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Travel and visas

Addis Ababa Bole International Airport is an international hub, with easy access by road and public transport.


To enter Ethiopia your passport must be valid for at least six months after your date of entry regardless of Nationality, and have at least two un-used pages remaining for any necessary entry and exit stamps that may be issued.


  • If you have requested a visa on arrival before close of business on Monday 1 May 2017, then you should receive your UNECA letter and ‘note verbale’ by Friday 5 May.
  • If you have not been able to obtain a visa in advance of travel, please refer to the Ethiopian Embassy website for details on how to arrange a visa on arrival at the airport:
  • For all visa related enquiries, please contact

World Hydropower Congress delegates may obtain a business visa upon arrival. This procedure is by special arrangement and in collaboration with the United Nations Economic Commission of Africa (UNECA).

The process (available until close of business Monday 1 May)

In order to obtain a business visa on arrival, please email our agent in Addis Ababa, Eshi Events at and copy in with;

  • a scan of the personal information page(s) in your passport. This should be up to 3MB (jpeg/png file), please ensure it is legible
  • your flight details, including flight number and travel dates
  • your hotel name, if you know where you are staying.

Eshi Events will then send you;

  • an initial invitation letter from UNECA which confirms your participation in the 2017 World Hydropower Congress
  • a follow up document 'Note Verbale' from the UN Protocol Office, prior to your travel.

You will need to bring both these documents with you, together with the US$60 visa fee, to hand into the visa on arrival desk at the airport in Ethiopia.

Please make sure you check your junk folder for replies from Eshi Events. 

If you have any questions regarding this process, please email and copy in


Bole International Airport is about 5km south-east of Addis Ababa city centre (where the UN Conference Centre and most of the hotels are located). The majority of hotels offer a shuttle service to/from the airport between USD 7 and USD 10 per person one way. Please ask when booking your hotel for more information about this service.


If you take a taxi, it is best to take a yellow taxi. These taxi drivers belong to a taxi association which has a booth at the airport exit. The average cost of a taxi from the airport to the UN Compound area is USD 15.

Alternatively, you can book prior to arrival with a local taxi service:

Adika Taxi Services