Ethiopia Geography

Ethiopia Geography

Following Eritrea’s independence, Ethiopia became a landlocked state, relying heavily on Djibouti for its maritime exports. With 1,127,127 km²), Ethiopia is the 27th largest country in the world. For comparative purposes, the extension of its territory is similar to that of Bolivia. Most of Ethiopia lies in the Horn of Africa, which is the eastern tip of Africa. To the west it borders Sudan, to the north with Djibouti and Eritrea, to the east with Somalia, and to the south with Kenya. The Great Rift Valley runs through the country from northeast to southwest, creating a depression zone that is a basin of several lakes. In the whole, the Ethiopian to the west, the Harar massif to the east and the Somali plateau on the extreme eastern slope stand out. Ethiopia’s hydrographic network comprises the Blue Nile, the Omo, the Awash, the Webbe Shibeli and the Genale. The most important lake is the Tana, since its outlet forms precisely the Blue Nile.


According to ITYPEJOB, Ethiopia is a country located in the Horn of Africa. It is bordered to the north by Eritrea, to the northeast by Djibouti, to the east by Somalia, to the south by Kenya and to the west by Sudan. Unique among African countries, Ethiopia has never been colonized, maintaining its independence throughout the Partition of Africa, except for a period of five years (1936 – 1941).

Territorial Political Division

Until 1995 Ethiopia was divided into 13 provinces (14 before Eritrea’s independence in 1993). Ethiopia currently has a tiered governmental system, consisting of a federal government, regional states, zones, districts (woredas), and counties (kebele). At present, Ethiopia is divided into 9 administrative regions based on ethnicity (astedader akababiwach, singular: astedader akabibi) and 2 cities with special status

  • Addis Ababa
  • Afar
  • Amhara
  • Benishangul / Gumaz
  • Dire Dawa
  • Gambela
  • Harar
  • Oromia 9 Somali
  • Nations, Nationalities and Peoples of the South

Geographic regions

Lake Tana

It is the largest lake in Ethiopia. It is approximately 84 kilometers long and 66 kilometers wide, and is located in the highlands in the northwest of the country, coordinates. The deepest depth of the lake is 15 meters, and it covers about 3000 km² at a height of 1840 meters. The lake receives its waters from the Reb and Gumara rivers and covers about 3,500km.

Dire Dawa

They enjoy a special status (astedader akabibi), the other being the capital, Addis Ababa). According to 2006 estimates, Dire Dawa has a population of 274,842, making it the second largest city in Ethiopia. The city is an industrial center, has several markets and an international airport.


Gōnder , ancient ‘Gandar, modern pronunciation Gondar) was the former imperial capital of Ethiopia and the historic province of Begemder. For this reason the ancient province of Begemder is often called Gondar. It is located in the Semien Gondar area of the Amhara region, Gondar is north of Lake Tana on the Angereb River.

Lower Awash Valley

The lower valley of the Awash has one of the most important sets of paleontological sites on the African continent. The hominid remains found at this site – some of which date back four million years – have provided essential data about the evolution of the human species, which have modified our view of human history. The most spectacular discovery took place in 1974, when 52 bone fragments were discovered that allowed the reconstitution of the skeleton of the famous “Lucy”.


Of the 160 archaeological sites discovered to date in the Sodo region, south of Addis Ababa, Tiya is one of the most important. It has 36 monuments, including 32 sculpted stelae with representations of swords and enigmatic symbols. These stelae are the vestiges of a protohistoric Ethiopian culture that has not been accurately dated.


Located near the northern border of Ethiopia, the ruins of the city of Axum mark the site of the center of Ethiopian power in ancient times, when the kingdom of the same name was the most powerful of the states between the Eastern Roman Empire and Persia.. The colossal ruins of Axum date from the 1st to 13th centuries and include monolithic obelisks, gigantic stelae, royal tombs and remains of ancient castles. Long after the political decline of the city was consummated (around the 10th century), the coronation ceremonies of Ethiopian emperors were still held in this city.

Lower Omo Valley

Located near Lake Turcana, the Lower Omo Valley is a world-famous prehistoric site. Numerous fossils have been found at this site – in particular, the remains of homo gracilis – which are of essential importance for the study of human evolution.

Rock-Hewn Churches of Lalibela

Located in a mountainous region in the heart of Ethiopia, in the vicinity of a traditional village of round houses, the eleven medieval churches of this 13th century “New Jerusalem” were carved and carved out of the rock. A sacred place of Ethiopian Christianity, Lalibela remains today a center of devotion and pilgrimage.

Fasil Ghebi – Gondar Region

The fortified city of Fasil Ghebi was the residence of the Ethiopian Emperor Fasilides and his successors in the 16th and 17th centuries. A 900-meter perimeter walled enclosure houses palaces, churches, monasteries and public and private buildings of a very peculiar style, marked by Arab and Indian influences and metamorphosed by the baroque aesthetics introduced in the Gondar region by the Jesuit missionaries.

Wall or jugol of Harrar, fortified historical city

The historic fortified city of Harrar is located on a plateau cut by deep gorges and surrounded by a landscape of savanna and desert areas. The walls that surround this Muslim city were built between the 13th and 16th centuries. Harrar has been said to be the fourth holy city of Islam, with 82 mosques – three of which date from the 10th century – and 102 shrines. The most remarkable aspect of the cultural heritage of this city is the exceptional design of the interior of its houses. The impact of African and Islamic traditions on the conception of habitat types and the urban planning plan has contributed to the particular and unique character of this city.

Ethiopia Geography