Political situation / atmosphere
After the last democratic elections in 2015 the situation is relatively calm. There have been problems in November & December 2016 with the Oromo people, but it is told that the situation is improved now. A problem may be the surrounding countries like Eritrea which is attacked by Ethiopian army to destroy terrorist camps and infrastructure. Also Sudan and the southern regions are watched carefully. Our partners in Ethiopia are informed about the safety situation and keep us updated if there is any risk. They would not go to an dangerous area if they would not be sure, that they will come back alive to their families.
In Ethiopia there are some animals that may harm you if you are not prepared and protected against them. The most dangerous are not crocodiles, snakes or hippos, but very small insects. The little mosquito (anopheles) causes malaria and may people suffer in Africa. The only preparation against it is medicine like Malarone, mosquito nets, and anti insect repellents. The next can be found in lakes and is transported by snails and their parasites cause bilharzia. In lakes and rivers you should expect crocodiles and in some lakes (like lake Chamo) hippos. The most serious accidents happen with hippos, but also crocodiles have caused some fatalities. Snakes are less dangerous, because they will feel your steps and disappear in time. Scorpions & spiders can be found in desert areas and so you should control your shoe in the morning if there is one hiding inside. Dogs and monkey can transfer rabies. With the right cautiousness there will be no danger.
At active volcanoes there are always precautions needed and you should respect it as it can change its behavior any time. There is no 100% safety at any active volcano. Erta Ale is relatively calm, but you should watch it carefully when gas bubbles explode and the activity increases. Do not stay in the edge of the crater where you can see cracks and be ready to run away any moment if the exploding gas bubbles increase its activity. A piece of hot lava at a size of 5-10 cm can cause serious burns and a shock. Keep in mind that there is no medical service in an area of 200 km.
At the hydrothermal area of Dallol volcano there are hot and acid solutions, that can also cause serious burnings and can destroy any metal equipment & clothing.