Ethiopia has a population of approximately 92 million people and, with a land-mass covering 1,104,300km2 (five times the area of the United Kingdom), is the tenth largest country in Africa. The major ethnic/linguistic groups are the Oromo (40%), Amhara (22%) Tigrai (10%), Sidamo (9%) and Somali (6%). Its capital is Addis Ababa.
Ethiopia’s economy is dominated by subsistence agriculture and recently Khat leaf added a new income for the country’s economy. Coffee accounts for 55% of Ethiopia’s exports. Ethiopia’s economy has shown a remarkable growth rate in the recent years due to a newly designed and being implemented as Transformation Plan set phase by phase in a period of five years progressively. The country is rated as one of the safest places to travel as a vacation and business tour destination in the year 2016 in addition to being the center for AU, ECA, and several 100+ Embassies and Consulates which makes the Capital Addis a diplomatic center for African continent.
Geographically Ethiopia is stunning. The landscape is dominated by the dramatic Ethiopian Highlands with the highest peak of around 4620m. The country is bisected by the Great Rift Valley, which starts from the Middle East Red Sea shores, to the North East, and continues south to Mozambique in southern Africa.
The two major mountain ranges are the Simien Mountains (a World Heritage Site), in the north of the country; and the Bale Mountains to the east of the Rift Valley, in the southeastern highlands.
The major rivers include the Blue Nile (the longest river in the world which flows 4258miles) from its mouth on the mountains of Burundi to its famed and fertile delta fan, where Egypt meets the Mediterranean Sea, in the northwest; and the Baro to the west (Gambella), which feeds the White Nile in Uganda after joining the Pibor river in South Sudan, and ultimately joins the Blue Nile in Sudan. The Wabe Shebelle courses through southeast from the Bale Mountains into Somalia. The Omo River starts in the western highlands and feeds Lake Turkana on the Kenyan border. The Awash feeds a series of desert lakes to the east of the country and settles within the countries territory of Lake Abe close to Asaita of the Afar region near the Djibouti border.
Given Ethiopia’s vast variety of landscape, from highlands to desert, it naturally follows that climates are also very varied: the eastern lowlands and the far south are dry and hot. The western lowlands are moist and hot. The Rift Valley to the south is temperate to hot and seasonally moist. Therefore, it is possible to experience frost, and even snow in the mountains, or dry soaring temperatures in the desert all in one trip.
Visa applications may be obtained at Ethiopia’s diplomatic missions overseas. However, nationals of 37 countries are now allowed to receive their tourist visas on arrival in Ethiopia at the regular charges. List includes: 1. Australia 2. Austria 3. Argentina 4. Belgium 5. Brazil 6. Canada 7. China 8. Denmark 9. Finland 10. France 11. Germany 12. Greece 13. India 14. Ireland 15. Israel 16. Italy 17. Japan 18. Korea 19. Kuwait 20. Luxemburg 21. Mexico 22. Netherlands 23. Newzealnd 24. Norway 25. Poland 26. Portugal 27. Russian federation 28. South Africa 29. Spain 30. Sweden 31. Switzerland 32. Thailand 33. United kingdom 34. United states of America
Public Holidays in Ethiopia
Public holidays are celebrated according to the Ethiopian (Julian) Calendar which consists of twelve months of thirty days each and a thirteenth month of five days (six days in leap year). The calendar is seven years behind the Western or Gregorian Calendar, with New Year falling in the month of September. Sunday is the weekly day of rest.
September 11 Ethiopian New Year September 26 The finding of the True Cross (Meskal) Id ulFitr (Ramadhan) there is no exact date as it varies each year lagging about 11 days behind. Id ulAhda (Sacrifice) there is no exact date for same reason as above January 8 Ethiopian Christmas January 20 Ethiopian Epiphany March 2 Victory of Adwa April 25 Ethiopian Good Friday April 27 Ethiopian Easter May 1 International Labour Day May 5 Ethiopian patriots’ victory day May 28 Downfall of the Dergue Regime
The holidays of Id al Fater and Id al Adaha and the Prophet Muhammad S.A.W.) are subject to moon sighting.