Latest info on arriving at Bole Airport, Addis Ababa (Sept 2022)

AddisAdvisor writers:


COVID status

At the moment (Sept 22} to enter Ethiopia you must have an acceptable COVID status, that is proof one of these 3. 

a. Proof of being fully vaccinated.

b. Negative Antigen Test within 24 hours of ARRIVAL 

c. Negative PCR test with 72 hours before DEPARTURE

Proof on your phone screen is usually accepted, but wise to have it printed out as well.

(for unvaccinated Heathrow ET travellers….there is no longer an antigen quick COVID test facility in Terminal 2 where Ethiopian Airlines depart from, BUT two elsewhere in the airport area. We used the drive in recently and it was excellent, no queue and quick emailed results. See link below


Your departure airline will almost certainly want to see EITHER

your proof of visa eg your evisa authorisation email, and again it is wise to have a few copies printed out as this is your only proof of whether it is a 1 or 3 month visa.

OR your right to enter Ethiopia through holding Green or Yellow ID card or other document.


Including changes due to the newly enlarged TERMINAL 2.

1. From the PLANE

If you exit on a walkway it will deliver you to the ARRIVALS CORRIDOR on the first floor ie G + 1

If you are bussed in from the tarmac, you will, immediately on entering the building GO UP a floor by stairs, escalator or lift for wheelchairs, to reach the same ARRIVALS long corridor, but you will probably be at one end of the corridor.

Staff and sign posts on this corridor will direct you either into the TRANSIT area or the IMMIGRATION AREA. If you are entering the country look for signs saying BAGGAGE CLAIM or IMMIGRATION.

These areas can be very busy in the 2 rush hours when most of ET’s jet fleet is arriving

06.00 to 09.00 mornings – mainly intercontinental arrivals, about 30 daily in the 3 hours. 

19.00 to 22.00 evenings – mainly arrivals from other African nations


Before you are allowed to enter the IMMIGRATION DESK area your COVID STATUS will be checked at a desk/counter. Telephone proof IS ACCEPTED and Bolee Airport Wifi is now usually good BUT if possible have print out of your status as well.

PASSPORT check. IMPORTANT. Before leaving the Immigration Desk CHECK that the ENTRY stamp put in your passport is clear, and you can read the DATE on it. This is your only proof of the date you entered the country. They will not put a visa sticker into your passport like is done in some other nations AND used to be done here when Visa on Arrival was offered.

( DO not overstay your visa or you will be refused check in on departure and sent to Immigration HQ. If you have reason to do so, get your tourist visa extended at Immigration HQ in Addis BEFORE it expires. IF you overstay there is a fine of at least $10 a day to do this)

3. When you have finished at Immigration go down to the BAGGAGE area which you can see below you. A screen indicates which Carousel is being used for your flight. Baggage arrival time can vary, it is usually good BUT be aware that staff will sometimes take bags off a carousel to reduce congestion on it. So be ready to look at piles of bags on the floor near your carousel, especially if bags take a long time.

ATMS are in the baggage hall, now along the wall facing Carousels 4 and 5. They work on International Cards but only deliver ET birr.

4. CUSTOMS is right next to the baggage area and though you will see an OVERHEAD sign saying Green Channel –Nothing to Declare, you MAY well be asked to put bags through the X Ray machines.

5. Meeters and greeters are still NORMALLY not allowed in the building. So if you are being met by anyone they are UNLIKELY to be inside. Once outside follow the crowd down the covered ramp pushing your luggage trolley. Yellow airport taxis should be in site but are not metered so you must agree a price before getting in. The boss despatcher of these taxis has an official file with prices to all hotels, which WILL be produced if you ask for Price List. If you arriving at night this outdoor area is well lit.

6. To find your meeters you must walk across the first car park to where the crowd of meters and greeters are held by the police.


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