Eritrea is one of Africa’s least visited and newest countries, having recently gained independence from Ethiopia. Like its neighbour, Eritrea’s attractions include centuries old Orthodox churches and remnants of the old Axumite Empire. The effect of Italian occupation is more strongly felt however, in a country where African, Arab and European influences combine to make a unique and fascinating destination, well off the beaten tourist track. Explore in depth highlights of Eritrea.

Travel Information for Eritrea
Time zone:GMT +3 (Eastern Africa time) Daylight savings:    None
Main languages:Afar, Arabic, Tigre, Kunama, Tigrinya
Currency: nakfa (ERN)

1 = Nfk0.00, $1 = Nfk0.00, £1 = Nfk0.00

(rates as of Mar 2011)

Internet Domain:.erInternational Dialling Code:    291

For help planning your trip to Eritrea including visas, vaccinations, currency exchange, flights, accomodation and insurance, see our Eritrea trip planning page.

Further information on Eritrea

Discover more about Eritrea - the country's geogrpahy and natural features, an assessment of its status on freedom and rights and data on the country's population and economy.

Geography & Natural Features

Map of eritrea

Total area: 121,320 sq km (0 sq km under water)

Coastline: 2,234 km (Red Sea)

Neighbours (border lengths): Djibouti (109km), Ethiopia (912km), Sudan (605km)

Climate: Three climactic zones - hot, dry desert coastal plains, semiarid and fertile western lowlands and cool, wet central highlands with heaviest rainfall between June and September.

Highest mountain: Soira (3,018m)

Freedom & Rights

Summary status and rankings for Eritrea from classifications of different organisations measuring political and economic freedom, democracy and civil rights. See more details of these rankings.

Freedom in the WorldNot Free -
Democracy IndexAuthoritarian regime 155/167
Economic FreedomRepressed 174/179
Press FreedomVery serious situation 178/179
ILGA LGBT rightsNo rights -
Corruption PerceptionsHigh corruption 166/174
Overall Ranking:    190/195

Other Data & Links

Full name: State of Eritrea     Status: Independent Country

Population: 6,380,803 (rank: 105/196)     Density: 52.5 people/sq km (rank: 124/196)

Ethnic groups: Tigrinya 50%, Tigre and Kunama 40%, Afar 4%, Saho (Red Sea coast dwellers) 3%, other 3%

Religions: Muslim, Coptic Christian, Roman Catholic, Protestant

GDP (PPP): $4.72 billion       GDP per capita: $1,200 (rank: 180/195)

Information derived from the CIA World Factbook. Other country profiles: BBC News.