ABOUT ETHIOPIA

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Short History

Ethiopia, Land of Origins is a very ancient Country whose rich culture and history goes back to pre-historic times. It is one of the countries with the longest history in the world.

Archeological findings have identified Ethiopia as one of the cradles of mankind. The discovery of one of the ancient and most complete hominoids, ancient cave paintings and tools, are but some of the evidences of its pre-historic glory.

Axum (from 200 B.C to 8th century A.D) was one of the mighty maritime states of the era, whose power was felt far beyond the Red Sea. With the decline of Axum as a sea power, the centre of the state moved further South to Lalibela, North Shoa and Gonder. Throughout its long history, Ethiopia has to defend itself against foreign invaders lured by its geographical position, being at the crossroads o Africa and Asia, and by the then natural beauty and fertility of the land. It has successfully defend itself from the colonial powers and has become the symbol of hope, independence and freedom for Africa.

The Ethiopian people diverse culture is manifested in the various languages, ways of life customs etc. Amharic, Oromiffa and Tigirigna are the major languages spoken by the majority of the population. It is a country where Christian and Musilim religions have Co-existed for centuries. It is believed by some scholars that “Ethiopia is the fountain-head and repository of the history and culture of the black race of the world.”

Geography

Ethiopia, with a surface area of about 1.2 million square kilometers is the 7th largest country in Africa. It is located in East Africa in the sub-region better known as the Horn of Africa. The Topography of the country is largely a high plateau with an elevation ranging from 100 meters below sea level in the Dallol Depression of Afar, to mountain peaks of over 4000 meters above sea level in Semien Mountains. The highest peaks are Ras Dashen in the Semien and Batu in the Bale Mountains.  

The Rift valley separates the western and the eastern highlands; and these highlands gradually descend to the lowland areas in the east, west and south of the country.

Much of the country consists of high plateau and mountain ranges, which are dissected by numerous streams and rivers. Among the biggest river basins are Blue Nile, Awash Baro, Tekkeze, Wabe Shebelle and Genale.

Climate

Ethiopian climate varies according to the different geographical regions. The central plateau, lie between 1,800 m (6,000 ft) and 2,500 m (8,200 ft) above sea level, covers the large part of the country. Most of the country's major cities and tourist sites are located at this elevation, including historic capitals such as Gondar and Axum. The typical climate in this region is very mild, with temperatures on the most of the highlands averaging below 27°C (80°F). The average minimum during the coldest season is 5.5°C (42°F), while the average maximum rarely exceeds 27°C (80°F). Heavy rainfall occurs in most of the country during June, July, and August. Directly after the rains the highlands are wonderfully green, covered with wildflowers and sublime for trekking.

The diplomatic capital Addis Ababa is a seat of African Union-AU, United Nations Economic Commission for Africa –UNECA, embassies, consular offices and other regional & international organizations. It is situated on the foothills of Mount Entoto at an elevation of around 2,400 m (7,874 ft), and experiences a pleasant climate year round. With fairly moderate climate with minimal seasonal temperature variation. Addis Ababa has a dry season from October - February, a light rainy season from March - May, and a heavy rainy season from June - September. The dry season is the sunniest time of the year, though even at the height of the rainy season in July and August there are still usually several hours per day of bright sunshine. The average annual temperature in Addis Ababa is 16°C (61°F), with daily maximum temperatures averaging 20°C - 25°C (68°F to 77°F) throughout the year, and overnight lows averaging 5°C - 10°C (41°F - 50°F).

 

In low the lowland fringes of western, eastern and southern Ethiopia, the climate can be significantly hotter and drier. Temperature variations in the lowlands are much greater, and the heat in the desert and the low lying Ethiopian grasslands and shrublands is extreme, with occasional highs of 50°C (122°F ). Dallol, 120 metres below sea level in the harsh salt flats of the Danakil depression, has the world's highest average annual temperature of 34°C (93°F). 

Visit the following links for tour information:

www.ethiopia.travel

www.ethiopiantourassociation.com

www.stoa-ethiopia.org

 

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