Ethiopia power adapters - what plugs are used in Ethiopia?

Ethiopian power outlet

What adapter do I need for Ethiopia?

You need to pack a Type E plug adapter [3] for Ethiopia if your plug won't fit into an Ethiopian power outlet.

The type of power adapter, power converter or charger that's needed when visiting Ethiopia all depends on the voltage and type of device that you're trying to charge in an Ethiopian power outlet. If you're unsure of which voltage your device uses then read the section on how can you tell if you have a single voltage or dual voltage device first.

  • Be prepared for regular blackouts and limited access to electricity in some areas of Ethiopia, we suggest bringing a portable charger [4] if you wish to recharge your cellphone battery whilst staying in a region without access to electricity or during a power outage.
  • If you're from America visiting Ethiopia you will need to bring a power adapter to fit a US plug into an Ethiopian power outlet. Because the voltage is different in Ethiopia you will also need to use a power converter for Ethiopia if your device isn't dual voltage and ensure that it will work with a 50hz power outlet.
  • If your device is 220 volts or is dual voltage and the plug will fit in an Ethiopian power outlet then it should work in Ethiopia.
  • If your device can run on 220 volts or is dual voltage but your plug doesn't fit in an Ethiopian power outlet you'll need a suitable plug adapter for Ethiopia such a Type E plug adapter [3]. A plug adapter for Ethiopia (or power adapter) will only change the actual shape of the plug on your device to fit into a plug outlet found in Ethiopia, but doesn't convert the voltage from 220 volts to a different voltage.
  • If your device doesn't run on 220 volts and isn't dual voltage you will also need a power converter for Ethiopia to convert the voltage from 220 volts to the correct voltage for your device. You'll still need to use a suitable plug adapter for Ethiopia if the power converter doesn't include the correct Type E plug adapter.
  • If you simply want to power USB devices such as a tablet or mobile phone then a USB travel power adapter is suitable and it will work with any voltage, however ensure that you choose to bring one which includes a Type E plug adapter otherwise you will also need to pack a suitable plug adapter for Ethiopia.

Warning: If your device won't handle the 220 volts used in Ethiopia you run the potential risk of a blown fuse, damage to your device or even an electrical fire hazard. Prior to using your device in Ethiopia read the instruction manual to ensure safe operation.

Ethiopia power adapters

Power adapters for Ethiopia

Varying complicated combinations of standards and plugs can all be daunting when planning to visit a different country if you've never visited before. This isn't as complicated as it first appears, with only a handful of different types of plug sockets being used throughout the world this article tells you exactly what you'll need in advance to charge your device in Ethiopia. This page has links to useful instructions showing which power adapters you'll need to supply power to your devices when you're in Ethiopia using their standard Type E, C, F or L Ethiopian 220 volt 50Hz wall outlets. Most power adapters change depending on which region you're taking a trip to therefore please read the WikiConnections global power adapters guide where you'll find a complete list of powering devices in different regions.

What is the best power adapter for Ethiopia?

The best power adapter for Ethiopia will be a Type E plug adapter [3] which allows you to use any 220 volt device or appliance.

What is the best power adapter for Ethiopia?

What is a power adapter for an Ethiopian power outlet?

A power adapter for Ethiopia is a small and cheap plastic adapter which permits an Ethiopian power outlet to accept a different type of power plug from an appliance from another country.

Also known as: an electrical adapter, plug adapter, travel adapter, electrical adaptor, mains travel adapter or power adaptor [5].

Do I need a plug adapter for Ethiopia?

This depends on the shape of plug you want to use in Ethiopia.

Do I need a power adapter if I'm visiting Ethiopia from America?

If you are visiting from the US then you will need to bring a plug adapter for Ethiopia because US plugs won't fit into an Ethiopian power outlet, and as the voltage is 220 volts you will also need to use a power converter for Ethiopia if your charger or appliance isn't dual voltage which prevents damage or overheating.

Will a power adapter convert the voltage in Ethiopia?

Power adapters only adapt the shape of a plug to fit into a 220 volt Ethiopian power outlet and doesn't convert the power to a higher voltage. Should you need to safely use any 100-120 volt device then you will also need a step down power converter along with the correct power adapter.

What does a power adapter for Ethiopia do?

A power adapter for Ethiopia allows visitors from a different country to use electronic and electrical devices in Ethiopia by adapting the shape of the power plug from one shape to another.

Electrical adapters for Ethiopia

Power Plug Adapters

An easy to use Type E plug adapter

Power Plug Adapters

Benefits of a power plug adapter

  • Simple to use.
  • Cheap, with prices starting at around $7 USD.
  • Lightweight and small.
  • Bringing a Type E plug adapter [3] will work in Ethiopia.

