Best time of year to visit Ethiopia

Updated: 23rd April 2020

Group at Bahrir Dar - Ethiopia
The Blue Nile Falls are at their most impressive in August and September

Seasons and Weather

As is in many other parts of Africa, Ethiopia has two main seasons - the rainy season lasts from April to mid-September and is characterised by heavy rainfall. The dry season, which is the peak season for visiting the country, lasts from mid-September to March. Although varying by region, Ethiopia's temperature is fairly stable, averaging around 20 degrees Celsius all year round.

What is Ethiopia like in the rainy season?

The rainy season begins in April, with short rains known as the belg lasting until May. These tend to be the hottest months in the country before the rainy season begins proper in June. The months until September are characterised by heavy and intense periods of rainfall. June, July and August are probably the months best avoided when planning a visit to Ethiopia as this is when the rains are at their heaviest. There is still rain in September, but the country is easing into the dry season. The scenery at this time of year is lush, with flowers in full bloom.

What is Ethiopia like in the dry season?

October is one of the most popular times to visit Ethiopia. The country is still in full bloom but the rains have passed. It is a particularly good time to visit the Simien Mountains, when Ethiopian wolves can be spotted on the high plateaus. In November and December, migratory birds flock to the national parks and temperatures at the Danakil Depression are at their most comfortable.

Comfortably warm temperatures and optimum wildlife-spotting conditions remain until the end of March. February is the busiest month in terms of visitors to the country, so it's advised to book early if you want to travel at this time of year.

Thinking of visiting Ethiopia? Contact us to discuss your trip!

Climate | Addis Ababa

JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Temp Min °C7911111111111111977
Temp Max °C242525252523212122232323
Rainfall (mm)173966868411825626316134811

Climate | Gondar

JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Temp Min °C101214141413131312121110
Temp Max °C272829302825232325262626
Rainfall (mm)46184088158328307117472612
Ethiopia, Historic Route and Danakil Depression main image - Danakil Depression
The Danakil Depression best to visited November to January

Upcoming Events

To help plan your visit to Ethiopia, here is a list of some of the upcoming religious festivals and events taking place:

2020:

September 11th - Enkutatash - New Years Day (nationwide)
September 28th - Meskel - Discovery of the True Cross religious holiday (Addis Ababa)

2021:

January 7th - Ethiopian Christmas (nationwide)
January 19th - Timkat - Orthodox Christians celebration of the Epiphany (Addis Ababa)

This is by no means an exhaustive list as local events and festivals take place in villages across Ethiopia throughout the year. Event and festival details can change so please check that the event is happening before making your travel arrangements.