Ethiopia - Omo Valley Explorer
Ethiopia - Omo Valley Explorer
Foreign Office Travel Warnings
We constantly monitor the advice posted by the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO). In particular we will always advise clients of any travel warnings. At the time of writing the Foreign and Commonwealth Office does not advise against travel to any of the areas within Ethiopia that we visit on our tours. Please feel free to contact us should you have any specific concerns or if would like to know in detail what measures are being taken to ensure visits remain trouble free and without incident.
It should be noted that this information applies to British citizens. Other nationals are asked to check the current position of their respective government.
Accommodation and Meals
At Undiscovered Destinations we know our travellers prefer to stay in comfortable, mid-range accommodation. With a few exceptions you can expect rooms to be en-suite, with private bathroom and when necessary air-conditioning will be provided. In general you will find your hotel has a restaurant and/or bar.
We welcome solo travellers and single rooms will be allocated subject to the applicable tour supplement. Please note that on occasions you may not always be allocated a double or twin room, as some hotels have designated single rooms. These may be smaller in size. However, the supplement payable takes this into consideration.
Food & Drinks
The daily meal basis is shown in the tour itinerary; Breakfast (B), Lunch (L) and Dinner (D). Please note that lunch may be a picnic. Drinks are not included and will be payable locally in cash.
If you have any special dietary requirements you must notify us at the time of booking. While we will make every effort to cater for you, we cannot guarantee that this will be possible.
Budgeting for your Tour
You will need some extra money to cover meals and drinks not included in the tour price, any optional sightseeing, souvenirs and items of a personal nature such as laundry.
The costs for meals may vary depending upon location, type of restaurant and number of courses eaten and so the prices given are an average guide. Local restaurants located off the beaten track may be less expensive, whereas an upmarket restaurant located in the centre of a major city may charge more.
Lunch and Dinner £8-£10
The prices for drinks can vary greatly depending upon location and the prices detailed below are an average guide. In general you would expect that drinks purchased in a supermarket or local bar to be less expensive, whilst drinks in an upmarket bar or restaurant may be more expensive.
Bottle of Beer (Imported) £1.30
Bottle of Water (large) £1
Tipping – Guide and Drivers
Tipping is common practise in Africa. If your local guide has been helpful then you could think about tipping. The amount is up to you but on the group tour $3 per day for the driver and $5 per day for the guide is a guideline.
ATM Availability: There are a growing number of ATM machines across the country but we recommend that you bring cash
Credit and Debit Card Acceptance: Cards are not widely accepted
Local Currency: Birr (ETB)
Recommended Currency for Exchange: Sterling, Euros and US Dollars are all easy to change. However please note that smaller towns often have very limited or no exchange facilities
Where to Exchange: It’s relatively easy to exchange money in Ethiopia, either at the airport on arrival or in one of the many banks- your guide will help.
Joining your Tour
Our advertised prices do not include the cost of international flights. Please contact us if you would like a quotation to book a ‘flight inclusive’ package. Your flight inclusive package will be fully protected by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) ATOL protection scheme.
Joining Your Tour Abroad
Customers booked on the ‘Land Only’ arrangements will receive a free airport transfer, both on arrival and departure. In order that the transfer can be arranged please ensure that you advise us of your flight information once available. Please advise the date, time and flight number for your arrival/departure. If we have not been advised of this information at least 2 weeks before travel, then you will be required to make your own way to the hotel on Day 1 of your tour.
It is a condition of booking with Undiscovered Destinations that you have adequate valid travel insurance, the cost of which is not included in the price of the tour. It is your responsibility to arrange appropriate travel insurance and ensure you have read and understood the full terms and conditions of your travel insurance policy to ensure that you are covered for all activities you intend to undertake whilst on the tour, including all optional activities. Your Insurance Policy must fully cover you for medical expenses and emergency repatriation to your home country. Please ensure your policy includes medical emergency helicopter evacuation in the event of illness or injury and covers the entire duration of your holiday. If you are trekking at altitude please ensure that there is no upper altitude limit which may limit or exclude cover for your trip.
Most nationals, including those from the UK, EU and US require a visa for entry into Ethiopia. These can be obtained before travel, but it is also now possible to obtain a visa on arrival for many nationalities, at a cost of $50. The embassy website states that you should take two passport sized photos with you although a photo is taken by Immigration officials in Addis Ababa. Regulations do frequently change though so we advise that you check the current requirements with your nearest embassy.
It is your responsibility to ensure that you are in possession of a full passport, valid for at least six months after the date of return to the UK.
We strongly advise that your passport contains a minimum of two blank pages, as this may be a requirement of the local immigration authorities. In addition certain countries will stipulate that the two blank pages are opposite each other. If you are unable to meet these requirements you may be refused boarding by your airline or denied entry by the immigration authorities.
For specific information about the requirements for your destination please check with the country’s embassy or consulate. Alternatively UK citizens can visit www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice
Vaccinations & Protection
As with travel to most parts of Africa, we strongly recommend that you contact your doctor’s surgery or a specialist travel clinic for up-to-date information, advice and the necessary vaccinations. For a visit of less than one month, almost certainly you will be advised to have immunisations against the following: Diphtheria and Tetanus, Hepatitis A, Typhoid, Meningitis. Anti-malaria medication may also be required and the use of a DEET-containing insect repellent is highly recommended. Please note that the risk of malaria on our Historic Ethiopia tour is minimal.
Preparing for your tour
Most of Ethiopia is blessed with a fairly pleasant temperature year round, but like much of Africa it has wet and dry seasons. In the north most of the rain falls between June and early October, while in the Omo Valley the rains typically arrive between March and June but climate change is making the weather more difficult to predict. (The improved condition of the roads used in this area means that tours are not affected by this.) The temperature in the south, including the Omo Valley, can be quite hot, while the altitude of the north means that temperatures are typically more moderate and it can be cold in the mountains at night.
When it comes to clothing it is usually recommended that lighter clothes are worn through the day, and warmer ones at night. A hat is also advised to be worn through the day to protect from the sun, along with at least one piece of waterproof clothing for any days that the weather may be wet or windy.
The first thing on your list should be a first aid kit. Whilst there is no undue cause for alarm, travellers are best advised to travel well-prepared: adequately immunized, with sufficient supplies of prescription drugs, along with a medical kit. Suncream/sunblock is a must. Insect repellent, including a bite spray will also be useful to have. It is advisable to take a torch, as the electricity supply can be erratic. Honey is a popular purchase in the north of Ethiopia but the containers in which it is sold are not efficiently sealed. If you are considering purchasing some you may wish to take a container with you.
Footwear is a main priority on this tour. Sturdy but comfortable walking shoes/boots are recommended.
Luggage on tour
Your luggage should not exceed 20kgs (44lbs). One large suitcase/rucksack, and one small hand luggage rucksack is acceptable.
Electric Supply & Plugs
Electrical supply is 220V/50 Hz and plugs usually have two round pins.
Tour Itinerary Versions
Please ensure that you have an up-to-date copy of these tour notes immediately before you travel, as from time to time our itineraries may be amended, either for operational reasons or in response to feedback from customers. You will be informed of any major changes to your tour but small changes may just be added to these tour notes. These tour notes were prepared on 07/07/2016