Best time of year to visit Ethiopia

Nile crocodile - Lake Chamo - Arba Minch - Ethiopia
Nile crocodiles abound in the waters of Lake Chamo, Arba Minch

Ethiopia seasons and weather

Like much 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

Ethiopia has an incredibly varied climate but below you can find some useful climate information about the country's capital, Addis Ababa and one of the other major cities, Gondar.

JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Temp Min °F454852525252525252484545
Temp Max °F757777777773707072737373
Rainfall (mm)173966868411825626316134811

Climate | Gondar

JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Temp Min °F505457575755555554545250
Temp Max °F818284868277737377797979
Rainfall (mm)46184088158328307117472612
Group at Bahrir Dar - Ethiopia
The Blue Nile Falls are one of Ethiopia's most popular attractions

Ethiopia highlights

Home to endemic wildlife, stunning scenery and a rich history, there's something for everyone in Ethiopia.

Simien Mountains:

A trekkers paradise, the scenery on offer in the Simiens is simply breathtaking. The perfect place to while away a few days, and a good place to spot the rare Ethiopian wolf.

Lalibela:

Home to ancient rock-hewn churches that have withstood the test of time, Lalibela is a history buffs paradise, with 11 incredible churches to explore.

Bahir Dar:

A vibrant city known for its wide avenues, Bahir Dar is located on the shore of Lake Tana, the source of the mighty Blue Nile. A visit to see the Blue Nile Falls is an absolute must.

The Danakil Depression:

One of the hottest and most inhospitable places on Earth, a true adventurer can't miss the staggering beauty of the Danakil Depression. A geological junction where tectonic activity is rife, and where humanity was born.