Disadvantages of a power plug adapter

  • Accomodation might only have one wall outlet available, therefore you will only be capable of charging a single appliance at once.
  • Should you plan on visiting more than just Ethiopia you may need to bring more than one type of plug adapter for other countries.
  • One power adapter for each device - for every separate device you will also need to use a separate adapter.
  • Only modifies the shape of the plug to fit in a Type E Ethiopian power outlet and doesn't alter the actual voltage used in Ethiopia, so if your appliance doesn't work with 220 volts and isn't dual voltage you'll still need to bring a voltage converter.
  • You'll also still need to pack a separate domestic USB charger as well if you wish to charge a USB device.
Travel Power Strips

A travel power strip kit

Travel Power Strips

Benefits of a travel power strip

  • Capable of charging more than one electronic appliance simultaneously via a single Ethiopian power outlet, costing around $30 USD.
  • Certain models offer voltage conversation for low wattage electronics such as laptops. So therefore if your appliance isn't dual voltage it can still be used in Ethiopia by using only a travel power strip, making them a cheap and lightweight substitute for a voltage converter.
  • Some models will feature a number of USB charging ports.
  • Offers surge protection. Voltage from power outlets in certain areas could be tempremental, a surge in power can damage devices. Some models also have a built in surge protector to protect your device from being overpowered.
  • It will be of some use in your home country.
  • US and Canadian power strips include Type A, B, D, E/F, G, H, I, L and N plug adapters so should work in Ethiopia. (Note: UK power strips include type B, F, G and I plug adapters so you will need to use it with an additional plug adapter.)

Disadvantages of a travel power strip

  • The converter on a travel power strip won't work with high wattage appliances such as hair straighteners or curling irons.
  • Due to the weight of a power strip it might be too bulky for hand luggage.
  • Travel power strips might be excessive for some travellers only bringing a small number of devices and appliances to charge.
Travel USB Wall Chargers

A USB travel wall charger

Travel USB Wall Chargers

Benefits of a travel USB wall charger

  • Ideal if you only have to power USB devices.
  • Rather than bring lots of domestic USB power chargers travellers only have to bring a single unit costing around $18 USD.
  • Supplied with swappable adapter heads which make them useful in a large number of different countries. The interchangeable adapter heads are typically small and lightweight making them easy to pack in hand luggage.
  • Most models should have a built in surge protector.
  • When you get back to Canada the charger could still be useful.
  • The swappable plugs fit in Types A/B, E/F, G and I outlets so will work in Ethiopia.

Disadvantages of a travel USB wall charger

  • Restricted to USB ports so you won't be able to power any electrical appliances, just USB ones.
Universal Travel Power Adapters

A universal travel adapter

Universal Travel Power Adapters

Benefits of a universal travel power adapter

  • Typical models work in over 150 different countries.
  • An all in one compact design. Both small and lightweight for around $15 USD.
  • There are some models which include charging ports for USB devices built in.
  • Relatively straightforward operation.
  • There are some universal travel power adapters which include a surge protector built in, this will prevent any device from being overloaded by an unstable power grid in some countries.
  • The pins retract so won't catch against other items when packed in your luggage.
  • It will be functional domestically as a USB charger.
  • Changes shape to Types A/B, E/F, G and I plugs so should fit into an Ethiopian power outlet.

Disadvantages of a universal travel power adapter

  • Must not be used with high power appliances such as hair straighteners, kettles or hair dryers.
  • Shutters and moving parts might be fragile on some universal travel power adapters which might make them prone to breaking when travelling.
  • Only charges a single plug.
  • A universal travel power adapter might not work in some countries; some adapters might not work in certain countries with less common outlet types.
  • Lacking a power converter means it won't be suitable for non-220 volts electrical appliances in Ethiopia.
Plug Adapter Sets

A power plug adapter set

Plug Adapter Sets

Benefits of a plug adapter set

  • With prices around $15-$20 USD an adapter set works out more inexpensive buying than purchasing individual $7 plug adapters for multiple locations.
  • Ensures that you are covered for every eventuality.
  • Ideal for anyone visiting multiple locations.
  • A power adapter set includes Type A, B, C, D, E/F, G, H, I, J, L, M and N plugs so should be compatible with an Ethiopian power outlet.

Disadvantages of a plug adapter set

  • Not flexible; you will need to decide which plug adapters to bring in advance, or alternatively bring each power adapter in the set along.
  • Lots individual items to pack.
  • With only one compatible plug adapter working in Ethiopia the remaining power adapters will be useless and using up packing space.
  • Not every power adapter types are typically included (especially less common adapters), so ensure that your plug adapter set has an adapter which is compatible with an Ethiopian power outlet.
  • Only alters the shape of the plug and not the voltage.
Voltage Converters

Voltage converters offer surge protection

Voltage Converters

Benefits of a voltage converter

Disadvantages of a voltage converter

  • A voltage converter only changes the 220 volts in Ethiopia and not the shape of the plug to fit in a Ethiopian power outlet, you'll still need to bring the right type of plug adapter for Ethiopia.
  • The typical size and weight of most models makes them unsuitable for packing in hand luggage.
  • An expensive converter will be redundant after your visit to Ethiopia.
  • It is usually less expensive to bring a dual voltage travel appliance than to purchase a more expensive voltage converter just to use your existing domestic appliance in Ethiopia.
  • Expensive, on average $128 USD.
  • If you are travelling from America go to Ethiopia you will need one as the voltage is 220 volts.

