Sara and John say...
This arid land contains some of the hottest and driest areas in the planet! So both sun protection and hydration are essential at any time of year. However there is variety in the weather, mostly influenced by altitude.
Much of central Ethiopia, including the capital, Addis Ababa, sits on a plateau. Due to the elevation, temperatures are pleasantly cooler than at lower altitudes - mostly in the low to mid 20s Celsius by day. From November to March, rainfall is rare and most days are sunny. Showers break out through the spring, becoming more frequent and intense through June to September, when it can rain around every other day. During this period, cloudy skies prevail. Clearer skies and drier weather return later in the autumn, and nights can become quite chilly through the winter months.
Much of the rest of Ethiopia, surrounding the plateau, is hotter and drier, with less reliable rainfall through the year. Across some eastern areas, particularly the Danakil Depression in the far northeast, rainfall is rare. Daytime temperatures can be unbearably hot, ranging between the low 30s and mid-40s Celsius from winter to summer.
In the period from May to November, tropical cyclones can occasionally arrive from the Arabian Sea, bringing heavy rainfall. But this is unusual.
Overall, we’d recommend the winter months of December and January as ideal times to visit most parts of Ethiopia, thanks to comfortable temperature and humidity, combined with abundant sunshine.