Ethiopia officially the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, is a country in the northeastern part of Africa, known as the Horn of Africa. It shares borders with Eritrea to the north, Djibouti to the northeast, the de facto state of Somaliland and Somalia to the east, Kenya to the south, South Sudan to the west and Sudan to the northwest. With over 102 million inhabitants, Ethiopia is the most populous landlocked country in the world and the second-most populous nation on the African continent with a total area of 1,100,000 square kilometres (420,000 sq mi). Its capital and largest city is Addis Ababa, which lies a few miles west of the East African Rift that splits the country into the Nubian and Somali tectonic plates.
The vegetation in a country with such different climatic zones as Ethiopia is enormously diverse. Of at least 7000 plant species, about twelve percent are endemic, whereas the Giant Lobelia is the most famous one.
Ethiopia is the country of origin of coffee and various cereals such as teff and also red ornamental bananas (false bananas) from whose roots various traditional foods are produced. In total, more than 20 different crops come from the country in northeastern Africa.
The teff flour in particular is of great importance in everyday life. From this, the sourdough-like bread called Injera is baked.
Thirty mammal species are found exclusively in Ethiopia, including the Ethiopian wolf, the Ethiopian Capricorn or the Sömmerring Gazelle. A special highlight for every visitor is the observation of the famous blood-breasted baboons (Dscheladas). The rare primate species is found exclusively in the highlands.
The bird-life of Ethiopia
Ethiopia is a worthwhile destination for any ornithologist and bird interested, with over 857 bird species. The country offers a number of different habitats in which numerous endemic bird species live, such as the Blue-winged Goose, the Rougets-Ralle, the Juniper Woodpecker, the Schoapaparroti, the Monk Spirol, the Erlanger lark, the white-backed, the Grey-breasted Girlitz, the Schwarzkopfgirlitz, the Stripe Astrild and many more.
Ethiopia has a large range of languages due to the large number of ethnic populations and peoples. A total of 83 recognised languages with over 200 dialects are spoken in Ethiopia. The official language is Amharic. English is the language of education and is spoken in secondary schools.
Ethiopia's nature plays a special role within Africa. Ethiopia is the highest country on the continent, along with Lesotho. 50 percent of the territory is higher than 1200 meters above sea level, more than 25 percent above 1800 meters above sea level. Around five percent even reaches a height of more than 3500 m.a.s.l. The highest mountain in the country is the Ras Dashen (Ras Dejen) at 4600 m above sea level. The Danakil Desert in the north-east of the country, with its numerous active volcanoes, is one of the hottest places in the world and at a depth of 120 m below sea level.