We are doing our utmost to adhere to international travel protocols and Ethiopian government regulations for reducing the spread of COVID-19. It should be noted that in Tigray where our tours are based there continue to be tight controls for minimising the spread of the virus and relatively few confirmed cases despite extensive testing. In order to keep our clients safe while on tour with us, we have prepared a COVID-19 briefing document which gives information about specific measures that will be in place for the safety and wellbeing of our clients. We will be pleased to send this to you on request.
Ethiopian Airlines has a generous baggage allowance for international flights in Economy of 46kg (2 pieces x 23kg for the hold and 10kg carry-on). If you replace one of your 23kg bags for the hold with your bike box and keep your overall total to under 46kg, you might not be charged any extra bike carriage fee, though you will only find this out once at the airport. The standard quoted fee is $100 each way. When checking in for your international flight to Addis Ababa, you should try to get your bike (and other hold luggage) tagged all the way through to Mekelle, so that you don’t need to collect any luggage on arrival in Addis. Note that the baggage allowance for domestic flights is 20kg for the hold and 10kg carry-on, but this does not apply if the domestic flight is a direct add-on to an international flight.
When you arrive in Addis Ababa off your international flight, you need to connect onto a domestic flight from Addis Ababa to Mekelle (also spelled Makale). There are several daily flights from Addis Ababa to Mekelle with a flying time of 60 minutes. If you arrive in Addis Ababa in the early morning, we suggest that you book onto the mid-morning flight (ET106) to Mekelle to give yourself enough time to make the connection in case of delays. To get your connecting flight you need to go on foot from the international terminal (T2) to the domestic terminal (T1). This will take you around 10 minutes once you arrive in the main Arrivals Hall.
Yes, unless you are a national of Kenya or Djibouti. E-visas can be obtained online before you travel to Ethiopia. The current fee is $52 (or its equivalent in £) for a single-entry 30-day tourist visa. To apply online for an Ethiopian entry visa go to https://www.evisa.gov.et If you choose to get your visa on arrival in Addis Ababa, US dollars, Euros and British pounds and Ethiopian birr are all accepted for payment.
Most ATMs in Ethiopia accept VISA cards for withdrawing cash. There is a maximum withdrawal amount of 2000 birr per transaction. There is an ATM in the airport terminal. There are also two banks inside the terminal building offering currency exchange which can be accessed either from the passport area or from the baggage collection area.
It is your responsibility to check that you are up-to-date with your vaccinations. You should be up-to-date with your vaccinations for Hep A, typhoid and tetanus. Jabs for rabies, meningitis and yellow fever are not necessary. More information is available here. Note that the requirement of proof of a yellow fever vaccination is only for those arriving from a country with risk of yellow fever and that this proof is no longer required for travellers arriving from Europe and North America. Because of its high altitude and the dry climate, the region where you will be cycling is not known as a malarious area.
Once you have booked the international sector of the flight, we can help you by booking your add-on domestic flights. You will need to give us your PNR from your international flight booking. Please note that domestic flights are non-refundable and penalty fees are charged for any changes.
We have only a limited supply of rental bikes and we prioritise those clients who book tours with us, so it is unlikely that we will be able to help you with rental bikes for tours in other parts of Ethiopia. For the same reason, we do not hire out bikes for self-ride tours as we do not recommend this as a safe and enjoyable way to travel in Ethiopia.
You will have use of multi-tools, tyre levers, pedal spanners and track pumps for assembling your bike. In Mekelle we also have access spare wheels and tyres and other spare parts if your bike needs any repairs. However, we recommend that you check that your bike is in good working condition before you come to Ethiopia and that you pack your bike securely so that it does not suffer any damage on during your plane journey.
After you confirm your tour, we will send you a suggested packing list to cover both the cycling and non-cycling parts of your tour with us.
We can arrange for your bike to be stored either in Mekelle or in Addis at the end of your cycling if you plan to extend your stay in Ethiopia at the end of your cycling. It is often easier to return to Addis Ababa immediately after your cycling has finished, leave your bike there and then continue your travelling. We will be happy to advise you about this.