Ethiopian Airlines is one of Africa’s most successful and renowned airlines, providing better service on foreign flights to any Star Alliance member airline in the United States. Ethiopian Airlines’ major hub is Bole International Airport in Addis Ababa, which also serves Lufthansa, Sudan Airways, Kenya Airways, British Airways, KLM, Turkish Airways, Emirates, Gulf Air, Egypt Air, and fly Dubai. In 2003, a new runway and international terminal opened, claiming to be the biggest in Sub-Saharan Africa. International flights depart at Terminal 2, while local and regional flights depart from Terminal 1 (Djibouti, Nairobi, Khartoum, and other destinations). There are direct flights to and from Addis Ababa from Los Angeles, Newark, and Washington, D.C. in the United States. A direct trip isn’t really “direct” since each of these three routes has a layover in either Dublin or Lomé, depending on the airline you choose. Direct flights should not be confused with nonstop flights, which do not have any stops.
People will most likely approach you to assist you with your luggage. They’re mostly harmless and simply seeking for a buck, but it’s a good moment to misplace a bag. Twenty people will ask for a gratuity if you had one person assist you. One to five Birr is a sufficient tip if you have someone assist you, but most first-time tourists will not have Ethiopian money and will need to offer them international cash. If you hire a driver to bring you up from the airport, they will usually handle all of your tips.
Caution: It is not advisable to arrive in the nation without a significant currency such as euros or US dollars, particularly if you have not acquired a visa in advance (This has changed as of March 2015 as there are ATMs taking Visa and Mastercard at the airport aswell as forex-services taking a wide range of currencies). In most cases, travellers’ checks and cash may be exchanged at the airport. When foreigners arrive, they are often welcomed by a crowd of locals who offer to “assist” them put their baggage into vehicles. They’ll demand money after that, and if you’re unfamiliar with Ethiopian currency, you’ll probably give them more than you meant. A reasonable remuneration for a small job such as putting baggage into a vehicle would be between 5 and 15 birr (ignore requests for more money because you are a foreigner).
Dire Dawa, Mekele, and Bahir Dar all have international airports.
This is an excellent method to see Ethiopia, but it is more costly than public transportation. Outside of Addis Ababa, there are limited rental vehicle services, therefore you may choose to rely on the services of tour organizations that provide cars and 4x4s with drivers.
Border crossings from neighboring countries include the Sudanese border town of Metema.
Moyale is the Kenyan border town. The route between Kenya and Ethiopia through Moyale is considerably better and more well-maintained. The route on the Kenyan side of Moyale is terrible and notorious for banditry, so be cautious and allow plenty of time to drive from Moyale to Nairobi (at least 24 hours). The road, however, is presently being reconstructed and paved, with major parts completed.
You can get to the border via public transportation. You just stroll to the opposite side of the Sudan or Kenya crossings. If you arrive late at night at the border towns, avoid crossing the border in the dark. Wait in town and start your journey in the morning.
Buses that go a long distance begin running early in the morning. This means that if you arrive during the day, you will be stranded until the following morning at the very least.
Take a rough bus or truck (SDG700) to the border from Gedaref (Sudan). On the Sudanese side, there are a few small settlements and a larger town. Better, though still modest, lodging is available in Ethiopia. Buses to Gonder run out by mid-afternoon, so you’ll have to be there early or spend the night in Metema (around 50 birr).
From Djibouti, take a small bus to the border (2-3 hours) where buses to Dire Dawa are available. This is a dirt road, and the journey takes at least half a day; the bus will halt at nighttime, and you will continue your journey the following day. A bus from Ethiopia to Djibouti is scheduled to depart after midnight (buy tickets during the day at the office in the centre of Dire Dawa). This bus arrives in the morning at the Djibouti border, where you will transfer to a separate bus to go to Djibouti City. Hyenas prowl the streets of Dire Dawa at night, so taking a tuk-tuk to the bus terminal is a smart option.