General Information

About Ethiopia

The federal republic of Ethiopia is a country in the horn of Africa in the tropical zone lying between the Equator and the Tropic of Cancer. It is a landlocked country sharing borders with Eritrea to the north, Djibouti to the northeast, Somalia to the east and northeast, Kenya to the south, South Sudan to the west, and Sudan to the northwest.Ethiopia has a total area of 1,104,300 square kilometers (420,000 square miles). Ethiopia is home to around 113.5 million multicultural inhabitants, making it the 13th-most populous country in the world, the 2nd-most populous in Africa after Nigeria, and the most populated landlocked country on Earth covering a total area of 1,100,000 square kilometers (420,000 square miles).

Ethiopia uses its own calendar with thirteen months and four seasons. The thirteen month is 5 days long and it will be 6 days long every leap year. As a country lying in the tropical zone, the weather in Ethiopia is favorable and it’s known for its “Thirteen Months of   Sunshine”.  It has three different climate zones and four seasons. According to its elevations, the three climate zones are Kolla (Tropical zone),Woina dega (Subtropical zone) and Dega (Cool zone).  The seasons in Ethiopia are Kiremt or Meher (Summer) – June, July and August; heavy rain falls in these three months. Belg (Autumn) – September, October and November are the spring season sometimes known as the harvest season. Bega (Winter) – December, January and February are the dry season. Tseday (Spring) – March, April and May are the autumn season with occasional showers. May is the hottest month in Ethiopia.

Ethiopia is known for its ancient history and being the cradle of mankind as it is home to some of the world’s oldest human ancestors from the Australopithecus afarensis family . Ethiopia is one of the world’s countries with deep rooted cultures and indigenous knowledge in astronomy,astrology, medicine. There are over 80 languages spoken in our country such as Afar, Amharic, Oromo, Somali, Tigrinya and many more.Amharic has its own set of alphabets, structure and grammar and it is the official language of Ethiopia

Ethiopia is subdivided into eleven ethno-linguistic regional states. The national capital and the largest city is Addis Ababa, lying several kilometers west of the East African Rift Valley that splits the country into the African and Somali tectonic plates.

About Addis Ababa

Ethiopia’s capital and largest city is Addis Ababa (/aeds bb/;[5] Amharic: meaning “new flower”. The city’s population as of 2023 is estimated at 5,461,000 people in a land area of .512 Square kilometers(318.142 square miles). Addis Ababa is Ethiopia’s vital and well developed financial, artistic, and cultural hub with a rich history dating back to its establishment in 1886 byMenelik II, Negus of ShewaAfter finding Mount Entoto two years prior. The city was a tourist town at the time, and the availability of its big natural springs drew nobilities from throughout the empire, inspiring them to stay there permanently.Additionally, it drew a sizable number of international tourists and people from the working classes, such as artists and merchants. Then Menelik II built his imperial palace.

Addis Ababa is a city developing with a fast paced growth. The city has been going through a lot of developmental changes as it is a hub for Africa as well. The African Union HQ is based here in Addis Ababa.

Major Transportation Methods in Addis Ababa

Public Transportation

  1. Buses: there are different buses giving transportation services in the city such as Anbesa bus, sheger bus, public bus. The prices are the lowest and with a capacity to carry a total of 42 passengers
  2. Trains: the light rail transportation is a 17-kilometer (11 mi) line running from the city center to industrial areas, the first light rail and rapid transit in eastern and sub-saharan Africa, it has two lines, North-south and East-West lines offering travel options with fair prices carrying up to 200 passengers at once
  3. Mini buses: these are as their name implies smaller sized buses with a carrying capacity of 12 passengers. The fare prices are fixed and these are the most commonly used in the city.


  1. Lada: is the local taxi transport with a negotiable taxi fare price. You directly negotiate with the driver. 
  2. Meter taxi: unlike lada these taxi services have fixed price ranges per kilometer and are technologically supported by mobile apps to get the service. There are several meter taxis in Addis such as Ride, Feres, Zay-ride, Seregela and many more. During your stay in addis, you can easily  download their apps from the google play store and find out all the services they provide

Places To Visit in Addis Ababa

  1. Unity park
  2. Friendship park
  3. Entoto park
  4. Gulele botanic park
  5. Abrehot library
  6. The national Museum of Ethiopia
  7. Addis Ababa Museum
  8. Red terror Museum
  9. Meskel square

Events Held in November in Addis Ababa

  1. The great Ethiopian Run (Amharic: ታላቁ ሩጫ በኢትዮጵያ)

The Great Ethiopian Run is an annual 10-kilometer race that takes place in late November in Addis Ababa, open for public participation. The 2023 Sofi Malt Great Ethiopian Run International 10km takes place on Sunday 19th November 2023. The participants of IAU386 can save the date and participate on the Ethiopian Great run. You can find more information by visiting the Great Ethiopian Run website and their social media Facebook address.

