Entry requirements

British nationals require a visa to enter Ethiopia. If you are flying into Ethiopia for as a tourist you may obtain your visa on arrival at Addis Ababa (Bole) and Dire Dawa International airports. If you are arriving by other means, or at another airport, you must obtain a visa prior to arrival, even when travelling from countries without an Ethiopian Embassy or Mission. Visa applicants in the United Kingdom should contact the Embassy of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia in London. Penalties for overstaying your visa can be severe.

Passport validity
There are no minimum passport validity requirements for entry to Ethiopia.
Yellow Fever Certificate
Yellow Fever vaccination certificates may be required for visitors from countries where it is endemic.

Travelling with children
Single parents or other adults travelling alone with children should be aware that some countries require documentary evidence of parental responsibility before allowing lone parents to enter the country, or in some cases, before permitting the children to leave the country. For further information on exactly what will be required at immigration, please contact the Embassy of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia in London.


There are a number of hospitals in Addis Ababa but only private hospitals offer a reasonable standard of basic care for minor health problems. Elsewhere medical facilities (including dentistry) are extremely poor. The British Embassy has its own clinic, which tourists may consult in an emergency only. If you intend to take up residence in Ethiopia for a period of more than one year you may officially register your family with the Clinic. Water-borne diseases and malaria are common to Ethiopia, the latter in areas of the country below 2000 metres. Bilharzia is present in the majority of lakes in Ethiopia. Since August 2006 there have been approximately 60,000 reported cases of Acute Watery Diarrhoea resulting in about 600 deaths. You should drink or use only boiled or bottled water and avoid ice in drinks. If you suffer from diarrhoea during a visit to Ethiopia you should seek immediate medical attention. Addis Ababa sits at 2,400 metres above sea level. Adjusting to the altitude may take several weeks. If you have a heart condition you should seek medical advice before travelling to Addis Ababa. In the 2008 Report on the Global AIDS Epidemic the UNAIDS/WHO Working Group estimated that around 890,000 adults aged 15 or over in Ethiopia were living with HIV; the prevalence rate was estimated at around 2.1% of the adult population. This compares to the prevalence rate in adults in the UK of around 0.2%. You should exercise normal precautions to avoid exposure to HIV/AIDS. For more general information on how to do this see HIV and AIDS. You should seek medical advice before travelling to Ethiopia and ensure that all appropriate vaccinations are up to date. For further information on vaccination requirements, health outbreaks and general disease protection and prevention you should check the websites of the National Travel Health Network and Centre NaTHNaC and NHS Scotland's Fit For Travel or call NHS Direct on 0845 46 47. For more general information see Travel Health.

For further health advice from the NHS:

Click NHS UK


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