Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia
CST (UTC +3)
A country with a unique cultural heritage, the home of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church – one of the oldest Christian denominations – and a monarchy that ended only quite recently. Dating to prehistoric times and also having Biblical references, Ethiopia has a rich and varied history. Ethiopians pride themselves of never being colonized except for a five year period during Mussolini’s occupation. Coupled with its beautiful highlands and desert it is a traveler’s delight. Addis Ababa the largest city and capital is like any other city with all its modern trappings. Culture, cuisine, wildlife, welcoming hospitality, these and many other experiences await you in this ancient and modern land. As Ethiopians like to say, «Come and enjoy, 13 months of sunshine!»
Predominantly of a tropical monsoon weather, but due to the Ethiopian Highlands which cover most of the country, Ethiopia experiences a climate which is generally considerably cooler than other regions at similar proximity to the Equator. Most of the country's major cities are located at elevations of around 6,500 to 8,000 feet above sea level.
Most major cities and tourist sites in Ethiopia lie at a similar elevation to Addis Ababa and have a comparable climate. In less elevated regions, particularly the lower lying Ethiopian xeric grasslands and shrublands in the east of the country, the climate can be significantly hotter and drier. Dallol, in the Danakil Depression in this eastern zone, has the world's highest average annual temperature of 34 °C (93.2 °F).
From Music and Dance to Attire and Customs, Ethiopia is unique in its own way. The blend of traditional and modern can be seen in its architecture to the way its people dress up and conduct their day to day lives. Steeped in religious roots its culture is as vibrant as any other modern countries’ but its traditions are always visible, never having been hidden or forgotten. The Ethiopian calendar is one of the most unique in the world today that is still being followed. It has 13 months, with 12 months of 30 days each. The last month has 5 days in a common year and 6 days during a leap year.
Various vegetable and meat side dishes and entrees are the main of staples of Ethiopian cuisine, often prepared as a "Wat" or thick stew. One or more servings of wat are placed upon a piece of Injera, a large sourdough flatbread, which is about 20 inches in diameter and made out of fermented Teff flour. Injera is used, always with the right hand, to scoop up the entrees and side dishes. Pork or seafood, aside from fish, is not used, as most Ethiopians have historically adhered to Islam, the Ethiopian Orthodox Church, or Judaism, all of which prohibit the consumption of pork. Orthodox Christians observe numerous fasts, such as Lent, during which food is prepared without any meat or dairy products. Another dish served in Ethiopia is Doro Wat, which is a chicken stew with hard boiled eggs.
Air transport is easy and swift in Ethiopia with their national carrier, Ethiopian Airlines which operates across around 30 domestic cities and towns across the country.
The National Railway Network of Ethiopia owned by the Ethiopian Railway Corporation (ERC), which is mostly in planning and construction stage and currently consists of four electrified standard gauge railway lines: the Addis Ababa Light Rail, the Addis Ababa–Djibouti Railway, both of which are operational. The Awash–Weldiya Railway and the Weldiya–Mekelle Railway are under construction.
With around 100,000 kilometers of asphalted roads, Ethiopia is well connected. All of Ethiopia’s cities are served by public transport, including trains and buses. Taxis charge according to the meter.
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