Did you know that more tourist (410,000 of them) visit Eritrea each year than all of Sudan, Ethiopia, Somalia and djibouti combined?? (SOURCE: http://www.nationmaster.com/graph/eco_tou_arr-economy-tourist-arrivals ).
Eritrea’s Wildlife habitats: Eritrea is home to a RARE mix of inter-bred Indian and African elephants that mixed when the British invaded modern day Eritrea in 1878 with thousands of Indian elephants on a rescue mission of British hostages.(SOURCE: http://www.mcp.com.au/sinus/newsletters/newsletter-11/newsletter-11.html ) In addition to having a rare breed of Elephants, Eritrea is home to lions, greater kudu and Tora hartebeest, vervet monkey, olive baboon, pale or sand fox, common jackal, black-backed jackal, bat-eared fox, genet, African wild cat, warthog, Soemmering’s gazelle, Abyssinian hare and ground squirrel in Gash-Setit Area (Gash Barka Zone); Soemmering’s gazelle, baboons, dik-dik, Dorcas gazelle, wild , ostrich and other small mammals in Buri Peninsula & the Gheralo-Tio-Badda Triangle; Leopard, bush buck, klipspringer, greater kudu, duiker and warthog in Semenawi & Debubawi Bahri (‘Green Belt’); Gazelle in Dissei and Dahlak Kebir, oryx, dugong and green turtle Coastal & Marine Area.
Eritrea’s Capital city of Asmara: Asmara, the capital of Eritrea, bordering the Red Sea, is referred by many expert travelers as the beautifulest city in Africa and is also home to one of the most important and exciting architectural ‘discoveries’ of recent years. Built almost entirely in the 1930s and early 40’s by Italian and Eritrean workers, Asmara has one of the highest concentrations of modernist architecture anywhere in the world, and has evocatively been described as “the Miami of Africa.” Desperate to build quickly, the colonial government of the time allowed radical architectural experimentation that would not have found favour in the more conservative European environment. Asmara therefore became one of the world’s prime locations for architectural innovation during the Modern Movement. That this occurred at all is remarkable enough, but that these buildings should have survived in such numbers today makes it one of the finest modernist cities in the World.
Eritrea’s unique natural features: i. Danakil Depression, 100 metres below sea level with temperatures over 50° Centigrade. ii.The Great Valley Rift, runs through Eritrea. iii.Hot Springs in many locations such as Akwaar, Mai Wui, Gahtelai and Arafayle. iv.The Escarpment providing spectacular views from the highland plateau to the coastal plains. v. Dahlak Archipelago off the Red Sea coast with over 350 islands and unexplored undersea wonders.
Eritrea’s Marine life: Coral: Healthy coral reefs around 350 islands off the Red Sea coast including the Dahlak Archipelago. Flat reef gardens and cliffs that slope down to the depths of the ocean floor. Varieties ranging from large mounds of brain coral (Porites) to branching Acropora; Varieties of fish: Angelfish – blue and yellow Arabian, the yellowbar and the striped emperor. Butterfly fish – the orangeface, and the brilliant yellow-masked variety with a black face patch, the endemic bannerfish with its elongated dorsal fin. Wrass – brilliant blue-green, blue-striped and other colourful varieties. Parrotfish, groupers, damselfish, animonefish, dascyllus, scissortail sergeant, blue and orange sunrise dotty back, small pipefish, red squirrelfish and cube-like box fish. Larger fish – jacks, snappers, emperors, sweetlips and barracudas. Varieties of crabs under small coral, black, white or red sea cucumbers and snails on the sandy floor beside jellyfish are common.
Eritrea’s Beaches: Wide sandy beaches and calm seas along the Red Sea coast include Gugusum, Buri Peninsula, Zula Bay, Mersa Gulbub, Mersa Ibrahim and Ras Kuba. Dahlak Archipelago with over 350 islands, Dissei island and ab Bay islands also offer sandy beaches and ample opportunities for underwater exploration.
Eritrea’s Bird life: varieties of francolins, sunbird, shrikes, canaries, turacou, serins, starling, green pigeon, oriole, barbet, robin boubou and babblers in Semenawi Bahri; love-birds, wood dove, coucal, warblers, prinia, cisticola, woodpeckers, cameroptera, crombeck, varieties of parrots, warblers, tit and hornbill in Solomuna; coucal, Abyssinian rollers, scimitarbill, flocks of starling, buffalo weavers, varieties of grouse and wagtail in the scrubland and Red Sea coast; stork, herons, crab plovers, larks, sparrow hawk, little green bee-eaters, golden sparrow, speckle-fronted weavers, chatterers and kingfisher in Massawa and environs; francolin, massive thick-billed raven, varieties of pigeon, hornbill, wheaters, turtle dove, wagtail and seed-eaters from Massawa to Asmara.
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