Ethiopia Political System, Famous People, Animals and Plants

By | January 15, 2023

Ethiopia: Political System

According to CANCERMATTERS.NET, Ethiopia is a federal republic. The bicameral parliament consists of the “Council of People’s Deputies” (Shengo) with 548 members, who are elected every 5 years, and the regional council with 117 appointed members. The head of state is elected every 5 years by parliament. See AbbreviationFinder for more information about Ethiopia politics, and acronyms as well. The official name of the country is:

Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia

National anthem

Whedefit Gesgeshi Woude Henate Ethiopia (“March on, dear mother Ethiopia”) has been the Ethiopian national anthem since 1992. Dereje Melaku Mengesha wrote the lyrics and Solomon Lulu Mitiku wrote the melody.

In English

In English In the English translation
Respect for citizenship is strong in our Ethiopia;National pride is seen, shining from one side to another.

For peace, for justice, for the freedom of peoples,

in equality and in love we stand united.

Firm of foundation, we do not dismiss humanness;

We are people who live through work.

Wonderful is the stage of tradition, mistress of proud heritage,

mother of natural virtue, mother of a valorous people.

We shall protect you – we have a duty;

Our Ethiopia, live! And let us be proud of you!

We really appreciate being citizens of our Ethiopia,our national pride shines far and wide.

For peace, justice, for the freedom of peoples,

we stand united in equality and love.

On a solid basis we do not despise humanity,

we are people who live off work.

The preservation of tradition, master of the proud inheritance,

mother of natural virtue, mother of a brave people is wonderful.

We must protect you – we have a duty,

our Ethiopia, live! Let us be proud of you!

National flag

The national flag (country flag) of Ethiopia was officially introduced on February 6, 1996 and changed somewhat on August 28, 2009.

Based on flag descriptions by, the colors of the flag are interpreted as follows:

– Green symbolizes the fertility of the land of the country.

– Yellow stands for love for the fatherland.

– Red represents the blood that was shed in the struggle for independence.

  • Check top-mba-universities for public holidays, sports events, UNESCO world heritage sites and major places to visit in Ethiopia.

The emblem in the middle of the flag with the pentagram – the Drudenfoot – and with “rays” of equal length symbolizes the equality of all ethnic groups as well as genders and beliefs. The rays represent a bright future for Ethiopia and the blue background stands for peace and democracy.

Ethiopia: Known People

Politicians and rulers

Haile Selassie (1892 to 1975)

According to legend, the last Ethiopian emperor was a descendant of King Solomon and Queen of Sheba and therefore adorned himself with titles such as “Lion of Judah” and “Chosen One of God”. The Caribbean movement of the Rastafari, whose name is derived from its original name Ras Tafari Makonnen, made him their idol. Emperor Haile Selassi (1892-1975) ruled from 1916 to 1930 and then again from (1941-1974). When parts of the Ethiopian army revolted alongside the students in 1974, the emperor, who was murdered on August 27, was overthrown under the leadership of Major Mengistu Haile Mariam. Mengistu Haile Mariam ruled the country as head of state from 1977 to 1991. Both of his predecessors had been murdered.

Sahle-Work Zewde (born 1950)

Sahle-Work Zewde was born on February 21, 1950 in Addis Ababa. On October 25, 2018, she was unanimously elected by the Ethiopian parliament as the first woman president of the country, whereby her function – comparable to the German Federal President – is for the most part representative. Zewede is her father’s name as surnames are uncommon in the country.

Abiy Ahmed (born 1976)

Abiy Ahmed was born on August 15, 1976 in Beshasha, Gomma, Ethiopia. He has been Prime Minister of the country since April 2, 2018. On October 11, 2019, he received the Nobel Peace Prize in particular for his reconciliation with Eritrea.


