Dire Dawa

Travel Guide Africa Ethiopia Dire Dawa



Dire Dawa is the second biggest city in Ethiopia.



Sights and Activities

The old French train station has a nice old time feeling.



Getting There

By Plane

It is the second biggest airport in Ethiopia with a few international connections. About 3 kilometres north of the town.

By Train

The new train station is unfortunately built about 11 kilometres west of the town. The train runs from Addis Abeba to Djibouti.

By Car

Dire Dawa is connected to Addis Ababa and the historical city of Harar by road, but fly or take train from Addis to get in to Dire Dawa.

By Bus

There are three bus companies operating services linking Addis Ababa and Dire Dawa. The cheapest, least comfortable and slowest is the government local bus service. This can take anything from twelve to fifteen hours. The most expensive is the Sky bus service, a luxury Chinese coach with toilets and a movie system, which takes around ten hours. The Salem bus is a reasonable middle option, which is much quicker than the local service but still a bus rather than a coach. Tickets for government buses are bought in the main bus station. Sky bus tickets are sold from a discrete office in the Cornell area of town. Salem bus tickets are purchased at the Samrat Hotel opposite the Ras.

Harar is the other major destination. Small mini buses leave whenever they are full from the main bus station and take about an hour. It rarely takes longer than fifteen minutes for a minibus to be ready to leave.



Getting Around

The blue and white minibuses are in abundance in Dire Dawa, as well as the small blue taxis. The best way to get around is to use the minibuses or to contract the blue taxis for the duration of your stay. Most Dire Dawa taxi drivers don't have a sense of time, if you tell your contracted taxi driver to pick you up or drop you of at a certain time, expect him to be late an hour or two.



Keep Connected


Internet is slow and is better early in the morning or middle of the night. There are numerous internet cafes in Addis Ababa, Dire Dawa, Nazret, Bahir Dar, Gonder, Awasa and other cities; however their speeds are often dial-up at best, and some operate illegally. In Addis Ababa, connection speeds are more than adequate for performing tasks such as checking e-mail most of the time.


See also International Telephone Calls

Ethiopa's international telephone code is 251.

For all travellers, having a mobile phone is a must. It is cheap and easily available. There are only a few stores renting SIM cards including ArifMobile. However, purchasing a SIM is inexpensive, and can be done anywhere that sells phones. The best spot is to buy it at a Ethio Telecom shop to not get ripped of. A SIM card costs 15 birr and the system requires the seller to take a photo of you and your passport information to activate your SIM. You'll have to sign an agreement that you will not commit any crimes with your phone. All local stores will have calling cards you can purchase to call internationally. For domestic calls, phones are topped up with a prepaid card, available in denominations of 2000, 500, 100, 50 and 25 birr and smaller.


The Ethiopian postal service is one of the most efficient postal services in Africa.



as well as UliS (5%)

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This is version 8. Last edited at 14:47 on May 18, 18 by Utrecht. 1 article links to this page.

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