Comparison of electrical adapters for Ethiopia

Type E Power Plug Adapter
Power Plug Adapter
Universal Travel Power Adapter
Universal Travel Power Adapter
Travel USB Wall Charger
Travel USB Wall Charger
Travel Power Strip
Travel Power Strip
Plug Adapter Set
Plug Adapter Set
Voltage Converter
Voltage Converter
Can be used in Ethiopia Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Types of plug included E A/B, E/F, G and I A/B, E/F, G and I A, B, D, E/F, G, H, I, L and N A, B, C, D, E/F, G, H, I, J, L, M and N B
Compatible number of countries (A) 35+ 150+ 150+ 200+ 230+ 230+
Fits in a Type E Ethiopian power outlet Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Additional Type E plug adapter required to fit in an Ethiopian power outlet Yes
Useful when you return to Canada Yes Yes Yes
Typical combined number of USB ports and AC outlets 1 3 4 7 1 2
Powers USB devices Yes Yes Yes
Typical number of USB ports 0 2 4 4 0 0
Powers a 220 volt AC appliance in Ethiopia Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Typical number of AC outlets 1 1 0 3 (B) 2
Converts voltage (?) Yes (C) Yes
Surge protection Yes Yes Yes Yes
Typical dimensions 2.6 x 1.9 x 1.4 inches 3 x 2.1 x 2.1 inches 4.3 x 3.4 x 1.3 inches 6.6 x 3.6 x 1.5 inches 7.1 x 3.9 x 2.8 inches 11.7 x 8.1 x 6.7 inches
Typical weight 4.5 ounces 4 ounces 4.5 ounces 1.6 pounds 13 ounces 20 pounds
Typical number of items to carry (D) 1 1 5 8 12 2
Suitable for hand luggage Yes Yes Yes • (E) • (F)
Typical price $7 USD $15 USD $18 USD $30 USD $19 USD $128 USD
Buy Buy Buy Buy Buy Buy

Ethiopia power outlets and plug sockets

What plug sockets are used in Ethiopia?

There are four different types of power supply used in Ethiopia, these are type E, C, F and L with the primary power supply being type E:

  • Plug Type C - The power outlet (called a Europlug or type C socket) is recognised by the 2 holes next to each other.
  • Plug Type E - You can recognise the power outlet by two holes 19mm apart from each other where the twin pins slide into along with a metal earth pin protruding in the top forming a triangle shape.
  • Plug Type F - The recessed circular plug socket (called a Schuko socket or type F power outlet) can be recognised by the two 4.8mm round holes 19 mm apart from each other, plus a pair of two thin metal grounding clips on the top and bottom.
  • Plug Type L - You can recognise the flattened hexagon shaped power outlet by 3 holes in a line for live, neutral and ground. Note there are two different types of Type L plug socket rated at 10 and 16 amps. A 10 amp wall outlet has 4mm pins spaced 5.5mm apart, whilst the 16 amp version has slightly larger 5mm thick round pins that are spaced 8mm apart.
What plug sockets are used in Ethiopia?

Do US plugs work in Ethiopia?

No; a US plug won't work in Ethiopia because it doesn't fit in an Ethiopian power outlet without the use of a plug adapter. Also, the voltage is 220 volts so use a power converter if your charger or appliance isn't dual voltage and check that your device or appliance is compatible with a 50hz power outlet.

Are outlets in Ethiopia the same as in the US?

An American plug won't fit in an Ethiopian power outlet so use a power adapter for Ethiopia. Both the voltage and frequency are different so if your charger or appliance isn't dual voltage use a power converter for Ethiopia and ensure that it works with 50hz.

Is the voltage in Ethiopia the same as the US?

The voltage from an Ethiopian power outlet is 220 volts, however 120 volts is used in the US. If your American appliance or power charger doesn't support dual voltage then you will need use a suitable power converter for Ethiopia which can change the voltage from 220 volts to 120 volts.

What electrical frequency is used with an Ethiopian power outlet?

The frequency from an Ethiopian power outlet is 50 Hz.

How do I use a 110 volt appliance in Ethiopia?

Use a step down power converter if you need to use a 110 volt appliance in an Ethiopian power outlet.

What is access to electrical power in Ethiopia like?

In Ethiopia less than half of the population has access to electrical power.

Does Ethiopia have power outages?

Ethiopia suffers power blackouts several times per month so with this high level of unreliability it is recommended to pack accordingly.

