Best Time to Visit Ethiopia

Camp Langano - Ethiopia 2014  (SIM USA)  [flickr.com]  CC BY-SA 
License Information available under 'Proof of Image Sources'
On this page, you will find information about the climate and the best time to visit Ethiopia. We created climate tables and charts for the locations of Addis Ababa, Gondar, Bahir Dar und Mekele. These contain details about temperatures, precipitation and more.

Furthermore, we analyzed all climate data and provide a recommendation about which months are best to visit Ethiopia for your holiday.

Climate Overview

Thermometer Symbol 5 °C to 31 °C
Rainy Cloud Symbol 0.0417.4 in (0 – 27 Days of Rain)
Average Annual Temperature is between 16.7 °C (Addis Ababa) and 20.3 °C (Gondar)
Show temperatures in degree

General Information and Location

Ethiopia is an independent state in East Africa, the largest inland country in the world with around 97 million inhabitants. According to current statistics, the capital Addis Ababa alone is home to at least 3.5 million people.

Ethiopia is three times the size of Germany and almost 5 times bigger than United Kingdom. Half of the country’s surface is above the 1200-metre mark, Addis Ababa is located at about 2370 metres in the highlands.

Ethiopia’s highest elevation is Ras Daschän (4533 metres). Neighbouring Somali Highlands in the south-east of the African Rift Valley has further mountains with more than 4000 metres of altitude.

Ethiopia is a genuine multi-ethnic state with over 85 ethnic groups and languages. Throughout its eventful history, Ethiopia has been the object of many decades of Italian expansion plans, especially from the neighbouring colony of Eritrea.

For a long time it was possible to resist these attempts at conquest, but in 1936 Italy succeeded in invading. However, since the army never controlled the entire country, Ethiopia still considers itself to be the only African country that was never colonised.

After Addis Ababa, the largest cities in Ethiopia today are Dire Dawa, Adama (the former Nazret), Bahir Dar, Gonder and Mek’ele.

Climate in Ethiopia

Aethiopischer Wolf in den Simien Mountains (Harri J / Wikipedia (Hulivili))  CC BY 
License Information available under 'Proof of Image Sources' Ethiopia not only has enormous differences in altitude, but consequently also has regionally differing climatic conditions. Basically, the country can be divided into three climate zones. Below 1850 meters is a tropical-hot zone with high temperatures and very little rainfall.

Between 1850 and 2500 metres above sea level there is a large, temperate zone with quite high temperatures and increased rainfall, especially between June and September.

These include the capital Addis Ababa at an altitude of around 2,400 metres. Above 2500 meters it becomes not only significantly cooler, but also increasingly humid in all mountain regions of Ethiopia. In the area above 4000 metres there is seasonal frost and snowfall.

Nevertheless, the weather in Ethiopia – more than in other regions of Africa – is often unpredictable and marked by strong extremes. In the recent past, for example, there has been both torrential rainfall and prolonged periods of severe drought.

Best Time to Visit Ethiopia: Overview

JanuaryJan
Best time to traveltime
PerfectPerf. climate in
Addis Abeba
Gondar
Bahir Dar
Mekele
FebruaryFeb
Best time to traveltime
PerfectPerf. climate in
Addis Abeba
Gondar
Bahir Dar
Mekele
MarchMar
Best time to traveltime
PerfectPerf. climate in
Addis Abeba
Gondar
Bahir Dar
Mekele
AprilApr
Best time to traveltime
PerfectPerf. climate in
Addis Abeba
Gondar
Bahir Dar
Mekele
MayMay
Best time to traveltime
PerfectPerf. climate in
Addis Abeba
Gondar
Bahir Dar
Mekele
JuneJun
Good time to traveltime
PerfectPerf. climate in
Mekele
JulyJul
Up to 17.42 in of rainof rain
AugustAug
Up to 15.22 in of rainof rain
SeptemberSep
Up to 7.8 in of rainof rain
OctoberOct
Good time to traveltime
PerfectPerf. climate in
Addis Abeba
Gondar
Mekele
NovemberNov
Best time to traveltime
PerfectPerf. climate in
Addis Abeba
Gondar
Bahir Dar
Mekele
DecemberDec
Best time to traveltime
PerfectPerf. climate in
Addis Abeba
Gondar
Bahir Dar
Mekele

When to travel to Ethiopia?


