According to COUNTRYAAH, Eritrea is an East African state (121,100 km²). Capital: Asmara. Population: 4,675,000 residents (2008 estimate). Language: Arabic and Tigrinya (official), Italian. Religion: Muslims 69.3%, Coptic Orthodox 30.7%. Monetary unit: nakfa (100 cents). Human Development Index: 0.442 (164th place). Borders: Red Sea (NE and E), Djibouti (SE), Ethiopia (S), Sudan (S and SW). Member of: UN and AU, EU associate.
The name of this state probably derives from the Greek word éritros, which means “red”: this is how the Italian colonists called it at the end of the century. XIX due to its proximity to the Red Sea. After being Italian, Eritrea was a British colony and gained independence from neighboring Ethiopia in 1993, after a bloody war which, at the beginning of the new millennium, still has its negative influence on the life of the country. Since then, Eritrea has never experienced flourishing periods and at the beginning of the year 2000 it suffers from an economic backwardness that prevents any attempt at modernization; the war that broke out with Ethiopia in 1998 also intervened further blocking attempts at economic development. In the country, however, there is not only poverty and underdevelopment: the wealth of extraordinary archaeological sites unearthed in the second half of the twentieth century.
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Climatically there are big differences in Eritrea between the central highlands, the coastal regions and the western plains. In the East African country it is partly dry, partly there is a humid tropical climate and the climate differs mainly according to the altitude.
The coastal plain on the Red Sea is one of the world’s hottest areas. Temperatures along the coast are consistently high all year round; the annual average here is up to 30 ° C. In summer it is permanently hot with values of 40 ° C and more. Even at night a minimum of 25 ° C is reached. In winter, however, the temperatures drop noticeably. They can then even fall slightly below 20 ° C and “only” reach a maximum of 32 ° C.
On the northern coast there is a rainy season from December to February with low rainfall of 200 mm. Towards the south they decrease to 50 mm per year. In the Danakil Desert, almost no precipitation can be measured.
The central highlands around the capital Asmara are at 2,000 – 2,500 m and the location at this altitude results in a relatively temperate, mild climate almost all year round. Only in May and June it can get very hot on some days. At night, however, the thermometer drops rapidly to below 15 ° C. It gets coldest in December / January. Then the thermometer only reaches a little more than 20 ° C during the day. The night temperatures then drop to 5 ° C. Up to 600 mm of rain fall from the end of June to the beginning of September. Some short showers can also occur in March / April.
The western plains, in turn, have a similar climate to the northern coastal area.
Best time to travel to Eritrea
Due to the different climatic conditions in the individual regions of Eritrea, different times are recommended for a trip to the East African country.
European tourists should travel to the coastal regions and the western plains between November and March. Then there are pleasant temperatures there during the dry season and there is little precipitation. If you want to visit the coasts and western plains of Eritrea in the remaining months of the year, you should be able to tolerate the extreme heat.
The best time to travel to the central highlands is during the dry season from September to February.