Should I pack a power bank for Ethiopia?

USB power bank

Should I pack a power bank for Ethiopia?

As power isn't available in all areas of Ethiopia together with potential power outages, travellers are advised to pack alternative charging solutions if they wish to continue charging devices such as phones or eReaders.

  • Whilst travelling increased use of smart phones for taking photos, storing calendars, GPS, social networks and playing games will syphon off power towards the end of the day. Beyond just missing photo opportunities this can possibly leave you stranded without adequate power to make an emergency call or being able to use a sat nav app to return back to your accommodation. Bringing a power bank [4] eases those concerns as it means you can keep your smart phone powered without needing an Ethiopian power outlet, especially when visiting a country with a lack of access to power and power outages in some areas.
  • We recommend bringing at least a 10,000mAh portable charger [4] which will store enough electricity to cover around 3 full cycles and a 20,000mAh power bank [14] should keep a typical smart phone charged for roughly seven days depending on the model of phone and usage. The mAh value (milli ampere-hours) shows the capacity of the battery giving an indication of how many charges the power bank can do, and a higher number will be better for travellers.
  • Should you need to charge your laptop with a power bank in Ethiopia and it uses a USB-C charging port then pack a portable charger for a laptop [15] marked with PD (power delivery) which supplies 20 Wh or more.
  • Please note that some airlines prohibit portable chargers on an aircraft with more than 100 Wh of power and must not be kept in the hold so always ahead with the airline first.
  • Small consumer power banks won't work with high wattage items, although a rechargeable hair dryer [12] or gas hair straighteners [13] are designed for travelling to areas with power cuts and limited access to electricity such as Ethiopia.
Will a solar charger work in Ethiopia?

Solar backpacks are ideal in hot countries

Will a solar charger work in Ethiopia?

The climate in Ethiopia should be adequate enough to recharge solar power bank [17] dependably, however it will need to be exposed to strong sunlight in order to provide adequate energy for a single charge. This might prove inconvenient to continually unpack a solar power bank and wait for it to recharge in sunny spells.

  • The larger solar cells used on a solar backpack [16] will give the backpack the ability to create more electricity within a shorter period of time and should also generate a smaller charge when cloudy, making them ideal for the climate in Ethiopia.
  • A device that has been directly plugged into the USB charging port of a solar backpack can gradually recharge the power during sunny spells in Ethiopia, but might be inconvenient to have it continuously connected in the bag during the day should it be needed constantly. A normal power bank [4] plugged in a solar backpack can be continuously recharged during the day, afterwards the phone can be powered up using the power bank without being attached to the bag.
  • Although the sunlight in Ethiopia is strong, a bag should ideally have a solar cell efficiency of 22% or more, can generate a minimum of 6 watts of power and includes a power bank of 10,000mAH or stronger.
  • Unlike normal solid solar panels, the flexible and durable solar cells used in solar powered bags have been built to endure bending and scratches. Solar bags are available in backpack, messenger and rucksack styles making them ideal for domestic, travel and work use.

Sources

  • International Electrotechnical Commission - World plugs by location (cited August 2014)
  • Wikipedia - Mains electricity by country (cited July 2014)
  • Index Mundi - Power outages in a typical month (cited May 2018, data collected between 2006 to 2017)
  • Index Mundi - Access to electricity (cited May 2018, latest data collected 2010)
  • WikiPedia - List of countries by average yearly temperature (cited May 2018, data averaged between 1961 to 1990)

Ethiopia chargers

What is a USB travel power charger?

A USB travel charger is a dual voltage charger with interchangeable plugs and multiple USB ports, suitable for charging multiple USB powered devices when travelling abroad.

What USB charger do I need for Ethiopia?

When travelling with more than one device then the best international travel power adapter for Ethiopia to buy is a multiple USB port adapter which includes compatible plugs such as a 4 port USB travel charger [7]. Ethiopians use four different types of plug sockets (E, C, F and L) and bringing this will ensure that you are covered for type C.

As these types of chargers come with interchangeable plugs and can handle from 100 - 240 volts it makes them ideal for multiple countries around the world simply by switching the included heads over. If your model of device can support Fast Charge (please note that not all USB devices do) then you will benefit from quicker charging times with one of these power chargers and additional compatibility with more power hungry devices like tablets.

Having a four port charger means you can power multiple devices simultaneously without needing to buy multiple travel adapters on your trip to Ethiopia. Because you are only bringing a single travel charger will keep the overall weight and size down, making it ideal to fold up in hand luggage whilst travelling. Due to their flexibility these types of travel chargers can be used back at home as well as abroad so when you're not travelling they can sit under your bedside table charging multiple tablets, phones and speakers with only a single wall outlet.

