Geography of Ethiopia

Geography of Ethiopia

Reports of famine and political unrest have dominated journalists’ reports from Ethiopia for decades. What is easily forgotten is that the mountainous country in East Africa also has a history that goes back thousands of years. It is packed with important high cultures, some of the world’s oldest churches and Christian ceremonies. Ceremonies that have been unchanged for many thousands of years, and with more sights on the UNESCO World Heritage List than any other African country.

See trips to Ethiopia

Population: 99.5 million

Capital: Addis Ababa

Language: English, Arabic and Amharic

  • Addis Ababa means ‘new flower’ in Amharic
  • coffee comes from the region Kaffa

Geography of Ethiopia

Ethiopia, along with neighboring Djibouti, Eritrea and Somalia, is part of the Horn of Africa. To the east, Ethiopia borders Kenya, and to Sudan to the south and west. Most of the country’s surface consists of a plateau located at an altitude of 2,000 meters. The plain also consists of mountain peaks, which can be over 4000 meters high in some places. To the east is the dry, golden Ogaden Desert, which Somalis consider to belong to Somalia. The plateau is almost completely covered by grasslands, while the mountain slopes are covered with forest. In the southwest, the dry land consists of some rainforest. The rainforests have a rich wildlife including lions, leopards, elephants, buffalo and many antelope and wild boar species. In addition, a number of animal species that are not found anywhere else in the world live on the plains of the highlands, such as the Abyssinian ibex.

Ethiopia’s climate

Ethiopia is located in the tropical climate belt, and the annual periods do not offer any major temperature changes. On the other hand, the country’s varying topography does. In the lowlands it rains very rarely, and average temperatures of between 26 and 36 degrees all year round make these areas some of the warmest in the world. The highlands have slightly lower temperatures, and the summer period (June to September) offers some rain. Here the climate is more temperate than tropical. Nevertheless, the drought is a major threat, and it has created major problems for the country for several periods. Some areas of Ethiopia were once quite fertile, but have been wiped out by the drought in the country. This includes parts of the Great Rift Valley, which runs across the country and divides the plateau into two parts, with large gorges and steep rock walls. The elongated ravine has been of great importance for human development. Scientists believe that the apes that lived millions of years ago on the west side of the valley evolved into the gorillas and chimpanzees of our time, while those that lived on the east side became the ancestors of our own species. Visit computerdo for East Africa Tourism.

The population of Ethiopia

With 85 million inhabitants, Ethiopia has Africa’s third largest population (after Egypt and Nigeria). At the same time, the country has one of the youngest populations in the world. Half of all Ethiopians are under 15 years of age. The people are divided into almost 100 different ethnic groups, and speak almost as many languages. The official language is Amharic, and the second largest, and culturally most dominant ethnic group, is the Amharic people. The largest group, on the other hand, consists of the Omoro (in Amharic called the gala people). Due to the many different population groups, the Ethiopian Republic is divided into ten states with a high right to self-determination, and freedom to withdraw from the federation at any time.

Climate Ethiopia

Here you can read about Ethiopia’s climate and weather in the capital Addis Ababa and Dire Dawa.

Addis Ababa
Daytime temperature 23 24 25 24 25 23 20 20 21 22 23 23
Night temperature 7 8 10 11 11 10 10 10 10 8 7 7
Precipitation (mm) 20 23 80 96 56 112 245 269 117 40 9 13
Daytime temperature 23 24 25 26 27 27 23 23 25 24 23 22
Night temperature 16 17 18 19 20 20 18 17 18 17 16 15
Precipitation (mm) 35 10 25 45 35 30 200 215 25 10 25 40
Bahir Dar
Daytime temperature 24 25 25 25 24 21 19 19 20 21 22 23
Night temperature 16 17 18 18 17 15 14 14 15 15 15 15
Precipitation (mm) 5 5 10 25 85 185 430 375 305 90 25 5

Ethiopia has a tropical monsoon climate, which varies with the country’s topography. In the highlands it is generally somewhat cooler than at lower altitudes. The capital Addis Ababa has a pleasant climate all year round, with even temperatures. Rainy seasons fall seasonally with a dry season from October to February, a period of light rainfall from March to May, and the main rainy season from June to September. But even in July / August there are many hours of sunshine. The annual average temperature is about 16 ºC with maximum temperatures between 20-25 ºC. The larger tourist cities also have a climate comparable to that in Addis Ababa.

Feel free to bring the following • Light shoes and / or sandals and good hiking shoes for hiking safaris
• Light cotton clothing, both with long and short sleeves / shorts, preferably in “safari-friendly” colors
• Cap or sun hat
• Wool or fleece sweater for morning and evening safaris
• Wind and waterproof jacket
• Swimwear (many safari lodges have a swimming pool)
• Binoculars
• Sunscreen
• Mosquito spray


Smoking is prohibited during all flights and transport. You are not allowed to smoke indoors in public places, unless there are special smoking rooms.