Country guides Africa
Climate in Ethiopia
Ethiopia is in the tropical zone lying between the equator and the Tropic of Cancer. There are three different climate zones in Ethiopia and weather varies substantially depending on altitude. The lowlands are generally hot and humid, with cooler temperatures in the Ethiopian Highlands.
Although the low-lying areas are tropical in climate due to the proximity to the equator, the mountainous regions can get chilly and the climate is more alpine. The average annual temperature in the highlands is about 61°F (16°C), while the lowlands average about 82°F (28°C).
In Addis Ababa, which ranges from 7,218 feet to 8,530 feet (2,200m to 2,600m), the maximum average temperature is 79°F (26°C) and minimum 39°F (4°C). May is the hottest month and August is the coolest.
There are two rainy seasons in Ethiopia: a short, mild one between February and April, and a more intense rainy season from mid-June to mid-September. Although travel is easily possible during the spring rainy season, it is generally avoided during the far wetter summer period as road travel can become difficult. Visitors should be aware that Ethiopia can get rain year-round and that rainfall, like everything else, is dependent on region.
The best time to visit Ethiopia is in the dry season between mid-October and March, but travellers should be sure to check out the climate for the particular region they want to explore before making a decision.