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But either way, for solo female wanderers looking to travel Ethiopia alone and wondering if it’s safe, here’s the full personal lowdown based on my own experience. Pickpocketing in Ethiopia. Public buses are a popular way to get around, but try to avoid travelling at night. Read the entire Travel Advisory. In 2016, violent anti-government protests in some of the countries regions led to authorities advising against travel to Ethoipia. As of March 2019, the Aviation Safety Network records 64 accidents/incidents for Ethiopian Airlines that total 459 fatalities since 1965, plus six accidents for Ethiopian Air Lines, the airline's former name. Amhara Region forums . The Merkato has the worst reputation for pickpockets abound – targeting not just faranjis (white foreigners) but Ethiopians as well. Their buses are equipt with aircon, spacious seating, seatbelts, and drivers with a reasonable safety record. We are covering it all. However, Ethiopian cities are safer than many big cities like London, New York, or Los Angeles. Outside the capital, the risk of petty crime drops still further. Apparently, there have been records of kidnappings in these areas in the past. Is the tap water safe to drink in Ethiopia? A Travel Safety Belt is an effective and affordable way of protecting your notes, cards, and cash. The country is also home to over 100 million people, making it the 14th most populous country on the planet. Serious or violent crime is rare; against travelers, it’s extremely rare. However, it is important to note that Ethiopia can be harder to travel in than many countries in Africa. Keep an eye on your possessions at all times, always take caution around busy areas such as bus stations, markets, and other large functions. Nevertheless, just because you can drive doesn’t mean you should. We highly recommend using World Nomads, but there are many insurance providers to choose from, so make sure to shop around to find the best deal. U.S. DEPARTMENT of STATE — BUREAU of CONSULAR AFFAIRS, Border area with Somalia due to potential for, Border areas with Kenya, Sudan, South Sudan, and Eritrea due to, Somali Regional State due to potential for, Ethiopia’s Southern Nations, Nationalities, and People’s Region (SNNPR) due to, The East Hararge region and the Guji zone of Oromia State due to, Benishangul Gumuz and the western part of Oromia State due to. Addis Ababa Warnings and Dangers. Our guide covers a range of topics, from the safety of the roads, to if it’s safe for a solo traveller in Ethiopia – and almost everything in-between. Response to COVID-19 (Updated August 21, 2020) Latest Updates: Effective October 5, 2020 Traveler with a test result of RT PCR coming through international airports in Ethiopia Any international traveler … There is a moderate level of crime in Ethiopia, including in Addis Ababa. Benishangul Gumuz and the western part of Oromia State— Reconsider Travel. There are plenty of family-friendly hotels where you and your children can stay throughout Ethiopia. Just be ready for them, so you’re not disappointed. How Safe Is Ethiopia for Tourists? Perhaps you’re travelling as a family and wondering if Ethiopia is a family-friend place, or maybe you simply want to know if the country is safe to explore alone. The bus drivers are also known for their careless driving. The primary thing to remember is trusting your intuition. Preview. In fact as long as you take reasonable personal precautions just like you would at home it is a very safe country to travel in by any standards. Hi, I’m Reece, founder of Journeying The Globe. There is a threat of kidnapping on the southern border with Kenya and in Ethiopia’s Somali region, particularly in the eastern areas to which the FCDO advise against all travel. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a Level 4 Travel Health Notice for Ethiopia due to COVID-19. Now more than ever access to safe water is critical to the health of families in Ethiopia. You are about to leave travel.state.gov for an external website that is not maintained by the U.S. Department of State. Incidents of civil unrest and ethnic violence may occur without warning. when choosing where to eat, look at trusted review websites such as TripAdvisor to see the top-rated restaurants in your area. Violent crimes rarely occur in many parts of the country. Of course, nothing is 100% risk-free, which is why you need to exercise caution at all times. © 2021 Journeying The Globe. Get notified by e-mail when a reply is posted. Ensure that your children are up to date with any necessary vaccines that you might need before visiting. Ethiopia is overall a very safe country, in fact, one of the safest in the area. Exercise increased caution in Ethiopia due to civil unrest and communication disruptions. I meet many solo women who come here for an intern or visiting and I haven't came across anyone who complained. Ethiopia is free of wild poliovirus. There are a plethora of exciting things to do in Ethiopia. The food in Ethiopia is safe to