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You can fly directly from Johannesburg to Addis Ababa (with Ethopian Airlines); and there are 1-stop flights available from Cape Town and Durban to Addis Ababa. To book a cheap flight to Ethiopia:
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2013-06-30. My most recent travel experience was when I went to Ethiopia to see my family and to learn about my culture as growing up in South Africa I was never really exposed to much about my culture and religion because my dad was always working to make a better life for me. So whilst growing up I spent a lot of time alone while my dad did his best to provide me with everything I wanted - such as a computer play station to keep me occupied at home. Arriving in Addis Ababa I was greeted by my half sister who was pregnant at the time and I stayed at her place for a while and she introduced to me my brother and brother in law that I had never met. My younger brother was at university and when he had time he would show me around the city so I learned to travel using public transport on my own and I got to do some sight seeing. The people were all very friendly, and I did some shopping for traditional clothing, tasted some Ethiopian dishes and just spent my time looking at the beautiful city. In the second week it was time to go see my family in the village.
I travelled by plane from Addis Ababa airport to Dire Dawa airport which is a really small airport. My other brother was waiting for me at the airport and we drove from Dire Dawa to Harar where I meet my other sister. I stayed by her for a while and got to explore the town of Harar and museums and one night in the middle of the night my brother in law took me to go see the hyena man (a man who is able to communicate with hyenas). By spending some time observing this man and the hyenas which seemed to listen to him I then started to learn about the history of Ethiopia. Then I started to visit my family in the neighbouring towns while learning the Language so I would be able to communicate even a little in the native language. Communication was hard as I dont know how to speak Oromo or Amharic, and English is not spoken everywhere. After a week at my sister it was time thatI went to go see my grand mother who lives in Cigicha which is more of a rural area - just farmlands. My family farms khat - a plant that the natives enjoy chewing and it is also sold in neighbouring countries.
I spent the next couple of weeks visiting family in Awode and other towns - just exploring some town and sightseeing and learning about the history of Ethiopia taking pictures and spending quality time with my family. Then it was time for me to return to Addis Ababa since that is the only international airport in Ethiopia and my visa was expiring soon so I had to return to Cape Town. I said my goodbyes and got on board a bus because before I left there was much I wanted to still see, so taking a bus seemed like a good idea. While travelling in the bus we stopped at places such as Nazareth and got to see a beautiful valley. I got to see one of the largest lakes in Ethiopia - it was so big that I couldn't see the end of it it - looked almost like an ocean.
Written by Tuuleh
You can fly direct from Johannesburg to Addis Ababa (ADD) with Ethiopian Airways; 1-stop flights are available with Emirates (via Dubai), Egyptair (via Cairo), LAM/Ethiopian Airlines (via Maputo), Qatar Airways (via Doha) or Kenya Airways (via Nairobi).
You can fly 1-stop from Johannesburg to Bahar Dar (BJR) with Ethiopian Airlines.
You can fly 1-stop from Johannesburg to Makale (MQX) with Ethiopian Airlines.
Fly from Cape Town to Addis Ababa (ADD) on 1-stop flights with SAA/Ethiopian Airlines (via Johannesburg), Kulula/Ethiopian Airlines (via Johannesburg), Qatar Airways (via Doha) or Emirates (via Dubai).
You can fly from Durban to Addis Ababa (ADD) on 1-stop flights with Emirates (via Dubai), Kulula/Ethiopian Airlines (via Johannesburg), or SAA/Ethiopian Airlines (via Johannesburg).
Note that we have read reports of people struggling to get visas approved and not being able to retrieve passports from the Ethiopian Embassy or even get in contact with them. At the time of writing, visa requirements for South African citizens to enter Ethiopia included:
A passport that is valid for at least six months after return date and that contains five blank pages
Two recent biometric color passport photos
Completed application form
Copy of original return air ticket
Three latest monthly bank statements (must be originals, not from the Internet)
Proof of vaccination against yellow fever
Letter of employment and a letter of invitation from an Ethiopian company, if travelling on business
Payment of application fee
For the latest up to date requirements, contact the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Ethiopia at 012-346-4067 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Their physical address in South Africa is at 47 Charles Street, Bailey’s Muckleneuk, Brooklyn, Pretoria. Note that the embassy is closed on Ethiopian public holidays.
Keep these contact details handy in case you lose your passport, or something happens in Ethiopia requiring embassy assistance.
Physical address: Nifasilk Lafto, Subcity Kebele 03, South Africa Avenue, Addis Ababa
Email : email@example.com
Phone number: +251-11-371-1002
Amharic is the primary language. English is spoken in tourist areas.
The currency used in Ethiopia is the Birr.
Places of interest in Ethiopia:
The Simien Mountains offer amazing hiking amid towering precipices. The views of the mountains are extraordinary and you’re bound to encounter unique wildlife such as ‘bleeding-heart’ baboons and a host of other mammals and plants.
Lalibela is the place for a peek at medieval Ethiopia. Its eleven stone churches and their crypts and passageways were constructed a millennia ago. It’s a World Heritage Site and one of the world’s greatest Christian historical sites.
Gonder’s fantastical 17th century African castles give the place a fairy-tale like feel and have earned it the nickname ‘Africa’s Camelot.’ The classical stone castles and palaces make for a relaxing stop enroute to the Simien mountains.
Abydos was the site of a long-gone ancient civilization (the Aksumite kingdom) and offers a wealth of ruined palaces, tombs, and inscriptions. It’s listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage site. You’ll need at least two days to fully tour all the locations of interest.
Travel to Ethiopia is ideal year-round except from June to early October when the rains are heaviest. Temperatures are usually mild. The average is below 20°C though in the lowlands of southern, eastern, and western Ethiopia they can rise to above 30°C.
You may either want to time your visit to Ethiopia to coincide with a public holiday and join in the fun, or avoid the date so as to avoid additional travel costs (and possible crowds):
7 January (Christmas)
19 January (Epiphany)
2 March (Victory at Adwa)
1 May (Labour Day)
5 May (Patriot’s Day)
28 May (Dreg Downfall Day)
11 September (New Year’s Day)
27 September (Finding of the True Cross)
Floating Public Holidays: