Entry Ethiopia and Border Crossing

Ethiopia has a population of 71.3 million people and a gross domestic product of US$ 11.2 billion. There are a number of issues to address in road safety in Ethiopia, including major risk factors, coordination of road safety work, institutional capacity and data collection systems. Ethiopia prepared the “National Road Safety Strategic Plan of Ethiopia 2011 to 2021 “ to address the road security and safety issues.

From time to time due to various political or community issues there are road constraints put in place by the government for a period of time. This could happen in some regions of the country. Currently there is conflict and unrest in the region of Tigray, so there are possible security issues on routes that lead to Tigray.

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Entry to Ethiopia by Visa

  • Ethiopia being a land locked country is using the neighboring Djibouti port as the main access to sea port for its import export business. To this date the paved road connecting Ethiopia and Djibouti was used, and recently a railway connection Addis Ababa – Djibouti is introduced.
  • The Government of Ethiopia (GOE) has steadily expanded its road network in recent years. As of the end of 2018/19, Ethiopia had 138,127 kilometres (85,825 miles) of all-weather roads – about 39% of the required road network in the country. The Ethiopian Roads Authority plans to build an additional 10,000 kilometres of road at a cost of 41 billion Birr ($1.24 Billion) in the coming year. In the past fifteen years, the GOE has been vigorously engaged in new road construction as well as expansion of the existing road network through Ethiopia's Road Sector Development Programs (RSDP).

    Ethiopia Semera - Abala Route

  • The Semera – Afdera – Erebti – Abala route is recommended (tarmac) and is accessible to 40 MT trucks and trailers. The Semera – Teru – Megale – Abala route is not recommended due to insecure locations between Teru and Megale, as well as due to unpaved, rocky roads.
  • There are 7 check points on the road from Semera to Abala. The first check point is manned by both EDF and Federal Police. Vehicles cannot pass without the authorization of police commissioner at Semera. Special Authorization and written communication to EDF/Federal Police and Regional bodies for facilitating and supporting humanitarian assistance to Tigray.

    Djibouti–Ethiopia border crossings‎

  • There is a daily bus service between Djibouti City and Dire Dawa – a strenuous 10- to 12-hour ride on a gravel road (which is being upgraded and asphalted). Take your first bus to the border town of Gelille (DFr1500), then another bus to Dire Dawa (Birr185). Bring plenty of water. From Djibouti City, buses leave around 7.30pm from a bus station located on the southern outskirts of the city, in an area called Balbala. The company is called Assajog. Buy your ticket at least a day in advance to be sure of getting a seat.
  • Ethiopia-Eritrea border boom

  • The reopening of the border between former Ethiopia and Eritrea has changed the towns near the frontier. Thousands of people have crossed since. Trade has flourished and families separated since war broke out between Ethiopia and Eritrea in 1998 have reunited. The crossing opened in September, after the countries agreed to remove their troops as part of a reconciliation process.
  • Ethiopia Railway Connections

  • Rail transport in Ethiopia currently consists of one electrified standard gauge rail line, connecting the Djibouti Port with Addis Ababa, crossing Akaki, Bishoftu, Modjo, Adama, Metehara, Awash, Mieso, Bike, Ethiopia Dire Dawa, Adigala, Ayisha, and Dewele towns, stretching 671 km inside Ethiopia and Queleleh, Ali Sabieh, Holhol and Negad station in Djibouti with a length of 82 km. On January 1st, 2018, the Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn officially inaugurated the Ethiopia-Djibouti line, a new standard gauge international railway and Africa’s first electrified cross-border railway that connects Ethiopia to the Red Sea.
  • Ethiopia’s Land Borders Open?

  • The majority of Ethiopia’s land borders have now reopened, screening procedures such as temperature checks are currently in place.
  • Anyone who produces a positive COVID-19 test result will be treated. Anyone without a negative PCR test result will be required to self-isolate.
  • Ethiopia–Kenya border crossings
  • You can travel through Moyale Kenya to enter Ethiopian. Moyale is the only gazetted border crossing point between Ethiopia and Kenya. Moyale Border operating as a One Stop Border Post (OSBP), as the Government border regulatory officials from Kenya and Ethiopia came together to commence operations. This means that, the border regulatory officials clearing traffic, cargo and persons from both Ethiopia and Kenya
  • Ethiopia–Somalia border crossings‎
  • There are regular buses from Addis to Harar. They start very punctual at 5.30 am. You even get a bottle of water and a small snack. Plus: If you check in luggage, they give you a recite.
  • These areas tend to be border regions, such as the border with Somalia as well as the Kenya, Sudan, South Sudan, and Eritrea frontiers.
  • approximately 12 hours (and 300 Birr → 14 Eur) you reach Harar, still in Ethiopia. The best is to spend a night here, do the hyena feeding and stroll through the wonderful old city. Next stop should be Jijiga. The bus stop in Harar is close to the “Shoa Gate”. Mini buses depart frequently but unregulary they wait until they´re full. It takes two and a half hour, costs 40 Birr (2 Eur), landscape is beautiful. The driver probable tries to charge extra for your luggage, but there is no need to accept it. You better buy some biscuit before and make friends with other passengers so that they support you :) Best strategy!

    Ethiopia–Kenya border crossings
  • You can travel through Moyale Kenya to enter Ethiopian. Moyale is the only gazetted border crossing point between Ethiopia and Kenya. Moyale Border operating as a One Stop Border Post (OSBP), as the Government border regulatory officials from Kenya and Ethiopia came together to commence operations. This means that, the border regulatory officials clearing traffic, cargo and persons from both Ethiopia and Kenya
  • ethiopia sudan border crossing
  • border between Ethiopia and Sudanborder between Sudan and EthiopiaEthiopia-Sudan borderSudan-Ethiopia borderSudan–Ethiopia borderEthiopia-Sudan controversial border
  • The Ethiopia online visa (also known as the Electronic Visa or eVisa for Ethiopia) is available to the majority of travelers.

    The eVisa is quick and easy to acquire by completing a simple Ethiopia online visa application form, which takes a matter of minutes to fill in. This accessibility eliminates the need to go to an embassy to apply for a visa, which takes longer to process than the online option.

    Find out who is eligible for an eVisa by checking the Ethiopia visa requirements.

  • Foreign nationals who obtain the necessary travel documents will be able to enter the country.
  • General Travel Advisory for Ethiopia
  • Outside of travel restrictions related to the coronavirus pandemic, there are certain parts of Ethiopia that visitors are advised to avoid due to sporadic civil unrest, communications disruptions, crime, and conflict.
  • These areas tend to be border regions, such as the border with Somalia as well as the Kenya, Sudan, South Sudan, and Eritrea frontiers.
  • Other regions where foreign travelers should be careful when visiting are:

    • Somali Regional State
    • Benishangul Gumuz and the western part of Oromia State
    • Ethiopia’s Southern Nations, Nationalities, and People’s Region (SNNPR)
    • The East Hararge region and the Guji zone of Oromia State

    The rest of Ethiopia is generally considered safe for foreign nationals.

    As with visiting any country, it is advisable for all travelers to be vigilant of their surroundings and take care of their personal belongings.

    Stay safe!