The information below contains geography information for Ethiopia, including climate, weather,
cities, and area information. You can also check out the
Ethiopia Country Page for additional
Area: 1.1 million sq. km (472,000 sq. mi.); about the size of Texas, Oklahoma, and
New Mexico combined.
Cities: Capital--Addis Ababa (pop. 2.3 million). Other cities--Dire Dawa (180,000), Harar (138,000), Dessie (105,000), Nazret (100,000), Bahir Dar (95,000), Awassa (90,000)
Terrain: High plateau, mountains, dry lowland plains.
Climate: Temperate in the highlands; hot in the lowlands.
Ethiopia is located in the Horn of Africa and is bordered on the north and northeast by Eritrea, on the east by Djibouti and Somalia, on the south by Kenya, and on the west and southwest by Sudan. The country has a high central plateau that varies from 1,800 to 3,000 meters (6,000 ft.-10,000 ft.) above sea level, with some mountains reaching 4,620 meters (15,158 ft.). Elevation is generally highest just before the point of descent to the Great Rift Valley, which splits the plateau diagonally. A number of rivers cross the plateau--notably the Blue Nile rising from Lake Tana. The plateau gradually slopes to the lowlands of the Sudan on the west and the Somali-inhabited plains to the southeast.
The climate is temperate on the plateau and hot in the lowlands. At Addis Ababa, which ranges from 2,200 to 2,600 meters (7,000 ft.-8,500 ft.), maximum temperature is 26o C (80o F) and
minimum 4o C (40o F). The weather is usually sunny and dry with the short (belg) rains
occurring February-April and the big (meher) rains beginning in mid-June and ending in mid-September.