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Eritrea

ERITREA TRAVEL GUIDE

Welcome to Eritrea, a country located in the Horn of Africa! Eritrea is a beautiful and fascinating country with a rich history and culture. From the rugged coastline of the Red Sea to the highlands of the interior, Eritrea offers visitors a range of diverse landscapes and experiences.

 

Eritrea gained independence from Ethiopia in 1993 and since then, the country has undergone significant development. Today, Eritrea is a bustling and vibrant country with a thriving economy, a rich cultural heritage, and a welcoming population.

 

One of the country's biggest attractions is its unique blend of African, Middle Eastern, and Mediterranean cultures, which is reflected in the food, music, and architecture. Eritrea is also home to a number of ancient ruins and historical sites, such as the ancient port city of Adulis and the ruins of the Aksumite Empire.

 

Visitors to Eritrea can enjoy a wide range of activities, from exploring the country's natural wonders, such as the Danakil Depression, to sampling its delicious cuisine and experiencing its vibrant nightlife.

 

Whether you are interested in history, culture, adventure, or simply soaking up the sun on one of Eritrea's many beautiful beaches, there is something for everyone in this enchanting country. So pack your bags and come discover the wonders of Eritrea!

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ERITREA QUICK FACTS

Capital: Asmara

Currency: Nakfa (ERN)

Area: total: 117,600 km2

Population: 3,214 million (2011)

Religion:Christianity (Eritrean orthodox Christian, Roman Catholic, Protestant), Islam

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ERITREA PUBLIC HOLIDAYS

  • 19 January, Timket (Feast of Epiphany)
  • 8 March, Women’s Day
  • 1 May, May Day
  • 24 May, Independence Day
  • 20 June, Martyrs’ Day
  • 1 September, Revolution Day

Business openings and work schedules may be significantly affected by Coptic Orthodox Christian and Islamic holidays and festivals.

FESTIVALS IN ERITREA

Eritrea

BEST TIME TO VISIT ERITREA

The best time to visit Eritrea depends on what you want to do and see during your trip. Eritrea has a hot and dry climate, with temperatures ranging from 25-35°C (77-95°F) throughout the year. The country has two main seasons: the dry season, which runs from November to May, and the rainy season, which runs from June to October.

 

If you are interested in outdoor activities, such as hiking, visiting national parks, or exploring the beaches, the best time to visit Eritrea is during the dry season. This is when the weather is at its most pleasant and the skies are clear. The months of December to February are particularly popular for tourists as the temperatures are more mild during the day and cooler at night.

 

However, if you are interested in seeing the country's flora and fauna, visiting during the rainy season can be a good option. The rains bring the countryside to life, with the hills and valleys turning green and lush. However, be aware that some areas may be difficult to access due to muddy roads and flooding.

 

Overall, the best time to visit Eritrea is between November and February when the weather is mild and the skies are clear. However, regardless of when you visit, Eritrea's rich culture, history, and natural beauty make it a fascinating destination all year round.

 

SAFETY IN ERITREA

Eritrea is generally considered a safe country to visit, with a low crime rate and a stable government. However, as with any travel destination, there are some safety considerations that visitors should keep in mind.

 

One of the main concerns for travelers is the possibility of terrorism. While there have been no recent terrorist attacks in Eritrea, the country is located in a volatile region and there is always a risk of terrorism.

 

Visitors should also be aware of the risk of petty crime, such as pickpocketing and theft. It is recommended to take basic precautions such as keeping valuables out of sight, avoiding carrying large sums of money, and being aware of your surroundings.

 

There are also certain areas of Eritrea that should be avoided due to the risk of landmines, particularly near the Ethiopian and Djibouti borders. Visitors should always stay on marked roads and paths, and avoid venturing off into remote areas without a local guide.

 

Overall, Eritrea is a relatively safe country to visit, and by taking basic precautions and following local advice, travelers can enjoy a safe and enjoyable trip.

ERITREA WEATHER SYNOPSIS

Hot, Dry Desert Strip Along Red Sea Coast; Cooler And Wetter In The Central Highlands (Up To 61 Cm Of Rainfall Annually, Heaviest June To September); Semiarid In Western Hills And Lowlands

Eritrea

ERITREA TOURIST SEASONS

Most destinations have different times of the year when they’re more or less popular with tourists. 

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Peak Season

Shoulder Season

Off Peak Season

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SPORT & ACTIVITIES

SNOW SPORT IN ERITREA

HIKING & CYCLING IN ERITREA

BEACH OPTIONS IN ERITREA

SURFING IN ERITREA

KITESURF IN ERITREA

Kitesurfing spot details and weather

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TRAVEL SAFETY IN ERITREA

Always consider the current safety risk of each destination and do not travel without travel / medical insurance

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HEALTH RISKS IN ERITREA

Be aware of possible health risks in 

Eritrea

Yellow fever - The yellow fever virus is found in tropical and subtropical areas of Africa and South America. The virus is spread to people by the bite of an infected mosquito. There is no medicine to treat or cure an infection. To prevent getting sick from yellow fever, use insect repellent, wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants, and get vaccinated.

