Brief History

Humans have inhabited Eritrea for thousands of years. The Kunama and Nara people lived in what is now Eritrea at about 3500 BC. During 2000 BC, the Beja people came to Eritrea from southern Egypt. Eritrea borders the Red Sea and has been ruled by various powers throughout history. In 1885, Italy gained control of Eritrea and made it a colony. After World War II, the Italians lost Eritrea to Great Britain. In 1952, Eritrea and its neighbor Ethiopia were combined into one country. The Eritreans wanted to be an independent country, and fought for their freedom for over 30 years. Although Eritrea gained independence in 1993, they still face hostilities and border struggles with Ethiopia.

National Flag

The Eritrean flag is made up of four colors: red, yellow, green, and blue. There is a wreath on the lefthand side of the flag, which is made up of 30 leaves to represent the 30 years Eritrea spent fighting for independence. This flag was officially adopted on December 5, 1995.


Eritrea is located in Eastern Africa in the Horn of Africa. It borders Djibouti, Ethiopia, Sudan, and the Red Sea. The physical geography of Eritrea varies throughout the country. It has a central plateau, western lowlands, and a coastal plain. There are also over 350 islands that are a part of Eritrea.


World Land Mass Ranking: 101st


Highest Mountain: Emba Soira, 3,018 m (9,902 ft)


Longest River: Tezeke River, 608 km (378 mi)

Main Languages

Tigrinya, Tigre, English, and Arabic

Eritrea Population: 6.1 million (as of 2020)

Capital City: Asmara

Capital City Population: 963,000 (as of 2020)


Eritrea has a variety of climate conditions. Most of the country is considered hot and arid with low annual rainfall. Eritrea is especially hot along the eastern coast. The western highlands have cool and wet conditions, and the lowland regions are semi-arid.

Key People

Meb Keflezighi

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus

Isaias Afwerki

Ella Thomas

  • Cuisine

    The cuisine of Eritrea is very similar to Ethiopian cuisine, but usually features more seafood due to its location by the Red Sea. Eritrea was an Italian colony for sixty years, and its cuisine features Italian foods like pasta and pizza. Italian-style coffees like cappuccinos and espressos are popular beverages in Eritrea. The national dish of Eritrea is Zigni, which is a spicy beef stew. It is often served with injera flatbread, which is made from teff, wheat, or sorghum.

  • Sports

    Cycling was introduced to Eritrea when it was an Italian colony. Now, Eritrea is the top cycling nation in Africa, and the best Eritrean cyclists have competed in the Tour de France. Football was introduced to Eritrea by Italians during the late 19th century, and it is one of the most popular sports. More recently, volleyball has increased in popularity in Eritrea, especially among the younger generation.

  • Culture

    There are nine recognized cultural groups in Eritrea, each with its own traditions and customs. Literature is an important part of Eritrean culture, and early literature focused on legends, folktales, and original poems. Music and dance are common in Eritrea, and songs are played with traditional instruments including kiras and watas. Christianity and Islam are the two main religions in Eritrea.

10 facts about Eritrea

1. The capital Asmara is known as “New Rome..


2. Eritrea is home to one of Africa’s oldest port cities.


3. There is a tank graveyard in Eritrea.


4. There area14,000 known fish species living in Eritrea’s waters.


5. There area14,000 known fish species living in Eritrea’s waters.


6. There have been no government elections since independence.


7. Eritrea has no official language.


8. The currency used in Eritrea is the Eritrean nakfa.


9. Over 30% of Eritrean Freedom Fighters were women.


10. The life expectancy in Eritrea is 66 years.


Q&A Corner

1. What is the national dish of Eritrea? +
2. What colors make up the Eritrean flag? +
3. What is the capital city of Eritrea? +
4. What is the highest mountain in Eritrea? +
5. What is the highest mountain in Eritrea? +
6. Which country introduced Cycling to Eritrea? +
7. Which country introduced Cycling to Eritrea? +
8. What is the longest river in Eritrea? +
9. Name a key/famous person from Eritrea? +
10. What is the population of Eritrea (as of 2020)? +