What to Bring For Addis Ababa

  • Passport, plane tickets
  • Camera
  • Pullover or sweater for the evening (it gets cool at night)
  • Clothes that are respectful of the fact that this is a highly religious country (both Christian and Muslim); it is not culturally acceptable to wear very skimpy clothes here, especially not in rural areas or when visiting churches. (It is fine to wear shorts and t-shirts while running.)
  • Hat or headscarf (to keep the sun off, and needed in churches)
  • Sandals
  • Sunglasses
  • Sun tan lotion
  • Money: bring euros or dollars (there are a couple of ATMs in Addis that you can use to get Ethiopian birr)
  • Oral rehydration salts (eg Dioralyte) and anti-diarrhea tablets (eg Imodium)
  • Charger for your mobile phone
  • Trail shoes (if you are a runner)

If you are staying with us, you do NOT need to bring towels, sheets, electrical adapters. We can also lend you a guide book.

If you are travelling out of Addis

If you are travelling out of Addis, then in addition to the above you should bring:

  • Malaria tablets (if you are travelling below 2,000 metres, as you probably will)
  • Mosquito bednet
  • Insect repellent
  • A sleeping sack (to avoid bedbugs in cheap hotels) (example)
  • Multi sized bath & sink plug
  • Travel alarm clock
  • Money Belt
  • A small torch or head torch
  • Rucksack or day pack
  • Hiking boots if you are going hiking

6 Responses to What to bring

  • to add to the packing list:
    * torch – a wind up torch is useful so you don’t have to worry about batteries – and useful in Addis as well as out
    * tissues and wet wipes – you can also buy anti-bacterial gels/sprays for washing your hands without water which is sometimes useful as there isn’t always water available for washing your hands
    * I found a light long scarf useful for covering up arms and head in churches, or for a light cover earlier in the morning when it is still cool
    * sandals are fine for walking around but you’ll be walking on unmade up roads and in a lot of dirt and dust so make sure they are sturdy and give you support/protection
    * I changed sterling to Birr at the airport with no problem

  • Things to take

    There were a few things I wished I had with me:

    – I kicked myself for forgetting my binoculars

    - I would take two sorts of lip balm. I took a good twist-up stick of a balm with SPF 20. That was fine to a point, but it’s hard to describe just how much the combination of heat and dust can attack your lips and I ended up with cracked sores at the corners of my mouth, so that it was painful to open. I’d recommend taking a lipbalm with a decent level of sunscreen but also a little pot of something like vaseline, which you can use to really put some moisture back and avoid cracking.

    - I ended up with very itchy heat rash on my legs and they became incredibly dry. I’d take some sort of intesive body lotion. If you’re susceptible to heat rash, you might want to consider taking something more targeted – I understand some people use antihistmine

  • Speaking of camping gear. Can u get the screw on butane canisters for a typical camp stove over there? I ask because these canisters are impossible to travel with.

  • A sleeping sack (to avoid bedbugs in cheap hotels) (example)

     This advice will not work. Bedbugs reside in the cracks of walls and in the joints of furniture and beds etc. and will start moving towards a warm body sitting on or sleeping in a bed and start biting around the exposed cheeks, neck, arms etc. without needing to go further into the sheets/sleeping bag.

    A well tucked in mosquito net can help to keep them out but that depends how large the fabric holes are.

    I don’t know if Ethiopian bed bugs differ from those in India but there on entering  a room I’d sit on the bed leaning on it with my bare hand and wait about 3-5 mins. to see if any bed bugs came crawling toward it. Several would often do so and by killing those would reduce if not eliminate a night attack.

  • Take some mosquito repellantfrom home. Deep Woods Off is good. Anything similar is fine. The reason is that it is next to impossible to find mosquito repellant in Addis or nearby towns and you will need it at lower elevations. Also, I suggest carrying a small first-aid kit with antibacterials and antibiotic creams. Pharmacies and medical facilties are not available in small tons and villages. Where they are available you might find them closed whne you really need them. Lalibella is a perfect example. Despite the fact thousands of tourists go there you cannot access even basic medical supplies like polysporin or neosporin etcetera. There is nothing. So go prepared. 

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