Zika Virus - Zika is spread mostly by the bite of an infected Aedes species mosquito. These mosquitoes bite during the day and night. Zika can be passed from a pregnant woman to her fetus. Infection during pregnancy can cause certain birth defects. There is no vaccine or medicine for Zika.

Malaria - Malaria is a serious and sometimes fatal disease caused by a parasite that commonly infects a certain type of mosquito which feeds on humans. People who get malaria are typically very sick with high fevers, shaking chills, and flu-like illness. Although malaria can be a deadly disease, illness and death from malaria can usually be prevented.

Dengue - Dengue is spread mostly by the bite of an infected Aedes species mosquito. These mosquitoes bite during the day and night. About one in four people infected with dengue will get sick. For people who get sick with dengue, symptoms can be mild or severe.

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ERITREA TRAVEL COSTS

The cost of traveling to Eritrea can vary widely depending on several factors, including the duration of your trip, your mode of transportation, your accommodation, and your activities.

 

In general, Eritrea is considered to be an affordable travel destination, with prices for food, accommodation, and transportation generally lower than in many other countries.

  • Accommodation costs can range from budget-friendly guesthouses and hostels for around $10-20 per night, to mid-range hotels for $50-100 per night, and luxury accommodations for $150 or more per night.
  • Food is also relatively inexpensive in Eritrea, with local street food and cafes offering delicious meals for a few dollars, and more upscale restaurants serving meals for around $15-20 per person.
  • Transportation costs can vary depending on your mode of travel. Local buses and minibuses are the most affordable option, with fares starting from a few cents per ride. Taxis are also widely available and can be relatively inexpensive, depending on the distance you are traveling.
  • Finally, activities in Eritrea can also vary in cost depending on what you choose to do. For example, visiting historical sites such as the ancient port city of Adulis or the ruins of the Aksumite Empire will generally require an entrance fee, while activities such as hiking and exploring the country's national parks can often be done for free.

Overall, budget travelers can expect to spend around $20-30 per day, while mid-range travelers can expect to spend around $50-100 per day, and luxury travelers can expect to spend upwards of $150 per day or more.

ERITREA TRAVEL TIPS

Here are some travel tips for visiting Eritrea:

  • Plan ahead: Eritrea is a relatively off-the-beaten-path travel destination, so it's important to plan ahead and do your research before you go. Make sure you have all the necessary travel documents and visas, and familiarize yourself with the local customs and culture.
  • Dress appropriately: Eritrea is a conservative country, so it's important to dress modestly and respectfully. This means covering your shoulders and knees, and avoiding revealing or tight-fitting clothing.
  • Stay hydrated: Eritrea has a hot and dry climate, so it's important to stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water. Avoid drinking tap water and stick to bottled water or purified water.
  • Respect local customs and culture: Eritrea has a rich cultural heritage, so be respectful of local customs and traditions. For example, it's important to remove your shoes before entering a mosque or someone's home.
  • Be aware of your surroundings: Eritrea is generally a safe country, but it's important to be aware of your surroundings and take basic safety precautions. Avoid venturing into remote areas without a local guide, and keep valuables out of sight to avoid attracting unwanted attention.
  • Try the local cuisine: Eritrean cuisine is delicious and diverse, so be sure to try some of the local dishes during your visit. Injera, a type of sourdough flatbread, is a staple of Eritrean cuisine and is often served with a variety of stews and vegetables.
  • Learn some Tigrinya: Tigrinya is the most widely spoken language in Eritrea, so learning a few basic phrases can be helpful and appreciated by locals. Some common phrases include "Selam" (hello), "Amaseganallo" (thank you), and "Hade derfi" (goodbye).

By following these tips, you can have a safe and enjoyable trip to Eritrea and experience all the country has to offer.

SIGHTS & HIGHLIGHTS OF ERITREA

Eritrea is a country with a rich cultural and historical heritage, and there are several regions worth visiting. Here are some of the main regions and their highlights:

  • Asmara Region: Asmara is the capital city of Eritrea and is known for its Italian colonial architecture. Visitors can explore the city's many museums, cafes, and restaurants, as well as its lively markets and vibrant street life. The city is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is home to several historic buildings and landmarks.
  • Northern Red Sea Region: The Northern Red Sea Region is home to several popular tourist destinations, including the ancient port city of Massawa and the Dahlak Archipelago. Massawa is known for its Ottoman-era architecture and its bustling harbor, while the Dahlak Archipelago is a group of islands that offer stunning beaches and opportunities for snorkeling and diving.
  • Southern Red Sea Region: The Southern Red Sea Region is home to several national parks, including the Dankalia and Gash-Barka National Parks. Dankalia is known for its volcanic landscapes and salt flats, while Gash-Barka is home to several species of wildlife, including elephants, giraffes, and antelopes.
  • Central Region: The Central Region is home to several important historical sites, including the ancient city of Adulis and the ruins of the Aksumite Empire. Adulis was an important trading port in ancient times, and visitors can explore the ruins of its temples, palaces, and public buildings. The Aksumite Empire was one of the most powerful in ancient Africa and is known for its impressive obelisks and other architectural feats.
  • Western Region: The Western Region is known for its stunning mountain landscapes and its rich cultural heritage. Visitors can explore the traditional villages of the Tigray and Tigre ethnic groups, as well as the historic city of Keren, which was an important battleground during Eritrea's struggle for independence.

