TRAVEL TIPS TO ETHIOPIA

Land

Ethiopia as large as France and Spain combined, has an area of 1,112,000 square kilometer. About 65 percent of the land is arable, with 15 percent Cultivated. From the North and running down the center and are the Abyssinian highlands. To the west of the chain the land drops to the grasslands of Sudan, to the east to the desert of the Afar.

Population

The current population is about 70 million, making it the third most populated country in Africa.

Climate

There are two seasons: the dry season prevails from October through May; the wet season runs from June to September. Temperatures are determined by altitude, with highlands (including Addis Ababa) rarely exceeding 25º C. In the lowlands it can get considerably hotter exceeding 40ºC, while in the Danakil Depression it can approach 60ºC.

Topography

Ethiopia has an elevated central plateau varying in height between 2,000 and 3,000 meters. In the north and centre of the country there are some 25 mountains whose peaks rise over 4,000 meters. The most famous Ethiopian river is the Blue Nile (or Abbay), which runs a distance of 1,450 kilometres from its source in Lake Tana, to join the White Nile at Khartoum.

Transport

Roads: There are some 4,100 kilometres of asphalt roads with a further 19,000 kilometres of gravel and dry-weather roads.Railway : A 778-kilometre long railway line links Addis Ababa with Djibouti, and carries both freight and passengers.Air: Ethiopian Airlines has an extensive domestic network flying to 43 airfields and an additional 21 landing strips.

Government

Ethiopia is a Federal Democratic Republic made up of 9 regions, mainly based on ethnicity. The present government was reelected in May 2005 for a 5-year term.

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, Tigrigna and Oromigna. English is also widely spoken.

Economy

About 90 percent of  the population earn 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 (Ethiopia has the largest domestic livestock population in Africa), exporting cattle on the hoof and hides and skins.

Electric supply

Ethiopia uses 220  volts 50 cycles AC.

Time

Ethiopia is in the GMT + 3 hours time zone. Ethiopia follows the Julian calendar, which consists of twelve months of 30 days each and a thirteenth month of five or  six days during each leap year.
PeopleThe population is  estimated at 65.3 Million , over 50 percent of whom are under 20 years old. The average number of inhabitants per square kilometre is 49. The ancient  Ethiopians were of Hamitic stock who later intermingled with Sematic  immigrants from southern Arabia.

Visa requirements

Visas are required for all visitors to Ethiopia and can be obtained from Ethiopian diplomatic missions abroad. Except nationals of Argentina, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Republic of Korea, Kuwait, Luxembourg, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Russian Federation, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, United Kingdom and United States are now allowed to receive their tourist visas on arrival in Ethiopia at the regular charge. Passengers transiting Ethiopia within 72 hours only for connection purpose, holding confirmed onward booking and entry visa on arrival.