Facts about Ethiopia

Ethiopia is one of the wonderful place and tourist destinations in East Africa. It has an area of 1,112,000 sq. killometer and more than 75 million peoplation. This unique country also harbors the most historical artifacts of our ancestors like Aksum monument, Lalibela rock hewn churches and attractive natural gifts like Sof omer cave, Tis Abay and many more endemic mammals and birds.
Ethiopia is also the home of Lucy which is, quite possibly, the most well-known fossil hominid. Discovered by Donald Johanson and Tom Gray in 1974 at Hadar, Ethiopia. Lucy is dated at 3.2 million years old. This specimen, a 40% complete skeleton of an adult female, gave sufficient evidence that A. afarensis was a bipedal species that walked upright. For detail statistical information about Ethiopia refer to http://www.csa.gov.et.

Climate: There are two seasons: the dry season prevails from October through May; the wet season runs from June to September.

Topography: Ethiopia has an elevated central plateau varying in height between 2000 and 3000 meters. In the north and center of the country there are more than 25 high mountains like Ras Dashen 4550m, Batu 4307m, Guna  4231m, Chilalo 4036m etc. The most famous Ethiopian River is the Blue Nile (Or Abbay), which runs a distance of 1450 km (800km in Ethiopia) from its source in Lake Tana, to join the White Nile at Khartoum. Tis Abay is one of incredible tourist attraction on this river.
Ethiopia has a number of incredible lakes among which Tana is the biggest and Shala is the deepest. Lake Tana covers an area of 3600sq. km, 9m deep and located at an altitude of 1840m above see level. Lake Shala is 409sq. km wide, 250m deep and located at an altitude of 1567m above see level.
Ethiopia has also a number of national parks including Awash, Simen, Mago, Nachi Sar etc. Park Awash covers an area of 756 sq. km and located 225 km away from capital city Addis Ababa. It is the home of Oryx, greater Kudu, lesser kudu, sommering's gazelle. Similarly park Simen covers an area of 179 sq. km and located 882 km north of Addis Ababa. Simen is the home of Ethiopian wolf (Red Fox), baboon Gillada, Waliya ibex and many more. If you want to see elephants, buffalos and others Mago national park is your ideal place. It covers 2162 sq. km and located 782km south of Addis Ababa.   

Economy: About 90 per cent of the population earns their living from the land, mainly as subsistence farmers. Agriculture is the backbone of the national economy and the principal exports from this sector are coffee, oil seeds, pulses, flowers, vegetables, sugar and foodstuffs for animals. There is also a thriving livestock sector, exporting cattle for the hoof and hides and skins.

Language : Ethiopia is a multi-ethnic state with a great variety of languages spoken in the country, of which there are 83 with 200 dialects. The main three languages are Amharic, Affan Oromo and Tigrigna. English is also widely spoken.

Time: Ethiopia is in the GMT+3 hours time zone. Ethiopia follows the Julian calendar, which consists o twelve months of 30 days each and a thirteenth month of five or six days.

Visa requirement : Visas are required for all visitors to Ethiopia (except nationals of Djibouti and Kenya) and can be obtained from Ethiopian diplomatic missions abroad. Except in the case of a few nations, passengers transiting Ethiopia within 72 hours only for connection purpose, holding confirmed onward booking and entry visa for the country of their destination can obtain a transit a visa on arrival. However, in this case, passports are held at the airport until departure and a pink-colored receipt card issued.

Currency : The local currency is the Ethiopian Birr, made up of 100 cents. Visitors may import an unlimited amount of foreign currency, providing declaration of such currency (on the appropriate blue-colored form) is made to Customs on arrival. The currency may only be changed at authorized banks and hotels. The currency declaration form must be retained, as this will be required by Customs on departure. Visitors, however, will be able to change back any excess Ethiopian Birr to foreign currency at the airport before departure. If you do have Ethiopian Birr to cash in at the airport, you must, in addition to the currency declaration form, bring with you all receipts for exchange transactions.

Health requirements:Prior to entry, visitors should be in possession of a valid health certificate for yellow fever. Vaccination against cholera is also required for any person who has visited or transited a cholera-infected area within six days prior to arrival in Ethiopia.


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