1. Travel
Ethiopia's Weather and Average Temperatures

What's the Weather Like in Ethiopia?

The climate in Ethiopia varies tremendously depending on elevation. If you are planning to visit Ethiopia it's a good idea to check the average temperatures of the region you plan to spend time in. You can go from 60 - 95 Fahrenheit (15 C to 35 C) in a matter of hours when you travel in Ethiopia, so bring layers! Scroll down to find temperature charts, average sunlight hours and rainfall for: Addis Ababa, Dire Dawa and Mekele.

Overview
The capital Addis Ababa stays quite cool throughout the year, with daily high average temperatures rarely exceed 68 Fahrenheit (20 C). Dire Dawa to the east is much warmer and drier (similar to Harar). Mekele in the northern highlands (check these average temperatures below if you are doing the "historical route") tend to have cool daytime temperatures, around 68 Fareneheit (20 C), along with a heavy short rainy season. If you are planning to visit the Omo Region in the south, be prepared for very hot temperatures.

In the highland areas of central, eastern and western Ethiopia, it gets cool very quickly at night. Frosty mornings are common so you'll want to pack a jacket. In the far south, far west and far east of the country, average daily temperatures reach 85 Fahrenheit (30 C) and over. The closer you get to the borders of Ethiopia's neighbors the hotter it gets because the elevation tends to be much lower. This is the "hot" zone, known locally as kolla.

The Rains
The rainy season begins April and ends in September, but it depends very much what part of Ethiopia you happen to be traveling in. If you're doing the "northern circuit" and covering Ethiopia's historical route, most of the rainfall tends to come during July and August. If you are planning on visiting the south, it may be best to avoid the peak rains during April, May and October. The rains themselves aren't too bad, it's the affect they have on already poor road conditions that may hamper your travel. There is hardly any rainfall in the north western Denakil Depression (Afar region), nor in the Ogaden Desert located in south western Ethiopia.

The driest months for those visiting Ethiopia's historical sights are between November to February. It can get quite chilly in the highlands during this time though, with average daily temperatures hovering around 60 Fahrenheit or below.

The Weather and Average Temperatures in ADDIS ABABA

Addis Ababa generally has a very pleasant, healthy, cool climate, the city sits on a plateau so it benefits from relatively cool temperatures year round. The temperature also stays fairly constant throughout the year because of its proximity to the equator. The best months to visit Addis are the drier months between November and February. This is also winter, and temperatures at night will fall in the low 40's (5 C), so bring a coat. The rains get very heavy between June and September and it's a bit dark during this time of year, so be prepared for little sunshine.

Today's Weather in Addis Ababa

Click for Addis Ababa, Ethiopia Forecast


Addis Ababa's Climate

Month Precipitation Maximum Minimum Average Sunlight
in cm F C F C Hours
January 0.6 1.5 75 24 59 15 8
February 1.4 3.5 75 24 60 16 7
March 2.6 6.5 77 25 63 17 7
April 3.3 8.5 74 25 63 17 6
May 3.0 7.5 77 25 64 18 7.5
June 4.7 12.0 73 23 63 17 5
July 9.3 23.5 70 21 61 16 3
August 9.7 24.5 70 21 61 16 3
September 5.5 14.0 72 22 61 16 5
October 1.2 3.0 73 23 59 15 8
November 0.2 0.5 73 23 57 14 9
December 0.2 0.5 73 23 57 14 10

The Weather and Average Temperatures in MEKELE (Northern Highlands)

Mekele lies in northern Ethiopia and is the capital of the Tigray region. The climate in Mekele is a good indicator of expected temperatures in other popular northern destinations like Lalibela, Bahir Dar, and Gonder (but expect the latter two towns to be a few degrees warmer). If you are planning to head to the Danakil Depression, note that it gets much hotter and is drier!

Today's Weather in Mekele

Click for Makale, Ethiopia Forecast


Mekele's Climate

Month Precipitation Maximum Minimum Average Sunlight
in cm F C F C Hours
January 1.4 3.5 73 23 61 16 9
February 0.4 1.0 75 24 63 17 9
March 1.0 2.5 77 25 64 18 9
April 1.8 4.5 79 26 68 20 9
May 1.4 3.5 81 27 868 20 8
June 1.2 3.0 81 27 68 20 8
July 7.9 20.0 73 23 64 18 6
August 8.5 21.5 73 23 63 17 6
September 1.4 3.5 77 25 64 18 8
October 0.4 1.0 75 24 62 17 9
November 1.0 2.5 73 23 61 16 9
December 1.6 4.0 72 22 59 15 9

Weather and Average Temperatures for DIRE DAWA (Eastern Ethiopia)

Dire Dawa lies in Eastern Ethiopia and is the second largest city, after the capital Addis Ababa. This region is lower lying than the central highlands and therefore hotter. The average annual temperature is around 25 C. Dire Dawa is also more arid, with most of the rain falling between August and September. If you are planning to visit Harar and/or Awash National Park, this is a good temperature guide for you. Add some more degrees as you go further east towards Somaliland.

Today's Weather in Dire Dawa

Click for Dire Dawa, Ethiopia Forecast


Dire Dawa's Climate

Month Precipitation Maximum Minimum Average Sunlight
in cm F C F C Hours
January 1.0 2.5 82 28 72 22 9
February 1.4 3.5 86 30 73 23 9
March 2.6 6.5 90 32 77 25 9
April 10.5 4.1 90 32 79 26 8
May 1.8 4.5 93 34 81 27 9
June 1.0 2.5 89 35 82 28 8
July 3.5 9.0 95 35 82 28 7
August 4.9 12.5 90 32 79 26 7
September 2.6 6.5 91 33 79 26 8
October 1.0 2.5 90 32 77 25 9
November 0.6 1.5 84 29 73 23 9
December 0.4 1.0 82 28 72 22 9

Sources and More about Ethiopia's Climate
Lonely Planet Travel Guide to Ethiopia
Ethiopia Country Studies
World Climates, Ethiopia
Ethiopia Weather Guide - BBC

Click on the links for more Ethiopia Travel Information

You can opt-out at any time. Please refer to our privacy policy for contact information.

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.