The climate of Ethiopia varies greatly according to topographical regions. In general, the climate is temperate in the highlands and hot in the lowlands. The major part of the country consists of high plateau, which gives the country its pleasant, moderate climate with minimal seasonal temperature variation. The mean minimum during the coldest season is 6˚C (43˚F) while the mean maximum rarely exceeds 26˚C (79˚F).
Economy Agriculture is the backbone of the national economy. The sector accounts for over 50% of the country’s GDP and 85% of the labor force. The principal exports from this sector are coffee, oilseeds, pulses, flowers, vegetables and sugar. There is also a thriving livestock sector, as Ethiopia has the largest number of livestock in Africa.
Money Matters The Ethiopian currency is the Birr, made up of 100 cents. Notes are issued in denominations of 1, 5, 10, 50, and 100. There are five different coins: 1, 5, 10, 25, and 50 cents. One birr has started being issued in coin form.
Unique Ceremonies, Festival and Rituals Ethiopia has numerous national and local holidays which are celebrated throughout the year. Each of the 54,000 parish Churches and 800 monasteries of the Ethiopian Orthodox Churchs have at least one minor monthly and one major annual festival.
Topographic profile With an area of 1,104,300 square kilometers, Ethiopia is as large as France and Spain combined. It is bounded on the east by Djibouti and Somalia, on the north and northeast by Eritrea, on the south by Kenya and on the west by the Sudan.
Accommodation Addis Ababa has numerous hotels that can cater for all desires.Security Ethiopia is generally a very safe country. However, casual theft and pick-pocketing are fairly common in some parts of the country. As a precaution, we recommend a lightweight passport pouch that can be worn under your clothing, either around your neck or waist.
Population The current population of Ethiopia is estimated to be around 95 million, making it the second most populous country in Africa.Language Ethiopia is a multi-ethnic and multi lingual state. There are over 83 languages spoken in the country with 200 dialects. Government Since then, Ethiopia has been a Federal Democratic Republic made up of 14 regions based on ethnicity. The present government was reelected in May 2015 for another 5-year term. Food The Ethiopian national dish consists of Injera, made out of grain known as Teff. Originally, Teff used to grow only in Ethiopia.
The Injera is then served with different kinds of cooked meat, vegetables and sauce. The sauces are generally spiced with Berbere, a blend of herbs and spices (including hot peppers) which gives the food an Ethiopian taste.Customs After a close personal relationship has been established, people of the same sex may kiss three times on the cheeks. Greetings should never be rushed and it is appropriate to inquire about the person’s family, health, job, etc. The offer of tea and coffee is very common and provides a setting to discuss and understand Ethiopia through the lens of the local people.