The health risk information presented here is summarized from Shoreland Travax®, a decision-support tool used by health care providers to perform a detailed health risk analysis based on specific locations, individual travel styles, and traveler risk behaviors. Travax provides practitioners current, independently researched malaria risk and prevention recommendations in a map-based format that goes beyond the annual WHO and CDC statements included here. Not included here are current reports from Travax of disease outbreaks or environmental events that may pose elevated risks to travelers’ health and safety. The Providers section of this site offers a directory of health care providers who utilize Shoreland Travax for travel health counseling. Learn more about the detailed reports and maps available from these practitioners (includes links to samples).
Ethiopia is a developing nation classified as low income. Located in eastern Africa (north of Somalia and south of Sudan), the climate classifications range from humid equatorial (long dry season) to dry (arid), with cooler temperatures in some high-altitude areas.
See also: Library article for Yellow Fever
An official yellow fever vaccination certificate may be required depending on your itinerary. Vaccination is usually recommended if you’ll be traveling in areas where there is risk of yellow fever transmission.
- Requirement: A vaccination certificate is required for travelers aged ≥ 9 months coming from countries with risk of YF transmission. This also applies to airport transit stops (no exit through immigration checkpoint) longer than 12 hours in risk countries.
- Official Status: listed by WHO as a country where YF transmission risk is present.
Depending on your itinerary, your personal risk factors, and the length of your visit, your health care provider may offer you vaccination against cholera, hepatitis A, hepatitis B, influenza, measles, mumps, rubella, meningococcal meningitis, rabies, typhoid fever, or a one time polio booster if you haven't previously received one for travel. Routine immunizations, such as those that prevent tetanus/diphtheria or "childhood" diseases, should be reviewed and updated as needed.
See also: Library article for Malaria
The following is current information as reported by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC):
WHO—International Travel and Health (current online update, Country List)(2018) Malaria risk due to approximately 60% P. falciparum and 40% P. vivax exists throughout the year in the entire country below 2000 m. P. vivax resistance to chloroquine reported. There is no malaria risk in Addis Ababa.
- Recommended prevention in risk areas: C – Risk of P. falciparum malaria, in combination with reported chloroquine and sulfadoxine–pyrimethamine resistance. Mosquito bite prevention plus atovaquone–proguanil or doxycycline or mefloquine chemoprophylaxis (select according to reported side effects and contraindications) a
aAlternatively, for travel to rural areas with low risk of malaria infection, mosquito bite prevention can be combined with stand–by emergency treatment (SBET).
WHO Country List footnote: When available, the date of the most recent update or confirmation is indicated in parentheses in the country list. If no date is indicated, the most recent update or confirmation was provided before 2013.
CDC—Health Information for International Travel (current online edition)Areas with malaria: All areas below 2,500 m (8,202 ft), except none in the city of Addis Ababa (see Map 3-28).
- Estimated relative risk of malaria for US travelers: Moderate.
- Drug resistance4: Chloroquine.
- Malaria species: P. falciparum 60%-70%, P. vivax 30%-40%, P. malariae and P. ovale rare.
- Recommended chemoprophylaxis: Atovaquone-proguanil, doxycycline, or mefloquine.
4 Refers to P. falciparum malaria unless otherwise noted.
See also: Library article for Travelers' Diarrhea
High risk exists throughout the country, including in deluxe accommodations. Food and beverage precautions may reduce the likelihood of illness.
Travelers should carry loperamide for self-treatment of diarrhea and, if risk is moderate to high, an antibiotic to add if diarrhea is severe. Consult a knowledgeable health care provider regarding which antibiotic is appropriate for you and most effective for your destination.
Insect- and Arthropod-Borne Diseases
Other Disease and Health Risks
The material below includes information from the U.S. Department of State (DOS), U.K. Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO), Global Affairs Canada (GAC), and Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), as well as from additional open-source material. Standard safety precautions that apply to all international travel can be found in the Library article Safety and Security.
Consular Travel Advice
Due to terrorism, ongoing violence, and ethnic tensions, Australia (DFAT) advises avoiding travel to areas bordering Kenya, Eritrea, Somalia (including Somali Regional State), and South Sudan (including Gambela People's Regional State) and advises reconsidering travel (or avoiding nonessential travel) to Danakil Desert area (Afar Regional State) and Guji and Borena zones (Oromia Regional State). U.S. (DOS), U.K. (FCO), and Canada (GAC) have more limited warnings.
High risk of attack by domestic and transnational terrorist groups exists throughout the country, including Addis Ababa. Targets may include domestic and international organizations and businesses; public places and events, including those frequented by tourists; and transportation systems.
High risk of kidnapping by terrorist groups exists in Somali State and areas bordering Kenya and Eritrea, including the Danakil Desert area. Targets may include foreigners (especially Westerners and those working for oil companies), journalists, nongovernmental organization workers, missionaries, and aid workers.
Moderate risk of violent crime (armed robbery and carjacking) and high risk of petty crime exist in Addis Ababa (especially near hotels frequented by foreigners; in Entoto; on Bole Road; in the Merkato, Piazza, and surrounding areas) and on remote highways.
Theft of valuables from unattended vehicles is common.
Protests and demonstrations frequently occur throughout the country, especially in Addis Ababa and in Oromia and Amhara regional states, and have the potential to turn violent without warning. Bystanders are at risk of harm from violence or from the response by authorities. Disruption to transportation, free movement, or the ability to carry out daily activities may occur.
Ethnic tensions may be present in areas bordering Sudan, South Sudan (including Gambella People's Regional State), and Kenya.
Restricted areas may exist in Somali Regional State.
Desert excursions should only be undertaken with organized groups and experienced guides. Participants should inform someone not on the tour of their itinerary and anticipated return time. An adequate supply of food and water for extended unforeseen delays is essential.
Very high risk of traffic-related injury or death exists. The road-traffic death rate is greater than 24 per 100,000 population, the highest risk category. Carefully assess the safety of transportation options before any road travel. Speed laws are poorly enforced. Seek local advice before traveling on roads outside urban areas after dark. Driving at night is not advised.
Traffic flows on the right-hand side of the road. Travelers (including drivers and pedestrians) accustomed to traffic moving on the opposite side should be vigilant when navigating traffic.
Road-traffic collisions can lead to violent confrontations.
Many taxis are unsafe. Use taxis from official ranks or dispatched via smart phone app or radio from a reputable company and ascertain the license or identification number of the dispatched vehicle.
U.S. Federal Aviation Administration has determined that the civil aviation authority of this country oversees its air carriers in accordance with minimum international safety standards.
The rainy season is from June through September. Floods, mudslides, and landslides may occur.
Seismic activity occurs.
Selected Embassies or Consulates in Ethiopia
- United States: [+251] 111-30-60-00; et.usembassy.gov
- Canada: [+251] 11-371-00-00; www.canadainternational.gc.ca/ethiopia-ethiopie
- United Kingdom: [+251] 11-6170100; www.gov.uk/world/organisations/british-embassy-addis-ababa
- Australia: [+251] 11-667-2678; ethiopia.embassy.gov.au
Ethiopia's Embassies or Consulates in Selected Countries
- In the U.S.: www.ethiopianembassy.org
- In Canada: [+1] 613-565-6637
- In the U.K.: www.ethioembassy.org.uk
- In Australia: [61+] 02-62959984
HIV testing is not required to obtain a tourist, work, or residence visa.