Eritrea Travel Guide
A land of contrasts, Eritrea resembles somehow Zanzibar with its African and Arabic cultural mixture, colorful bazaars and last but not least its unique landscape.
Eritrea – Geography
Located on the western shores of the Red Sea, Eritrea is a small African country with two climatic areas: hot and dry along the Red Sea coast and in the west and a cooler and wetter climate in the central highlands and the eastern areas.
The local topography is strongly marked by the Great Rift Valley that literally splits the country in two. This mountain range is like a barrier in front of the humid winds determining the western slopes to be arid while the eastern ones remain green and fertile. The highest peak of the country is located in the Emba Soira Mountain (3018m) and the lowest is of -116m and is located in the Denakil Depression. The two major rivers in Eritrea are the Anseba and Tekeze, both flowing seasonally.
Eritrea also has several islands offshore, about 200 of them concentrated in the Dahlak Archipelago like the Dahlak Kebir and Nacura.
Eritrea – Flora and Fauna
Eritrea is a country concerned about the environment’s protection and this fact can be observed in the large protected areas present here. In this respect we must mention that the entire Red Sea coast is declared protected area as well as other places like the Dahlak Marine National Park located in the Dahlak Archipelago and the Semenawi Bahri National Park, known for its numerous bird species.
Eritrea – Tips for Tourists
For a trip to Eritrea you must know that usually a visa and a valid passport are required. You will also be requested to declare all foreign currency and electronic equipment.
The travelers are also advised to check with a local embassy or consulate office in order to receive the most accurate information.
The local currency is the Nafka and can be converted in any bank, hotel or exchange office form the capital city of Asmara or other main city.
Eritrea – Transports
Eritrea is a poor country thus transport infrastructure is not the best, still there are three international airports here, several railways, roads and ports to the Red Sea. The main airport is the Asmara International airport linking the country with the rest of Africa and the world. The country also has about 874 km of paved roads and highways and about 317 km of railways functioning here since 1930.
The main ports to the Red Sea are Asseb and Massawa operated by commercial ships as well as ferries and cruise ships.
Eritrea – Resorts
With such a multitude of natural and cultural tourist attractions and such convenient rates Eritrea is a great vacation destination.
Most of the tourists come here to dive in the extremely clear waters of the sea, for the wild life, for mountaineering and for meeting the Eritrean culture. If you are visiting the capital city, one of the best places to stay at is the Khartoum Hotel, a modern hotel located in the center of Asmara and offering all necessary facilities from fully equipped rooms to laundry service, restaurant and conference facilities.
For a vacation by the sea you can choose the Red Sea Hotel in Massawa, located nearby the beach and offering simple accommodation in an Italian inspired house. The hotel also offers numerous Italian dishes with delicious pasta and seafood.
Eritrea – Cuisine
The Eritrean traditional cuisine is a very spicy one having as main ingredients different types of meat, fish and seafood, cereals, vegetables and fruits. Some of the most common dishes here are the tsebhi, a lamb sauté with fresh vegetables, shiro, a sort of porridge, alicha birsen, a traditional dish of lentil curry and they also serve great coffee, considered to be a delicacy.
Eritrea will offer you a wonderful time once you have discovered its exotic shores, spectacular mountains and colored cities.
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