Why Ethiopia is called the Roof of Africa

Why Ethiopia is called the Roof of Africa
Simien mountains National Park, Ethiopia

Ethiopia’s Simien Mountains is known as the Roof of Africa, due to its height and large area. Most of the Ethiopian Highlands are part of central and northern Ethiopia.

The term ‘roof’ refers to the fact that the Ethiopian highlands are the greatest area of mountain peaks consistently above 1,500 m on the entire continent of Africa. These highlands cover the central and northern regions and were formed about 30 million years ago when layer after layer of basaltic lava flowed out and cooled forming an ever higher plateau.

Why Ethiopia is called the Roof of Africa
Addis Ababa

Ethiopia is known as the Cradle of Mankind, with some of the earliest ancestors found buried in the soil. Lucy (3.5 million years old), the most famous fossils found, were unearthed in Hadar. Ethiopia remains one of the only nations in Africa never to be colonized.

Iceland, the most peaceful country in the world

Their timing is different because they belief that one more is always better. They have been counting 13 months to their year ever since. This means as we are in 2020, they are still in 2012. Their sunrise is 1 o’clock and sunset 12 Ethiopian time unlike other Africa countries using Western time.

Capital                  :               Addis Ababa

Dialing code        :               +251

Flag                     :            A horizontal tricolour of green, yellow and red with the       National Emblem superimposed at the center. The green recalls the land, yellow stands for peace and hope, and red is symbolic of strength

Currency             :               Ethiopian birr

President            :               Sahle-Work Zewde

Population          :               115 million

Official language :             Amharic

  • More than 115 million people live in Ethiopia in 2020, making it the second most populous African country after Nigeria.
  • Ethiopia borders six countries: Eritrea, Djibouti, Somalia, Kenya, Sudan and South Sudan and it is is the fourth largest landlocked country in Africa – after Chad, Niger and Mali.
  • Ethiopia is the tenth largest country of the 54 African countries and it is roughly twice the size of Texas/USA. It is four times as big as the UK or as big as the land area of France and Germany combined.
Ethiopia Currency
Ethiopian Birr
  • The headquarters of the African Union are located in Addis Ababa and the city is often referred to as the “political capital of Africa
  • Ethiopia and Liberia were the only independent states in Africa
  • Among the eight UNESCO cultural sites in Ethiopia are the rock-hewn churches in Lalibela, the historic town of Harar, the ruins of Aksum, the fossil sites in the Lower Omo Valley and Lower Awash Valley as well as the fortress Fasil Ghebbi.
Flag of Ethiopia
Flag of Federal Republic of Ethiopia

The Blue Nile, called Abay river by the locals, is part of the world’s longest river Nile, and originates in Lake Tana in Ethiopia. The Blue Nile and the White Nile make up the two tributaries of the Nile River which has a total length of 6,650 km/ 4,130 miles.

Did you know that the northwards flowing Nile River passes eleven African countries until it enters the Mediterranean Sea? While the White Nile River is commonly regarded as the primary stream of the river, the Blue Nile is the source of more than 80% of the Nile’s water. The two rivers meet at Khartoum, the capital city of Sudan

River Nile

Ethnicity: There are about 80 different ethnic groups in Ethiopia among them the Oromo, Amhara, Tigrinya and the Afar. The largest group are the Oromos who are mainly farmers and herders.

Language : There are over 80 languages and more than 200 dialects spoken by the Ethiopian population.

Airline :        Ethiopian Airlines is the largest airline in Africa with a fleet of 125 aircrafts, highest number of passengers and destinations. Ethiopian Airlines is the world’s fourth largest airline considering number of countries an airline serves – after Turkish Airlines, Air France, British Airways. Ethiopian Airlines serves more countries than Emirates, Lufthansa or American Airlines!

Religion : Christianity and Islam are the two main religion in Ethiopia and both faiths co-exist for many hundred years in the country. There are 63% Christians and 33% Muslims in Ethiopia.

Gelada Monkey
Gelada Monkey

Animals  : The grass eating gelada monkeys are unique to Ethiopia and can be seen high up in the mountains in Simian National Park. The Ethiopian wolf are often referred to as red fox or red jackal.


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