chapter  3
9 Pages

Volcano Tourism in Ethiopia and the Danakil Rift Zone

ByJ. Edelmann, R. Roscoe

Introduction Ethiopia, officially the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, is a landlocked country situated in the Horn of Africa. It is bordered by Eritrea to the north, Sudan to the west, Kenya to the south, Somalia to the east and Djibouti to the north-east. With an area of 1,100,000km² and an estimated population of over 85,000,000, it is Africa’s second-most populous nation. The country capital Addis Ababa, is one of the oldest in the world, and the ancient city of Axum and the stunning monolithic rock churches of Lalibela are just two striking remnants of its past. It is also one of the earliest sites of human settlement. ‘Lucy’, discovered in the Awash Valley of Ethiopia’s Afar region, is the world’s oldest, most complete, and best preserved adult Australopithecine fossil at an estimated 3.2 million years old. At the beginning of the 1980s, a series of famines hit Ethiopia. These affected about 8 million people and left about 1 million dead, and the country is periodically affected by insurrections particularly in the hardhit northern regions of Tigray and Eritrea. In May 1998, a border dispute with Eritrea, independent from Ethiopia since 1993, led to the EritreanEthiopian war that lasted until June 2000.