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Tuesday 12th December
Ethiopia Information - Page 1
Geography
The Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia is a landlocked country in Eastern Africa. It is bordered by Kenya, Sudan, Eritrea, Djibouti and Somalia.

Addis Ababa is the capital. Other cities include Dire Dawa, Nazret, Gondar and Dessie.

The terrain consists of high plateau, mountains and dry lowland plains. The principal river is the Blue Nile.

The climate of Ethiopia is varied: temperate in the highlands and hot in the lowlands.

Environment
Protected areas in Ethiopia include Abiyata-Shalla National Park, Awash National Park, Bale Mountains National Park, Gambella National Park, Mago National Park, Nechi Sar National Park, Omo National Park, Simien National Park and Yangudi Rassa National Park.

The Lower Valley of the Awash, the Lower Valley of the Omo and Simien National Park are World Heritage sites.

Simien National Park is home to rare animals such as the Gelada Baboon, the Simien Fox and the Walia Ibex. The Ethiopian Wolf Programme, associated with Dr. Claudio Sillero-Zubiri, has its headquarters in the Bale Mountain National Park. Other animals found in Ethiopia are crocodiles, gazelles, giraffes, hippopotamuses, hyenas, leopards, lions and monkeys and zebras. Over four hundred species of birds have been recorded in the country.

Architecture
World Heritage sites in Ethiopia include the ruins of the city of Aksum, the Rock Hewn Churches of Lalibela, the fortified historic town of Harar Jugol and Fasil Ghebbi in the Gondar Region.

The ancient city of Aksum dates from between the first and the thirteenth centuries. Obelisks, royal tombs and the remains of ancient castles can be seen at the ruins.

Lalibela is the site of eleven monolithic cave churches dating from the thirteenth century. The most famous is carved in the shape of a cross.

The fortified historic town of Harar Jugol is a Muslim city built between the thirteenth and sixteenth centuries. There are over eighty mosques; three date from the tenth century.

The fortress-city of Fasil Ghebbi in the Gondar Region, founded by the Emperor Fasilides, was the country's capital in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Architecture in the city displays examples of Hindu, Arab and Baroque influences.

Population
The population of Ethiopia was estimated at 82,544,840 in 2008.

Languages
Amharic is the official language. Other languages include Tigrinya, Oromigna, Guaragigna, Somali, Arabic and English - the major foreign language taught in schools.

Religion
The majority of Christians in Ethiopia are Orthodox. Islam and traditional beliefs are also followed.

Food
The national dish of Ethiopia is a stew called wot. Wot is prepared using meat, fish or vegetables. The sauce contains coriander, garlic, ginger, onions, red peppers, cardamom, cloves, fennel seeds and nutmeg.

Meals are served with an unleavened bread (injera) made from teff grain.

Vegetables available are beetroot, carrots, cauliflower, cucumbers, leeks, lentil beans, potatoes, spinach, and tomatoes.

Fruits include bananas, citrus fruits, mangoes, melons, papayas, pineapples, plums and strawberries.

Coffee and tea are grown in Ethiopia. Beer, honey wine, and an alcoholic drink made from grain are produced locally.

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