Ethiopia is becoming a popular holiday destination. With incredible sights, scenery and culture, it feels although the next few years are a great opportunity to visit before it gathers significant tourist crowds.
The abundance of traditions can be expored in their purest form, along with the outdoor adventures that are possible. The capital city, Addis Ababa, has experience tremendous economic development (and continues to do so), along with a luxury holiday scene that has captured the hearts of many visitors.
Of course, being in Africa there’s also incredible opportunities to spot wildlife. Whilst it’s not a safari destination per se, there's still many endemic species (particularly birds) as well as amazing national parks. It's actually an underrated destination for African wildlife, which makes a best-kept secret.
Africa hasn’t been the most popular holiday destination in recent decades, but with Ethiopia’s developing economy, high levels of safety and a government scheme that was launched to fasten the process of getting a visa has meant that there’s now too many reasons to count why you should visit.
Obtaining visas from many countries can be a real pain. Slow waiting times, lots of documentation and a large price. In 2017, however, the Ethopian government took the initiative to launch the Ethiopia Tourist Visa, which reduces the waiting times and bureaucracy of getting a visa. This visa is open to all nationalities, providing they have at least 6 months left on the passport expiry date from the date of entry.
This visa is so fast to complete that it only takes a few minutes and can be done online. All that’s needed is your full names, address, D.O.B, email, travel plans and health information. You will receive an email upon approval. Approval can actually be received from 24 hours after applying, and rarely will it take 72 hours.
The visa will cover your trip for up to 90 days. This is a long time for a visa, and a generous amount that can facilitate an extensive holiday and seeing much of the country. Ultimately, you want to avoid the long queues at the border and the physical embassy visits by ensuring you apply online, perhaps around the time you book the flights.
Despite the visa being 90 days, it’s a single-entry visa, meaning you cannot hop about countries nearby and visit Ethiopia more than once within this time frame. You can however simply apply for another visa very easily.
With only two visa-exempt countries, you can be sure that your nationality is included in the list of those who need one. Luckily, pretty much all nationalities are eligible.
So, whilst visa may be a barrier to gaining entry to some countries, Ethiopia is certainly not one of them. There’s now no excuses to jump on a plane and indulge in affordably-priced luxury resorts. The country is actually quite large, so there’s no shortage of cities to visit. With a rich history, the National Museum in Addis Ababa is certainly a must-see, along with the churches in Lalibela, Tigray and Gonder.