Overall, Eritrea has a wealth of cultural and natural attractions to explore, and visitors can enjoy a diverse range of experiences in each of its regions.

Here are some of the best things to see and do when visiting Eritrea:

  • Explore the capital city of Asmara: Asmara is a fascinating city with a rich cultural and historical heritage. Visitors can explore its many museums, cafes, and restaurants, as well as its lively markets and vibrant street life. The city is also known for its Italian colonial architecture, which can be seen in its many historic buildings and landmarks.
  • Visit the ancient port city of Massawa: Massawa is a popular tourist destination in Eritrea, known for its Ottoman-era architecture and its bustling harbor. Visitors can explore its many historic buildings and landmarks, as well as its lively markets and vibrant street life. The city is also a gateway to the nearby Dahlak Archipelago, a group of islands that offer stunning beaches and opportunities for snorkeling and diving.
  • Experience Eritrean culture: Eritrea has a rich cultural heritage, and visitors can experience it firsthand by attending cultural events and festivals, such as the Independence Day celebrations in May. Visitors can also explore traditional villages and learn about the customs and traditions of the Tigray, Tigre, and other ethnic groups that call Eritrea home.
  • Explore Eritrea's natural beauty: Eritrea has a diverse range of landscapes, from the mountains of the Western Region to the beaches of the Red Sea coast. Visitors can explore its many national parks, such as Dankalia and Gash-Barka, which offer opportunities for hiking, wildlife watching, and other outdoor activities.
  • Learn about Eritrea's history: Eritrea has a fascinating history, from its ancient Aksumite Empire to its struggle for independence from Ethiopia. Visitors can explore historic sites such as the ruins of the Aksumite Empire, the Martyrs' Cemetery in Asmara, and the battlefield in Keren.
  • Try the local cuisine: Eritrean cuisine is delicious and diverse, with influences from Ethiopian, Italian, and Middle Eastern cuisine. Visitors can try traditional dishes such as injera, tsebhi (stew), and zigni (spicy meat stew), as well as coffee and tea ceremonies.

By doing these activities, visitors can have a memorable and enjoyable experience in Eritrea while also learning about its culture and history.

Eritrea

WHAT TO EAT IN ERITREA

Eritrean cuisine is diverse and delicious, with a mix of African, Middle Eastern, and Italian influences. Here are some popular dishes to try when visiting Eritrea:

  • Injera: Injera is a sourdough flatbread that is a staple of Eritrean cuisine. It is made from teff flour and is usually served with stews and other dishes.
  • Zigni: Zigni is a spicy meat stew that is made with beef or lamb and a blend of spices, including berbere (a spice blend made with chili peppers, garlic, ginger, and other spices).
  • Tsebhi: Tsebhi is a thick stew that is usually made with chicken or beef and vegetables, such as onions, tomatoes, and peppers. It is often served with injera.
  • Ful: Ful is a dish made from fava beans that is popular for breakfast. It is usually served with bread and can be topped with eggs, tomatoes, and onions.
  • Shiro: Shiro is a chickpea or lentil stew that is often served with injera. It can be spicy or mild, depending on the seasoning.
  • Coffee: Coffee is an important part of Eritrean culture, and the country is known for its coffee ceremonies. Coffee is usually served with popcorn or peanuts.

In addition to these dishes, there are many other delicious Eritrean dishes to try, such as kitcha fitfit (a dish made from shredded injera), tegamino (a spicy egg dish), and alicha (a mild vegetable stew).

LGBTQ IN ERITREA

Eritrea

WHERE TO STAY IN ERITREA

When visiting Eritrea for the first time, it is recommended to stay in Asmara, the capital city. Asmara has a range of accommodation options to suit different budgets and preferences, from budget guesthouses to luxury hotels. Some popular options include:

  • Hotel Asmara Palace: This is a luxury hotel located in the heart of Asmara, with beautiful views of the city. It offers a range of amenities, including a pool, spa, and fitness center.
  • Sunshine Hotel: This is a mid-range hotel located in the center of Asmara, within walking distance of many attractions. It offers comfortable rooms and a restaurant serving Eritrean and international cuisine.
  • Crystal Hotel: This is a budget hotel located in the heart of Asmara, close to many shops, restaurants, and cafes. It offers clean and comfortable rooms at an affordable price.
  • Embasoira Hotel: This is a boutique hotel located in the center of Asmara, with a rooftop terrace offering stunning views of the city. It offers comfortable rooms and a restaurant serving Eritrean and Italian cuisine.
  • Baro Hotel: This is a budget hotel located in the center of Asmara, close to many attractions. It offers clean and comfortable rooms at an affordable price, as well as a restaurant serving Eritrean and international cuisine.

No matter which accommodation option you choose, staying in Asmara will give you easy access to the city's many attractions and allow you to explore the rest of the country from a central location.

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