Total area : 124.320 Km²
Population : 4.561.599
Density per sq mi : 37 ab/Km²
Motto: Never ever knelt
Government: Presidential Repubblic
Capital and largest city (2003 est.):
Asmara, 899,000 (metro. area), 400,000 (city
Other large cities: The ports
of Massawa, 30,700; and Assab, 56,300, and the city
of Keren 75,000;
Monetary unit: Nakfa; 1€
= 16,343 Nakfa ; 1 US$= 13,500 Nakfa
Transportation: Railways: total:
306 km (2006).
Highways: Total: 4,010 km; paved:
874 km; unpaved: 3,136 km (1999 est.).
Ports and harbors: Assab,
Airports: Asmara, Massaua
Languages: The Tigrigna
and Arabic are the two predominant languages spoken,
but have also spoken Italian (many signs are written
in Tigrigna, Arabic and Italian) and
Religion: Muslim 50%, Coptic,
Catholic, Protestant, Animist
Ethnicity/race: Ethnic Tigrinya
50%, Tigre and Kunama 40%, Afar 4%, Saho
(Red Sea coast dwellers) 3%, Bilen, Rashaida
and Hidareb 3%
Life expectancy: 60.0
National Holiday: Independence
Day, May 24
Religions: Islam, Eritrean Orthodox
Christianity, Roman Catholic, Protestant
Literacy rate: 59% (2003 est.)
(Gross domestic products): In 2006 amounted to $
4.751 billion, for $ 1000 GDP per capita.
National airline: Eritrean Airlines
Popular sport: soccer and cycle.
Touristic Guide: Etiopia
e Eritrea by Lonely Planet; EDT - Eritrea:
Una terra, un popolo, un paese da scoprire; Polaris
Telephone: (both land line and
mobile) telex or fax and the Internet are accessible in
most main towns. The IDD code for Eritrea is + 291-1-XXXXXX
for land line and + 291-7-XXXXXX for mobile.
Terrain: Dominated by extension
of Ethiopian north-south trending highlands with
jagged mountains, descending in the east to a coastal desert
plain, in the northwest to mountainous terrain and in the
southwest to flat to rolling plains
Border Country: Sudan
on WEST, Etiopia on SOUTH, Gibuti on SOUTH-EST
Mountains: The highest point
of the country is the mountain Soira, located south
of Asmara, which rises to 2989 meters above sea level.
The second is the mountain Jabal Hamoyet (2780
Main rivers: the rivers of the
country are almost all of a seasonal nature and among the
greater are the Gash, the Barka, the Setit
and the Anseba flowing to Sudan, and the Falkat,
the Laba and the Alighede which flows towards
the Red Sea.
The Fauna and Flora of Eritrea:
One of the most interesting features. Eritrea is
one of the blessed countries in the biodiversity. To name
some of the wild lives habitat in the Gash-Setit-elephants,
lion, greater kudu, Tara hartebeest, velvet monkey, olive
baboon, Soemmerings gazelle, ostrich, and others and in
the green belt of north and southern Red Sea, as
well as beautiful coral, sea turtles and dugongs there can
be found leopards, bushbuck, klipspringer, duiker and warthog.
Beside these, there are also a wide variety of birds such
as Erkels francolins, chestnut napped, francolins
and so many others (about 500 species of birds).
The territory of the east of the country is covered by vegetation
typical of half-deserted areas (bushes and brambles), predominate
in the west, which will switch to mangrove swamps. In mountainous
regions are growing juniper and olive trees, while north-east
of the capital Asmara, there is the last tropical forest
in the country
Main islands: Dahlak
Climate: The climate is temperate
in the mountains and hot in the lowlands. Asmara,
the capital, is about 2,300 meters (7,500 ft.) above sea
level. Maximum temperature is 26o C (80o F). The weather
is usually sunny and dry, with the short or belg
rains occurring February-April and the big or meher
rains beginning in late June and ending in mid-September.
Time zone: 3 hours ahead of
Voltage: 220 Volts.
Public holidays: 1st January
New year; 7th January Eritrean Christmas; 19th January Epiphany
(Timket); Eid al Adha; 8th March Womens Day; April
: Orthodox Good Friday; Orthodox Easter Day; Birth of the
Prophet; 1st May International Labor Day; 24th May Liberation
Day; 20th June Martyrs Day; 1st September Start of
the armed struggle ; 11th September Orthodox New Year; 27th
September Holy Cross (Meskel); October/ November Eid: al
Eritrea is a name given by the Italians from the
Greek word Erythrean meaning Red as they
colonized a region located on the Horn of Africa
with 1200-Kms extended coastlines in 1890, but the peoples
history can be traced back to the ancient times.
As the archeological evidences illustrate, it is the home
of the earliest civilizations and a region where human kind
This region was identified as Land of Punt by Egyptians
who were sending trade expeditions by the second millennium
According to linguistic evidences, the original inhabitants
of the present-day Eritrea were Nilotic people who
eventually intermingled with the Hamitic tribes of North
Africa that were expanding southwards. By the 1200 B.C.,
Semetic people from the South Arabia began to trade along
the Eritrean coast gradually settling on the Eritrean
The Semetic then mixed with the existing tribe- Kushitic-
giving birth to a distinct civilization that arose into
a new power: the Axumite kingdom that ranked third of those
powerful empires that existed at that time, and flourished
in the 4th B.C.
It expanded as far as South Arabian Peninsula until it began
to decline ending in breakup in the seventh century.
The struggle for independence ended in 1991, when the Front
for the Liberation of the Eritrean People drove out
the Ethiopian army from Eritrean border, and joined
the other Ethiopian resistance movement to overthrow
the dictatorship of the Derg who fell in the same year.
Two years after a referendum was held, under the supervision
of the ONU called UNOVER. The universal suffrage was attended
by both populations residing in Eritrea and those
refugees in other African nations after the diaspora, and
it is decided whether Eritrea would be an independent
country or would maintain the federation with Ethiopia.
Over 99% of Eritreans voted for independence which was officially
declared on May 24 1993.
The EPLF leader, Isaias Afewerki became the first provisional
President of Eritrea and the Front for the Liberation
of the P Eritrean eople, renamed People's Front for
Democracy and Justice (PFDJ) gave birth to the first government.
The less suitable time to visit Eritrea are June, July
and August, when the rainy season in the region of the highlands
and western lowlands is at the summit and in eastern lowland
there is the torrid heat.
Climatic conditions improve on March, April, September and
October. If you intend to coincide your trip with one of the
religious feasts of the country most suitable months are January
(Timkat) and September (Meskel).
All visitors need an entry visa to be obtained, before the
arrival, at Eritrean embassies in the country of residence.
Only for those country where is not available Eritrean Embassy,
an entry visa can be obtained at arrival, but with due process
with Immigration Department in Asmara, prior to arrival.