  • Gezahegne Abera (born 1978)The athlete won 2000 Olympic gold in the marathon.
  • Kenenisa Bekele (born 1982)At the 2005 World Championships in Helsinki, Bekele won the 10,000 m in 27: 08.33 minutes. At the 2007 World Championships, Bekele won the gold medal in the 10,000 m in 27: 05.89 minutes. At the Olympic Games in Beijing in 2008, Bekele was double Olympic champion in 27: 05.89 minutes and 5,000 m in 12: 57.82 minutes – each with new Olympic record times. At the 2009 World Championships in Athletics in Berlin, he won the gold medal with 26: 46.31 minutes in the 10,000 m run and a few days later also the gold medal in the 5,000 m run in 13: 17.09 minutes.
  • Abebe Bikila (1932 to 1973)The athlete won Olympic gold in the marathon in 1960 and 1964.
  • Meseret Defar (born 1983)The athlete won Olympic gold over 5,000 m in 2004.
  • Haile Gebreselassie (born 1973)The athlete won Olympic gold over 10,000 m in 1996 and 2000. He also won the Berlin Marathon several times.
  • Fatuma Roba (born 1973)The athlete won Olympic gold in the marathon in 1996.
  • Derartu Tulu (born 1972)The athlete won Olympic gold in the 10,000 m in 1992 and 2000.
  • Mamo Wolde (1932 to 2002)The athlete won Olympic gold in the marathon in 1968.
  • Millon Wolde (born 1979)The athlete won 2000 Olympic gold over 5,000 m.
  • Miruts Yifter (born 1944)The athlete won Olympic gold over 5,000 m and 10,000 m in 1980.

Ethiopia: Sightseeing


Addis Ababa

Addis Abeda is the capital and largest city of Ethiopia with around 3 million residents. In addition to its function as the capital, it is also important as the country’s economic capital; it has also been the seat of the UN Economic Commission for Africa since 1958 and the seat of the Organization for African Unity since 1963. But strong contrasts shape the cityscape: The other side of the wide boulevards, modern luxury hotels, spacious squares and forest areas is a great poverty that you have to see and endure everywhere in the city.


Awasa is a larger town on Lake Awasa and has around 125,000 residents.

Arba Minch

Arba Minch is a town on Lake Abaya and Chamo with approx. 72,000 residents. Translated, Arba Minch means “forty sources”.

Bahir Dar

With about 202,000 residents, Ethiopia’s third largest city is also the capital of the Amhara province. The city, located at an altitude of around 1,840 m, spreads out on the south bank of Lake Tana and on the Blue Nile, whose water is stored at the eastern end of the city by a dam. There is an airport and a university in Bahir Dar. Not far from the city is one of the palaces of Haile Selassie. The Tisissat waterfalls are also 30 km away.

Dire Dawa

Ethiopia’s second largest city – after Addis Ababa, of course – extends to the north of the country and is located on the railway line between Addis Ababa and Djibouti City. Together with Harar and Jijiga, Dire Dawa forms the second most important economic conurbation in the country after the capital. The city, which also has an airport, currently has around 344,000 residents.

Gonder (also Gondar)

Gonder, the capital of the mountainous Amhara region at 2,130 m above sea level, has a population of around 340,000. Gonder was the country’s capital between 1636 and 1855. This former fame is still reflected today in the many churches and castles. The latter have both Portuguese and Moorish and Indian influences. Gonder also has an airport and a university.


The capital of the Harari region is located in the southeast of Ethiopia and rises at an altitude of about 1,850 meters in the Ahmer Mountains. Harar, where an estimated 132,000 people currently live, is the fourth holiest city for Ethiopian Muslims – after Mecca, Medina and Jerusalem, as can be seen from the countless mosques and shrines. The former “Timbuktu of the East” with its walled old town has been on the UNESCO World Heritage List since 2006. A really fantastic drive to town is the serpentine road from Dire Dawa up to Harar.

Buildings and markets

Great Ethiopian Renaissance Dam

The Great Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) is a huge newly constructed dam located about 40 km east of the border with Sudan.

