What is the weather like in Ethiopia in January?
The average daytime temperature in Ethiopia in January is 22°C. At night, temperatures average 5°C. In the Simien Mountains and other highland regions, temperatures can fall below freezing at night.
Check out our guide on the best time to visit Ethiopia for a more information.
Festivals in Ethiopia in January
Experiencing these festivals first-hand is magical. There's nothing quite like being in a centuries-old subterranean church, high in the mountains in the rural Ethiopian countryside, surrounded by white-clothed pilgrims all singing and chanting in the dead of night.
Ethiopian Christmas takes place on the 7th January on the Gregorian calendar.
In the weeks leading up to this date, many observe a 43-day fast known as ‘Fast of the Prophets’.
During this period, much of the population only eat one vegetarian or vegan meal per day, as well as abstaining from all alcoholic beverages.
The festival of Timkat, also known as Epiphany, is an annual festival that is meant to replicate Christ’s baptism in the river Jordan.
The festival breathes life into these historic buildings, and while Gonder is the best place to be, there are colourful celebrations across the country.
Because of the two festivals, visiting Ethiopia in January is more expensive than the rest of the year, particularly if you plan to be in Lalibela, Gonder, or Addis Ababa for the main events.
Trips to Ethiopia in January
Explore the Simien Mountains from a luxury lodge perched high in the escarpment, discover the architectural remains of ancient civilisations, and watch the sun set over the sandstone cliffs of Tigray. The Historic North Circuit is a flagship itinerary in…
- 12 Days
Fusing history, culture, landscapes and wildlife along a perfectly paced circuit, this trip is a synthesis of the very best experiences on offer in Ethiopia’s northern highlands. Explorations of the ancient cities Axum, Gondar, Bahir Dar and Lalibela are broken…
- 12 Days
This trip packs in a myriad of history, culture and some of the best scenery in Africa. Explore the palaces of Gondar, the world-famous rock-hewn churches in Lalibela, and the sweeping plateaus of the Simien Mountains. Leave enough time either…
- 7 Days
Experience the colourful Timket festival along the sweeping plateaus of rural Amhara on a community trek. Continue your adventure through the classic northern circuit where you'll discover ancient monuments from bygone civilisations, diverse wildlife, incredible views and wonderful people.…
- 16 Days
Hike across electric landscapes of thick forests, Afro-alpine moorland, peaks and plateaus, and jungle thickets. An extraordinary outdoor adventure, with high altitude hikes unlocking staggering viewpoints, beautiful clearings, and endemic wildlife. At night, the sky is ablaze with starlight in…
- 7 Days
Our community trekking routes are among our favourite experiences in Ethiopia. Offering a unique insight into rural Ethiopia through trails off-the-beaten-track, we're yet to find anyone who isn't blown away by the beauty of the rolling hills of Lalibela, the…
- 15 Days
A true adventure across the northernmost reaches of Ethiopia. Experience community trekking on the plateaus of Tigray, where horizons stretch for miles, distant mountain peaks morph into hazy silhouettes lit by the evening sun, and pockets of light and shadow…
- 11 Days
The Simien Mountains are one of Ethiopia’s most stunning destinations. With its diverse flora and fauna, immense views and extraordinary geography, it’s an exceptional place that can be enjoyed by hardy trekkers and afternoon strollers alike. A couple of nights…
- 5 Days
Ready to plan your Ethiopia adventure?
We'll spend some time listening to your aspirations, then discuss the kind of experience that might suit you.
Next we'll discuss the options, shortlist the best trips for you and present you our impartial recommendations.
We'll place a 24 hour hold on your preferred option - without obligation - whilst we talk through the details.