At least 3 flights departing about same time from domestic terminal,and we have to walk from terminal to aircraft for boarding.My aircraft was a small aircraft Dash 8 .It’s not free seating system, if we check in the first ,we may ask for our preference seat but I didn’t ask for anything cuz it’s such a small aircraft so it’s about the same for me ,unless you want to take picture so better sit in the front row. On first pic,that’s the domestic terminal. Second pic, look a little bit to the right, is international terminal .Pic 3, This is my airplane Dash 8.Pic 4,that’s the Dash 8 as well .Pic 5. fasten seat belt in Ethiopian language.
Bole International airport
Here are some pictures of Addis Ababa Bole airport.The first pic is the interior of International terminal at 4 am.The hall looked so empty ,almost no flight departure,only my flight arriving from Cairo at 3.50 am. We had to apply for visa first then pass the immigration later.The visa couter is on left hand side if you facing the immigration counter. There were almost no queue at visa on arrival at that time so everything went smoothly.During waiting my domestic flight at 7am,I walked around see some group of passengers lying down on the floor wait for their flight as well.I asked some security staff if any exchange shop open at the moment,they said yes,but it’s in the luggage carousel area,so I just asked them if I can walked back in ,and they said ok.Actually it’s not their working hour but security were very kind to help and called someone from exchange for us.The rate was very good both Euro and US dollar. The second pic ,walking from terminal 1 international to domestic terminal.Walking outdoor at night quite chilly at that moment.When I arrived at domestic terminal around 5.30am ,there were already many people queuing for baggage screening area .
My hotel (Hilton) offers an airport shuttle. They charge $5, but some hotels will do it free.
On arrival I'd certainly recommend it. Maybe you'll relish the prospect of doing battle with a local taxi driver just after arrival off a long flight, but not me!
By all accounts the cost of a taxi is about the same as the cost of the Hilton shuttle.
I just had to go to the Hilton desk opposite the arrival gate, and 5 minutes later I was on my way to the bus. I was the only passenger, so I got a brief cultural introduction to the country as well
Worth the $1 tip
- Historical Travel
I used BMI from London to get to Ethiopia.
My flight stopped in Beirut on the way out, but I think some stop in Amman. We were on the ground for only 45 minutes. Some passengers got off (none boarded) and the crew changed. The rest of us stayed on board. A bit of an irritation when it’s a long flight anyway.
We were about 45 minutes late leaving LHR - air traffic, so probably not BMI’s fault.
Service was pretty sparse. A breakfast just after leaving LHR. A “dinner” just after Beirut. When we got to Addis Ababa 4.5 hours after Beirut, I was ravenous. Suggest you pack snacks...
The cabin crew - mixed. Some pleasant, some very sour.
The plane - Airbus 321. Comfortable enough.
BMI did change my flights twice (same day - different times) as they brought in the winter timetable.
Ok as value for money - about £500 return from Edinburgh, booked 8 months in advance.
- Historical Travel
My first visit to the country, and arrival could not have been better. No waiting at all at immigration. You're supposed to complete a landing card, but I didn't know. The friendly immigration officer let me complete it at her desk (more or less, she was quite happy to skip most of the details) and away I went.
My bags were there 5 minutes later. The Hilton desk is right opposite the arrival gate, so 5 minutes after that I was on my way to the shuttle bus.
- Arts and Culture
Old Lada taxis
The old russian car Lada is still used as taxi here. They are fragile vehicles. Make sure to bargain the price before entering the car. It's normal to charge a tourist more than a local citizen. Price should be from 30-50 birr within the city centre on the daytime.
See GPS coordinates on the pictures...
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- Arts and Culture
Minibus taxis in Addis Ababa
Minibus taxis are a mode of transport that falls between private transport and bus transport. The minibuses in Addis are mostly Toyota Hiace and have a blue-and-white color. They are preferred over public buses and taxis because they are cheap and flexible, and operate on semi-fixed routes. They don't have fixed stops along their route, but instead the passenger is required to say where to stop. The minibus taxi has a crew member called a "weyala", a kind of conductor who arrange all payments. He is also the person who is shouting out the destination from the window to get hold of new passengers. Minibus taxis are known for road accidents and reckless driving. Beware of pickpocketing aboard minibus taxis.
See GPS coordinates at the pictures...