It has a length of 1,780 m and a height of 155 m, making it the largest dam in Africa. With the dam located in the north of Ethiopia on the upper reaches of the Blue Nile not far from the border with Sudan – with a volume of up to 74 billion cubic meters of water – and two connected hydropower plants with an output of around 6,000 MW (megawatts), the country’s electricity production is to multiply and thus the industrialization and economic development of the country are advanced. The inlet and outlet of the dam is the Blue Nile.

The area of the dam is about 1,870 km², depending on the amount of water.

The maximum length of the dam is 245 km and the maximum water depth is 140 m.

The dam with the dam is not only highly controversial for ecological reasons, but has also caused political tensions in the region for years. Egypt in particular sees this as a major threat to the water supply of the Nile, which is considered the country’s irreplaceable lifeline for a reason.

Abbis Mercato in Addis Ababa

The Mercato in the Addis Ketema district is the largest market in the Ethiopian capital. Anyone who visits the market, whose name still recalls the Italian occupation from 1936 to 1941, gets to know the largest open-air marketplace in all of Africa. It offers work to no fewer than 13,000 people. In addition to food and clothing, household items, electronics and much more are on offer, with all goods arranged thematically. The market is open six days a week. It is closed on Sundays.

Africa Hall of Addis Ababa

The Africa Hall, a magnificent building in Ethiopia’s capital, served for many years as the headquarters of the Organization for African Unity, which was also founded in the Africa Hall in 1963. The building is particularly impressive for its monumental stained glass, which was painted in 1958 by the well-known Ethiopian artist Afewerk Tekle. They are supposed to symbolize the past, the present and the future of Africa.

Churches and mosques

Al-Anwar Mosque in Addis Ababa

The Al-Anwar Mosque in Addis Ababa is well worth seeing and is in good proximity to the Abbis Mercato and the Cathedral of the Holy Family.


Cathedral of Addis Ababa The Trinity Cathedral – in the local language “Mannebärä-Tsäba’ot-Aga’ïstä-Aläm-Qiddus-Sïllase Cathedral” – is an architectural work from 1941. The Christian church commemorates the liberation from the Italian occupation which had been granted from 1936 to 1941. Anyone who gets lost in the crypt will also find the crypt of the famous emperor Haile Selassie I there.

Friday Mosque of Harar

The interesting Friday Mosque of Harar is located within the old city walls. It was built in the 17th century and impresses with its two large, white minarets.

St. George’s Cathedral in Addis Ababa

The modern St. George’s Cathedral in Addis Ababa – with its real name Gännätä-Tsige-Mänagäscha-Qïddus-Gïyorgis – was dedicated to the national saint of Ethiopia and was built in 1896. It was commissioned by Emperor Menelik II. The architect Sebastian Castagna designed it in the traditional octagonal shape. With the sacred building, the emperor wanted to commemorate his triumph over the Italians he had defeated at Adwa. Ironically, the captured Italians also had to build the church themselves. The cathedral, which was burned down by Italian fascists in 1937, was restored in 1941 and now houses a museum with a considerable collection of religious works of art.

Marienkirche in Addis Ababa

The Marienkirche can be found on a 3,000 meter high plateau of the mountain Entoto, at the foot of which the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa spreads out. The church – actually called Entoto Maryam – was built in 1885 and can be seen from all over the city.

Medhane Alam in Harar

The orthodox church Medhane Alam was built at the end of the 19th century and designed in an octagonal shape. It can be found on Ras Makonnen Square, which can be reached by following the main street of the city and swapping the new and old parts of Harar through the Shoah gate.

Menelik Mausoleum of Addis Ababa

In the old Baata Church you will find the Menelik Mausoleum, which not only serves as a final resting place for emperors and princes, but also for martyrs. In addition to the emperor Menelik II, for whom it was also built, it houses the remains of other members of his family.

