by Joakim Larsen
Ethiopia, officially known as the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, is the second most populous nation in Africa. With its 85 million inhabitants and more than 80 different ethnic groups and spoken languages, the human diversity is big.
The country is 1,130,000 square kilometres, two times the size of France and is located in the North-eastern corner of Africa, landlocked between Djibouti and Eritrea to the North, Somalia to the East, Sudan and South Sudan to the West and Kenya to the South.
Oman from the Anuak tribe takes a cooling swim in the Baro. The river has its origin in the lush coffee hills in the highlands of Western Oromio, and descends into the hot lowlands of Gambela to then continue into the Sudani desert. Here it joins the White Nile and continues North through Egypt. Baro River is infamous for its large crocodiles and huge fish. Itang, Gambela Region.
With it’s significant range in altitude, the highest point being 4,620 meters above and the lowest 116 meters below sea level, Ethiopia has three different climate zones. These are home to a wide variety of flora and fauna, a number of endemic mammals, and more than 30 endemic out of the 860 bird species. You also find a number of unique and spectacular geological sites, among them Danakil Depression, the lowest place in Africa and the hottest place on the planet with one of the few permanent lava lakes.
Barto, a young father from the Suri Tribe - a pastoral tribe that lives in the hot lowlands in the South Eastern part of the country. Kibbish, Southern Nations Nationalities and Peoples Region.
Addis Ababa is the capitol of Ethiopia and is located in around 2700 meters altitude. This makes it the third highest located capitol in the world. It houses a large number of diplomatic missions, like the head quarters of African Union (AU), the Nile Basin Initiative (NBI), the United Nation Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) and of more than 90 other diplomatic missions and embassies.
AbayGorgeThe Abay Gorge - or Blue Nile Gorge - garves itself through the Ethiopian highland between Amhara Region and Oromio Region. The river originates in Lake Tane in the central Ethiopian highlands and in Khartoum in Sudan it joins the White Nile, that runs from Lake Victoria through South Sudan and into Sudan.
Ethiopia is among the few African countries that has its own alphabet, time system and calendar. Ethiopia is also known for its 2000-year-old history and for being the only African country, which was never colonised. The monuments of the Axumite Empire, the rock hewn churches of Lalibela, the castles of Gondar and the walled city of Harar are just a few of the historical UNESCO World Heritage sites in the country.
Dallol in Danakil Depression, Afar Region in North Eastern Ethiopia. Here Lake Bakili, the lowest place in Africa, 116 meters below sea level and officially the hottest place on the planet. The depression is the starting point of the African Rift Valley and rewards the visitor with a formidable display of unique landscape with salt planes, sulphur lakes and one of the only permanent lava lakes in the world. Danakil Depression, Afar Region.
Ethiopia is among the poorest countries in the World and it has previously been struggling with droughts and famines. But the country is undergoing rapid change and is experiencing tremendous economic growth. And along with that the image of the country is changing too - especially as more and more people discover the unique value of this magnificent, diverse and culturally rich country.
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