Ethiopia experiences a wide climatic variation ranging from the peaks of Semien & Bale Mountains, which receive periodic snowfall, to regular daytime temperatures of 40 – 50 degrees C in the Danakil Depression. The precipitation pattern in the northern & central highland massifs is that the main rain falls between June and September. In Southern Omo Region, the main rain falls between March and May.
The peoples of Ethiopia are friendly to any foreigner. Except beggars for money in the big cities of the country, especially in Addis Ababa, no one goes to anybody to attack or harm. This is because of our contact experience for centuries with outsiders & the power of Christian – Islamic faith that dominate the country.
With an estimated population of 85 million, Ethiopia represents a melting pot of ancient Middle Eastern and African cultures evident in the religious, ethnic, and language composition of its Semitic, Cushitic, Osmotic, and Nilotic peoples. The estimated annual population growth rate is about 2.3% and 83% of the population is rural.
The Ethiopian Orthodox Church is one of the oldest religious organizations in the world (emerged in 4th century A.D.) The Orthodox Religion dominates the historic /Northern tourist routes. Religion, especially in the northern tourist routes, is part of a day to day life of Ethiopians. Indeed; religion is part of Ethiopian history and culture.
The main three languages are Amharic, Tigrigna and Oromigna. Ethiopia is a country with multiethnic where numerous languages are spoken. Recent studies report that 99 languages are spoken in the country. Most of them belong to the Semitic or Cushitic branches of the Afro-Asiatic family. The official language of Ethiopia is Amharigna (Amharic), a Semitic language which is spoken almost everywhere in the country. Amharic descends from Ge’ez, the language of Ancient Axum, which is still used by the Ethiopian Orthodox Church today. Ethiopia’s Semitic languages are transcribed in a script that is unique to the country. The alphabet consists over 200 characters, each of which denotes a syllable as opposed to a letter. English, which is used for secondary education, is the most widely spoken European language. Few people speak French and Italian languages.
Basic Amharic Language Phrases
- Good morning: Endemin Aderh (m), rsh (f), ru (pl)
- Thanks to God: Egizeabiher Yimesegen
- Hello: Tenaystilign
- How are you? Dehna neh? (m) / nesh (f) / nachu (pl)
- I’m fine: Dehna/ Egizeabiher Yimesegen
- See you: Chew
- Yes: Awo
- OK: E’shi
- No (not there): Yellem/ Ayihonim
- Please: E’baki’h (m) / E’baki’sh (f) / E’bakiwon (pl)
- Thank you: Amesege’nallo( Egizeabiher Yistilign)
- Excuse me: Yiki’rta
- Sorry: Aznallhu’
- My name is.: Yene si’m …
- I don’t understand: Algebagni’m
- Breakfast: kurs
- Lunch: Missa
- Dinner: E’rat
- Bread: Dabbo
- Salad: Selata
- Soup: Shorbba
- Water: Wuha
- Milk: Wotet
- Coffee: Buna
- Sugar: Se’quar
- 1: ànd
- 2: Hulett
- 3: Sost
- 4: àrat
- 5: àme’st
- 7: Sebat
- 8: Se’me’nt
- 9: Zetegn
- 10: àsse’r
Ethiopian cuisine consists of various vegetable, beans or meat side dishes and entrées, often prepared as a wat or thick stew. Enjera is Ethiopia’s stable flat bread. It is prepared from tiny grain flour called Tef. One or more servings of wat are placed upon a piece of Enjera. Shiro, a flavorful combination of ground beans, spices, and chilies is a stew being eaten with Enjera. Tella is Ethiopians local alcoholic drink/beer, prepared from grains like barley & sorghum. Honey wine called Tej is popular throughout the country.
Ethiopian National clothes are basically white, whether the shawls and light blankets (named as Gabi) worn over the shoulders by the men or the white dresses (named as Kemis) and wraps (named as Netella) worn by the ladies. Most women wear Netella while attending church. If women wear Netella cloths, especially in Lalibela Churches, priests and local community understand that their tradition and culture is being respected & in return; they cherish them more respect.
Addis Ababa Bole International Airport is a gateway to the rest of Ethiopia. The airport also serves many destinations in Africa, Middle East, Asia, Europe and North America. On the domestic circuit; priority & a big discount is given to those who use Ethiopian airlines for their international flight. Ethiopian Air Lines connects major cities of the country. The best way to experience the variety of scenery that Ethiopia has to offer is to travel by road; of course road conditions in Ethiopia are poor. Yet the scenery by road is incomparable.
Ethiopia uses the Julian calendar, which means that it is seven years and eight months ‘behind’ the majority of the world. We celebrated our new millennium in September 2007(2000 Ethiopian calendar).In Ethiopia, there are thirteen months in a calendar year, 12 of 30 days each, starting on September 11, and one month of 5 or 6 days( know as leap year.)Ethiopian ‘clock’ starts counting at sunrise, 6am, and continues until sundown, 6pm. Thus there are twelve day hours and twelve night hours. If you want to adjusts your watch for your journey to Ethiopia, use GMT + three hours, then, when you read your watch as 10am, we, the Ethiopians will say that it is 4 o’clock.! So whatever hour you read from your watch, you either add or subtract 6 hours.
Ethiopia uses its rivers to generate hydroelectric power. It provides 220 volts anywhere in the country.
Telephone, Cell Phone, fax, internet and postal facilities are available in major cities. International dialing code for Ethiopia is +251. A mobile sim card is available at convenient shops in Addis Ababa.
Bank service is available almost in all cities and towns. The usual bank working hour starts at 8am to 4pm, Monday to Friday and at 8am to 11am on Saturday.
Rent a car that can make you visit Ethiopia successfully.
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