Medieval sacred buildings on the islands of Lake

Tana There are around 30 islands in Lake Tana, depending on the water level. Twenty of these islands have monasteries, some of which date back to the 14th century.

Museums, theaters and universities

Entoto Museum in Addis AbabaThe Entoto Museum is located on the mountain of the same name, at the foot of which the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa extends. There is a very interesting historical exhibition to be seen there.

Ethnological Museum of Addis AbabaThe ethnological museum of Addis Ababa is well worth seeing and belongs to the main campus of the university and may only be entered with a passport, ID card or an international student ID. All exhibits are good and presented in English.

Hager Fikir Theater of Addis AbabaThis is the oldest theater in Addis Ababa and one of the oldest indigenous theaters on the “Black Continent”. The theater, which was founded in 1935, rises in the historic district of Piazza and is kept alive by 40 actors and singers who, in addition to European, of course, also perform traditional Ethiopian works.

Arthur Rimbaud Museum in HararArthur Rimbaud, the famous French poet, lived in Harar from 1881 to 1890. He is remembered with a small museum that is housed in a lovingly restored wooden house from the 19th century.

National Museum of Addis AbabaOn three floors in the National Museum of Addis Ababa, vestments, art, photographs and archaeological objects are exhibited in a sometimes very peculiar and involuntarily funny way. One of the highlights is the skeleton of Lucy, the bones’ of an australopithecus afarensis, which is one of the best preserved skeletons of an early real human.

University of Addis AbabaThe state university of Addis Ababa has existed since 1950, only at that time it was still called the University College of Addis Ababa. In total, it is divided into seven locations, six of them in Addis Ababa and one in Debre Zeyit, a city about 45 kilometers away. The main building of the university is well worth seeing. The rather impressive building was used as a palace by none other than Emperor Haile Selassie I.

natural beauties

Awash National ParkIn addition to the species-rich fauna, the park also has impressive waterfalls and the Fantale volcano.

Bale National ParkLocated in the southern highlands between 1,500 and 4,377 m above sea level, the nature reserve with its large number of habitats has a particularly rich bird life.

Entoto von Addis AbabaThe Entote is the mountain, at the foot of which the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa extends. At an altitude of 3,000 meters you will find a plateau from which you can enjoy a gigantic view over the whole city. The St. Mary’s Church and the Entoto Museum are also located on the mountain.


Langano, at 1,582 above sea level, is one of the few Ethiopian lakes where you can swim safely and not have to worry about schistosomiasis. The fact that the water is reddish brown doesn’t have to scare you. This color indicates the high proportion of soda in the water. The Langano is also not too far away from the Abijatta-Shala National Park, which makes it a pleasant excursion destination. In addition, three hotel complexes have settled on its banks, which is also not uninteresting for tourists.

Mago National Park

The reserve serves to protect large mammals such as giraffes, buffalo and elephants.

Nech-Sar National Park

The extensive grass plains and light jungle areas of this wonderful national park are home to greater kudu, zebras, monkeys, antelopes, lions and gazelles. The Nech Sar National Park can be found in southwest Ethiopia. It borders on Lake Abaya and Lake Chamo, the latter also being home to hippos, crocodiles, pelicans and marabous. You should definitely consider taking a boat trip to the crocodile market. Despite the name crocodile market, no crocodiles are traded here, it is only a matter of the occurrence of a particularly large number of crocodiles.

Omo National Park Herds of buffalo, antelopes and elephants as well as lions and leopards live

in the 4,068 km ² park.

Shala Abijata National Park

The 887 km² park is located between 1,540 and 2,075 m altitude in the Rift Valley, not far from the red-brown Langano Lake. The national park is especially popular because of its fascinating bird life.

Sof Omar Grottoes

This is said to be the most extensive cave system in the world.

