Money & Tipping

Money & ATM's

Cash can be brought for safety if an ATM is empty or does not function. Ideally, you should bring a credit card with you, as withdrawing money from cash machines with the Maestro card is only possible in larger cities. With a credit card, you can easily withdraw money at almost all cash machines, and you are insured in case of damage. VISA and Mastercard are the commonly accepted credit cards, but American Express and Diners Club are also accepted in large hotels and ATMs. Meanwhile, the network of ATMs in the country is very well developed. It is therefore no longer absolutely necessary to carry cash. In addition, you should take along a cash reserve (about US$/€200 p.p.) to be prepared for all eventualities.


Consider tipping as an expected thing for local helpers, guides, and drivers along your trip. Generally, tipping them a minimum of 10% is a good thing. On average, guides or drivers earn about 25 to 50 Euros per day, so a fair tip should be about €2.5 to €5 per day per group.

Other tips:

  • Foreigner restaurants (Ferengi restaurants): about 10% if the service charge is not already included
  • Local restaurants: rounding up the bill, 5% is fine
  • Porters: 20-30 Birr; 0.5 US$ per piece of luggage (consider that in some places like inside the airport helping with luggage might be regulated and a fixed amount is charged)
  • For the trekking tours also tip staff such as cooks, assistants, scouts, mule men (you can ask and discuss this openly with you guide)


We would ask you not to bring any gifts for Ethiopians from home. Also don’t spoil children by giving them candies, pencils or other things. Mostly this only leads to envy and disputes among people. As SimienEcoTours, we are committed to sustainable tourism. Therefore a part of your travel price will be donated to social projects in the country. We will visit with you community tourism projects that support local development. There is also the possibility to get to know our projects on site and to donate if you want. Find out more about our local charities here.