Facts of Ethiopia


The country is bounded by Eretria in the north, Kenya in the south, Sudan in the west, Somalia in the east and Djibouti in Northeast, out of which the longest boundary share is with the Sudan.


Ethiopia is the tenth largest country in Africa, and the second largest country in East Africa.  It includes a land area of approximately 1,000,000 square kilometers.


Ethiopia is comprised of vast mountains, plateaus and lakes, separated by the Great Rift Valley which is surrounded by low lands and steppes.  To the northeast are the Simien Mountains and hot Sulphur fumaroles as well as the Danakil Depression, in the Afar region, which is one of the hottest, driest, and lowest locations on the planet.  Ethiopia’s highest point is Ras Dejen standing at 14,928 ft (4,550m) with the Danakil Depression being the lowest at -410 ft (-124m).


Because of its proximity to the Equator, Ethiopia experiences all types of climates from hot to cold. There are 4 seasons with 5 climatic zones in the year; summer the wet season, prevails from June to half of September, winter the dry season runs from end of October to the beginning of June, spring and autumn respectively.


Ethiopia has more than 83 languages with 200 dialects. These languages are encompassed in to two major language families called the Afro Asiatic and the Nilo Saharan. Among these languages Amharic is the official language of the country with English serving as the second.  Oromiifa, the official working language in the state of Oromiya and Tigrigna, the official working language of the state of Tigray are widely spoken. Others languages include Sidamo, Wolaytta, Gurage, Afar, Hadiyya, Gamo, Gedo, Opuuo, Kafa, as well as French, Italian, German Arabic and Spanish by those who are close to the travel industry.


Christianity was first introduced to Ethiopia in the fourth century by the Treasurer eunuch, sent to Jerusalem to pay homage to God by Queen Candaice.  Christianity became the officially recognized religion in 341 AD under King Ezana, ruler of Aksum.  Two Christian brothers, Frumentius and Aedissius, baptized King Ezana.  King Ezana directed Frumentius to travel to Alexandria where he was consecrated a bishop under the name of Abba Selama by the Patriarch of Alexandria in about 346 AD.  When he returned to Ethiopia he became the bishop of Ethiopia, founding the Ethiopian Church.  The largest and oldest Christian denomination today is the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Chirch.  Today about 62% of the country is Christian, 34% follow Islam and the remaining a variation of religions.


The country is the second most populated country in Africa, with a one-party state and a planned economy.  Ethiopia has the lowest level of income-inequality in Africa and in the world.  Ethiopia's Economy is mainly based on agriculture.  Products include cereals, coffee, oilseed, cotton, sugarcane, vegetables, khat, cut flowers, hides, cattle, sheep, goats, and fish.  In terms of industry within the country they include food processing, beverages, textiles, leather, garments, chemicals, metal processing and cement.  The countries exports include coffee, oilseed, edible vegetables, gold, flowers, live animals, raw leather products, and meat products.


The name of Ethiopia's currency is called BIRR, and consists of Paper notes as well as Coins in dominations of 5, 10, 50,100 birr notes, 1 BIRR coins, and 5,10,25,50,100 cents.  Travelers can carry their local currency and exchange it at Hotels, Banks and Authorized dealers like Bole international airport.  Exchanging currency is only available in major cities like Addis Ababa.

Visa Requirements

A visa is required for anyone wishing to travel or stay in the country. It can be obtained from an Ethiopian embassy, consular and diplomatic mission office, online at https://www.evisa.gov.et/, or upon arrival for certain countries.

Traditional Food and Drink

Most of Ethiopia's Foods are eaten using the five fingers of either Hand, not with forks, especially, "Injera". Injera is a flat sour spongy like bread made from an indigenous tiny cereal called "Teff or Eragrostis teff" and is a steeple traditional meal of the most people. It could be served in many ways; like with meat, Bean, pea, chickpea stew and with dairy products. In addition, "Doro Wot or Chicken soup" is a national stew that usually be served with Injure.

Beverages like Tella (brewed from the fermentation of Cereals like, Barley, Sorghum, Maize, Finger millet with Malt; Teje/Honey wine (made from Honey, hoops and malt); Araki, Jin or Ouzo like drinks are prepared.


Ethiopia is in GMT+3 time zones following the Julian calendar.  Ethiopia however has its own calendar, still following today.  The Ethiopian year is divided in to 13months; the first 12 months each have 30 days and last or the 13th month called "Pagumen" has 5 days but 6 days in leap year. Each year also assigned by the 4 Gospels; Mathew, Mark, John and Luke. Here are lists of months in Amharic and English version.