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Ethiopia Birr

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Time Zone: EST (New York, Toronto)
Messenger: Young Lion Sent: 4/19/2007 4:32:27 PM


i was looking at the exchange rates for US dollar to ethiopian birr. i was expecting it to be atleast in the hundreds, but 1 US dollar is equal to about 8 Birr! how is this so? is the Ethiopian economy that good. i was comparing the US dollar to other afrikan nations and alot were in thousands. maybe its because the good US relations? i'm very surprised at this.

bless menfes kidus

Messenger: Young Lion Sent: 4/19/2007 4:53:07 PM

to give the i more idea on exchange for 1 US dollar to other afrikan nations currency

Ethiopia- 8.8
Egypt- 5.6
Burundi- 1,048.2
Gambia- 27.4
Ghana- 9,328.0
Kenya- 68.54
Mauritania- 266.05
Moroacco- 8.2
Namibia- 7.07
Zimbabwe- 250.0
Nigeria- 128.07
Rwanda- 546.62
Sierra Leone- 2,980.0
South Afrika- 7.05
Tanzania- 1,271.5
Uganda- 1,725.0
Zambia- 4,025.0

Messenger: Ras KebreAB Sent: 4/19/2007 6:14:10 PM

As far as i can remember, the average exchange rate for 1 dollar has always remained around 10 to 13 or so....the highest i can remember it going to was around 17....still, i must say its a long time since i checked it last
If what i have been told is correct, in the days of I Emperor, it used to go down to 1 dollar to 1 birr

Messenger: SunofMan Sent: 4/20/2007 6:30:43 PM


The Birr was 8.8 to the dollar last time I changed cash, that was about five months ago. Keep in mind, these days, depending on where you are a birr can go a long way.


Messenger: Young Lion Sent: 4/20/2007 7:04:12 PM

how many US dollars the i feel should last for a 2 months stay in Ethiopia

Messenger: SunofMan Sent: 4/20/2007 8:08:23 PM

It's hard to say right off, without knowing the I's circumstances.

Do you have anyone to stay with, or are you relying on hotels?

Are you traveling a lot or staying in one place?

What level of comfort are you comfortable with?

it would be a lot easier to say if I knew , but for myself, when I'm not staying with family or friends

In Addis hotels with a hot shower and a decent room can run from 6 or 7 dollars a night or nicer places can be like 30 a night, however there's lots of simpler places, but fine in my own sights, that run about 3 dollars a night, and there still may be a cold shower in the room if not a shared one outside. Outside of Addis hotels get even better value for the money. Food is cheap, that will probably be the last of the I's concerns. One thing I found though was that learning to count in Amharic was extremely helpful in getting the right price. I've found that I got around real well on 100 dollars a week, but it could easily be done for less.


Messenger: Bro Dominiq Yehyah Anbesa Sent: 4/22/2007 11:55:13 AM


Just for add, one Euro is a bit more than 10Birr.

Yes there are nice hotels for cheap prices. Though I only know it from reading about it coz I have my bro living in Addis.
You know I count in , so we should meet at Birr I suggest.
You can get a hotel outside of Addis for 30Birr a night(but that's really the cheapest). In Addis cheap ones will range from 50-80Birr... going up to 150Birr.
But you shouldn't get trapped by Rasta ads that easily... you know is like Rasta always wants to keep among themselves and stay at Leah's House (on the way from the Airport, a TTI owned and run hotel) which is by far not the cheapest one, also not if you compare what you get for your money.

But like I once calculated... if you are ready to live simply like the ordinary Ithiopians... meaning budget style... you shouldn't need much more than 100Birr a day/night. Not counted of course visits at tourist sites.
So I would say 100$ a week is normal. Because you get good and full meals for a few Birr, and accomodation like explained above.
The important thing is to get really good informed. I would recommend the Lonely Planet backpacker's Travelguide.


Messenger: Ras ElIjah Sent: 4/22/2007 1:12:04 PM

Wow so much good info much appreciated brother!

Ras ElIjah

Messenger: Young Lion Sent: 4/22/2007 2:23:34 PM

thank you for all the information. it will be well used. the i plan on 2 month stay with family

Messenger: Olivebranch Sent: 5/6/2022 12:46:45 AM

but the cost of living ?where is it greatest ? DO you have to work twice as hard to earn a nice living there compared to the US? Is life easier in Ethiopia ? Can you provide good food,good clothes and a nice home for you and your family?

Personally , I don't want Africa to be anything like the US. For travel purposes keep doing research and keep talking to us.

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Haile Selassie I