Tisissat waterfalls (also Tis Issat falls)

With the Tisissat waterfalls of the Blue Nile, Ethiopia can be proud of the second largest waterfalls in Africa. The 42-meter-high, bubbling giant plunges into the depths near the village of Tis Issat, about 30 kilometers from Bahir Dar, and is by far the largest tourist attraction in the country. The oldest stone bridge in Ethiopia can also be found near the waterfalls. It was completed in 1626.

Danakil, Dallol and salt caravans desert

The approximately 175,000 km² Danakil Desert is located on the coast of the Red Sea in the Afar Triangle and includes Ethiopia, Djibouti and Eritrea. The region is geologically very active, for example the volcanoes Erta Ale, Asavyo and Dabbahu are located here. The Dallol thermal area is also worth mentioning. From a geological point of view, the region is a dry seabed that is located in the East African Rift Valley and continues to sink due to tectonic processes. The Red Sea is still held back by a narrow mountain range.

Afdera salt lake

The approximately 100 km² Afdera salt lake is about 100 m below sea level and has roughly the same salinity as the Dead Sea. Along with Lake Karum and Lake Bakili, it is one of the three salt lakes in the Afar region in Ethiopia.

Bakili Salt Lake

The 40 km² Bakili Salt Lake is an almost round lake in the Afar region of Ethiopia and, along with the Afdera Salt Lake and the Karum Salt Lake, is one of three salt lakes in the Afar region. three salt lakes in the north of the Danakil Depression next to the neighboring somewhat larger Karumsee and the Afrerasee. It is 116 m below mean sea level.

Karum Salt Lake

The 50 km² Karum Lake is an elongated lake in the Afar region of Ethiopia at the lowest point of the country in the Koba Depression. Along with the Afdera salt lake and the Bakili lake, it is one of three salt lakes in the Afar region. It is about 115 m below sea level. In the northern third of the lake are three islands, one of which is called Maraho Karum. The lake is extremely salty and is surrounded by a salt pan, which is still mined today and transported away by caravans.

The Dallol

The approximately 4 km² large Dallol area is still little known, difficult to reach and is still considered one of the greatest natural wonders on earth. It is an exceptional geothermal area. It rises about 30 m from a salt flat, which is about 120 m below sea level.

It is located in the Danakil Depression in northeast Ethiopia in the immediate vicinity of the border with Eritrea. The depression is around 110 m below sea level. The region is a desert with large cones, lava lakes and sulfur springs.

The highest mean annual temperatures on earth are registered here. In 1926 there was an explosion here, which had formed a 30 m crater. Currently, however, local activity is limited to a large number of hot salt water springs. Hot groundwater dissolves minerals as it ascends through the 1,000 m thick salt and anhydrite layers, which are deposited again on the surface and form different shapes and which are given their characteristic white, yellow and red color by the sulfur and various potassium salts. The temperature of the springs at the outlet is about 70 °C, and is extremely acidic with a pH value of less than 1.

Erta Ale volcano

The Erta Ale is a 615 m high shield volcano in northeast Ethiopia. It lies on the rift zone of the East African Rift Valley. The volcano is one of the six volcanoes in whose caldera there is an active lava lake. A caldera is a cup-shaped structure of volcanic origin.

It has a diameter of 50 m and is 85 m deep. The Erta Ale belongs to the volcanic chain of the same name, the highest volcano of which is the Ale Bagu with a height of 1,030 m. It is interesting that the lava of the lake has solidified on the surface and broken into thin plates by convection, which drift over the lake.

In the region you can find fascinating lava formations, which certainly stimulate the imagination of the visitors to discover all kinds of figures in the lava field.

Lake Tana

Lake Tana, also known as Lake Tsanasee or Dembeasee, is the highest lake in Africa and the largest lake in Ethiopia. It has an area of around 3,000 km² and spreads at an altitude of around 1,830 meters in the Ethiopian highlands, around 370 kilometers from the capital Addis Ababa. In Lake Tana there are – depending on the water level – around 30 islands, of which twenty of these islands have monasteries, some of which date back to the 14th century.

