Ethiopia : One of the Africa countries never to lose its independence, Ethiopia is large as France and Spain combined and has one of the richest histories on the African continent.
Addis Ababa: The capital was settled in 1886 and christened by queen Taytu, consort of Menelik II. The population according to the last official census was over 6 million.
Towns: The second- largest town in Ethiopia is Dire Daw, with a population of 306,000 in 1999 Gonder is the third –largest town, with a population of 142,328in 1999.
People: The population of Ethiopia today is estimated to be approximately 90 million. Approximately 26 percent are under the age of 14 and almost half are under 34.
Religion: The major religions are Christianity (Ethiopia Orthodox church), protestant and islam and others .
Languages: Amharic is the official language of Ethiopia, although English, Italic, French, and Arabic are fairly spoken. In areas outside of the larger cities and towns, indigenous languages are likely to be spoken- of which there are eighty- three, with some 200 dialects. The some common of these are Oromifa and Tigrigna.
Climate: Despite its proximity to the Equator, Ethiopia’s high altitude ensures at temperate, moderate, even chilly climate – certainly not tropical. There are two rainy seasons: the irregular short rains from late January to early march, and the long rains from June until mid- September.
Government : Ethiopia is an independent republic operating under the constitution of the federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia. The president is the head if state while the prime minister is the head of government.
Entry points by air: Bole international Airport, in Addis Ababa is one of the main entry point of the countery; whereas Bahir Dar, Melele and Dire Dawa soon start to serve as entry ports. Domestic Airports: in addition there are 9 Airport for Domestic flights in Axum, Gondar, Lalibela, Asosa, Arbaminch, Jinka , Jimma and Gode.
Entry points by rail:
Dewele on the Djibouti border, Arrival undergo full customs and immigration checks. The railway, with day and night trains, runs from Addis Ababa to Djibouti via Nazaret, and Awash station.
Entry points by road:
- Metema & Humera- crossing from from sudan
- Dewele &Galafi- crossing from Djibouti
- Toguchale, teferi Ber, Kebri Beyash & Dolo Odo- crossing from Somalia
- Moyale &Omoratie- crossing from Kenya NB: there are only entry points and no visa service available visa can only be obtained frome Ethiopia Embassies Abroad.
Ethiopia follows the Julian calendar, which consists of twelve months of thirty days each and a thirteenth month of five days (sis days in a leap year). The calendar is seven years and eight months behind the western (Gregorian) calendar.
Internet service is available at every city in the internet cafes. 3G, 4G and Broadband network are also available all over the country.
The local currency is the Ethiopia birr, made up of 100 cents Notes are issued in denominations of 1,5,10,50, and 100 birr there are five different coins: 1,5,10,25, and 50, cent,
There is no limit to the amount of foreign Currency imported in to Ethiopia, but it must be declared on arrival, using a Currency declaration form. Foreign Currency may be changed only at authorized bank and hotels. The Currency declaration form will be required by customs on departure. Visitors may change back any excess birr in to foreign Currency at the airport before departure, but you must, in addition to the Currency declaration form, bring with you all receipts for exchange transactions.
Being relative close to the equator there is an almost constant twelve hours of daylight. In Addis Ababa, but sunrise and sunset are at around 06.30 and respectively.
Drivers require a valid international Driving License, which can be obtained by exchange your local license at the transport and communications office on Haile Gabreselassie Road in Addis Ababa. Visitors can recover their original licenses a day or so prior to departure. Those with their own vehicles will require a permit from the ministry of the transport and communication.
Ethiopia uses 220 volts and 50 Hz. It is best to bring your own round two-prong adapter and transformer if necessary.
Medical services: Medical facilities are improving and public and private medical Centre are rapidly growing in number though there are quite a number of public Hospital private medical institutions are recommended.
Time: Ethiopia is three hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time. Remains constant throughout the year the Ethiopian day is calculated in a manner similar to many equatorial countries, where day night is always the same length:
Endemic mammals: There are 284 species of mammals of which 31 are endemic and 7 are large mammals. Gelada Baboon , starcks Hair, giant mole Rat Abyssinian wolf, Meniliks Bush mountain Nyalas, Swaynes hartebeest, Walia Ibex, wild Ass among others.
Endemic Birds: There are 861 species of birds of which 17 are endemic to Ethiopia.
- Abijatta-Shalla Lakes national park, Oromia region
- Awash National park, Oromia and afar region
- Bale mountains National park , Oromia region
- Gambella National park, Gambella region
- Mago national park. Southern nations, nationalities& peoples’ Regional state ( S/N/N/P) Regional state
- Netchisar National park, ( S/N/N/P) Regional State
- Omo national park, (S/N/N/P) Regional state
- Simien mountains national park, Amhara region
- Yangudi- Rassa National park, afar region
Wild life sanctuaries:
- Babille Elephant Sanctuaries, Oromia region
- Jello- Muktar Mountain Nyala sanctuary, Oromiya region
- Senkele swaynes Hartebeest sanctuary, Oromiya region
- Yebello sanctuary, Oromiya region