Time & Length of Travel?
Best time to travel?
June to August
Let’s start with the rainy season. Not a good time to visit, you might think. Actually, if destinations are selected wisely with your Travel Expert the time between the beginning of June and the end of August it is a good opportunity to visit pure sights with almost no tourists. It is also best to enjoy the otherwise dry and very hot parts of the country. Rainfall is usually limited to single showers a day and hardly limits activities. On the contrary - the long-awaited fresh water fills the landscapes and villages with life. The regions in the southern Omo Valley are also alive. After the earlier rainy season here, the savanna is in full blossom and the nomadic peoples of the south are starting to farm.
September to November
The travel period between the beginning of September and the end of November is the best time to experience Ethiopia's highlands in all their beauty. Shortly after the rains stop, mountainous landscapes shine in rich colors. Hikes through the Simien or Bale Mountains National Parks offer beautiful crystal clear views and colorful afro-alpine flora. Two big Ethiopian holidays (Ethiopian New Year & Meskel) are also celebrated in September. A good opportunity to combine a nature trip with some cultural coloring.
December to February
In general, the Northern hemisphere winter between the beginning of December and the end of February is an optimal travel time for all regions. It is mainly dry throughout. Birdwatchers will enjoy this time. Lake Tana is a retreat for numerous migratory birds such as the Stork or the Crowned Crane. Many farmers collect their harvest these days. For Traveling to more remote regions off the main roads this is the best time with low risks of getting stuck, e.g. a desert expedition through the Danakil to the sulfur volcano Dallol and the bubbling volcano Erta Ale.
March to May
Between the beginning of March and the end of May large parts of the country are easy to travel. Only the rainy season in the southern Omo Valley makes the passability of the tracks unpredictable and a trip not recommendable. But it is worth focusing on the cultural sights and festivals of the country. The Ethiopian Easter festivities are particularly colorful during this time of year in religious centers such as Lalibela, Axum, or Gondar.
Length of stay?
Most travelers take two weeks to travel in Ethiopia, expecting to have a full experience of the entire country.
Sadly, that’s a bit too ambitious: Two weeks isn’t nearly enough to explore all of Ethiopia. What you can do in two weeks is get a great first look at several destinations. Normally two weeks are good enough to discover one direction only - the North, South, East, or West of Ethiopia. This gives you time to deep-dive into the destinations and it's not a rush through.
One major reason why criss-cross traveling is not recommended is the long and exhausting hours every day driving or flying all over the place with no time to enjoy and explore. Many roads are good nowadays but the winding mountain roads with all the people and animals in the streets make driving a challenge and time-consuming. Self-drives are not recommended and all professional tour providers rent out cars with drivers to their guests which makes transportation convenient and safe.