Safety, Security & Health

Safety & Security

Like other African countries, Ethiopia sometimes moves into light not to be safe. From our experience operating tours for almost a decade now, we can tell you there is nothing to worry about as a tourist. Ethiopians are open and very friendly to visitors.

No doubt we have our problems and challenges but not in the touristic destinations. Sure we are still one of the poorest countries in the world but for more than a decade economic growth is slowly spreading from the cities to the countryside as well.

Violent crimes are very rare. Tourists should be aware of pickpockets in crowded places such as markets and it is better not to show off valuables and money. In some regions, it is not recommended to drive before dawn. In some remote areas, separatist movements have been active in the last years. Those regions are usually not easy to visit, or only with official authorization.

Health Issues

The biggest health problems for tourists are usually gastroenteritis caused by unusual food and contaminated water. You can prevent this by giving attention to the following points:

  • Drink only water from bottles, no tap water.
  • Use also bottled water for brushing your teeth.
  • Keep flies away from your food.
  • Wash your hands as often as possible with soap.
  • Always peel raw fruits and vegetables.
  • Avoid salads, ice, ice cubes, fresh milk, fresh juices, and not thoroughly cooked meat

Consult your doctor before the tour about vaccinations and medications. Generally, the following is recommended:

  • Current measles, mumps, rubella, polio, tetanus, diphtheria, and whooping cough vaccines
  • Hepatitis A&B
  • Typhoid
  • Yellow fever (when entering from another African country only)
  • Malaria prophylaxis depends on which areas are visited.

Many regions in the country are free of malaria because of their height. Generally for the North, it’s not needed, for the South sometimes. Professional advice is recommended.

High Altitudes

If you’re going to Simien Mountains or other high-altitude destinations, you should know the precautions for altitude sickness. The most important one is to give yourself time to acclimate to the new altitude before trekking or doing any strenuous activities. It’s really important to arrive in-country a day or two before your trek begins. 

Drink plenty of water and avoid alcohol while adjusting to high altitudes. Snack on healthy carbs to keep your energy up. And always walk at a pace that’s comfortable for you. This isn’t the place to push yourself.