Eritrea is a northeast African country on the Red Sea coast. It shares borders with Ethiopia, Sudan and Djibouti. Colloquially, the country was known as God's Land, for its scenic views. Here are some things you need to know if you decide to visit Eritrea.
To travel to Eritrea as a South African you need to have a visa. Visit the embassy here for more information.
2. Health and Safety information
Vaccines are an important aspect to traveling. The Centre for Disease Control (CDC) suggests the following vaccines: Hepatitis A, Typhoid, Hepatitis B, Malaria, Meningitis, Rabies and Yellow Fever. The country also requires that persons coming into Eritrea from countries where yellow fever is prevalent, produce a medical certificate upon their arrival. South Africa is not on the list of countries that are Yellow Fever risk.
Safety wise, the country of Eritrea was at war with Ethiopia. It is currently a stable region. According the The Guardian, 3% of the 6 million large population have left the country. Here's a bit more background:
"Eritrea is not at war, but its first and only president, Isaias Afwerki, plays up the possibility of a return to conflict with neighbouring Ethiopia – the border town of Badme was the focus of a bloody territorial dispute. This threat is used to justify the absence of a constitution, the destruction of the judicial system, and the implementation of indefinite national service that allows the government to treat each civilian as a modern-day serf for their whole life."
Big question: Is it safe for tourists?
According to this, it is. The American and UK issued travel advisories for their residents against entering the country.
3. Important information about Eritrea
Language (s): There are nine languages in Eritrea. Tigrinya (50%) and Arabic are the working languages. The other languages are Tigre (40%), Afar (4%), Saho (3%), Bega (Beja), Bilen, Nara and Kunama. English and Italian are also widely understood.
Currency: Eritrean Nakfa
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