Arrival at Bole Airport

Addis Advisor writes:

The update below is from three visits to Bole Airport Terminal 2 Arrivals area Oct/Nov 2018


As you arrive in this area from the landing floor above, there may be staff asking to see your passport and directing you into the correct queue. As below…

A. To the right, Q for those who already have an Embassy issued visa, plus citizens, and foreigners with resident cards.

B. To the left VOA Visa on Arrival Queue. (Can be 60 people in rush hours)

C. In the middle, a green carpet fast track route for those holding an E VISA authorisation..(if the green carpet is roped off, just go under the rope)

There are two banks and an ATM to the right of Queue A….but if the queues are long it is better to get in the queue and go to the Banks/ATMs after the Immigration desks ( ie in the Baggage Hall.)

VOA notes

a. They will take a photograph of you with a desktop camera.

b. They usually ask for the address/hotel where you are staying or a friends phone number.

(If necessary have any Hotel name or Ethiopian mobile number ready!!)

c. After handing in your passport, it is passed to a rear room. When instructed you go to the right and round to the BACK of the VOA offices where you pay your $50 or equivalent in UK Pounds or Euros. In theory you can pay with a Credit Card BUT always have cash in one of the three desired currencies, as the credit card machine is often “broken”.


Carousels. There are only 5. and C2 is reserved for priority/first class luggage.

SO in busy times luggage for any given flight may be lifted off the belts by staff and lined up near the Carousel. (Rush hours are 6-9 am AND pm)

There are free trolleys and many porters usually available…pay them c 100 birr.

Baggage Hall has two CBE forex counters. Also 3 ATMs..which are to left of Carousels. These ATMs are more reliable than the 2 out in Public Arrivals greetings area.

As you move with your bags towards Customs, you may well be asked to produce your baggage tags, that is those given to you at check in.


X Ray Machines. Staff may select random bags to go through an X ray machine at entry to Red Channel.

Red/Green Channel. At very quiet times eg 0530. only Red Channel may be open.

PHONES It is no longer necessary to register incoming phones.


You will emerge from customs channels into this area. BUT MOST meeters and greeters are forced to stay outside in the Car Park area.

This area has..

SOME meeters and greetings from Tour Companies and Hotels who can get a permit allowing them to be inside the building. So you MAY see your name held up…

MANY hotel greetings booths.

ONE cafe..this is some 50 metres to the left of where you emerge from Customs,

NO shops. 2 ATMs

ONE Ethio Telecom table set up recently to sell SIM CARDS..but so far I have never seen it open.

A fairly tame Tourist Information kiosk.

Recruiters for Airport Taxis…IF you get accosted by one of these ask to see the price list.


After leaving the building turn left and cross the unused road.

You will see a wide gap in the low wall with a few police on duty.

Go through. Turn right, and push your trolley down a long covered ramp into the car park.

There will be scores of people waiting to greet arrivers.

Yellow Airport Taxis..will be lined up on the right 30 metres from the bottom of the pedestrian ramp. The boss taxi despatcher holds an A4 file with Fixed Prices to most hotels, guest houses, museums etc.

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