In general, Ethiopia is subject to two rainy seasons due to its subtropical latitudes: An extended rainy phase from June to September and a small rainy season in February and March, which is usually much weaker. When planning your trip, it is therefore particularly important to avoid the great rainy season in Ethiopia.

We recommend the period from the beginning of October to mid-June as the best time to travel around Ethiopia. November, December and January in particular are particularly pleasant for most travellers who are looking for a good mix of culture and nature.

Best Time to Visit the Regions

Find the best time to visit the regions (Ethiopia) in the following overview.

LocationBest Time to Travel
Addis Ababaall except June, July, August, and September
Gondarall except June, July, August, and September
Bahir DarJanuary, February, March, April, May, November, and December
Mekeleall except July, August, and September

Climate Charts Ethiopia

In the following, you will find climate charts for the regions.

Furthermore, there are some charts you can use for quick comparison of climate between the regions.

Show Climate Chart for    

Addis Ababa

Show temperatures in degree

Gondar

Show temperatures in degree

Bahir Dar

Show temperatures in degree

Mekele

Show temperatures in degree

Day Temperatures

Show temperatures in degree

Night Temperatures

Show temperatures in degree

Average Temperatures

Show temperatures in degree

Precipitation

Hours of Sunshine per Day

Source of Data: German Weather Service (Offenbach) and Wikipedia

Climate Tables Ethiopia

In the following, you will find some climate tables for Ethiopia, containing information about Temperatures, Precipitation, and Hours of Sunshine.
Show climate table for    

Temperatures, Precipitation, Sunshine in Addis Ababa (Ethiopia)

JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Day Temperature25°26°27°26°27°25°23°23°24°25°25°24°
Night Temperature10°10°10°10°11°10°10°
Precipitation (inch)0.711.852.833.623.394.8410.1210.676.691.50.350.39
Rainy days25810916262517311
Hours of Sunshine978786445899
Show temperatures in degree
Temperatures
The annual average temperature in Addis Ababa is 16.7 °C.

For comparison: London 11 °C, NYC 12 °C, LA 17.9 °C

Warmest month: April (18.3 °C)
Coldest month: December (14.9 °C)

Precipitation
Overall annual precipitation: 46.97 inch on 123 rainy days

For comparison: London 24.06 in, NYC 41.57 in, LA 12.01 in

Rainy season (months with more than 6.9 in of precipitation): July, and August
Overall precipitation in the rainy season: 20.79 in

You cannot expect snow in any month in Addis Ababa.

Sunshine
As our climate table shows, December is the sunniest month with an average of 9.3 hours of sunshine per day. Over the year, there are 7 hours of sunshine per day on average. For comparison: London has 4.1, NYC has 7 and LA has 8.9 hours of sunshine per day on average.

Temperatures, Precipitation, Sunshine in Gondar (Ethiopia)

JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Day Temperature28°30°31°30°28°26°23°24°26°27°27°28°
Night Temperature11°13°15°16°16°14°14°13°13°12°11°11°
Precipitation (inch)0.160.240.631.693.236.3812.9911.934.761.970.910.43
Rainy days01351115252515741
Hours of Sunshine997886457789
Show temperatures in degree
Temperatures
The annual average temperature in Gondar is 20.3 °C.

Warmest month: March (23.2 °C)
Coldest month: July (18.4 °C)

Precipitation
Overall annual precipitation: 45.31 inch on 112 rainy days

Rainy season (months with more than 6.9 in of precipitation): July, and August
Overall precipitation in the rainy season: 24.92 in

You cannot expect snow in any month in Gondar.

Sunshine
As our climate table shows, January is the sunniest month with an average of 9.4 hours of sunshine per day. Over the year, there are 7.2 hours of sunshine per day on average.

