Hey everyone so the episode I made on Ethiopia's transportation and getting around was really useful for many of you and so today I'm gonna continue on that theme I'm gonna give you some really useful tips that many travelers may not know when going to Ethiopia.
So I'm going to break down phone, internet, electricity, toilets,, cheap flights, you name it, I'm gonna try to cover it. Okay so the first thing I want to cover is phone. most of us are pretty addicted to our phones so if you don't want to be jumping from Wi-Fi hotspot to Wi-Fi hotspot then you can get a SIM card in Ethiopia and it works with your unlocked phone.
So Ethiopia's phone network is a monopoly, I believe it's government-owned. it's called Ethio telecom the catch is you have to line up an Ethio telecom to get your sim card so bring your passport, show up early to the office if you can because the line ups can be grueling. but it's a fantastic deal because for 30 birr which is about two bucks. you get 300mb which for most people it's useful for maybe doing an Instagram post a day and just communicating on chat apps with friends and family. after you use up that three hundred mb then you just have to refill by buying any of those refill cards that you find on the streets.
There are guys on every street corner selling them, it's literally everywhere, I don't remember how much data you get because the usage is split up based on what you use it for, so you just got a fixed amount in the card and then as you make calls, text messages, and use data then it just slowly drains away that amount. relatively speaking I guess for foreigners it's not too expensive but relatively speaking for the average Ethiopian, data is super expensive. now Ethio Telecom is a government monopoly and Ethiopia has been having some troubles in recent times so you'll find that a lot of social media networks are blocked like Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Whatsapp. I found that the Asian chat apps such as LINE or Weibo seemed to have no problem so you might want to consider using those instead. otherwise you gotta get a VPN so I recommend that you use a VPN service that has an app for your phone as well as one for your PC or your laptop.
I'll dig up the one that I use and I'll put a link to it in the description. and for the VPN it's likely that it won't have server in the country so you'll most likely be connecting to a server in a nearby country. some are not nearby so you'll likely connect to.... I found Kenya wasn't very reliable if you connect to a server in Egypt or South Africa it's a little better. so if you need to get some real stuff done and you're gonna have to landline internet if you're staying at Hotel then you're set since most hotels have it otherwise if you're staying somewhere else then you just have to go to a hotel, buy a coffee or breakfast and just use their internet. I ended up spending a lot of time at jupiter hotel which is a pretty popular place for foreigners to use the internet. alternatively, to really get a lot of stuff done there's also a co-working space i know that recently opened up. next electricity.
So Ethiopia uses the two-prong european-style plug so make sure you have an adapter If you forget, I'm sure you can buy one in the market.