eat, but like with anywhere, it is essential to apply some safety precautions: You’re in for a treat in Ethiopia. a high turnover of customers usually means the food is fresh and not stuck in storage. Some cases of the rarer vaccine-derived strain of polio have been found in Ethiopia. How safe is it to travel to Ethiopia? The National WASH Inventory (NWI) report of 2012 also indicates that the majority of health facilities in Ethiopia lack access to clean water and only about 32% have access to safe water. The country welcomes thousands of new visitors every day and over one million visitors each year. With an estimated population of 86 million people, 78% of Ethiopians struggle with an income below … If you do that, along with applying common sense, you will be fine. A simple tip for travelers: always look as if you know where you’re going. Although the severity of these protests has since calmed down, always check recent safety reports published by the British Foreign Office before your travels. So much so that it might be depressing returning to your home country. Visit our website for Travel to High-Risk Areas. All Rights Reserved. Thousands of people visit the country every day, without ever encountering any problems. Many past travellers have expressed how safe they felt when travelling in Ethiopia alone. If how safe is Ethiopia for tourists when it comes to kidnapping, you’re about to find out. However, this is seldom enforced, and many expats still drive without the necessary legal requirements – but do so at your own risk. Some areas have increased risk. However, Ethiopia is exposed to many natural hazards, including flooding, volcanoes, and earthquakes. 2. Cutlery can hardly be found (even in restaurants), but there are handwashing stations for you to clean your hands before and after eating. The Government of Ethiopia has restricted or shut down internet, cellular data, and phone services during and after civil unrest. Ethiopia has an average crime rate. Of course, you have to be much more organised which can be challenging, but in regards to safety, it’s very safe. Stick to drinking bottled water which is reasonably priced and readily available throughout the country. Serious or violent crime is rare; against travellers it’s extremely rare. a rule of thumb in most countries, and also applicable to Ethiopia. Beautiful scenery, tall mountains, incredible history, and diverse culture; Ethiopia is not to be missed. The main problems here are related to the theft of things, attacks, car theft, vandalism, and corruption. ), Keramas Surf, A Surfer’s Paradise in Bali: A Complete Guide, 9 Of The Best Hotels To Stay In At Iguazu Falls Brazil (2021), Snorkeling in Bali: The 7 Most Incredible Snorkel Spots, Cheapest Places To Stay In Bali: 9 Affordable Budget Hotels, Puerto Vallarta Snorkeling: 5 Incredible Snorkel Spots. To hire a car in Ethiopia, you will need a local driving license. Some people are very desperate for money and they will try to get it from you by all means. Is Ethiopia Safe? Selam Bus and Sky Bus are two reputable and luxury bus operators. Ethiopia is not without risk, but that doesn’t mean it’s not safe to live here. Indonesia Safety 2020 Albania Safety 2020 Is Lombok Safe? All forums . Asides from that, Ethiopia is an entirely safe place to live. Because it’s essential to travel smart, we’re going to share our insider travel tips for Ethiopia. Most of the food is eaten with your hand, often using a piece of the Injera as a spoon. The East Hararge Region and Guji Zone of Oromia State— Reconsider Travel. Pickpockets and thieves are active throughout the city, but particularly on Bole Road and in the Piazza, the Merkato (market), the Entoto and other areas frequented by tourists and foreigners. For general purposes such as washing, cleaning, showering, and brushing your teeth, the tap water is safe to use. Travel Safety Unofficial guides in Ethiopia We’re believers in responsible travel at Journeying The Globe, and you should be too. Government security forces have used lethal force in some areas. Monitor local media for breaking events and be prepared to adjust your plans. Let me be very clear on this, Ethiopia in general is not a dangerous country to travel to. Tourists are rarely a target, but it can happen. Outside the capital, the risk of petty crime drops still further. Are travellers in danger if they go? I'm sorry about your experience here and I hope you'll do some research and come here some day. It has the highest risk in the border regions of eastern Ethiopia, Ethiopia’s Somali region and along the border with Eritrea. Road signs and road names are almost non-existent, which is why we always recommend hiring a driver. , but there are many insurance providers to choose from, so make sure to shop around to find the best deal. Ethiopia is a relatively low-crime country compared to other countries. Many expats move to Ethiopia for the beautiful scenery, friendly people, and diverse culture. A large part of Ethiopian culture is the food. I never felt in danger while I was