Ethiopia is the oldest independent country in the African region and it is also considered to be the cradle of mankind. The evidence of Ethiopian history dates back to 1000BC when the Queen of Sheba visited King Solomon. Unlike other African countries, Ethiopia is one of the world’s most fascinating countries that offers a rich history, amazing people with deep culture, towering mountains and breathtaking scenery, endemic mammals and birds, and unique natural sites like the Danakil depression.
With a vast surface area of 1,194,000 square kilometers (461,003 sq. miles), Ethiopia is the tenth largest country in Africa. Lying between the Equator and the Tropic of Cancer in the eastern African region, known as the Horn of Africa. Ethiopia is bordered by five countries, and it is landlocked.
KNOW MORE ABOUT ETHIOPIA
Ethiopia has a total area of 1,104,300 sq km, and it is five times as big as that of UK. The country is full of plateaus and mountains, some of which reaching more than 4,000 meters (13,000 feet). The plateau is diagonally split by Great Rift Valley. Summer rainfall occurs in the western highlands and the lowlands and eastern highlands are hot and dry. Tropical monsoon may be widely seen in Ethiopia but it varies greatly depending on the topography. Denakil Depression, 120 m below sea level, is the ’slowest point in Ethiopia and the highest point being the Ras Dejen standing at 4,543 meter . With the de jure independence of Eritrea on 24 May 1993, Ethiopia’s entire coastline along the Red Sea was lost. The Blue Nile starts at Lake Tana in northwest Ethiopia. Coffee, grain sorghum, and the castor bean are the three major crops that have originated in Ethiopia: The country’s most active volcano in the Great Rift Valley is Erta Ale elev. 613 meter, and other being Dabbahu which became active in 2005, causing evacuations and other historically active volcanoes include Alayta, Dalaffilla, Dallol, Dama Ali, Fentale, Kone, Manda Hararo, and Manda-Inakir.
Ethiopia, commonly called as the Horn of Africa, is a rugged, landlocked country split by the Great Rift Valley in the northeast African region. After Nigeria and Egypt, Ethiopia is the third-most populous nation in Africa and it is the oldest independent country in Africa. Ethiopia is the second-oldest official Christian nation in the world after Armenia. Unique among African countries, Though Ethiopia was under colonial rule for many years, Italy ruled Ethiopia for a short period of 1936-41 and Ethiopia attained its freedom in the year 1941. It shares borders with Eritrea to the north, Djibouti to the northeast, Somalia to the east, Kenya to the south, and Sudan and South Sudan to the west.
The most prevalent climate type is tropical monsoon, with a little induced variation. Because of the proximity to the Equator, Ethiopia has a cooler climate than other regions at similar proximity to the Equator. Almost all the major cities are located at around 2,000 – 2,500 metres (6,600 – 8,200 ft) above sea level, including historic capitals such as Gondar and Axum, and Addis Ababa – the highest capital city in Africa at 2,400 meters (8,000 feet). According to the altitude levels, Ethiopia has three different climate zones Kolla, Dega, Weyna Dega and Kolla.
Kolla (Tropical zone) – is a coldish zone below 1830 meters in elevation.It has a very nice climate of an average annual temperature of about 27 degree Celsius with an average annual rainfall about 510
millimeters. The Danakil Depression (Danakil Desert) is the hottest region in Ethiopia about 125 meters below sea level and it is the hottest region in Ethiopia where the temperature rises up to 50 degree Celsius.
Dega (Cool zone) – an elevated area above 2440 meters , its average annual temperature is about 16 degree Celsius with annual rainfall between 1270 and 1280 millimeters. Addis Ababa has an average annual temperature 16°C (61°F), with daily maximum being 20 – 25°C (68 – 77°F) annually, and night temperature averaging to a low of 5 – 10°C (41 – 50°F). A light jacket is ideal in the evenings, though many Ethiopians have a conservative dressing and usually will wear a thin jacket even in the day time.
Weyna Dega (Subtropical zone) – elevated highlands areas of 1830 – 2440 meters and has an average annual temperature of about 22 degree Celsius with annual rainfall between 510 and 1530 millimeters.
Kiremt or Meher (summer) – Summer season starts from June, July and August are the summer season and heavy rain occurs in these three months.
Tseday (spring) – Spring season is September, October and November and also known as the harvest season.
Bega (winter) – Dry season starts from December, January and February with frost in morning especially in January.
Belg (Autumn) – Autumn season starts with occasional showers in March, April and May. May is the hottest month in Ethiopia.
PEOPLE AND SOCIETY
Population: Ethiopia is the third most populous country in Africa. with a populateion of 93,815,992 (July 2012 est.
Religions: As per the census of 2007, 43.5% are Orthodox , 33.9% are Muslim, 18.6% are Protestant , traditional 2.6%, Catholic 0.7%, other 0.7%
Ethnic groups: As per the census of 2007, Oromo is 34.5%, Amara is 26.9%, Somalie is 6.2%, Tigraway is 6.1%, Sidama 4%, Guragie 2.5%, Welaita 2.3%, Hadiya 1.7%, Affar 1.7%, Gamo 1.5%, Gedeo 1.3%, other 11.3%
Languages: Even though English, Italian, French, and Arabic are widely spoken, Amharic is the official language of Ethiopia. Indigenous
languages are spoken outside the larger cities and towns, — of which there are eighty-three, with some 200 dialects. The most common of these are
Orominya and Tigrinya. Oromigna (official regional) 33.8%, Amarigna (Amharic) (official) 29.3%, Somaligna 6.2%, Tigrigna (official regional) 5.9%, Sidamigna 4%, Wolayitigna 2.2%, Guaragigna 2%, Affarigna 1.7%, Hadiyigna 1.7%, Gamogna 1.5%, other 11.7%, English (official) (major foreign language taught in schools), Arabic (official) (1994 census).
ETHIOPIA TRAVELLER VISA
Three months tourist visas on arrival at Bole Internaltional Airport is allowed to nationals of the following countries:
Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Kuwait, Luxembourg, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Korea (south Korea), Russian Federation, Slovakia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, United Kingdom, and United States of America. But If you wish to enter Ethiopia by land, you should obtain a tourist visa in advance from your local Ethiopian Embassy