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Travel Budgeting

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Budgeting is a personal thing, dependent  on how much time you are spending in the country, what you are doing while you are there and how much money you can afford to spend.

Short-Stay Travel Budget

Short-stay tourists will find Ethiopia undemanding on their wallets. You can expect to pay an average of around US $40 - 60 per night for a room in a moderate hotel and, except perhaps in Addis Ababa. Hotels in Addis tend to be expensive compared to most African cities because of the high volume of travelers coming to attend meetings at the many international organizations. Moderate hotel in Addis cost around US $60 - $80 per night and the high end hotels cost above US $100 per night. Food and drinks are very cheap, plan to spend around US $35 per day in Addis (with the exception of eating at high end hotels and restaurants) and around US $15 per day at other cities are reasonable budget.

Most short duration visitors will want to fly between major places of interest, for which they can expect  to pay around US$90 -230 one way trip if you purchase your ticket online from Ethiopian Airlines (you can check current prices from travel sites or from www.ethiopianairlines.com).  Add to that about US$20 per day on guide and entrance fees, and a daily budget of around US $150 for one person or US $200 for two looks reasonable estimate. If you were prepared to stay in mid-range hotels that exist in most major towns, your daily spending will be significantly less than the above estimate.

Where Ethiopia does get expensive is when you take organised driving tours and safaris. The low volume of tourists means that arrangements tend to be personalised, and thus a safari to somewhere like South Omo will be far more expensive than an equivalent safari in Kenya or Tanzania.

There is nothing preventing short-stay visitors from operating on the sort of budget that you would normally associate with long-stay visitors, except that the distances between major attractions make flying virtually essential if you have to see much of the country in a short time.

Long-Stay Travel Budget

If you use facilities that are mainly geared to locals, Ethiopia is a very inexpensive country, even by African standards. You can always find a basic room in a local hotel for around US  $10 - $15 and a meal for less than US $4. Transportation and drinks are cheap. Rigidly budget-conscious travellers could probably keep costs down to US $20 per day per person, but US $30 would give you considerably more flexibility. At US $60 per day, you could, within reason, do what you like. If you are on a limited budget, it is often a useful adevice to separate your daily budget from one-off expenses. There are always going to be days that a variety of factors (historical site and guide fees, air tickets) conspire to make expensive. At current prices, a daily budget of around US $60 with a few hundred dollars to spare for one-off expenses would be very comfortable for most travellers.




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