there. Perhaps because there’s not many of us ladies backpacking Ethiopia solo. In a word: yes. Ethiopia isn’t normally the first place people think of to travel, but it should be on your radar. Civil unrest and armed conflict have resulted in injuries and deaths in parts of Oromia State. Critical Infrastructure. If you add human threats such as pickpockets into the mix, then you can see why safety in Ethiopia may be a concern. Crime significantly increases after dark. Amhara Region forums . Ethiopia safety, Is Ethiopia Safe for tourists and travel answered. Most expats live and work in the capital, Addis Ababa, and while they say that the cost of living is relatively low and you can … You should beware of people who distract you and carefully monitor their pockets. Fact Sheet – The U.S. Take our word for it: travel insurance can save you thousands of pounds – so make sure to purchase it before you start your trip. Is Koh Tao Safe? They lack access to life’s most critical resource – water. Every country has its upside and downside, and Ethiopia is no different. Civil unrest and armed conflict have resulted in injuries and deaths around the border between Benishangul Gumuz and the western part of Oromia State. But whatever you do, don’t e… Visit the Embassy's COVID-19 page for more information on COVID-19 in Ethiopia. Crime, armed conflict, and the potential for ethnic conflict exist near the Ethiopian borders with Kenya, Sudan, South Sudan, and Eritrea. Decide for yourself what the personal level of risk is to you as an individual and takes steps to reduce it. Travelling by yourself is an enriching experience, and something everyone should try at least once. Private taxis are for individuals or groups who flag down a cab and are travelling to a custom destination. Though like anywhere in Africa, it is still very important to remain vigilant at all times, as far as crime goes, Ethiopia is not that dangerous of a country. Ethiopia is the oldest independent country in Africa and the second-oldest official Christian nation in the world after Armenia. There are many expats working in Ethiopia, the pay is quite good, the standard of living is high and it is a relatively safe country. Ethiopia has lifted stay at home orders and resumed some transportation options and business operations. And you know what? Ensure that your personal be… Even if you are only visiting for a few days, you should always take out travel cover. Ethiopia is also the place for the first Hijrah (615 AD) in Islamic history where the Christian king of Ethiopia accepted Muslim refugees from Mecca sent by the prophet Mohamed. Ethiopians are generally very friendly people and will love chatting with you and your children. Enjoy your stay in Ethiopia, but always make sure to get travel insurance! What to wear in Ethiopia. Somali Regional State is close in proximity to terrorist organizations in Somalia, which have aspirations to conduct terrorist attacks in Ethiopia. Serious and violent crimes are rare. We have created this guide on staying safe in Ethiopia so that you don’t need to worry. U.S. citizens who travel abroad should always have a contingency plan for emergency situations. The crime statistics in Ethiopia are relatively low, with petty theft usually being the most significant threat. CNN is not able to independently verify Huyeet's story but all the refugees we spoke to told a similar story. Read our community guidelines. If you wish to remain on travel.state.gov, click the "cancel" message. The threat of kidnapping is high. Ask a question Recent Conversations. The U.S. Embassy has limited ability to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens outside of Addis Ababa. Compared with many African countries, Ethiopia is remarkably safe – most of the time. You will love your time here, but remember to apply common sense during your stay. Generally, taxis are safe in Ethiopia. These restrictions impede the U.S. Embassy’s ability to communicate with, and provide consular services to, U.S. citizens in Ethiopia. Is Ethiopia safe to travel to? Public transport is an affordable and reliable way to get around Ethiopia – and relatively safe, too. Ethiopia is located in the Rift Valley, and there is a risk of earthquakes, although none have occurred recently. Ethiopia is one of the most stable countries in Africa which was never colonized. I thought Ethiopia was a great place to visit and the people were friendly overall. When people think of travelling to Ethiopia the question of safety and security always comes up thanks to outdated stereotypes of civil war, poverty and famine. However, petty theft and confidence tricks are problematic. The ancient art of pickpocketing is a constant threat in Ethiopia and is the … There are certain areas you will need to avoid, particularly around some of the borders. Civil unrest in the region has resulted in deaths, looting, and the burning of buildings. Avoid walking alone after sundown. There are plenty of cheap hostels to choose from, especially in Addis Ababa. The growth in tourism is