Is Ethiopia Safe for Solo Female Travelers?

Ethiopia generally tends to have a well-behaved and respectful population towards women. In cities, there is usually a high police presence day and night which contributes to safety. However, it's worth noting that travel outside urban centers at night is not advised due to inadequate lighting and road conditions. As well, culturally, a woman traveling alone can sometimes attract attention or surprise. It is important to dress modestly, avoid isolated areas, and be cautious when traveling at night.

Safety rating

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How safe is Ethiopia?

Safety at night:

Safety at night:Moderate

Ethiopia's safety levels at night vary across different regions. Major cities like Addis Ababa have busy nightlife and are generally safer, but it's advisable to stay cautious. Remote areas could be more unsafe due to lesser police presence. It's also recommended to avoid desolate streets and stick to well-lit, populous areas while walking alone at night.
Public transportation:

Public transportation:Moderate

Public transportation in Ethiopia, specifically in the capital city Addis Ababa, is widely used and generally reliable. This includes minibuses, larger city buses, and the light rail transit. However, they can often be crowded and may not meet all safety standards, so attention and vigilance are necessary. The taxis (both contract and shared) present a more flexible though costlier option. Also, in rural areas, public transportation is less frequent and can be particularly crowded. It is recommended to avoid travel after dark and always keep an eye on personal belongings.
Street harassment:

Street harassment:Low

Ethiopia exhibits a generally respectful culture towards women. However, you may sometimes encounter occasional comments, hissing or harmless gawping mainly within the big cities. Harassment is not widespread; instead, friendly curiosity is more common. However, it is advisable to maintain a cautious attitude and dress modestly in public.
Petty crimes:

Petty crimes:Moderate

In Ethiopia, petty crimes such as pickpocketing and bag-snatching are known to occur particularly in crowded areas and major tourist destinations. While generally safe, it's always important to be aware of your surroundings, keep your belongings secure, and stay vigilant, especially in crowded places such as markets, bus stations or festivals.
Tap water:

Tap water:Very unsafe

It is not advisable to drink tap water in Ethiopia. Even locals often avoid it due to its potential to cause sickness. Potential waterborne diseases and lack of purification and sanitation can lead to serious health risks. It is suggested to rely on filtered or bottled water during your stay in the country.

Is Ethiopia safe to travel?

3.3 /5

Based on 3 experiences

Is Ethiopia safe right now?

Before your visit to Ethiopia, it's essential to check travel advisories for Ethiopia, including your home country's official travel advisory. These advisories can provide up-to-date information on safety, health, and any specific considerations for travelers.

United States Travel AdvisoryReconsider your need to travel

The United States government advises individuals to reconsider traveling to Ethiopia. This is due to sporadic violent conflicts, civil unrest, crime, disruptions in communications, as well as terrorism and kidnapping in border areas. Check the full travel advisory.
Last updated: July 31, 2023

Canada's Travel AdvisoryReconsider your need to travel

**The Canadian Government advises avoiding non-essential travel to Ethiopia due to civil unrest, violence, armed conflict, and crime. The security situation can deteriorate without warning.** Check the full travel advisory.
Last updated: July 17, 2024

Australia's Travel AdvisoryReconsider your need to travel

The Australian government advises to **reconsider your need to travel to Ethiopia** overall, due to the risk of civil unrest and the threat of armed conflict. Check the full travel advisory.
Last updated: July 15, 2024

Is Ethiopia worth visiting?

Overall rating

3.7 /5

based on 3 experiences

Couple travel experience

My husband and I went to Addis and Lalibela for a week in late September and we had a great time there. The food and coffee are so delicious, and we really enjoyed the opportunity to see areas outside the big city, including the churches in Lalibela. We would like to go back there someday and explore more.

Posted: November 6, 2023
Things to do: 5/5Food: 5/5Budget-friendly: 5/5Safety: 5/5
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Solo travel experience

If you are alone, I would stick to the north. The infrastructure in the south is very poorly developed. The best cities are Lalibela, Axum, and Gondar. If you are traveling domestically, Ethiopian Airlines is probably the only airline in the country that can be described as respectable. The rock-hewn churches in Lalibela are amazing. Be prepared for a lot of serious hassling from the local residents wherever you go.

Posted: November 7, 2022
Things to do: 4/5Food: 4/5Budget-friendly: 4/5Safety: 3/5
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Meet locals in Ethiopia

Meet local women in Ethiopia who are open to meet up for a coffee or a drink, show you around, give local advice or practice a language with.


About Me

Hey, I'm Wongel and I'm interested in architecture, art, culture, education, hiking, photography and technology


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About Me

Hi, My name is Ruth and I'm interested in solo travel, books and camping


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Stay with locals in Ethiopia

Stay with local women in Ethiopia who offer free accommodation as part of cultural exchange. Couch surfing is a great way to meet new people, learn more about new cultures and experience destinations like a local.


Addis Ababa

Can host for:

3 days

About me

Hello Dearest. My name is Aklesiya from Ethiopia. Live in capital of Addis Ababa. Its my pleasure to host people and show around. I always happy to meet new people and share memories

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Safety in Ethiopia