The best time of year to visit Ethiopia

The best time of year to visit Ethiopia. Image credit: AdobeStock

The best time of year to visit Ethiopia

Ethiopia is a haven for travellers, which is one of the reasons many would-be travellers want to know the best time of the year to visit the beautiful country.

The best time of year to visit Ethiopia

The best time of year to visit Ethiopia. Image credit: AdobeStock

Ethiopia is, without a doubt, one of the most beautiful countries to visit in Africa. Besides its rich history, the large country enjoys a diverse and rich culture, amazing wildlife, and a landscape that will take your breath away.

Ethiopian Visa Requirements for South African Citizens 

If you are a South African citizen intending to visit Ethiopia, you will need a visa. Fortunately,  Ethiopia has one of the world’s fastest and stress-free visa application processes. There are several ways to apply for an Ethiopian visa. 

You can choose to secure a visa on arrival, visit the Ethiopian consulate or embassy for one, or make your application online. Online application for an Ethiopia visa for South African citizens is the most convenient, straightforward, and you do not have to worry about any queues. 

The requirements needed for the visa application are:

  • Your South African passport 
  • Personal details that include full names, date of birth, 
  • Gender  
  • Current address 
  • Passport photo
  • Credit or debit card for payment of fees, 
  • Health information
  • Travel details

When Is the Best Time to Visit Ethiopia?

Some people imagine that being in an equatorial position; Ethiopia has a hot and extremely dry climate. On the contrary, Ethiopia enjoys a milder climate compared to its other East African counterparts. The average temperatures in most regions are around 200 C (860 F), depending on the altitude. 

Being a large country, Ethiopia has several regions, and they all have varying seasonal characteristics. The southern part of the country has a tropical-like climate, with the eastern region leaning more to a desert type of climate and the central area enjoying mild weather.

During the cold season, temperatures can go extremely low, making a visit to the country during this period not seem like such a great idea. Therefore, the best time to visit Ethiopia is during the dry season, which is between October and June

The high season for visitors is from January to March, when the weather is amicable, with temperatures averaging between 10 and 24 degrees centigrade. The average rainfall during this period is between 20 and 80 mm. During this period, the dry season or summer is perfect for outdoor adventures that include:

  • Hiking in the Bale and Simien Mountains
  • Game drives to see the amazing wildlife, such as giraffes,  wolves, and ibex
  • An adventurous tour of the Great Rift Valley and the Danakil depression 
  • Vibrant Ethiopian festivals such as Leddet and Timkat
  • Visit Mago and Omo valley national parks

The things you can do and places you can visit in Ethiopia during the friendly season are endless. However, during the wet season, which occurs from June to September, most of the country becomes too wet, with many trekking routes and heritage sites becoming inaccessible to visitors. The good thing is that unlike the other East African countries that have a tropical climate and several rainy seasons, Ethiopia experiences only one rainy season.

Wrapping it up

So what is the best time to visit Ethiopia? 

The best time is during the dry season, from October to March, with the highlight of the best moments being from January to March. Ethiopia is vast, and besides the excellent weather, it has a lot to offer its visitors. Note that during the cooler temperatures, Ethiopia can get freezing, so pack some warm clothing.