How Safe Is Addis Ababa for Travel?

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Safety Index:
72

Addis Ababa is the capital city of Ethiopia.

The city is the largest in the country.

There are more than 120 international missions and embassies in Addis Ababa, making the city a hub for international diplomacy concerning Africa.

The headquarters of the African Union and the UN Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) are both in the city.

The unique culture and life of the African country attract many tourists to this city.

Here you can visit Ethiopian National Museum, Parliament Building, Catholic churches, and mosques, Ethiopian Ethnological Museum, Addis Ababa Museum with artifacts and exhibits from Addis Ababa, and many others.

Warnings & Dangers in Addis Ababa

Overall Risk

OVERALL RISK : MEDIUM

Addis Ababa is generally much safer than other cities in Ethiopia. The main risks are petty fraud and theft. You should beware of people who distract you and carefully monitor their pockets. Avoid some areas with stray dogs and be careful at night - blackouts are not uncommon.

Transport & Taxis Risk

TRANSPORT & TAXIS RISK : MEDIUM

Public transport is a cheap way to travel around the city, but it may not be on schedule and maybe insecure due to pickpockets. Taxi is safe, but do not take the car from the street, order only a licensed service and make sure that the taximeter is turned on.

Pickpockets Risk

PICKPOCKETS RISK : HIGH

There are a lot of pickpockets. This is the main problem in this city. Most likely you will encounter the fact that they are trying to distract you so that another person empties your pockets. Be especially careful in markets and in crowded places. Do not carry a lot of cash and precious things.

Natural Disasters Risk

NATURAL DISASTERS RISK : MEDIUM

This region is exposed to numerous hazards, including droughts, floods, volcanoes, and earthquakes. Multiple factors influence the city's vulnerability to natural hazards, including dependence on rain-fed agriculture, low economic development, deforestation, land degradation.

Mugging Risk

MUGGING RISK : MEDIUM

Violent crimes in Addis Ababa are rather rare. And criminals, who try to rob you - are just minor children. They are easily frightened off if they see that their intentions are noticed. Try to avoid the remote areas of the city and not walk late at night to prevent any attacks in the city.

Terrorism Risk

TERRORISM RISK : MEDIUM

Terror attacks are possible in Addis Ababa. Travelers should be vigilant at all times, especially in crowded areas and public places like transport hubs, hotels, restaurants, bars and places of worship and during major gatherings like religious or sporting events.

Scams Risk

SCAMS RISK : MEDIUM

The frequent scam that happens here with tourists is an offer of treats. You may be offered to taste wine or treats and then demand pay too much for this. Do not get involved in such invitations or threaten and call the police if fraudsters insist on a large amount of money for the offered treats.

Women Travelers Risk

WOMEN TRAVELERS RISK : MEDIUM

Compared with many African countries, Ethiopia is pretty easygoing for women travelers. The risk of rape or other serious offenses is likely lower than in many Western countries. However, for personal safety, you should avoid walking around the city at night and not attract too much attention to your clothes.

So... How Safe Is Addis Ababa Really?

Addis Ababa is safer than most cities in Africa.

The index of crime here is moderate.

Most crimes here are connected with thieves, carjacking and corruption.

Gang violence and similar serious activities are unusual in this city.

But, pick-pockets are common around and inside Bole Airport, Mercato, Piazza areas, any tourist area at all.

Keep your belongings close, and pay attention to your surroundings.

Another common form of crime is to divert attention to rob you.

Someone on the street or in malls/markets can grab your hand by asking or asking for help.

At the same time, the second accomplice will empty your pockets.

There are a lot of such cases.

Therefore, be especially on the alert and carefully monitor your pockets and personal belongings.

Never leave anything in the car while traveling on it and lock it securely.

And better park car in guarded parking.

In Addis Ababa, major streets are generally safe at night.

One problem, especially near Meskel Square and Churchill Avenue, are packs of stray dogs that may gang up on you, follow you around, bark at you, and even charge at you.

Blackouts are frequent nights.

Because of this, it is advised to carry a lantern at night.

Also, note that there are many uncovered manholes in the pavement.

Useful Information

  • Visas - Visitors to Ethiopia must obtain a visa from one of the Ethiopian diplomatic missions unless they come from one of the visa-exempt countries or countries whose citizens are eligible to apply for an electronic visa or visa on arrival. A valid passport is a must.
  • Currency - The birr is the official unit of currency in Ethiopia. It's subdivided to 100 cents. Currently in circulation are banknotes in denominations of 1, 5, 10, 50 and 100 birr 1997-2013 years of issue.
  • Weather - The best time to visit Addis Ababa for good weather is between October and June when it is the dry season. Rains tend to stop in early October, meaning afterward the highlands are lush and green – perfect for trekking amongst pretty wildflowers that have sprung up.
  • Airports - Addis Ababa Bole International Airport is in the city of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. It is located in the Bole area, 6 km southeast of the city center. It is the central hub of Ethiopian Airlines, the national airline that serves destinations in Ethiopia and throughout the African continent, as well as nonstop service to Asia, Europe, North America, and South America.
  • Travel Insurance - The travel insurance policy is a must when visiting a foreign country. Make sure you got it before starting your journey, the customs officer may ask for it.
Click here to get an offer for travel insurance

Addis Ababa Weather Averages (Temperatures)

Jan 17° C
Feb 18° C
Mar 19° C
Apr 19° C
May 19° C
Jun 18° C
Jul 17° C
Aug 17° C
Sep 17° C
Oct 17° C
Nov 16° C
Dec 16° C
Choose Temperature Unit

Average High/Low Temperature

Temperature / MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
High
°C
242525252523212122232323
Low
°C
911121313121212121098
High
°F
757777777773707072737373
Low
°F
485254555554545454504846

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