1: How can family or Friend members contact us on the trip ?
If friends or family members need to get a message to you on tour & travel, the best way is to contact us via email ( firstname.lastname@example.org) or a message can be left on the local phone# ( +251 911 021308 ), and follow the prompts. Our on-call duty manager will then respond accordingly 24/7.
2: Will I need a visa?
You will need a visa to enter Ethiopia. Visas on arrival are only available for tourists at Addis Ababa (Bole) or Dire Dawa International airports, at a cost of approximately $US50 for 1 month and $US75 for 3 months (Euros, US dollars and Ethiopian birr are all accepted). All other categories of visitor must get a visa from the Ethiopian Embassy closest to their place of legal residence before travelling.
3: Do I need to renew my passport? / How many blank pages do I need in my passport?
yes, All passports must be valid for at least 6 months beyond your intended stay.
4: Will someone meet me when I arrive in Ethiopia?
Yes. Once you have cleared Customs and collected your luggage, a representative will be waiting with a sign with your name on it. Details will be on your Final itinerary.
5: Is there access to professional medical care at each camp?
What happens in case of a medical emergency? The camps/lodges will have a first aid kit, however in the case of a medical emergency, you will be transported out of the Mountain to the nearest medical center or hospital.
6: Do I need travel insurance?
Our Company offers full travel insurance coverage with Travelex. Should you decide to obtain travel insurance on your own.
7: Can we use our Credit Cards? / Are there ATMs?
"When paying for your tour, you must pay in cash. We prefer international currencies as there is a shortage of them in Ethiopia. Major international credit cards are accepted by most top hotels, restaurants and shops. Visa and MasterCard are most widely accepted. However, Cash is recommended in the camps/lodges whilst out on City's. Visa is the most reliable card to use at ATMs. Also MasterCard is accepted as well as other international ATM/credit cards can be withdrawn at an ATM and in limited amounts.
8: Do I need any vaccinations? What about Malaria?
Vaccination against cholera is required for any who has visited or transited a cholera - infected area with in 6 Days prior to arrival Ethiopia.
9: What time do the domestic flights depart?
the domestic flights will often not have specific departure times listed on the itinerary as the scheduling is be done 24-48 hours prior to departure.You will always be notified the previous evening what time you will have to be ready for your flights.
10: What type of camera/lens should I bring?
Digital 35mm SLR (single lens reflex) cameras are more often used than film cameras. Camcorders with freeze-frame options are easy to use and are also very popular with safariers. You need to ask yourself what you are going to do with the photographs you take on safari. If you are going to try and sell them to a magazine or book publisher, then you need high-quality optics and good quality transparency (color slide) film or a professional digital camera. If you are going to make an electronic album to email to friends, then a reasonably priced digital zoom will be ideal. Many people prefer the idea of capturing movement and sound and with video camcorders being so compact and easy to use, this is an obvious choice. If you want to take high quality photographs, a recommendation is that you spend your money first on a good lens and second on a camera. It is slightly more important to have a quality lens than it is to have a quality camera. If you just want memories of your safari, nowadays, many of the new "all-in- one" (ie, no removable lens) digital cameras take excellent shots, as animals are often within close enough range of the vehicle for these cameras to capture good images. Bring whatever lenses you like to use, from wide angle to medium telephoto. Consider a minimum of two lenses, one for scenery and one for more distant subjects. A good, balanced system of lenses would be an auto-focus zoom lens (come in a variety of ranges), a 28-70mm and a 100-300 or 100-400mm. For more detailed information, please see the section on Photography in our General Information.
11: How much money should we take?
This will depend on your itinerary. On trip your camps/hotels are Full Board, which includes meals, game activities and park fees. and in some cases drinks and laundry. Hotels are generally bed and breakfast only. Not included during your trip would be tipping, visas, departure taxes, curios, extra meals at hotels/restaurants, drinks and laundry.
12: How much should we tip?
Tipping is always a difficult question to answer and our suggestions are a guideline only. You can of course tip whatever you feel comfortable with. This could increase if you have booked a private guide or tours, go to a restaurant, etc. For lodge and camp, leave whatever you feel appropriate for the service you experience. We do recommend putting your tips into envelopes before you leave (don't seal them, as you can re-apportion as you go along!) as this helps to ensure you don't run out of tipping cash before the end of your trip. Your final documents will have a more detailed tipping recommendation for your trip.
13: How do I keep my money/valuables safe?
We recommend that you keep your money/passports/tickets with you at all times.
14: Is luggage limited to one bag?
No, as long you keep within the weight allowance. Your allowance will vary depending on your trip itinerary, airline and class of travel. Keep in mind that laundry can be done at most city's during the time you are on travel. Toiletries like soap, shampoo and conditioner are generally provided, so you only need to bring a small supply.
15: Can I do laundry while on trips?
There is daily laundry service in most towns/ city.
16: What clothing should we bring?
a) On trip in vehicles, any color clothing is OK. b) However if doing some walking in the mountains colors , plover, waterproof jacket, worm socks and gloves are preferred .
17: How do we charge our camera/iPad/cellphone?
Most hotels/lodges/camps have charging facilities either in your room or in the lounge area. Most modern gadgets have dual voltage built in. If not, you will need to bring your own adapters, and converters.
18: Will there be internet/Wi-Fi?
Internet access is becoming more widely available. In hotels might have a computer for use at a nominal fee, otherwise check with your service provider if you will be able to get internet access on your cell phone, laptop, iPad while in Africa. Wi-Fi connectivity varies in the hotels depending on their location. Wi-Fi would normally be free and available in the public areas.
19: Can I use my cell phone?
Your cell phone provider will be able to assist you with the possibility of using your own phone while in Africa; however obtaining international roaming service can be expensive. You will need to have your phone unlocked by your cell phone company in order to use it abroad. In most major cities you will be able to purchase a SIM card and air time which may be exchanged for your normal SIM card if your phone has one. Remember though that reception in the bush may not be possible. Use your cell phone only in private areas of camp for your privacy and in consideration of others.
20: Is bottled water provided?
Yes, during your trip we will provide you water. especially during the trekking. It is recommended that you drink at least 2 to 3 liters of water per day to limit the effects of dehydration - this excludes tea, coffee and alcoholic beverages.
21: What could I bring for donations?
(Making a Difference / Packing for a Purpose) We at simien mountains Ethiopia company are very involved in many Ethiopian communities, giving back to conservation projects and supporting guides at grass roots level. We are especially thrilled to assist students education as it is our hope they will continue in the wildlife conservation or tourism field. You can help by making a donation in supplies or monies. Please request our Donation Wishlist.
22: Can I cancel if there is an outbreak of Ebola?
Traveling in 2015 - A booking cancelled as a result of an Ebola Outbreak, confirmed by the World Health Organization (WHO) within the country you are traveling, will receive a waiver of cancellation.