Ethiopia is three hours ahead of GMT and observes Eastern Africa (EAT) time all year round. So in summer, the time difference with the UK is just two hours.
The currency is the Birr, divided into cents. It is a closed currency so is not available outside of the country. It is best to exchange cash in the airport or hotels and cards are not widely accepted.
Electricity and Plugs
The voltage is 220 volts. Plugs are C and F type so travellers from the UK will need adapters. Power cuts are frequent so we’d recommend taking a torch (which is incidentally very handy for visiting churches).
Shops are open Monday to Friday from 08:00 to 12:30 and from 15:30 to 19:30; Saturday from 09:00 to 13:00 and 15:00 to 19:00.
Mail is slow. If you are going to post during your holidays in Ethiopia, it’s best to do so in Addis Ababa.
To phone Ethiopia from the UK, add 00 251 to the front of the number you’re dialling (removing the first zero from the number you’re dialling). To call the UK from Ethiopia, use 00 44 before dialling the number (again, without the first zero).
Internet and Mobile Coverage
WiFi is becoming increasingly available in hotels in Ethiopia, although the bandwidth is often so poor that it will be very slow. If you need phone reception in Ethiopia it is best to buy a local SIM card on arrival as signal is incredibly hit and miss throughout the country. You should also check with your network before travelling.