The country today known as Eritrea was originally the northern most province of Ethiopia. The country is almost the same size as Indiana and has a narrow coastal plain along the Red Sea. The country shares borders with Sudan, Ethiopia, Djibouti and the Red Sea. The country’s capital is Asmara and the population is estimated to be just above 6 million.
Eritrea: Climate and Landscape
Much of Eritrea is mountainous and the country is one of the hottest and driest places in Africa. The cooler regions in the central highlands have cool valleys that support agriculture. The highlands receive significant amounts f annual rainfall (Approx 61 cm) which normally falls between June and September.
Sights and Sounds of Eritrea
Due to its location on the Red Sea, Eritrea offers tourist some of the best diving locations worldwide. However, the burgeoning tourism industry means there are few locations that offer services. Tourists can also explore the unspoilt Red Sea reefs on the beautiful Dahlak islands. The country’s rich history makes it home to some very exotic and mystical monasteries. Lovers of birds and wildlife can also enjoy the country’s variety in the graphic wasteland of Denkalia.
Eritrea: People and Languages
The constitution r equality of all local languages and there is no official language. Tigre and Tigrinya are spoken by almost 80% of the population. However, for official purposes Tigrinya and Arabic are the primary languages. The country is composed of a number of ethnic groups including Tigrinya (50%), Kunama and Tigre (40%), Saho (3%), and other 3%. In urban areas English and Italian are widely spoken.
Other Facts from Eritrea
Eritrea was originally part of Ethiopia kingdom of Aksum, which declined in the 8th century. Over time, the country fell under the influence of the Ottomans, Egyptians and the Italians. In 1962, Eritrea became a part of the republic of Ethiopia though soon after civil war broke out. In 1991, the country deposed Mengistu to prompt a process that saw a referendum allow the country independence in 1993. The country’s population relies mainly on subsistence agriculture.