Day Trips around Addis Ababa

1. Debre Libanos Monastery

The Debre Libanos Monastery is located about 100 kilometers north of Addis Ababa. This monastery was founded in the 13th century by St. Tekle Haimanot, who, according to legend, prayed for 7 years straight standing on one leg until the other leg fell off. Nearby the monastery, you can find the Portuguese bridge, which was the first bridge ever to be built in Ethiopia. Around this area, you will hopefully see some endemic gelada baboons. Short hikes are available in the area, with stunning views of the Jemma Valley.

2. Lake Ziway

Lake Ziway, one of the chain of lakes found in the Great Rift Valley, is located south of Addis Ababa. Here you can take a boat trip on Lake Ziway to the island of Tullo Gudo. The island hosts the church of Maryam Tsion which, according to tradition, once housed the Ark of the Covenant to hide it from invaders. After the visit, return to shore, enjoying the bountiful birdlife on this lake and possibly some hippos. Return to Addis Ababa late afternoon.

3. Archeological sites of Tiya, Adadi Maryam and Melka Kunture

Tiya is an ancient stelae field, with anthropomorphic statues marking burial grounds. Tiya is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Adadi Maryam is a rock-hewn church, similar to those in Lalibela. Melka Kunture is a prehistoric tool-making site. It is located south of Addis Ababa.

4. Lake Wenchi

Lake Wenchi, a crater lake, is a stunning location west of Addis Ababa. There are many options for activities in the area including hiking, horseback riding or a boat trip to the island monastery of Kirkos and the hot spring valley. After the visit, return to Addis Ababa.

5. Bishoftu

Depart from Addis for a short drive to Bishoftu, home to several crater lakes and a popular weekend getaway spot for Addis Ababa residents. You can spend the day visiting the lakes or doing some light hiking (circling Lake Hora takes 1 ½ hours). The area is very popular for birdwatching. There are several lake-side establishments for lunch and even a spa. Return to Addis Ababa, late afternoon.

6. Mt. Zuqualla

Very near to Bishoftu is Mt. Zuqualla, an extinct volcano that offers beautiful views of the surrounding areas. Here you can visit the monastery of Mt. Zuqualla Maryam, which may date back as far as the 4th century. The nearby crater-lake is considered holy by the monks of the monastery. Time permitting, you may stop for a rest in Bishoftu before returning to Addis Ababa in the afternoon.

7. Menagesha National Forest

 Menagesha National Forest is a great site for hiking found west of Addis Ababa. Here you will enjoy the wildlife, such as the colobus monkeys and endemic Menelik’s bushbuck, as well as birds, including the endemic Ethiopian oriole and Abyssinian woodpecker. You can also stop at the Gefersa Reservoir, which supplies water to Addis Ababa, and is a nice birdwatching and wildlife spot. Return to Addis Ababa in the afternoon.

By visiting these sites, you can support the local community.

Traditional Dishes/Local Foods To Taste While in Addis Ababa

  1. Injera: Injera is fermented Ethiopian ethnic traditional staple food prepared usually from teff flour [Eragrostis tef (Zucc.) Trotter] and it is known for its nutritional properties, especially lack of gluten and good mineral compositions (Rich of Iron) . Almost all the Ethiopians consume this food at least once in a day. Injera can be served with vegetables and/or different spicy stews( “wat” in Amharic) made with lentils(Misir wat), potato(dinich wat), meat(siga wat) and chicken(Doro wat). Doro wat is known as the Ethiopian national dish and it is the most popular traditional food in that country.
  1. Kitfo:  A common Ethiopian dish made from freshly ground raw beef, Ethiopian butter (niter kibbeh), and seasonings like salt and chili. Injera is a standard bread served with kitfo in every restaurant, while other breads are also can also be served with collard greens or salty cheeses.
  2. Tibs: Ethiopian food called tibs is made up of stir-fried meat and veggies. The meal can be prepared in a number of different ways, from mild to hot, and it might have a small quantity, a lot, or no vegetables at all.There are several varieties of this Ethiopian delicacy since various types of meat are used. Tibs is typically served as a festive dish for special occasions and holidays or as a show of respect to someone.
  3. Fetira: A large, crispy pancake made of wheat flour, “fatira” is a classic Ethiopian street meal that’s frequently eaten for breakfast. It is usually served with honey, scrambled eggs, or both. Fatira is frequently divided into tiny pieces and is especially well-liked in Ethiopia during Eid-al-Fitr.