Description of Eritrea

Eritrea is located in East Africa. It borders the Red Sea and sits between Sudan and Djibouti. The country has been in a long disputed border war with Ethiopia.

Eritrea was defeated in the year 1890 by Italy. Italy hung onto power until after the second world war when the British expelled them. Eritrea was given to Ethiopia in the year 1952 to be a part of the federation. Ten years afterwards Ethiopia annexed it as a province. This began a 30 year conflict to gain independence. This ended in the year 1991 when the Eritrean rebels defeated forces from Ethiopia. A 1993 referendum that was administered by the United Nations approved independence.

In the year 1998, a new border war started with Ethiopia once again. This ended in 2000 under UN auspices. A peacekeeping operation by the United Nations monitored 25 kilometers of the border with Ethiopia. A commission was created to help resolve the dispute and in 2002, the commission posted its findings. However, Ethiopia has objected to the findings so final demarcation is on hold. The border area remains extremely tense today. The peacekeepers have been expelled by Eritrea.

Climate and Landscape

Eritrea offers a climate that is hot and dry. It is located on the coast of the Red Sea, which makes the central highlands of the country have cooler weather with more rainfall. In the low lands the climate is semiarid with rainfall being the heaviest from June through September.

The landscape of Eritrea offers highlands that trend from north to south and descend to the east into a coastal desert plain. The north west consists of a hilly terrain and the south west consists of rolling plains. The country is relatively small, being about the same size as England or the state of Pennsylvania. However, the Great Rift Valley creates a contrasting and varied landscape.


The most interesting destinations in the country are the natural attractions. The highlands are where the capital city of Asmara is located. This area sits from 1500 to 3500 meters above sea level. The area has a temperate climate that does not vary much during each of the seasons. The rainy season lasts from May through September.

Rural highlanders live in a style that resembles biblical times. The homes are made of stone and each one has a small plot of land. there are both Muslim and Christian temples from ancient times, and the people in the area herd and farm using traditional methods, without much technology. Camels and mules are used for transportation. Martyrs National Park offers a wildlife preserve and mountainous forest in the area and is well worth a visit.

Dhalak Archipelgo is the largest archipelago of the Red Sea. There are just 4 islands that have people living on them. here you will find ruins from the early Islamic and Arabic settlers from the 8th century. There are also Ethiopian vehicles and weapons that have been dumped into the sea creating large artificial reefs that are popular among divers.

Debre Bizen was founded in the year 1361 as a monastery. Women cannot enter, but men can hike to the top of the monastery and enjoy wonderful scenery and visit the library of the monastery that is hundreds of years old.

Matara are ruins that date back to the Aksumite Empire. These have been partially destroyed during recent conflicts that have risen in the area.

Nakfa was the home for the resistance against Ethiopia. This was the home of the individuals who were a part of the resistance for more than 30 years. it is also where the money of the country gets its name. during the 1983 bombing raids Nakfa was leveled. The area is surrounded by remnants of the war including trenches. There is still a decent amount of people living on the island, but much fewer than before the war.

The Asmara Historic Perimeter is clean and tranquil, and definitely a must see if visiting Eritrea. The public buildings, art deco mansions, and villas make this town unique. The architectural design of each building is unique and the facades are quite catchy to watch. Some of them are in the form of sailing ships while others are monuments, each are majestic and memorable.

Some facts about Eritrea

Population of country 5,792,984 people
Area of Eritrea 121,320 sq. kilometers
Located on the continent Africa (AF)
Capital of Eritrea Asmara
Currency at Eritrea Nakfa (ERN)
Domain Zone .er
Phone country code 291
FIPS code of Eritrea ER

Gallery of Eritrea


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Eritrea video guide

More information about Eritrea

Climate of Eritrea:
  • hot, dry desert strip along Red Sea coast
  • cooler and wetter in the central highlands (up to 61 cm of rainfall annually, heaviest June to September)
  • semiarid in western hills and lowlands
Terrain of Eritrea:
  • dominated by extension of Ethiopian north-south trending highlands, descending on the east to a coastal desert plain, on the northwest to hilly terrain and on the southwest to flat-to-rolling plains
Eritrea also has such useful resources as: gold, potash, zinc, copper, salt, possibly oil and natural gas, fish.

Top cities of Eritrea

City Name Population State Coordinates
1 Asmara 563,930 people Zoba Ma'akel 15.33333 x 38.93333
2 Keren 74,800 people Zoba Anseba 15.77778 x 38.45806
3 Massawa 23,100 people Zoba Semenawi K'eyih Bahri 15.60972 x 39.45
4 Assab 21,300 people Zoba Debubawi K'eyih Bahri 13.00917 x 42.73944
5 Mendefera 17,781 people Zoba Debub 14.88722 x 38.81528
6 Barentu 15,891 people Zoba Gash-Barka 15.11389 x 37.59278
7 Adi Keyh 13,061 people 14.84444 x 39.37722
8 Eid 11,259 people Zoba Debubawi K'eyih Bahri 13.92972 x 41.6925
9 Dek'emhare 10,959 people Zoba Debub 15.07 x 39.0475
10 Ak'ordat 8,857 people Zoba Gash-Barka 15.54861 x 37.88667
11 Teseney 3,753 people 15.11 x 36.6575

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