General Information

Eritrea, officially the State of Eritrea, is a country in the Horn of Africa, with its capital at Asmara. It is bordered by Sudan in the west, Ethiopia in the south,and Djibouti in the southeast.

 The northeastern and eastern parts of Eritrea have an extensive coastline along the Red Sea. The country is virtually bisected by a branch of the East African Rift. It has fertile lands to the west, descending to desert in the east. Eritrea, at the southern end of the Red Sea, is the home of the fork in the rift. The Dahlak Archipelago and its fishing grounds are situated off the sandy and arid coastline.

The main cities of the country are the capital city of Asmara and the port town of Asseb in the southeast, as well as the towns of Massawa to the east, the northern town of Keren, and the central town Mendefera.

Eritrea is home to an abundant amount of big game species.Mammals commonly seen today include the Abyssinian hare, African wild cat, Black-backed jackal, African golden wolf, Genet, Ground squirrel, pale fox, Soemmerring's gazelle, warthog. Dorcas gazelle are common on the coastal plains and in Gash-Barka.

A Precis pelarga butterfly species from Eritrea. Lions are said to inhabit the mountains of the Gash-Barka Region. There is also a small population of African bush elephants that roam in some parts of the country. Dik-diks can also be found in many areas. The endangered African wild ass can be seen in Denakalia Region. Other local wildlife include bushbuck, duikers, greater kudu, Klipspringer, African leopards, oryx and crocodiles., 

The spotted hyena is widespread and fairly common. In December 2001 a herd of about 30, including 10 juveniles, was observed in the vicinity of the Gash River. The elephants seemed to have formed a symbiotic relationship with olive baboons, with the baboons using the water holes dug by the elephants, while the elephants use the tree-top baboons as an early warning system.

The endangered African wild dog (Lycaon pictus) was previously found in Eritrea, but is now deemed extirpated from the entire country. In Gash-Barka, deadly snakes like saw-scaled viper are common. Puff adder and red spitting cobra are widespread and can be found even in the highlands. In the coastal areas marine species that are common include dolphin, dugong, whale shark, turtles, marlin, swordfish, and manta ray.

Eritrea has an extensive amount of resources such as copper, gold, granite, marble, and potash.  A big reason for the recent growth of the Eritrean economy is the commencement of full operations in the gold and silver Bisha mine and the production of cement from the cement factory in Massawa.

One of the most recognizable parts of Eritrean culture is the coffee ceremony. Coffee is offered when visiting friends, during festivities, or as a daily staple of life. During the coffee ceremony, there are traditions that are upheld. The coffee is served in three rounds: the first brew or round is called awel in Tigrinya (meaning "first"), the second round is called kalaay (meaning "second"), and the third round is called bereka(meaning "to be blessed").

Eritrean injera with various stews is a typical traditional Eritrean dish consists of injera accompanied by a spicy stew, which frequently includes beef, chicken, lamb or fish. Overall, Eritrean cuisine strongly resembles those of neighboring Ethiopia, Eritrean cooking tend to feature more seafood than Ethiopian cuisine on account of their coastal location. Eritrean dishes are also frequently "lighter" in texture than Ethiopian meals. They likewise tend to employ less seasoned butter and spices and more tomatoes, as in the tsebhi dorho delicacy. Mies is another popular local alcoholic beverage, made out of honey.

Eritrea's ethnic groups each have their own styles of music and accompanying dances. Amongst the Tigrinya, the best known traditional musical genre is the guaila. Traditional instruments of Eritrean folk music include the stringed krar, kebero, begena, masenqo and the wata (a distant/rudimentary cousin of the violin). A popular Eritrean artist is the Tigrinya singer Helen Meles, who is noted for her powerful voice and wide singing range.