Eritrea is a country in Africa according to computerannals. Eritrea is located on the Red Sea and consists of a flat coastal area and a mountainous hinterland. The Turkish and Egyptian colonial powers left behind many interesting sites and buildings, and Eritrean cuisine is reminiscent of the Italian occupation that the British ended in 1941. From the 1950s Eritrea was under Ethiopian rule and only gained full independence through a guerrilla war and a subsequent referendum in 1993. 25 years later, with the peace treaty with Ethiopia in July 2018, Eritrea set another course for its future tourism development. Despite its turbulent history, Eritrea has a lot to offer the visitor, most notably its wildlife. In Eritrea, for example, elephants, lions, baboons, gazelles, leopards, road and turtles are at home. Angel sharks, barracudas, coral fish and various species of crabs, sea cucumbers and jellyfish can also often be seen in the blue-green waters off the beautiful beaches of Eritrea.
Arriving by plane
Eritrea’s national carrier, Eritrean Airlines (B8), is on the list of operating bans for European Union airspace. Turkish Airlines (TK) flies from Frankfurt/M., Vienna and Zurich via Istanbul to Asmara. Egypt Air (MS) connects Frankfurt/M. and Vienna via Cairo with Asmara; Feeder flights from Zurich to Vienna and Frankfurt/M. including with Swiss (LX).
Frankfurt/M. – Asmara: 9 hrs; Vienna – Asmara: 9 hours 55 minutes; Zurich – Asmara: 10 hours 15 minutes (each with a stopover).
Airport taxes of approximately €18 (US$20) are payable when departing from Eritrea.
Arrival by car
Entry by land is currently not possible. Tolls: There are no toll roads in Eritrea. Documents: In addition to the national driver’s license, the international driver’s license is required.
Arrival by train
There is no cross-border rail traffic from neighboring countries.
Traveling by plane
There are no domestic scheduled flights in Eritrea.
Traveling by car/bus
Eritrea’s road network has a total length of around 4,000 km, of which around 900 km are paved. For remote overland journeys, such as to the Danakil Desert, it is important to take enough water and fuel with you. Driving at night is generally discouraged.
Right-hand traffic/left-hand traffic
Condition of the roads
The roads connecting the cities are generally in good condition. Roads with less traffic are mostly unpaved and often only passable with four-wheel drive vehicles.
The roads of Eritrea are divided into primary roads, secondary roads and tertiary roads, which are marked with the respective initials, P, S and T and a number.
Rental cars are available at Asmara Airport and in the cities. Travelers should drive with extra care or rent a chauffeur-driven car. The minimum age for drivers varies between 16 and 21 years. Drivers under the age of 25 often pay a young driver fee.
Taxis and shared taxis are available in Asmara city and airport; they also drive on fixed routes. Taxis that do not have fixed routes, so-called Kuntrats, are mainly to be found at the airport and in front of large hotels; the fare should be agreed before departure.
There are no rental bikes in the cities of Eritrea.
Eritrea has an extensive bus network. There are regular bus services between the larger cities. More remote places are approached less frequently.
Traffic regulations: – alcohol limit: 0.0 ‰; absolute ban on alcohol. – Foreign tourists need permission from the Ministry of Tourism to travel to places more than 20 kilometers from Asmara. Permissions are not always granted. Speed limits: – urban: 35 km/h; – extra-urban: 80 km/h.
There are no breakdown services in Eritrea. In the event of breakdowns or accidents with the rental car, the rental company must always be contacted first. The ADAC foreign emergency call offers ADAC members and holders of ADAC foreign health and accident insurance comprehensive assistance in the event of vehicle breakdowns, traffic accidents, loss of documents and money, and medical emergencies. The emergency number is available around the clock; in the event of vehicle damage: Tel. +49 (0)89 22 22 22, in the event of illness: +49 (0)89 76 76 76.
In addition to the national driver’s license, the international driver’s license is required.
Traveling in the city
Travelers can choose to explore Asmara by bus, taxi or shared taxi, or on foot. Buses run every 15 to 20 minutes until 7 p.m. during the day.
Locally on the way by train
There is no regular rail service in Eritrea. Only the Massaua-Asmara route is used for tourist purposes; here trains can be chartered by groups.
Traveling by ship
Boats can be hired from Massaua to travel to or around the Dahlak Islands. To visit the islands, travelers need permission from the representative of Eritrean shipping companies in Massawa.