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If you haven´t got a visum yet, obtaining one on arrival is no problem. It is issued for a fee of 20$ - just as much as if you´d go for it at the next Ethiopian embassy.. when you come down the escalator from the arrival flight you will see a visum on arrival sign leading to a room where you can get your visum - it is easily overlooked unless other people are already queuing, so do not immideately proceed to the immigration counters. The whole procedure is usually very swift and efficient
Transport in Addis Ababa
Blue taxis in Addis are expensive and they charge for a short ride at least two to three dollars. But to be fair, taxi drivers in Addis, compared to those in many Third World countries, are honest and gentlemen. Most of them do not cheat or lie.
Mini-buses on the other hand, are cheap. But can tourists ride these mini buses? May be some can but I could not come near them. First, they are cramped with passengers, different types of passengers, small and big who will sit on the lap of each other. Second, it takes a long time to reach your destination. These mini-buses stop regularly on their way. Last, even if you reach your destination, there is no body to tell you unless you know some amheric.
Bole Intl. airport (ADD)
Arriving at Bole Intl. airport is convenient. It's a new small airport, and it's easy to find what you are looking for. Shortly after you enter the building you find the "visa on arrival" counter. Just line up in queue, and 4-5 officers will issue the tourist visas quickly. Make sure to have your passport and 20 USD ready. For a single entry visa you don't need photos and you don't need to write anything. The visa is valid for 3 months.
20 meters away from here you find 2 different exchange bureau (Dashen and Ethiopian Bank). The exchange rate here is the same as it is in the city. Change only USD/Euro to Ethiopian Birr. Other currencies gives a terrible bad rate. Make sure to keep the receipt because you need it when you shall change back the Birr when leaving Ethiopia. ( I found only 1 ATM in the city, inside Sheraton Hotel).
Shortly after that you line up in the queue for the immigration police. Have your passport and the immigration card ready. If the police ask for the visa receipt, just show him that. They have a webcam for photo.
Then turn right and walk 30 meters to pick up your checked baggage at the baggage belt.
The custom officers are in the same hall as the baggage belts. There are no green and red entrance, so the custom officers will ask what you have in the bags. In most case they just smile and let you trough. I guess they are checking the Ethiopians more carefully to find any items to be declared and paid tax for.
You are now entering the last door and will come into a hall full of people. But it's safe and well organized. Many dealers will ask you for transport to the city. Just look after dealers with registration ID card walking around. Take your time and bargain the price. Normal price is 80-100 Birr. Then follow that person out of the terminal and walk 200 meters to the parking area. The taxis and matatus are waiting here. There are no taxis waiting right outside the terminal as there is in other airports. The airport is 8 km from the city centre.
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Cheaper than the taxi is the shared minibus.
The 'conductor' hangs from the window and shouts the destination. Journeys cost between 0.75 - 2 Birr.
If in doubt, ask any minibus and they will direct you to the right van for your preferred journey.
Minibuses tend to congragate around set areas until full (Piazza, Bole etc).
Be aware, that often when you ask for a destination (e.g. Entoto), the van may only go part of the way, and you will have to change (and thus pay again).
Journeys allow you to mingle with the locals. In the van designed for 12 people, we had 25 in at one time. Funny stuff.
Vans can be private hired if no taxis are around, but will cost slightly more.
From the airport, you will be charged double if you have bags or cases.
Taxi cabs are found all over Addis.
They are mostly age old lada cars, painted blue and white.
Some are on their last legs and send fumes and smoke into the car.
Prices are negotiated at the start of the journey.
Most journeys should be 30 Birr
A nice airport with a few shops and bars.
Most shops and banks close at night, so no good if you have an early morning flight.
Very expensive bars once through departure security, so stay land side as long as possible for more Ethiopian prices.
When you arrive from the UK, $20 visa must be purchased.
When leaving, there is no longer any departure tax to pay.
Expect to pay about 40-50 Birr from Addis to get here (10 min journey), a little more at night.
From the airport, head to the right, to catch the official yellow cabs. They have set prices (Approx 60 Birr to Addis).
If you want to be independent and want your own car then Europcar is the way to go. They have new cars with really good rates. They will charge you only for the amount of hours that you rent the car. They have offices at the airport, Hilton lobby and one in the city centre at there location in Mexico Square. You can even book through the internet. You know you won't be left stranded on the road if you have one of their cars.
TAXIS - THIEVES !
Going from Bole International Airport to your hotel? Do not pay more than 40-50 Birr! They will always ask for at least 100. Remember - they are mostly dishonest and will take you for a ride financially!
Please feel free to add this to your "Custom Travel Guide" and print it off before you go!
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