Ethiopia Travel Advisory

Travel Advisory
October 29, 2018

Ethiopia - Level 2: Exercise Increased Caution


Exercise increased caution when traveling in Ethiopia due to sporadic civil unrest and communications disruptions. Some areas have increased risk. Read the entire Travel Advisory.

Do not travel to:

  • Somali Regional State due to potential for civil unrest, terrorism, and landmines.

Reconsider travel to:

  • The East Hararge region and the Guji zone of Oromia state due to civil unrest.
  • The Danakil Depression region in Afar due to crime.
  • Border areas with Kenya, Sudan, South Sudan, and Eritrea due to crime, armed conflict or civil unrest.

Incidents of civil unrest and ethnic violence may occur without warning.

The Government of Ethiopia has restricted or shut down internet, cellular data, and phone services during and after civil unrest. This impedes the U.S. Embassy’s ability to communicate with, and provide consular services to, U.S. citizens in Ethiopia.

The U.S. Embassy has limited ability to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens outside of Addis Ababa. As a precaution, U.S. government personnel must request permission for any travel outside of Addis Ababa (personal and official) and are required to carry personnel tracking devices and in some cases, satellite phones. U.S. government personnel and their families may not travel to the areas listed as Level 3 and Level 4 in this Travel Advisory except for official business and with prior approval from the Embassy.

Read the Safety and Security section on the country information page.

If you decide to travel to Ethiopia:

  • Monitor local media for breaking events and be prepared to adjust your plans.
  • Be aware of your surroundings.
  • Stay alert in locations frequented by Westerners.
  • Carry a copy of your passport and visa and leave originals in your hotel safe.
  • Have evacuation plans that do not rely on U.S. government assistance.
  • Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive Alerts and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
  • Follow the Department of State on Facebook and Twitter.
  • Review the Crime and Safety Report for Ethiopia.
  • U.S. citizens who travel abroad should always have a contingency plan for emergency situations. Review the Traveler’s Checklist.

Somali Region—Level 4: Do Not Travel

Civilians have been killed and injured in civil unrest along the Oromia-Somali Regional State border and in military operations against armed groups in the Ogaden and Hararge areas.

Terrorists maintain a presence in Somali towns near the Ethiopian border, presenting a risk of cross-border attacks targeting foreigners.

There are also landmines in this region.

Visit our website for Travel to High-Risk Areas.

The East Hararge Region and Guji Zone of Oromia State—Level 3: Reconsider Travel

Civil unrest has resulted in injuries and deaths in parts of Oromia State. Government security forces have used lethal force in some areas.

Visit our website for Travel to High-Risk Areas.

The Danakil Depression in Afar—Level 3: Reconsider Travel

Violent crime, including the armed assault of foreigners, has occurred in the Danakil Depression.

Visit our website for Travel to High-Risk Areas.

Border Areas with Kenya, Sudan, South Sudan, and Eritrea—Level 3: Reconsider Travel

Crime, armed conflict, and the potential for ethnic conflict exist near the Ethiopian borders with Kenya, Sudan, South Sudan and Eritrea.

Visit our website for Travel to High-Risk Areas

Travel Advisory Levels

Assistance for U.S. Citizens

U.S. Embassy Addis Ababa
Entoto Street
PO Box 1014
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
+251-11-124-2435 and +251-11-124-2419

Ethiopia Map