interesting facts about Eritrea

15 Exciting Facts About Eritrea

Looking to increase your chances of being crowned the next pub quiz team winners? Brush up on your worldly knowledge, starting with these fun facts about Eritrea!

1. Eritrea is a wonderful corner of the world.

Eritrea is a beautiful, hot and sunny country in East Africa. It is bordered by Djibouti to the southeast, Ethiopia to the south and Sudan to the west; it also has a coastline along the Red Sea to the east.

To experience Eritrea for yourself, head for the coordinates of 15.3333° N, 38.9167° E.

2. The landscape really varies.

The terrain here is mixed, with coastal desert plains in the east, hills in the northwest, flat-to-rolling plains in the southwest and highlands in the south and centre.

3. It’s much smaller than Blighty.

The total land area of Eritrea is 46,774 square miles (121,144 square kilometers) – that’s around half the size of the UK.

Flag of Eritrea
Flag of Eritrea

4. It’s not too dense, either!

Eritrea’s population was roughly 3.684 million in 2022 – that’s less than a 1/15th of the UK population!

5. What’s the capital of Eritrea?

The capital is Asmara; it covers an area of 4,694 square miles (12,158 square kilometers) and had a population of 804,000 in 2015.

6. There’s a mix of dry and wet here.

Eritreans living in the west enjoy a semiarid climate, whilst those in the centre enjoy cooler and wetter weather, and those living along the coast experience a hot, dry, desert type climate.

7. In fact, Eritrea is close to the heat epicentre of the planet.

Eritrea boasts part of the Afar Triangle, also known as the Afar Depression, which is one of the hottest places on Earth!

8. Many, many species call the country home.

Despite having such a hot climate, Eritrea is home to elephants, manatees, aardvarks, bushbabies, hares, hedgehogs, panthers, lions, leopards, hyenas, polecats, foxes, wild dogs, donkeys, otters, warthogs, giraffes and gazelles!

9. Eritrea is also considered a coral capital.

Of the 250 species of coral found in Eritrea’s waters, around 20% are endemic and thus aren’t found anywhere else in the world!

Animal market, Keren, Eritrea
Animal market, Keren, Eritrea

10. It’s a multi-lingual country.

Eritrea doesn’t actually have an official language, however, Tigrigna, Arabic and English are the most commonly spoken.

11. Many countries have ‘owned’ Eritrea.

Eritrea has been ruled by Italy and the UK, before finally gaining independence from Ethiopia in 1993.

12. Head to the exchange!

Eritrean Nakfa is the official currency here.

Ghinda, Eritrea
Ghinda, Eritrea

13. No time to vote!

Since gaining independence, Eritrea has had several elections scheduled, but one has never actually been held!

14. You’re expected to live until retirement here.

The average life span here is 66.54 years. (2021)

15. Eritrea grows and exports all kinds of natural resources.

Eritrea grows vegetables, lentils, sorghum, cotton, corn, sisal and tobacco; they also rear livestock, including goats, and catch fish.

Its industry consists of food processing, beverages, light manufacturing, clothing, textiles, cement and salt.

The main exports include gold and other minerals, livestock, textiles, food, sorghum and small manufactures.

interesting eritrea facts

FAQs about Eritrea

What was Eritrea’s original name?

Eritrea, as a colony, has always had this name, however, it was broken away from the area of Asmara by the Italians in the 1800s.

Is Eritrea a safe country to visit?

Eritrea is actually considered one of the safest and friendliest countries in Africa for tourism, however, you should always take care.

Are there any dangers to be aware of when visiting Eritrea?

While Eritrea is largely safe for tourists, there are a few military and ‘forbidden’ areas where you are not allowed to cross - avoid the borders or risk breaking the law.

Do you know any fun facts about Eritrea? Share them in the comments below!

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This page was last modified on May 9, 2024. Suggest an edit

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