Ethiopia: animals


Most of the animals in Ethiopia can mostly only be observed in national parks, as the biodiversity of wild animals has otherwise been severely decimated. There are typical African mammals such as giraffes, elephants, hippos, buffalo, various antelope species, lions, leopards, hyenas and some species of monkeys, including the southern green monkey.


Ibex The Ethiopian Ibex (Capra walie) belongs to the genus of goats (Capra) in the family of horned goats (Bovidae). With a head-trunk length between 95 and 135 cm and a shoulder height between 90 and 100 cm, the animals do not quite reach the size of the Alpine ibex and are also somewhat slimmer. Their weight is between 80 and 120 kg, with the females being significantly smaller. Their coat color is mostly chestnut brown to gray-brown, with the males being a little darker than the females. The Ethiopian ibex is endemic to northern Ethiopia – so it only occurs here.

The horns of the males are very long with a length of up to about 110 cm and are saber-shaped bent backwards. The horns of the females, on the other hand, only reach a length of 30 to 35 cm and are only slightly curved. Here the animals are only found in a small population in the Simien Mountains National Park, which has altitudes from 1,900 to over 4,500 m. Since the animals live in relatively inaccessible regions, with the exception of the spotted hyena they hardly have any natural enemies. Young animals, on the other hand, can become prey for foxes or larger birds of prey.

Dschelada baboon

The Dschelada baboon (Theropithecus gelada) – also known as blood breast baboon – belongs to the genus Theropithecus in the subfamily of cheek pouch monkeys (Cercopithecinae) in the family of vervet monkeys (Cercopithecidae). The animals get their name from a striking red and hairless patch on their chest. In males it has the shape of an hourglass and becomes bright red during the rutting season, in females a row of red warts forms there while they are ready to conceive. The animals have a brown fur, which is lighter colored on the belly. The animals reach a head-trunk length between 50 and 75 cm, the tail is as long as the body and ends in a kind of tassel.

The weight of the males is between 15 to 20 kg, while the females reach between 10 to 14 kg. The males have an impressive mane. The animals are found exclusively in the highlands of Ethiopia, where they inhabit mountainous grassy areas at an altitude of 2,200 to over 4,400 m. The jeladas are pure ground dwellers who retreat to sleep in crevices or narrow gorges, while they are busy looking for food during the day. The females reach sexual maturity at the age of 4 to 5 years and the males at 5 to 8 years. The gestation period lasts around five to six months. The young are suckled for around a year and a half.

Ethiopian highland

hare The Ethiopian highland hare (Lepus starcki) belongs to the genus of the real hare (Lepus) in the family of the hares (Leporidae). This type of hare reaches a head-trunk length of about 50 cm – with a weight of up to about 3 kg.

According to their name, the animals live in a small area in mountainous regions with an altitude of around 2,200 and 4,400 m. They feed on grasses, leaves and herbs. Their most important natural enemies are small predators such as foxes and birds of prey, but also the Ethiopian wolf

Ethiopian hare

The Ethiopian hare (Lepus fagani) belongs to the genus of the real hare (Lepus) in the family of the hares (Leporidae). The animals live at altitudes between 500 and 2,500 m on steppes, grasslands and in grass-rich wooded areas in the western Ethiopian highlands, where they are endemic, i.e. only occur here. Their most important natural enemies are small predators such as foxes and birds of prey, as well as the Ethiopian wolf

Mountain nyala

The mountain nyala (Tragelaphus buxtoni) is a species of antelope that was only discovered by western scientists in 1910. The animal belongs to the genus Tragelaphus in the family of horned bearers (Bovidae). The animals have a gray-brown fur with a lighter belly side. The females (cows) reach a head-trunk length between 190 and 200 cm – with a weight of 150 to 200 kg. They don’t have horns. The horn-bearing males (bucks) reach a head-trunk length between about 240 to 260 cm – with a weight of 180 to 300 kg and are therefore almost twice as heavy as the females. The female of the mountain nyala gives birth to a young after a gestation period of about 7 to 8 months, which can stand and walk after a few hours. The range of the animals currently only covers an area of 150 km² in the highlands of Ethiopia, where the animals inhabit mountain forests at altitudes between 2,500 and 3,500 m. There are now only under 3,000 animals – including many in the Bale Mountains National Park, so that the IUCN has classified the mountain nyala as threatened.

