Ethiopia Geography

Geography in Ethiopia

Ethiopia lies in East Africa above the equator. With an area of over 1.1 million km², Ethiopia is one of the ten largest countries in Africa. In the north Ethiopia borders on Eritrea, in the west on Sudan or South Sudan, in the south on Kenya and in the southeast to east on the countries Somalia, Djibouti and Eritrea.

Due to the altitude (50% of the land area is over 1200 m high), Ethiopia’s landscape has a pronounced low mountain range character with steep relief and breaks at the plateau borders and river cuts. Most of Ethiopia is occupied by the highlands of Abyssinia, in which the capital Addis Ababa is located at around 2370 meters above sea level. The highest mountain of the highlands is the Ras Daschän with a summit height of 4533 m. The Great African Rift Valley runs through the middle of the country in a north-east-south-west direction, on the south-east side of which the Somali highlands join. A special feature is the Koba depression (or Afar depression) on Lake Karum west of the border with Eritrea,

A large part of the rainfall that falls mainly in the Abyssinian highlands is absorbed by Lake Tana, which releases its excess water to the blue Nile. Ethiopia is thus part of the main catchment area of the Nile. Further outflows take place via the Awash, Juba and Ganale into the Gulf of Aden.

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Flora and fauna in Ethiopia

Due to the varied topography and the different climatic conditions associated with it, Ethiopia is home to a diverse flora and fauna. A wide variety of habitats have established themselves here, from deserts and savannahs to evergreen wet forests to high alpine regions. As one of the eight so-called gene centers on earth, the Ethiopian flora comprises around 7,000 higher plant species, of which around twelve percent are endemic to Ethiopia. Ethiopia is the country of origin of coffee and various types of grain, such as teff, as well as the ornamental banana (ensete). Over 20 different cultivated plants come from this country. Typical tree species in Ethiopia are the umbrella acacia, the baobab, juniper and the sycamore fig tree. Extreme deforestation at the beginning of the 20th century had already led to that the thinned stands were replaced with fast-growing eykalyptus, which is the most widespread tree species in Ethiopia today. The situation is similar with the mimosa Prosopis, which was settled in parts of the Afar region. The undergrowth known as Kolla, to which the intoxicating Kathstrauch and the myrrh also belong, consists mainly of thorn bushes and desert bushes. In the temperate zones, savannah grasses form the tree-poor grassland. consists mainly of thorn bushes and desert shrubs. In the temperate zones, savannah grasses form the tree-poor grassland. consists mainly of thorn bushes and desert shrubs. In the temperate zones, savannah grasses form the tree-poor grassland.

Among the numerous animal species, 30 mammal species, 23 bird species and other reptile and amphibian species are endemic to Ethiopia. These include the Ethiopian wolf, the Ethiopian ibex, the Ethiopian highland hare, the summer ring gazelle, the dschelada and the mountain nyala, the ore raven, the blue-winged goose, the rougets ralle and the klunkeribis. Most of these animals can only be seen in the designated national parks. The great kudu, Grant’s gazelle, hartebeest and plains zebra are still available here in sufficient numbers. The African wild ass, which is also native to Ethiopia, is now threatened with extinction. In addition to a lush, made up of flamingos, herons, snipes, pigeons, helmet guinea fowl, bustards, partridges, hornbills, eagles.

Flora in Ethiopia

National parks and nature conservation in Ethiopia

In Ethiopia, over 100 protected areas have been designated in the last 80 years to protect the unique nature, 15 of which have national park status:

The Gambela National Park, an approx. 5000 km² wetland in the western lowlands of Ethiopia;

The Kafta Sherao National Park on the Tekeze River, which is also 5000 km² in size, and the Simien National Park in northern Ethiopia, which is part of the Unesco World Heritage Site because of its impressive mountain landscape ;

The desert-like, 4731 km² Yangudi-Rassa National Park and the Awash National Park, shaped by the Fantale volcano , in the Afar region north of the capital Addis Ababa;

The 2665 km² Alatish National Park established on the border with Sudan in 2006 ;

The 2500 km² large Yabello National Park and the approximately equal size, as well as the Nechisar National Park and the Maze National Park, in southwest Ethiopia, the 2100 km² large Mago National Park, which is located in the southwestern savannah of Ethiopia on the Mago River and is inhabited by the Mursi as well as the nearby Chebera Churchura National Park, the Abijatta Shalla National Park located in the East African Rift Valley in the Oromia region on an area of 887 km² on the lakes of the same name and the 2500 km² large Bale Mountains in the mountains -National Park as well as the Omo National Park in the southeast with the highest animal density in Ethiopia on the Omo River on an area of approx. 4000 km² ;

The Geraille National Park, located in the very south of Ethiopia in the Somali region.

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