Maps Page on Ethiopia


  1. Physical Environment
  2. Weather & Climate
  3. Human Environment
  4. Road maps
  5. City Maps
  6. Urban Transportation Maps
  7. Tourist sites

1 Physical Environment

Perry-Castaņeda Library
ethiopia relief
The mountains and highlands that make up most of Ethiopia can be seen here, as well as the Great Rift Valley running down the center of the country. The southeastern lowlands bordering Somalia are very flat in comparison.

Perry-Castaņeda Library
ethiopia veg
The vegitation patterns seen in this map are fairly unique, as the highlands of Ethiopia and their tropical forests are a marked contrast to the steppe and desert vegetation seen lowlands. The Great Rift Valley is once again apparent, as its savanna and steppe makeup serve to contrast these two distinct areas of the country. Addis Ababa, the capital, is located in the upland grassland zone, along with most of the other large cities.
ethiopia waters
Most of the bodies of water in Ethiopia are marked intermittent, most likely seasonal due to the monsoon cycle. Laka Tana, the resevoir for the damn upstream from the Blue Nile Falls, is of course permanent, along with a few others dotting the highlands. The Ogaden desert is noticible for its lack of any standing or flowing water, besides the Shebele river flowing into Somalia and a seasonal wadi.

2 Weather & Climate

Koppen Map
Koppen Classification
ethiopia climate
The Koppen climate zone map for the African continent shows the latitudinal bands near Ethiopia, and the country's unique property of containing four seperate climate groups: tropical, arid, temperate, and continental. Even from the small map scale, the highland/lowland and desert regions of Ethiopia can be distinguished. This remarkable climate variation is shared only by Madagascar on the African continent.

ICRAF report
ethiopia rainy season
This is a map of the whole of the Horn of Africa, showing the beginning of the monsoonal wet season. Much of Ethiopia begins this period in May, though southern regions start anywhere from January to April. The southeastern desert has no wet season. This map's scope does not cover the double wet season seen in places like Addis Ababa, which begins again in late June-July. African Rainfall
ethiopia rainfall
This map illustrates the long-term drought seen throughout the Horn, which caused the well-known Ethiopian famine in the 1980s. As opposed to some neighboring countries, which have insignificant areas of increased rainfall to accompany their drought-affected regions, much of the northern Ethiopian highlands are subject to increased rainfall, another indication of climate variability. The Great Rift Valley, however, is the site of some of the worst drought in the region: up to 16 inches below average.

3 Human Environment

Perry-Castaņeda Library
ethiopia ethnic groups
This map contains the population density throughout Ethiopia, as well as the major ethnic groups and their associated homelands. The periphery of the country contains the areas of least population, while in the Great Rift Valley and nearby highlands are the greatest. Common to most African states, there are numerous different indigent nations spread throughout the country. Notable are the large number of Galla/Oromo peoples, some of whom are actively seeking an independent state, and the Somalis near the border with that country-- another source of strife in the region.

Perry-Castaņeda Library
ethiopian economy
Much of the country is labeled with "nomadic grazing" as the principle economic activity in the area, which is endemic to much of underdevloped regions of Africa. Coffee cultivation surrounds the Great Rift Valley in the highlands regions, with sporadic mineral deposits on the periphery of the highlands. Much of the oilseed crops and industry surrounds Addis Ababa in the northern highlands.
ethiopia language
Similar to the ethnic region map, this illustrates the dizzying array of languages spoken throughout the country. While English is the official language, there are 28 other dialects spoken in Ethiopia, with Amharic and Tigrigna are listed as national languages.

4 Road Maps
ethiopian roads
This map depicts the road system around Addis Ababa. Every major highway in the region connects through the city. Highway 4 travels northeast along the Great Rift Valley, while the connecting Highway 6 travels southwest and runs by many of the lakes in the area.
ethiopia roads
This is a view of the entire Ethiopian road system fails to label the highways, but does manage to show how the its major cities are connected. In addition, this is the only map I found that classified the cities by population. This makes it obvious that altough there are only a few major highways in the country, all the major cities are connected by them.
ethiopia roads
This interactive google map has all of the highways of Ethiopia labeled out to the small scale view seen here, in addition to having a view of the terrain of the country. The detail around the capital is much greater on this map, showing how many of the major roads actually pass through the city.

5 City Maps

Perry-Castaņeda Library
addis Ababa
This map is geared towards official U.S. visitors, and lists several important locations throughout the city. The hospitals and main attractions are clearly marked, as well as the Grand Market Area to the west of the river.

University of Pennsylvania Map Collection
addis Ababa landmarks
This map of the capital offers significantly more detail than the previous map, including city parks and churches. The haphazard way the streets are laid out recalls a European city, including central areas with roads radiating out. While still including hospitals and universities, this map includes both major churches and mosques.

Google Maps: Diredawa
This google map of Diredawa shows the more geometric layout of that city. Several attractions near the city center are labeled, along with the main bus station. Not pictured in this view is the city's airport, located just out of fram to the north.

6 Urban Transportation

Addis Ababa city administration
Addis Ababa, while the largest city in Ethiopia by far, does not have a metro railway. All urban transportation is provided by yellow cabs or blue and white contract taxis. Instead, I have included several rural bus routes used to get to destinations around the country, as well as the Ethiopian Airlines route map.

Addis Ababa Bus Stations
addos busses
The main bus stations of Addis Ababa are located near the city center, with one off to the southeast. This interactive map, provided by the Addis Ababa city government, can also be used to locate many other services and attractions in the city.
ethiopia tour
This is a map of a 10 day bus tour route, departing from Addis Ababa. The route hits many of the destinations in the northern lowlands and up into the Simien Mountain area in the northern part of the country. Lake Tana, the resevoir for the Blue Nile Falls, also gets a visit, as well as the historic city of Axum/Aksum near the Eritria border.

Ethiopian Airlines
ethiopia relief
This map shows the extensive domestic coverage provided by Ethiopian Airlines, the most well established airline in Africa. The routes closely match the highway system, with a main hub in Addis Ababa. Many smaller cities are also connected by the venerable provider.

7 Tourist Sites
ethiopia nat parks
This map shows the major members of the National Park System, along with the highest peaks in the country and their elevations. The largest parks are all fairly distant from the capital, along the country's borders and in the mountainous regions. This map appears to have more active streams in the desert bordering Somalia.
Simien National Park, located (but not completely containing) the Simien mountains, is connected by a major thouroughfare to Ch'enek, as well as the park headquarters in Sankaber. Most of the main park paths eminate from Geech, including those to the highest peaks in the park.

Google Maps: UNESCO World Heritage Sites
ethiopia unesco sites
This map lists the official UNESCO world heritage sites in Ethiopia, of which there are eight. Many of these are landmarks in the north, scene to one of the most ancient cultural remnants in the world. Chief among these is Axom/Aksum, rumored to be the resting place of the Ark of the Covenant, but whether this is true or not home to a vast store of historical relics.

Submitted by Tommy Doerr on 6/2/2010.