If you travel frequently we recommend searching for a multipurpose power charger similar to this at an electronics retailer. The travel adapter illustrated below is the 4 Port USB Wall Charger [7] which has been tested successfully for recharging multiple USB devices in numerous foreign countries around the world with good reliably.

What USB charger do I need for Ethiopia?

Why use a travel USB charger for Ethiopia?

  • Typically travel USB chargers include multiple USB charger ports, this means that you now only need to bring a single charger to charge all your devices. Instead of bringing 4 separate power chargers it becomes only necessary to pack one 4 port USB wall charger and power up to 4 individual devices, thereby reducing the weight and size of your luggage.
  • Travel USB chargers include interchangeable plug heads for different power outlet types making them perfect if travelling across multiple countries across Africa which are likely to use a different outlet to Ethiopia.
  • Good chargers are compact, rugged and lightweight - ideal for rigors of travel instead of than risking packing a domestic charger which could be impossible to repair or replace in Ethiopia.
  • USB travel chargers can accept both the 220 volts used in Ethiopia power outlets and different voltage standards across the world.
  • There is a chance that accommodation or hotel rooms in Ethiopia might only have a single wall outlet, by using a travel charger with multiple USB ports means you can share out the single power supply with family or other traveler rather than waiting to charge one device at a time.
  • Due to their versatile nature a travel USB charger takes the uncertainty out of visiting any unknown country as they are guaranteed to work almost anywhere in the world.
  • Power outlets found in airports can be sparse and the demand for charging multiple cell phones and tablets before a flight can be high, so a USB charger with multiple ports and the ability to charge quickly is ideal.
  • Some countries power grids are unstable, a travel USB charger allows for unexpected spikes and will help prevent damage to any devices attached to it. Attempting to repair an overloaded cell phone or tablet in Ethiopia could prove to be inconvenient and expensive.
  • Higher priced USB chargers also feature power outlet strips to use low wattage domestic appliances such as laptops, however these will be unsuitable for high powered domestic such as hair dryers or clothes irons. Refer to our section on using travel appliances in Ethiopia for advice and guidelines on the best power adapter to use with an Ethiopian power outlet for high wattage devices.
  • Some mobile phones could require more than the usual 500 milliamps produced from a standard 5 volt USB power adapter to charge or provide fast charge. Ensure that the USB power adapter can support fast charging should any of your devices draw additional power.
  • Travel USB chargers can also be useful back at home by recharging multiple cell phones and tablets on a daily basis using only a single power outlet.

What is the best USB charger for Ethiopia?

The is the most compact option for travellers from around the world wanting to charge devices via USB, but for visitors also wanting to use their domestic plugs these power converters provide larger but more versatile solutions. All three power converters offer surge protection which can be necessary when visiting counties with unreliable or unstable power supplies to prevent damage to any connected appliances from voltage spikes. These travel converters come with interchangeable type C, I and G plugs covering both Ethiopia and over 150 countries around the world:

  • BESTEK Portable International Travel Voltage Converter - The BESTEK travel converter has 4 USB charging ports with 3 AC power outlets and is the most popular compact option for travellers originating from North America going to Ethiopia.
  • ORICO Traveling Outlet Surge Protector Power Strip - Also having 4 USB ports but only 2 AC power outlets the travel adapter from Orico is also aimed at travellers from the US using type B plugs and gives practically the same set of features as the BESTEK with just 1 less AC outlet at almost half the price.
  • BESTEK International USB Travel Power Strip - This power strip has 2 AC outlets but offers 5 USB charging ports. This versatile power strip is compatible with both American plugs and popular plug types A, D,E/F, G, H, I, L and N making it perfect for most travellers from around the world visiting Ethiopia.

Power converters for Ethiopia

What does a power converter for an Ethiopian power outlet do?

A power converter enables you to use a 100, 110 or 120 volt electrical appliance with a 220 volt Ethiopian power outlet.

Also known as: electrical converter, electrical transformer, voltage converter, power transformer or voltage transformer.

What is the difference between a power adapter and a power converter for Ethiopia?

A small, cheap and lightweight power adapter (or plug adapter) will change the shape of the plug on your appliance to fit into a power outlet found in Ethiopia, but a heavier and more expensive power converter [18] transforms a 220 volt Ethiopian power outlet to work with a non-220 volt device.

Do I need a power converter for Ethiopia?

When you are travelling to Ethiopia from another region please ensure the device can be charged using a 220 volt power supply.

