Ethiopia is located in Northeast Africa commonly known as the Horn of Africa with an area of 1,112,000 square kilometers, which is twice the size of Texas or five times the size of Britain.
There are two seasons. Dry season from October to May and the wet season from June to September. In the Southwest the main rainfall is from March to June with small rains in November. The highlands have an average of 16 degree centigrade during the day. However temperature depends on altitude.
The population is around 65 million. Ethiopia has a rich, complex and diverse human pattern with about 80 ethnic groups.
The official language is Amharic. Oromigina and Tigrigna are also widely spoken. English, Italian and Arabic are also understood among the local population.
The main feature of the topography is the highland (central plateau) varying from 2000m to 3000m with some mountains over 4000m. The mountains are the source of famous rivers like the Blue Nile (rising from lake Tana), the Awash, Omo and Wabesheble rivers.
Ethiopia is GMT+3 hour's time zone and follows Julien calendar, which is twelve month of 30 days each and a thirteen month of 5 days or 6 days in each leap year.
Ethiopian currency, Birr is divided into 1,5,10,50 and 100 notes as well as 1,5,10,25,50 cents coins.
The exchange rate is around Birr 8.50 to the US $1 (average). Cash in dollars is usually advised to carry for travelers outside the capital.
Visa is required for all foreign visitors, which can now be obtained on arrival to Ethiopia at the Bole International Airport for most visitors of European orign, the USA, Canada Australia & Newzealand.
There is no limit on importing foreign currency. However it should be declared on arrival. The foreign currency declaration form, filled on arrival serves to exchange currencies at the authorized banks, hotels and to re export the unchanged currency. You can import 2 litters of spirits, 200 cigarettes or 100 cigars duty free. Souvenirs can be exported but some need permit, which can be obtained from the Departement of Inventory and Inspection.