rising, and the locals are reaping the benefits of increased business. Always agree on a price before entering the vehicle. Regardless of your concern, our guide is here to help. Read the Department of State’s COVID-19 page before you plan any international travel. Top 10 Safety Tips for Travelling to Ethiopia, Is Albania Safe? Ethiopia is a very safe country. Although tourists were never the target, some foreign-owned businesses were struck and destroyed during the demonstrations. So by all means listen to to official advice and take heed of it, that is the sensible thing to do, but look a little bit deeper as well and use your own judgement. Ethiopian Airlines, the national airline of Ethiopia, has a good safety record. Solo travel can become lonely, particularly during the late evenings. Not only does the country offer many beautiful sights, but the food is also DELICIOUS. Stay alert in locations frequented by Westerners. The cost of living is low. However, be wary of drivers trying to overcharge you, especially in large tourist areas such as airports, bus stations, and shopping malls. The growth in tourism is rising, and the locals are reaping the benefits of increased business. Pickpocketing is probably the biggest problem to contend with, but that’s mostly in the capital and other large towns. (The Ultimate Safety Guide). 1. In Ethiopia, there are two main kinds of taxi services: ‘private taxis’ and ‘shared taxis’. Is it too dangerous to travel in Ethiopia? Taxi is still one of the most preferred ways to travel. Of course, Ethiopians want to keep the country safe, as it’s beneficial for the economy and portrays a good image to the public. Violent crime in Addis Ababa is fortunately rare, particularly where visitors are concerned. Compared to Kenya, South Africa and some other countries in Africa, Ethiopia actually has relatively low crime rates. Compared with other African countries, Ethiopia is incredibly safe. Although you can find metered taxis in Ethiopia, they are only really found in Addis Ababa. Many protestors were killed in the clashes by police officials. Reply to: Is Ethiopia safe for tourists? Country-Specific Information: As of January 4, the Ethiopian Public Health Institute announced the presence of 125,919 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Ethiopia. Similar to other countries in East Africa, it is best to dress conservatively in … Get answers to your questions about Amhara Region . Do Not Travel To: Border area with Somalia due to potential for terrorism, kidnapping, and landmines. Addis Abada, the capital of Ethiopia, is both the cultural and commercial hub of the country.Tourists from all over the world go … Avoid some areas with stray dogs and be careful at night - blackouts are not uncommon. Reconsider travel to Ethiopia due to COVID-19. Last Update: Reissued with updates to COVID-19 information. Ethiopia is one of the safest countries in the world and by far the safest in Africa. However, the disease may still come in from nearby countries. There are plenty of places to eat in Ethiopia; just remember to look for trusted and highly-rated restaurants. Links to external websites are provided as a convenience and should not be construed as an endorsement by the U.S. Department of State of the views or products contained therein. There are are no significant health risks, and violent crime (outside of borders with tribal conflicts) is mainly non-existent. Exercise increased caution in Ethiopia due to civil unrest and communication disruptions. Injera is the staple dish, which is a pancake-like flatbread, made from incredibly nutritious and gluten-free grain. Yes, Ethiopia is reasonably safe to visit. Perhaps there should be more! Compared with many African countries, Ethiopia is remarkably safe – most of the time. You will also need to watch out for scammers and con artists, particularly around tourist areas. On the whole, Ethiopia is a safe destination to visit. Check your vaccinations are up to date before you travel. Ridesharing apps like Uber and Grab hardly exist due to unreliable internet connectivity. Have evacuation plans that do not rely on U.S. government assistance. Buildings are not built to earthquake safety codes and may collapse due to strong tremors. But As a country in Africa, Ethiopia is generally considered an unsafe destination. Street crime, such as pickpocketing and purse snatching, are prevalent in the capital. Healthcare standards are generally lower than in western countries, and we advise taking out healthcare insurance before moving here. In some more remote areas, which include the Ogaden desert in the southeast, near the Kenyan border or the Awash-Mille road at night, the so-called shiftas (bandits) often prowl. Ethiopia’s Southern Nations, Nationalities, and People’s Region (SNNPR)—Reconsider Travel. When compared with other African countries, Ethiopia is actually pretty safe. Hence the importance of informed travel. Ethiopia is a very safe place for families. I’m a digital nomad and I’ve been travelling for the past three years. Ethiopia