  • You will need a step down power converter [10] if you are travelling from a country that uses 100-120 volts and your device is incompatible with 220 volts. See the world power outlets guide to discover which voltage your country uses.
  • You don't need a power converter if you are already using either a 220 volt single voltage appliance or one that supports dual voltage.
  • Typically, electrical devices which are designed to use a lower voltage (for example 120 volts) and used in a 220 volt outlet run a risk of an electrical fire hazard, blowing a fuse or damage to your device unless you use a step down power converter [10].
  • You shouldn't need a power converter if you are attempting to recharge a smaller electrical device such as a tablet or cell phone as these are normally designed for international use and dual voltage, but please always check the device for dual voltage support first.
  • For powering high wattage appliances or generate heat (such as clothes irons and hair straighteners) then you will need to use a more expensive higher wattage heavy duty power converter [19].
  • Purchasing a smaller lightweight dual voltage travel appliance could be more practical and cost effective than carrying a much heavier power converter just to use your existing domestic appliance.
  • Read our guides on using clothes irons, curling wands, hair straighteners and blow dryers with an Ethiopian power outlet , along with advice on affordable dual voltage alternatives.

Do I need a power converter for Ethiopia if I'm visiting from the US?

The voltage from a plug outlet in Ethiopia is different to a 110 volt US outlet so use a step down power converter if your charger or appliance isn't dual voltage.

What kind of converter do I need for Ethiopia?

You will need to buy a step down power converter [10] which allows you to use any 100, 110 or 120 volt appliance in a 220 volt Ethiopian power outlet.

What is the difference between a transformer and a power converter?

Voltage converter

What is the difference between a transformer and a power converter?

Converters and transformers are both used to change one voltage to another, but this ambiguity can cause confusion as their purposes are different:

  • Power converters are designed for simple electrical appliances which typically generate heat or use motors such as clothes irons, shavers or hair dryers. Transformers are designed for more complex electronic items such as televisions or games consoles.
  • Buying a power converter is cheaper than buying a power transformer.
  • Power transformers are larger and heavier making them more suited for permanent residential use; for example an expat wishing to use an imported television would need to use a transformer for this purpose.
  • Power converters are more suitable for travellers wishing to bring domestic appliances abroad such as hair dryers or flat irons. However, it is more practical and cost effective to purchase a dual voltage appliance designed for travel rather than a heavier power converter.
  • Power converters are suitable for 2 pin ungrounded appliances, it could be harder to find a converter if you want to use a grounded 3 pin appliance.
  • Transformers can be used constantly however it is recommended that converters are used for no longer than a couple of hours at a time.
  • Shops may sell transformers under the name of converters, for the purposes this guide we will be referring to both converters and transformers as converters.

How to convert 220 volts to 110 volts

  1. Use a step down power converter [10] to allow you to use a 110 or 120 volt appliance with an 220 volt Ethiopian power outlet.
  2. If the power converter doesn't include the correct shaped plug then it will also be necessary to plug in the power cord from the power converter into a power adapter for Ethiopia before plugging that into an Ethiopian power outlet.
  3. Some power converters include the ability to perform both step up and step down voltage conversions, therefore it may be necessary to manually switch the converter to output the voltage to the 110-120 volt range.
  4. Plug your appliance into the converter and turn the power on, your 110-120 volt appliance can now be used with an 220 volt Ethiopian power outlet.

What voltage is used in Ethiopia?

Ethiopia uses 220 volts in their normal power outlets.

How can you tell if you have a dual voltage appliance?

Single voltage hair dryer

How can you tell if you have a dual voltage appliance?

The way to tell if your device is dual voltage is to look for numbers printed on the power plug or on the device itself, normally on the rear of the device or near to where the power cord goes. This location might depend on the make and model of your appliance and could also state in the instruction manual.

  • Single voltage devices could have a specific number - such as 220V.
  • Single voltage devices might also say a small voltage range (around 20 volts) with a dash to accomodate small voltage fluctuations - such as 100-120V.
  • Dual voltage devices will say a large voltage range separated with a slash - such as 110/240V.

Substantiations

How we compared products

Typical figures based on top 5 popular electrical adapters for each form-factor from different manufacturers with prices as of October 2018.

  • Power Plug Adapters - Ceptics Grounded Universal Plug Adapter, TESSAN Grounded Universal Travel Power Plug Adapter, Tmvel Universal International Power Adapter Plug, EnriQ Plug Adapter, Ckitze Travel Power Plug Adapter.
  • Universal Travel Power Adapters - BESTEK Universal Travel Adapter, NEWVANGA International Universal All in One Worldwide Travel Adapter, Bluegogo Universal All in One Worldwide Travel Adapter, HAOZI All-in-one International Power Adapter, UROPHYLLA Universal European Adapter Dual Fuses.
  • Trvel USB Wall Chargers - iKits 4-Port USB Wall/International Charger, LENCENT 4 Port USB Travel Adapter, PISEN USB Wall Charger, Anker 27W 4-Port USB Wall Charger PowerPort 4 Lite, USB Plug Travel Charger Adaptor, Turata 4 Port Universal World Wall Charger.
  • Travel Power Strips - BESTEK International USB Travel Power Strip, TESSAN 3 Outlet Surge Protector travel Power Strip, Portable Travel Adapter Power Strip Charging Station, GR-8 Power Compact & Slim Travel Charging Station, NTONPOWER Portable Charging Station.
  • Plug Adapter Sets - Ceptics GP-12PK International Travel Worldwide Grounded Universal Plug Adapter Set, Ceptics World Travel Adapter Set - 11 Pack, BESTEK Grounded Universal Plug Set, OREI 7 World Travel Adapter Plug Set, Ceptics Adapter Plug Set for World Wide International Travel Use.
  • Voltage Converters - Power Bright VC2000W Voltage Transformer Step Up/Down converter, LiteFuze LT-3000 3000 Watt Voltage Converter Transformer - Step Up/Down, SEYAS 1000W Auto Step Up & Step Down Voltage Transformer Converter, Rockstone Power 5000 Watt Heavy Duty Step Up/Down Voltage Transformer Converter, KRIEGER 1700 Watt Voltage Transformer Step up/down 120V / 230V AC outlet American European Converter.

