shape or losing excess weight. Start a programme of conditioning well before departure – in fact as soon as you book – and be aware that short walks on the flat do little to prepare you for the gradients involved on this trek. Running, hill walking and other more active sports are suitable.
We've given each walking & trekking holiday a trek grade to help you decide which one is appropriate for you. This holiday is rated 'Strenuous'.
Strenuous: Long and sometimes challenging walks, normally around 6 to 8 hours per day. You should expect some difficult terrain and sometimes high altitude trekking. Ascents and descents are demanding, up to about 1000 meters per day. High levels of fitness and stamina are important. Some previous trekking experience is recommended.
Local Currency: Ethiopia: Ethiopian Birr. There are 1, 5, 10, 50 and 100 Birr notes. The Birr is very stable and there is no significant difference between the official rate and black market rate.
Recommended Currency for Exchange: It is advisable to take your spending money in Sterling, Euros or US Dollars cash (high denomination notes usually get better exchange rates). Please note that any pre- 1999 or torn US Dollar bills will not accepted in Ethiopia. Please keep any receipts as you may be able to change back any unused local currency.
Where to Exchange: At banks and foreign exchange bureaus (we will help you with this).
ATM Availability: Very Limited.
Credit Card Acceptance: Limited.
Travellers Cheques: Very difficult to exchange and are not recommended.
During this tour, you may encounter local children asking you for pens, sweets etc. Whilst this may seem innocent enough, by many members of the community, it is seen as begging and is frowned upon. It is recommended that you don’t give anything individually to children. If you wish to donate anything, your tour leader may be able to organize a visit to a local project.