Ethiopia Travel Facts

By | April 12, 2022

Based on map by DigoPaul, Ethiopia is one of the two highest countries in Africa. It is around three times the size of Germany and is known to many above all for the great poverty and famine that prevails there. The country offers so much more. Beautiful, varied landscapes, unique nature and the myth of being the cradle of mankind are just three of many arguments in favor of visiting this African country.

Capital City Addis Ababa
Size 1,104,300 km²
Resident 96,600,000
Official Language Amharic
Currency Ethiopian Birr
Time Zone UTC+3
Telephone Area Code +251

Fast facts to know

  • Beautiful landscape and very varied.
  • Colorful and diverse culture.
  • Home to some of Africa’s highest and most imposing mountain ranges.
  • Lake Langano is the only lake in Ethiopia where it is safe to swim.
  • The Mercato in the capital Addis Ababa is Africa’s largest open-air market.
  • Lake Tana is the highest lake in Africa and also the largest lake in Ethiopia.
  • One of the poorest countries in the world.
  • Child labor is widespread.
  • Considered the country of origin of coffee.

Exciting cities in Ethiopia

  • Addis Ababa
  • Dire Dawa
  • Axum
  • Shashamene
  • harar

History of Ethiopia

  • Considered the “Cradle of Humanity”.
  • Ancient kingdom of Axum, one of the first Christian kingdoms in the world.
  • During colonialism, Ethiopia repeatedly resisted the influence of European powers.
  • Abyssinian Empire.
  • 1973 drought disaster.
  • Socialist military dictatorship 1974–1991.
  • Eritrea seceded in May 1993 after nearly thirty years of war.

Climate & travel weather in Ethiopia

  • Small temperature fluctuations throughout the year.
  • 4 climatic zones dependent on altitude.
  • Alternation of rainy season (Jun – Sep) and dry season (Oct – May).
  • Best travel time: November, December, January

Ideas for trips in Ethiopia

  • Rock Churches of Lalibela (UNESCO World Heritage Site)
  • Imperial City of Gondar with Castle District (UNESCO World Heritage Site)
  • Field of Stelae in Tiya (UNESCO World Heritage Site)
  • Arba Minch
  • Chamo lake
  • Awash National Park, Mago National Park and Nechisar National Park
  • Harar (90 Mosques, Rimbaud House, UNESCO World Heritage Site)

Eating & Drinking in Ethiopia

  • Basis of many Ethiopian meals: Injera (large, soft flatbread made from teff), which is eaten with the right hand and dipped in spicy sauces.
  • Often used: Berbere (hot pepper mixture).
  • Camel meat and lamb popular, consumption of pork outlawed in both Islam and the Ethiopian Orthodox Church.
  • Alija (vegetarian, vegetables and sauces).
  • Before food is served, water is poured over guests’ hands.
  • Typical drinks: Tej (sweet honey wine), Talla (millet beer), Kaitaka (grain liquor), Buna (coffee).
  • Excellent wines: Dukam (red wine), Gouder (red wine), Axunite (sweet red wine), Crystal (dry white wine).
  • No meat consumption on Wednesdays and Fridays (not even in restaurants).
  • Other typical specialties:
    • We’t (meat or vegetable stew served with hot sauce and injera).
    • Doro Wot (made from chicken and eggs).
    • Shivro (base: chickpeas).
    • Misir (Base: Lentils).
    • Tibs (crispy fried steak).

Particularly scenic

  • Hot springs in Afar
  • Fantale Volcano
  • River Awash with its waterfalls
  • Folded mountains of Semien with steep cliffs and gorges
  • Danakil Depression covered with white salt flats
  • Blue Nile gorge and waterfalls

Ethiopia Travel Facts