Eritrea

Eritrea Overview

Eritrea stretches along the Red Sea, on the northeast coast of Africa between Sudan and Djibouti, with Ethiopia lying to the south. Eritrea was once a part of the Aksum Kingdom. The kingdom reached its height as a trading and cultural center between the A.D. 300’s and 600’s. Italy gained control of Eritrea in the late 1800’s. The United Kingdom took over the area in 1941, during World War II. In 1952, Eritrea became part of Ethiopia.

The largest archipelago of the Red Sea, the Dahlak Archipelago, has been designated as a national park.

CLIMATE

Temperatures average 86 °F (30 °C) along the coast and 60 °F (16 °C) in the highlands. The coast receives about 6 to 10 inches of rain a year, and the highlands receive up to 24 inches. In most parts of the country, the heaviest rains occur in June and July.

KNOW BEFORE YOU GO

CAPITAL: Asmara
POPULATION: 5 million
LANGUAGE: Afar, Arabic, Tigrinya
CURRENCY: Nakfa
ELECTRIC CURRENT: 230V, 50Hz. To power any electrical item an international adapter or a two pin plug is required.
COUNTRY DIALLING CODE: +291
TIME ZONE: GMT/UTC + 3

TRAVEL WARNING

We advise against all travel within 25 kms of Eritrea’s border with Ethiopia and Djibouti. We also advise against travel to Eritrea’s border with Sudan, including the town of Tesseney; and in the area north and west of Nakfa, Agordat and Barentu.

The Ethiopia-Eritrea border remains closed and unmarked. Several security incidents have taken place in recent months along the border, particularly in the areas of Humera, Tsorona and Zalambessa. Since the relocation out of Eritrea of the UN Peacekeeping Mission (UNMEE) in March 2008 the risk of cross-border tensions increasing and the security situation deteriorating very rapidly remains.

Information provided by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in the UK www.fco.gov.uk