Fly To Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
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Addis Ababa is the largest and wealthiest city in Ethiopia, and is often called the political capital of Africa because of the number of missions and embassies it houses. The city is far from just stuffy diplomats and complicated politics, though – it’s surprisingly hip, and has a wonderfully positive confidence about it.
The confidence may have something to do with Addis Ababa’s thriving economy, but a lot of its charm comes from the sheer variety of ethnicities, religions and traditions that come together in this balmy town.
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Visa Requirements and SA Embassy Details
- South African Passport holders do need a Visa to visit Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Leave plenty of time for Visa processing, and make sure your passport is valid for 6 months after your return date, and that you have 3 blank pages available for entry stamps.
- The South African Embassy to Ethiopia is situated in Addis Ababa. Nifasilk Lafto, Subcity Kebele 03 South Africa Avenue (Old Airport Area). Phone: + 251 11 371 1002.
See and do
Addis Ababa is famous for two main things: being the political centre of Africa, and the cultural centre of Ethiopia. It stands to reason that many of its attractions revolve around those two facets.
If politics interests you, Africa Hall should be your first stop. As the headquarters for the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, as well as most other Ethiopian UN offices, its political pedigree is unquestionable. The Red Terror Museum and Parliament Buildings are also worth a visit, as is Menelik’s Old Imperial Palace.
Cultural attractions are also plentiful, and between the mosques, cathedrals, museums and palaces, you’ll be kept on your feet for many a fascinated hour. Save some energy for the evenings though – Bole Road’s bars, eateries and clubs are well-known hot spots for Addis Ababa’s trendy nightlife.
When it’s time to pick up a few keepsakes, take a trip to the Mercato – the largest outdoor market in the world. Haggling is standard, so practice your no-nonsense bargaining. Pick up some traditional Ethiopian clothing or genuine leather goods, or grab a bag or two of coffee beans, said to be among the best in the world.
The easiest way to get around Addis Ababa is in the shared blue and white minibus “taxis”. There are government operated taxis as well, but you’ll pay more for the privacy and comfort of these sedans. Renting a bicycle is also an option, and you’ll see more of the city that way. Just keep an eye out for cars – Ethiopian drivers aren’t known for their restraint.
Addis Ababa Bole International Airport – ADD
Food and beverage: There are a few coffee shops in the airport, as well as some private lounges that offer complimentary coffee to guests.
Currency Exchange: Addis Ababa Bole Airport Currency Exchange offices are situated in the International Arrivals Hallway.
Lost Luggage: Lost hold luggage should be handled by your individual airline’s help desk. Report items lost or found within the terminals to airport security, who will direct you appropriately.
Airport Hotels: None on site. Nearby is the Kaleb Hotel, Harmony Hotel Addis Ababa, Dreamliner Hotel and Panorama Hotel Addis Ababa.
Car Hire: National, Europcar offer car rental services at Addis Ababa Airport.
Airport Hub: Bole Airport (code ADD) is a hub for Ethiopian Airlines.