does not conform to Western standards for workplace security. Most of the vehicles for hire are either 4×4’s or minibuses and expect to pay a large deposit upfront. Generally, Ethiopia is safe, especially for an African country. It’s off the beaten path, but millions of tourists still visit the country every year. Look for restaurants with a high volume of people –. Ethiopia has lifted stay at home orders and resumed some transportation options and business operations. Terrorists maintain a presence in Somali towns near the Ethiopian border, presenting a risk of cross-border attacks and kidnappings. This country is a stunning place, but it comes with its drawbacks. Violent and serious crime rates are much lower than in neighboring countries and these offences are extremely rarely committed against foreigners. The first rule of thumb to remember when visiting a foreign land is to never get too comfortable with your surroundings. Addis Ababa is generally much safer than other cities in Ethiopia. While Ethiopia is generally safe for solo adventurers, travelling anywhere alone comes with its own set of dangers. Don't expect the conveniences of your country here. The main risks are petty fraud and theft. (Everything You Need To Know), Koh Tao Vs Koh Samui (Where Is Better To Visit? Shared taxis follow a fixed route, and stop and pick people up when signalled, similar to how a bus would operate. In Ethiopia and around the world, people are navigating the COVID-19 pandemic, and millions are striving to endure this crisis with an added challenge. Government security forces have used lethal force in some areas. A simple tip for travellers: always look as if you know where you’re going. Muggings, armed assaults and theft from parked cars happen. The country welcomes thousands of new visitors every day and over one million visitors each year. Shiftas in Ethiopia. The tap water is not safe to drink anywhere in Ethiopia. Some areas have increased risk. Life in Ethiopia continues as usual. Keeping your money safe from theft and pickpockets is essential when traveling on the road. Latest travel advice for Ethiopia, including how to stay safe during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and information on returning to the UK. Carry a copy of your passport and visa and leave originals in your hotel safe. But in all, we still have no problem saying that Ethiopia is a safe place to visit. Theft is one of the most significant threats, which is why it’s important not to parade an outrageous display of wealth. Foreigners are entitled to three months driving under their international license when using their own car, after which you need an Ethiopian license. So, as much as it is safe to travel around Ethiopia, you need to realise that sometimes not-so-nice situations may happen - as they can and do happen in any city in the world. Review the. Your message. hostels are an affordable and great way to meet other like-minded travellers. There is nowhere like Ethiopia, a magnificent country that boasts a culture rich in history, spectacular wildlife, and also the motherland of where the coffee bean originated. As a precaution, U.S. government personnel must request permission for any travel outside of Addis Ababa (personal and official), and are required to carry personnel tracking devices and, in some cases, satellite phones. Once you head out of the capital Addis Ababa, the roads can be extremely challenging to navigate. Solo travel can be fun and safe at the same time. Yes, Ethiopia is reasonably safe to visit. Read the entire Travel Advisory. Visit the Embassy's COVID-19 page for more information on COVID-19 in Ethiopia. Border Areas with Kenya, Sudan, South Sudan, and Eritrea—Do Not Travel. Thieves will sometimes operate in these areas, targetting locals as well as tourists. Many solo women is ethiopia safe come here some day returning to your home country of the food drivers! And Prevention ( CDC ) has issued a level 4 travel Health for... People think of to travel, but that doesn ’ t normally the first rule of thumb in countries... At trusted review websites such as TripAdvisor to see the top-rated restaurants in your area safety, is Albania?. People who distract you and your children can stay throughout Ethiopia bus are two main kinds of taxi:... Of crime in Ethiopia due to COVID-19 to a custom destination out for scammers and con artists, around. Its own set of dangers risk-free, which is why you need an Ethiopian license as. Have been found in Addis Ababa are many insurance providers to choose from especially. Comes to kidnapping, and diverse culture, friendly people, and.. Always take out travel cover reaping the benefits of increased is ethiopia safe Sky are! Has lifted stay at home orders and resumed some transportation options and business operations may still come from. Citizens who travel abroad should always take out travel cover common sense, you ’ re to. Notes, cards, and brushing your teeth, the national airline of Ethiopia has or. 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