Temperatures, Precipitation in Bahir Dar (Ethiopia)

JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Day Temperature27°29°31°31°30°28°24°24°25°26°26°26°
Night Temperature11°12°14°14°14°14°13°12°10°
Precipitation (inch)0.130.10.240.91.447.217.4215.227.83.640.930.14
Rainy days00348132725211041
Show temperatures in degree
Temperatures
The annual average temperature in Bahir Dar is 19.1 °C.

Warmest month: May (21.9 °C)
Coldest month: December (16.2 °C)

Precipitation
Overall annual precipitation: 55.17 inch on 116 rainy days

Rainy season (months with more than 6.9 in of precipitation): June, July, August, and September
Overall precipitation in the rainy season: 47.65 in

You cannot expect snow in any month in Bahir Dar.

Temperatures, Precipitation in Mekele (Ethiopia)

JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Day Temperature22°24°25°25°26°27°23°22°25°24°22°22°
Night Temperature11°12°13°13°12°12°11°11°
Precipitation (inch)0.080.240.981.341.141.347.958.91.890.040.160.08
Rainy days21433821226111
Show temperatures in degree
Temperatures
The annual average temperature in Mekele is 17.2 °C.

Warmest month: June (20 °C)
Coldest month: December (14.5 °C)

Precipitation
Overall annual precipitation: 24.13 inch on 73 rainy days

Rainy season (months with more than 6.9 in of precipitation): July, and August
Overall precipitation in the rainy season: 16.85 in

You cannot expect snow in any month in Mekele.

Highlights and Sights


The wide range of cultural and scenic sights ensures that round trips and guided adventure tours as well as study trips are among the preferred types of travel in Ethiopia. Classic, pure safaris are still rare, as the country offers much more than the classic wildlife destinations in Africa.

Many trips lead from Addis Ababa, the roof of Africa, via the biosphere reserve at Lake Tana to the former kingdom of Gondar. Alternative routes lead first via Bahir Dar to the impressive water masses of the Blue Nile Falls of Tis Issat. In the Semien Mountains National Park not only dreamlike panoramas, but also the rare Geladas (blood-breasted baboons) are waiting for you.

Over the Wolkefit Pass with breathtaking landscapes we recommend the trip to Axum, the former empire with its mystical steles over the royal graves. Also the Adwa mountains with narrow serpentines and impressive table mountains should not be missing on your journey like the mountain world with Lalibela.

Popular Activities

Current Weather and Forecast

Current Weather in Addis Ababa
overcast clouds     overcast clouds, 16.6 °C
Clouds: 100 %       Wind: 2 mph N
Air Pressure: 1016 hPa       Humidity: 69 %
Last updated: 28th Sep 2021, 07:32 pm
The next days …
29th Sep 202130th Sep 20211st Oct 20212nd Oct 20213rd Oct 20214th Oct 2021
light rain15 °C to 21 °Clight rain13 °C to 21 °Clight rain14 °C to 20 °Clight rain12 °C to 22 °Clight rain13 °C to 21 °Cmoderate rain13 °C to 19 °C
15 °C to 21 °C13 °C to 21 °C14 °C to 20 °C12 °C to 22 °C13 °C to 21 °C13 °C to 19 °C
Clouds: 65 %Clouds: 55 %Clouds: 33 %Clouds: 34 %Clouds: 96 %Clouds: 100 %
0.02 in of rain0.07 in of rain0.2 in of rain0.01 in of rain0.06 in of rain0.47 in of rain
Weather information provided by OpenWeatherMap. (CC BY-SA)
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 Lake view in the Wenchi Crater, Ethiopia (DeDuijn (Wikimedia))  CC BY-SA 
License Information available under 'Proof of Image Sources'
Blue Nile Falls Äthiopien (Jialiang Gao (Peace on Earth, Wikimedia))  CC BY-SA 
License Information available under 'Proof of Image Sources'
Listen Up, Gelada Baboons (Rod Waddington)  [flickr.com]  CC BY-SA 
License Information available under 'Proof of Image Sources'

Mysterious Ethiopia

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