Weight, dimensions, number of AC outlets, number of USB powers and prices were all based by calculating and rounding an average figure for each attribute where known.

Key to electrical adapter comparison

  1. Compatible number of countries based on data from the International Electrotechnical Commission World Plugs page (cited November 2018).
  2. Assuming only a single plug adapter from the plug adapter set will be used at any one time in a compatible location.
  3. Depending on if the power strip supports voltage conversion for low wattage items. All travel power strips tested do not convert voltage for high wattage appliances.
  4. Including the device itself, any supplied plug heads and power cords.
  5. Some travel power strips featuring less AC outlets may be small and lightweight enough to be suitable for hand luggage.
  6. Number of items if bringing an entire set of plug adapters for use in multiple locations to cover all eventualities (unless bringing only the necessary single plug adapter).

What type of adapter do you need for Ethiopia?

Deciding which type of electrical adapter you need for Ethiopia

The type of plug adapter or power converter which is best to bring to Ethiopia is dependant on various requirements. Prior to deciding which one to use we recommend using this checklist:

How many electrical items will you be taking to Ethiopia?

Family may need to recharge devices too

How many electrical items will you be taking to Ethiopia?

  • List all the electronic you intended on packing for Ethiopia (including cell phones, tablets, laptops, eReaders, curling irons and hair dryers).
    • Allow for more devices in the future. Do you intend on buying a new tablet computer next year for example?
    • There is a growing amount of smaller rechargeable electronics such as electric shavers which utilise USB charging as their power source. Therefore next time you buy a new device it could need a USB power adapter so please ensure your travel adapter has enough spare ports to power these additional devices too.
  • Will you be travelling with a partner who might need to charge their devices as well?
Will you only be charging USB devices?

Will you only need USB electronics

Will you only be charging USB devices?

  • If you intend to pack USB powered electronics such as mobile phones or tablet computers for Ethiopia then we suggest just packing a travel USB wall charger.
  • If you only use a simple power plug adapter you'll still need to use your domestic USB power charger as well.
What types of devices do you want to charge with an Ethiopian power outlet?

A travel shaver

What types of devices do you want to charge with an Ethiopian power outlet?

  • There are 3 types of electrical items:
    • Low wattage electronic devices which can be plugged into a power outlet - for example a laptop.
    • High wattage electrical appliances which can be plugged into an electrical outlet - for example clothes irons and hair dryers.
    • USB devices which plug into a USB port - for example mobile phones or tablets.
  • Should you only want to bring along just USB powered devices to Ethiopia then a travel USB charger is ideal as you'll only need to bring one compact charger with some appropriate existing USB charging cables.
  • Travel power strips are built for providing power and converting voltage for several low wattage devices (such as cameras), but won't work with high wattage appliances (such as hair straighteners) which need voltage conversion.

Will your devices work with 220 volt power outlets?

Do you plan on visiting countries other than Ethiopia?

  • A simple power adapter will only typically operate in a single country, therefore if you are visiting multiple countries then you may need to bring additional power adapters which can add to the weight you have to bring.
  • Alternatively, a travel USB wall charger or universal travel adapter is designed for going to multiple countries due to the interchangeable head system.
How many wall outlets will be available when you arrive in Ethiopia?

How many power outlets will be available

How many wall outlets will be available when you arrive in Ethiopia?

  • Your hotel might have only one wall outlet, this will present a problem when charging batteries of multiple items such as phones, tablet computers and cameras overnight as you will only be able to recharge a single device at a time then have to continually swap after each device has charged.
  • If you want to charge multiple devices simultaneously then we suggest packing either a travel USB wall charger or a travel power strip that can power multiple USB ports and outlets.

Are you intending on visiting anywhere else abroad in the future?

How much can you afford to pay?

  • Basic power adapters start from $7 which powers one single device in only one single country (providing that works with 220 volts or is dual voltage) but paying around $20 allows you to charge more than one device at once and be able to bring them to various different countries.

