ETHIOPIA.....The Land Of 13 Months Of Sunshine! 
___________________________________________
 

Earlier known as Abyssinia - referring more specifically to the central and Northern inhabitants, Ethiopia is to this day referred to as The Land of 13 Months of Sunshine.  Same signifying the 365 days in a year divided into 12 months of 30 days each and a thirteenth month of 4/5 days, it is also indicative of the fact that within the territory of Ethiopia at any given time,  there is always one region with a warm sunshine while it could be raining at another end!

Altitude ranging from 110 meters below sea level at Dalol in the Danakil Depression to 4620 meters above sea level at Dashen Peak in Simen Mountains of North Ethiopia, ethnically so diverse (80 ethnic groups with approx. 200 dialects), Ethiopia is the only country to have been briefly occupied but never colonized. 

 

Official Name

 Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia

 Political System

 Federal state with multi-party democracy

 Boundaries

 With Eritrea to the North, Kenya to the South,  Somalia and   
 Djibouti to the East and Sudan to the West.

 Surface Area

 1,133,380 Sq. Kms

 Population

 90 Million / as of May 2016 /

 Currency

 Birr

 Exchange  Rates

 1 USD = 21.50 Birr
 1 EUR = 24.50 Birr                               

*As of May 2016

 Official Language

 Amharic

Major  Languages

 Oromigna, Tigrigna, Somali & Arabic. English also  widely 
 spoken.

 Principal religions

 Islam (50%), Christianity (45%), Traditional African (4.2%) 
 and Others (0.8%)

Time Zone

 GMT + 3

   


 How to Get There

Ethiopia is accessible via various international Airlines. To mention a few - Lufthansa, Emirates, KLM, BMI, Kenya Airways, Saudi Arabian Airlines, Gulf Air, Yemenia and last but not least, the local pride, Ethiopian Airlines, that has an extensive global as well as domestic network. All international flights use Bole International Airport in Addis Ababa as a hub. Domestic flights as well depart from this airport to all local destinations of interest.

With all competitive factors as is, Ethiopian Airlines offers substantial discounts on any of your domestic flights to the various tourist destinations throughout Ethiopia. 

For those travelers using rail transport from Djibouti, Dewele is the only point of entry to Ethiopia and those driving into Ethiopia via surface, Humera for Sudan,   Galafi for Djibouti and Moyale for Kenya are the available means of entries.  Not well frequented (and not advisable for the regular traveller),  The Turkana Route’ is another point (exit only) to Kenya. Entry from Kenya should be through Moyale due to availability of Immigration and Customs Offices.


All entries/exits undergo full customs and immigration checks. Visa requirements information should be well exhausted at your closest Ethiopian Embassy / Consulate.  

 

 When To Visit Ethiopia   

This can depend on where you are going. In most of the country, the main rainy season runs from June to the end of September, with short rains in March. In the OmoValley of Southwest Ethiopia however, the season is different with the main rains from March to June, and shorter rains in November. However, in a time of changing global weather patterns, it is no longer possible to be absolutely definitive about the rains – in recent years unseasonable rains have made sections of the OmoValley impassable.
 

With the upgrading of the airports along the Historic Route (Axum, Mekele, Lalibela, Gondar and Bahir Dar), it is now possible to visit the Northern section even in the rainy season. For those travelers that do not mind experiencing moderate rain (usually followed by brilliant sunshine) there are certain rewards - a green countryside full of crops and a riot of wild flowers, all this largely to yourselves.  The scenery is particularly wonderful green in September and early October.
 

Addis Ababa....The Political Capital Of Africa! 

Addis Ababa, meaning ‘New Flower’, is the capital which was settled in 1886.  Situated at an altitude ranging between 2,300 - 3,000 meters and an estimated population of 5.5 million (as of July 2014), its location had a strategic gain, mainly the Entoto Hills overlooking the lowlands covering 360 degrees all round.  Eucalyptus tree was also imported from Australia at the time to carve firewood shortage, a critical issue at the time. To this day, the Entoto Hills are densely planted with Eucalyptus trees, catering to the daily demand of firewood by close by locals. 

Home to over a hundred Embassies of countries throughout the world, Addis Ababa is also side named as the Capital City of Africa. It is also home to the headquarters of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), the African Union (AU) which was formerly known as Organization of African Unity(OAU) and various other international institutions.   

 

Government and Recent History 
Ethiopia is officially referred to as The Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia.  

Its long history goes back to the legendary Queen of Sheba, then later on Imperial rule through the reign of Emperor Haile Selassie which ended in 1974 with the seizure of power by the Derg.  The Dergue, which later on stayed in power for 17 years, saw Ethiopia wracked by civil wars and imposing military rule that had a major contribution to the drastic downfall of tourism in Ethiopia.  The military regime was finally overthrown in 1991 by the Ethiopian Peoples’ Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF). 

Elected as a government in 1993,  the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia was later on set up, composed of fourteen regions, with a decentralized self-governing arrangement. The President is the head of state, currently His Excellency Dr. Mulatu Teshoome while the prime minister is the head of government, currently Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn. 


Climate

The climate of Ethiopia varies mainly according to elevation. The tropical zone below approximately 1,800 meters (approximately 6,000 ft) has an average annual temperature of about 27°C (about 80°F) and receives less than about 500 mm (about 20 inches) of rain annually. The subtropical zone, which includes most of the highland plateau and is about 1,800 - 2,400 meters (about 6,000 - 8,000 ft) in elevation, has an average temperature of about 22°C (72°F) with an annual rainfall ranging from about 500 to 1,500 mm (about 20 to 60 in). Above approximately 2,400 m (approximately 8,000 ft) is a temperate zone with an average temperature of about 16°C (about 61°F) and an annual rainfall of 1,300 - 1,800 mm (about 50 and 70 in). The principal rainy season occurs between June and September, followed by a dry season that may be interrupted in February or March by a short rainy season.
 
Land & Population
Ethiopia covers an area of 1,133,380 sq km (437,600 sq mi). The heart of the country is a high tableland, known as the Ethiopian Plateau, that covers more than half the total area of the country. The plateau is split diagonally in a northeastern to southwestern direction by the Great Rift Valley. Although the average elevation of the plateau is about 1,680m (about 5,500 ft), it is cut by many rivers and deep valleys, some of which are 600m (2,000 ft) below the level of the plateau. The area is capped by mountains, the highest of which is Ras Dashen (4,620m / 15,157ft). These heights and indentations occur in northern Ethiopia, in the region surrounding Lake Tana (the lake from which the Blue Nile sets off). Occupations in agriculture support 89 percent of all Ethiopians. Most agriculture consists of subsistence farming. The population is concentrated heavily in the central plateau region, where agricultural resources are most developed. The ethnic composition is extremely diverse, as a result of racial and linguistic integration that began in ancient times. The non- indigenous population includes Yemenis, Indians, Armenians, and Greeks.

Language
Amharic being the official language and widely spoken throughout Ethiopia, Tigrigna and Oromigna are also widely spoken, being the official languages in their respective regions as well. 
 
 
 
 
 
Click for Addis Ababa, Ethiopia Forecast


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