Flag of Ethiopia


The Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia is a landlocked country situated in the Horn of Africa, bounded by Eritrea to the north, Djibouti to the northeast, Somalia to the east and southeast, Kenya to the south and Sudan to the west. The third-most populous African nation, Ethiopia is one of the oldest nations in the world and apart from a five year occupation by Mussolini's Italy, it has never been colonised. Ethiopia is also the second oldest Christian nation, having maintained its Christian character since the 4th century AD.

Formerly known as Abyssinia, Ethiopia combines African and Middle Eastern civilisations and is also part of global international cooperation, being one of the founder members of the United Nations, the main founder of the former Organisation of African Unity and current African Union and the founder of the UN headquarters in Africa.

The central area of Ethiopia is a vast highland region of volcanic rock that forms a watered, temperate zone surrounded by hot, arid, inhospitable desert. Places of interest in the capital, Addis Ababa, include St George's Cathedral, the Menelik Mausoleum and the large market. Aksum, in the north, was the ancient royal capital of the earliest Ethiopian kingdom, and is renowned for its multi-storeyed ancient carved granite obelisks and for the church that claims to house the Lost Ark of the Covenant. Also in the north are the spectacular Blue Nile Waterfalls. National parks include the Simien National Park (in the northern mountains) and the Bale Mountains National Park, on high southern moorland country, which has its own unique flora and fauna.

Ethiopian food is based on dishes called we't (meat, chicken or vegetables, cooked in a hot pepper sauce). Local red and dry white wines are worth trying and Talla (Ethiopian beer) has a unique taste.

Map of Ethiopia