Ethiopian Wolf

The Ethiopian Wolf (Canis simensis) belongs to the genus in the family. The animals reach a head-trunk length between about 85 and 110 cm – with a weight of about 12 to 20 kg. This is roughly the size of a medium-sized dog. This wolf is the rarest wolf species in the world. The animals live in packs of around 10 to 20 animals. The wolves can be found in about seven, mostly treeless regions of the Ethiopian highlands, mostly at an altitude of over 3,000 m. The lead bitch of a pack gives birth to between two and six young between October and December. The adult animals have no natural enemies. And, as unfortunately so often, the greatest danger comes from humans, as their herds of cattle destroy the mountainous nature and their dogs can transmit the deadly rabies virus.

African wild ass

The African wild ass (Equus asinus) belongs to the genus Equus in the family of horses (Equidae). The animals reach a head-trunk length of 180 to about 210 cm, a shoulder height of 110 to 140 cm, a tail length of 45 cm, and a weight of 250 to 275 kg. The animals are colored gray-brown on their upper side and can turn red in summer. The stomach and legs are usually lighter – almost whitish. Usually they have a dark stripe on the back, the so-called eel line. Every now and then one or two horizontal stripes appear in the shoulder area, while the legs have noticeable stripes. The animals are both diurnal and nocturnal and feed mainly on dry and thorny desert plants, but also on various grasses. The female is sexually mature at around one and a half years, but usually only gives birth to her first foal at two to three years of age. Stallions reached sexual maturity at the age of two. The well-known domestic donkey (Equus asinus asinus) is a subspecies of the African donkey. Only a few hundred specimens of the animal are left in the wild in Ethiopia, Eritrea and Somalia – it is now threatened with extinction.

Soemmerring Gazelle

The animals reach sexual maturity at an age of approx. 18 months. After mating, the young are born after a gestation period of approx. 195 to 200 days. They remain in their hiding place for up to a month, where they are looked after by the mother. The IUCN has classified their population as endangered.

Nechsar National Park

The following mammals can be observed in the Nechsar National Park:

– Greater kudu

– Little kudu

– Grant gazelles

– Hartebeest

– Plains zebras


Flamingos, pelicans and marabous are common at Lake Abialta.

Flamingos form a family of their own and are common in Africa, western Asia and southern France. The up to 130 cm tall birds are immediately recognizable by their long and thin necks, by their thin legs and by their thick, downwardly curved pink beak with a black tip. This is used as a sieve when searching for food.

The menu includes worms, algae and, above all, small crustaceans. They are also responsible for the pink plumage of the flamingos. The red dye absorbed with the crabs is stored in the feathers. After all, the more crabs the birds have eaten, the more pink they are.

The famous one-legged standing is used to store heat, since one leg is hidden in the warm plumage and thus less heat is lost. This feat is not strenuous for the flamingos (as well as for storks).

The singtimalia is one of the endemic bird species.


Smaller brood populations of the shoebill (Balaeniceps rex) from the family of the same name also occur in Ethiopia. This extraordinary bird with its approximately 20 cm long and almost as wide beak belongs to the wading birds and forms its own family there. In addition to the beak, it can also be recognized by the gray-blue plumage and the small hood on the back of the head. It is mainly found in swamps, where it builds its nests. The diet of the crepuscular and nocturnal shoebill mainly includes fish, but occasionally small mammals and molluscs are also on the menu.


