Ethiopia is not Africa's most child-friendly destination. Distances can be long (although internal flights are sometimes possible), attractions (such as churches and archaeological sites) don't naturally appeal to many children and recent security issues may make you think twice about planning a family holiday to Ethiopia.
All of that said, if you plan carefully, you could have an adventure that the kids will remember forever. There's some terrific wildlife-watching possibilities in particular, while families who enjoy a good day's trekking will find plenty to tempt you out on the trail. Attending a festival or visiting one of Ethiopia's many traditional peoples, too, can be a terrific way to open your children's eyes to cultures and ways of living they never otherwise experience.
Unless you’re planning to be in Ethiopia for the long haul, we advise you to bring everything with you that you think you’ll need. For invaluable general advice on taking the family abroad, see Lonely Planet’s Travel with Children by Brigitte Barta et al.
- Babysitting How shall we put this?...Your kids are your responsibility.
- Car seats These may be available from car-rental firms, but it's rare and you’d be better off bringing your own.
- Changing facilities Almost unheard of.
- Cots Only in top-end hotels, and not always even in these.
- Health A check-up with your doctor back home is a good idea before setting out for Ethiopia.
- High chairs Almost nonexistent in restaurants.
- Mosquito repellent Check with your doctor before setting out, as some mosquito repellents with high levels of DEET may be unsuitable for young children. Some lodges have mosquito nets; if you’re camping, consider bringing your own.
- Nappies & baby food These are available from supermarkets in Addis, but they may not be the brands you’re used to. Bring your own.