Would you like to use your charger when returning to Canada?

Are you only bringing hand luggage to Ethiopia?

Are you bringing just hand baggage

Are you only bringing hand luggage to Ethiopia?

Will the area of Ethiopia you are staying in have reliable access to electrical power?

  • The power in Ethiopia could occasionally fluctuate which could cause damage to your devices, use an adapter which has surge protection built in such as a travel power strip.
  • Due to Ethiopia suffering with power cuts or having limited coverage of electricity you might discover that whichever power charger you use won't work anyway. You can prepare for limited electricity and power cuts by using a portable charger [4] or a solar backpack [16].
Are you flying long haul to get to Ethiopia?

Using a phone in an airport

Are you flying long haul to get to Ethiopia?

  • If you're taking a long journey to get to Ethiopia it's worth thinking about packing an charger which is perfect for airports that works in different outlet types, one that can be carried in hand luggage and can be used to quickly power tablets and phones.
  • Not all flights have power outlets so we recommend using a portable charger [4] for recharging on the go. When you land you could need to rely on a cell phone to make a telephone call, reading emails , using mapping to find a hotel or reading your itinerary; so ensure that your phone will have enough battery power left.

What can I connect to an Ethiopian power outlet

Travel appliances that can connect to an Ethiopian power outlet

Beats Pill speakers which can connect to an Ethiopian power outlet

Jabra Bluetooth speakers which are compatible with an Ethiopian power outlet

Mobile phones which can connect to the Ethiopian power outlet

Apple iPhones which work with the Ethiopian power outlet

Samsung Galaxy phones that work with an Ethiopian power outlet

A list of Amazon Kindle tablets which work with an Ethiopian power outlet

A list of Apple iPads which are compatible with an Ethiopian power outlet

Corrections

We endeavor to ensure all details on this page are correct and relevant to travelers visiting Ethiopia, if you wish to contribute any useful information or feedback please email travel@wikiconnections.org. For more comprehensive technical details visit the Wikipedia page on AC power plugs and sockets [20].

Disclaimer

WikiConnections is not responsible for any injury or damage caused due to using any type of suggested product with any other electrical device or appliance in any location, full details are available on the disclaimer page. All functions and capabilities should be checked prior to purchasing or using any power adapter. Assumptions on if any power adapter, charger, converter or power strip works in any location is based on data from publicly available sources and if it fits the primary power outlet used in that country. WikiConnections has not taken into consideration other less common power outlets which might be found as these might only be used in certain areas or in the process of being phased out.

Where possible, WikiConnections only recommends the type of product as being suitable along with alternatives and does not make any endorsement for any specific brand or product. Always check with the manufacturer to ensure full compatibility prior to attempting to use any device. Always check the reputation of the manufacturer and product to ensure the quality and safety of any electrical device being used.

  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ethiopia - Ethiopia country page on wikipedia.org.
  2. http://www.iec.ch/worldplugs/ - International Electrotechnical Commission World Plugs
  3. Type E plug adapter - Allows appliances to connect to Type E power outlets without converting voltage.
  4. Portable charger - A power bank is a portable charger which can recharge USB powered devices such as mobile phones and tablets on the go.
  5. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adapter - power adaptor
  6. Travel power strip - A travel power strip includes surge protectors, AC power outlets, USB ports and swappable plug adapters for use in multiple countries.
  7. 4 Port USB Wall Charger - A universal USB charger capable of charging up to 4 USB devices with swappable international adapters.
  8. Universal travel power adapter - A typical universal travel power adapter can be used in over 150 different countries for use with appliances and USB devices.
  9. Plug adapter set - Plug adapter set containing a number of different power plug adapters for use in different countries.
  10. Step down power converter - A step down power converter allows a 100-120 volt appliance to be used in a 220-240 volt power outlet.
  11. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mains_electricity_by_country - WikiPedia - Mains electricity by country
  12. Rechargeable hair dryer - Rechargeable battery powered blow dryer suitable for travelling.
  13. Gas hair straighteners - Cordless ceramic hair straighteners powered by gas cartridges.
  14. 20,000mAh portable charger - High capacity 20000mAh high-speed portable USB charger suitable for charging mobile phones and some tablets for several days.
  15. USB-C PD power bank - Power Delivery charger suitable for charging laptops with USB-C support.
  16. Solar backpack - A solar backpack will charge USB devices or an internal power bank when left in sunlight.
  17. Solar power bank - Portable power bank with solar cells which can recharge when placed in sunlight and power any USB powered device.
  18. Power converter - A step up step down power converter converts 110-120 volts up to 220-240 volts and 220-240 volts down to 110-120 Volts.
  19. Heavy duty power converter - A 5000 watt heavy duty step up and step down power converter used to convert voltages for domestic appliances, power tools, televisions, heating appliances and motors.
  20. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AC_power_plugs_and_sockets - AC power plugs and sockets