The Rotschnabeltoko (Tockus erythrorhynchus) belongs to the family of hornbills (Bucerotidae). The birds can grow up to around 35. Their red beak is about 9.5 cm long in the males and up to about 7.5 cm long in the females.

Herons, snipes, pigeons, helmet guinea fowl, bustards and partridges are also common.

The most common birds of prey include eagles, hawks and vultures such as the bearded vulture, also known as the lammergeyer.

Reptiles, including venomous snakes

In addition to the mammals, crocodiles also live in the Nechsar National Park.

Other reptiles native to Ethiopia are the leopard tortoises and numerous snakes. The almost 70 cm tall leopard tortoises can be found mainly in bushland and dry savannah landscapes . The following venomous snakes live in Ethiopia:

– Egyptian cobra, Uraeus snake

– Egyptian sand


otter – Boomslang, African tree snake – Common puff adder

– Giant spitting cobra

– Red spitting cobra, Naja pallida

– Black mamba

– Black and white cobra, white lipped cobra

– White lipped cobra, black and white cobra


In addition to numerous species of insects such as ants, grasshoppers, flies, termites and dung beetles, the malaria-transmitting anopheles mosquito and the tsetse fly, which transmits sleeping sickness, are particularly worth mentioning. The most important precautionary measure against infection is to avoid bites with the help of mosquito creams, mosquito sprays and suitable clothing. Malaria prophylaxis is also recommended.

Ethiopia: plants


Trees are almost only found in the higher regions.

Umbrella acacias, sycamore fig trees and baobabs, so-called baobabs, grow here.

This tree with its strikingly shaped trunk and silver-gray bark belongs to the wool tree family and can live up to 1,000 years. Furthermore, it is characterized by its cucumber-shaped and wood-skinned fruits as well as fatty seeds.

The baobab can store up to 5,000 liters of water in the dry season, but then it loses all of its leaves in order to protect itself from excessive evaporation and thus from dying of thirst.

The largest part of the tree population, however, is made up of eucalyptus trees, which were specially planted to protect against soil erosion.


In the south of the country sugar cane, corn, vegetables, cotton and barley as well as coffee are grown.

The coffee bushes are typical of Ethiopia, recognizable by the red stone fruits. The well-known coffee beans are in two seed compartments in the pulp. Teff (dwarf millet) is more likely to be planted in the middle zones. This cultivated millet belongs to the grass family and has conspicuously small seeds. Wheat, potatoes and oil seeds are also grown in these regions. Chickpeas are also one of Ethiopia’s crops. Most of all African countries are grown here.

Medicinal plants

The eucalyptus tree is also known under the names fever tree and blue gum tree. It belongs to the myrtle family, grows very quickly and reaches a size of 6 m. Typical of the tree with the reddish to light brown bark are the older, drooping, leather-like leaves that are up to 20 cm long. Both the dried leaves and the essential oil are used as remedies. It promotes expectoration, relaxes cramps and when applied locally it promotes blood circulation. Therefore, eucalyptus is used for colds of the airways and as an oil externally for rheumatic complaints.

The myrrh tree with the pink and yellow flowers, which can also grow as a shrub and can grow up to 3 m tall, is widespread throughout Northeast Africa. Myrrh is the name given to the dried resin that emerges from the bark. Myrrh has an antiseptic and anti-inflammatory effect and is often used for colds, wounds, ulcers and inflammation of the mouth and throat.

Poisonous plants

The Kath shrub, also known as “Abyssinian tea”, belongs to the spindle tree family and its leaves are a common intoxicant in Ethiopia. The young leaves are chewed and help against hunger, tiredness and thirst. If the amounts are too large, however, poisoning can occur, which manifests itself in drowsiness, stomach cramps and vomiting, among other things.

More plants

Thorn bushes, desert shrubs and savannah grasses are characteristic of the lower layers, which are known as Kolla. In the temperate zones, you will mostly encounter grassland with few trees.

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