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Facts you should consider while traveling to Ethiopia

3,631 Comments · Traveling to Ethiopia

Ethiopians are proud of their culture and civilization. They do not expect or warrant condescending behaviour. For the most part, they are sociable toward gusts. In the |towns, you will oftentimes find young men – or rather, they will find you – who will propose to lead you about. Unemployment is high, and they will possibly be out of work and hoping for a tip and an opportunity to learn something concerning your part of the world.

Begging is prevalent and an accepted way of life for thousands of poor Ethiopians. You will come across beggars at most of the main intersections in Addis Ababa. Even in the rural areas, you will come across the old or the blind standing by the side of the road asking for help in the name of God. |Even though this tends to be confusing for Westerners, it is much more accepted in both the Muslim and the Ethiopian Orthodox way of life.

In Addis, the capital, Hope Enterprises on Churchill Avenue runs a low–cost meal service for the needy, and from them you can buy very economical tickets to offer to beggars, entitling the |possessor to a meal.

Traffic police abound, and there is one, often two or three, at every main traffic circle in Addis Ababa. Bribery and corruption exit, |nevertheless on a much lower scale than in many other countries in Africa and elsewhere in the world.

You possibly take photographs of most things and scenes you see. Some people will be offended by having their picture taken, and it is a civility to ask, even if by sign language (such as bowing before taking a photo). Government installations such as the palaces used by the president and military establishments are off limits, and there are signs saying so – although they are oftentimes only in Amharic (a working language). Zealous policemen or soldiers may not know the rules and may hinder you to photograph scenes that are on the record okay. It is best not to disagree with them. Some religious leaders, too, are offended by photos taken on holy ground without prior permission.

People in service industries that you will meet – such as those working in hotels tour agencies car hires restaurants – are friendly and helpful. Tips of up to 10% are an accepted practice and appreciated. At night it is diplomatic to tip the guard who watches your car out side a restaurant. One birr (approximately 0.10US dollar) is standard. During the day, street parking boys will would like to get a tip for watching your car while you shop. You are not required to tip them for their unsolicited services.

Security: Street crime exists principally in the form of pickpocketing or the snatching of handbags gold neck chains earrings. Addis Ababa is filled to overloaded with migrants coming in the city from rural areas, especially after the 1991 change of government, which resulted in many displaced and homeless people. You can walk the streets unharmed in the daytime, although you should be attentive to incidents in which people unnecessarily elbow you – a technique pick pockets often use. At night it is wiser to take a taxi to your destination.

In a country where there is wide-ranging broad poverty it is unwise to display the trappings of a more prosperous society. Don’t wear gold jewellery on the streets and leave valuables with hotel security. Vehicles are basically safe if locked and valuables are not on display. Be careful, take precaution, nevertheless don’t let pointless fear blemish your enjoyment of a country that has so much to offer.


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