Frequently Asked Questions
How can family or Friend members contact us on the trip ?
If friends or family members need to get a message to you on the tour , the best way is to contact us via email ( firstname.lastname@example.org) or a message can be left on the local phone ( +251(0) 935480338), and follow the prompts. Our on-call duty manager will then respond accordingly 24/7.
Will I need a visa?
You will need a visa to enter Ethiopia. Visas on arrival are only available for tourists at Addis Ababa (Bole) or Dire Dawa International airports, at a cost of approximately $US50 for 1 month and $US75 for 3 months (Euros, US dollars and Ethiopian birr are all accepted). All other categories of visitor must get a visa from the Ethiopian Embassy closest to their place of legal residence before travelling.
Do I need to renew my passport? / How many blank pages do I need in my passport?
Yes, All passports must be valid for at least 6 months beyond your intended stay.
Will someone meet me when I arrive in Ethiopia?
Yes. Once you have cleared Customs and collected your luggage, a representative will be waiting with a sign with your name on it. Details will be on your Final itinerary.
Is there access to professional medical care at each camp?
What happens in case of a medical emergency? The camps/lodges will have a first aid kit, however in the case of a medical emergency, you will be transported out of the Mountain to the nearest medical center or hospital.
Do I need travel insurance?
Our Company offers full travel insurance coverage with Travelex. Should you decide to obtain travel insurance on your own.
Can we use our Credit Cards? / Are there ATMs?
Major international credit cards are accepted by most top hotels, restaurants and shops. Visa and MasterCard are most widely accepted. However, Cash is recommended in the camps/lodges whilst out on City’s. Visa is the most reliable card to use at ATMs.also MasterCard is accepted as well as other international ATM/credit cards can be withdrawn at an ATM and in limited amounts.
How much money should we take?
This will depend on your itinerary. On trip your camps/hotels are Full Board, which includes meals, game activities and park fees. and in some cases drinks and laundry. Hotels are generally bed and breakfast only. Not included during your trip would be tipping, visas, departure taxes, curios, extra meals at hotels/restaurants, drinks and laundry.
How much should we tip?
Tipping is always a difficult question to answer and our suggestions are a guideline only. You can of course tip whatever you feel comfortable with. This could increase if you have booked a private guide or tours, go to a restaurant, etc. For lodge and camp, leave whatever you feel appropriate for the service you experience. We do recommend putting your tips into envelopes before you leave (don’t seal them, as you can re-apportion as you go along!) as this helps to ensure you don’t run out of tipping cash before the end of your trip. Your final documents will have a more detailed tipping recommendation for your trip.
How do I keep my money/valuables safe?
We recommend that you keep your money/passports/tickets with you at all times.
Is luggage limited to one bag?
No, as long you keep within the weight allowance. Your allowance will vary depending on your trip itinerary, airline and class of travel. Keep in mind that laundry can be done at most city’s during the time you are on travel. Toiletries like soap, shampoo and conditioner are generally provided, so you only need to bring a small supply.
Is it Safe to visit Ethiopia ?
Ethiopia is generally a safe country, and Addis Ababa a safe city. However, one should still take the normal precautions, avoiding unfamiliar areas at night and not carrying large sums of money in accessible pockets. It is advisable to beware of pick-pocketing in certain areas, skilled at identifying new arrivals. Violent robbery and mugging are very rare and generally visitors can tour the city day and night safely. In fact, safety is one of the main factors contributing to the unique atmosphere in Ethiopia.
When is the best time to visit Ethiopia ?
Ethiopia can be visited at any time of the year. People are often advised against travelling during the rainy season, which normally runs from June until early October. However, this time has also its own advantages depending on where you go. In September and early October the scenery is particularly beautiful when the landscape is still green and whole country is turned into riot of wild flowers. The ideal time to visit Ethiopia is probably between October and April when rains are over, the countryside is still green and all roads should be accessible.
What clothing should we bring?
a) On trip in vehicles, any color clothing is OK. b) However if doing some walking in the mountains colors , plover, waterproof jacket, worm socks and gloves are preferred .
How do we charge our camera/iPad/cellphone?
Most hotels/lodges/camps have charging facilities either in your room or in the lounge area. Most modern gadgets have dual voltage built in. If not, you will need to bring your own adapters, and converters.
Will there be internet/Wi-Fi?
Internet access is becoming more widely available. In hotels might have a computer for use at a nominal fee, otherwise check with your service provider if you will be able to get internet access on your cell phone, laptop, iPad while in Africa. Wi-Fi connectivity varies in the hotels depending on their location. Wi-Fi would normally be free and available in the public areas.
Can I use my cell phone?
Your cell phone provider will be able to assist you with the possibility of using your own phone while in Africa; however obtaining international roaming service can be expensive. You will need to have your phone unlocked by your cell phone company in order to use it abroad. In most major cities you will be able to purchase a SIM card and air time which may be exchanged for your normal SIM card if your phone has one. Remember though that reception in the bush may not be possible. Use your cell phone only in private areas of camp for your privacy and in consideration of others.
Is bottled water provided?
Yes, during your trip we will provide you water. especially during the trekking. It is recommended that you drink at least 2 to 3 liters of water per day to limit the effects of dehydration – this excludes tea, coffee and alcoholic beverages.
What could I bring for donations?
(Making a Difference / Packing for a Purpose) We at simien mountains Ethiopia company are very involved in many Ethiopian communities, giving back to conservation projects and supporting guides at grass roots level. We are especially thrilled to assist students education as it is our hope they will continue in the wildlife conservation or tourism field. You can help by making a donation in supplies or monies. Please request our Donation Wishlist.