Travel Tips & Facts Brief & General Information about Ethiopia: Ethiopia (formerly known as Abyssinia) is located in the east of Africa, commonly known as the Horn of Africa. It covers an area of 1, 1 12,000kmq, twice the area of France, and according to the recent census has an estimated population more than 95 million inhabitants with 80 ethnic groups. Ethiopia has a very strong cultural identity, which has been preserved thanks to a long period of independence, lasting practically until present times. Ethiopia is truly a land of contrasts and extremes; a land of remote and wild places. Some of the highest and most stunning places on the African continent are found here, such as the jaggedly carved Simien Mountains, one of UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites – and one of the lowest place on earth the hot but fascinating Danakil Depression, with its sulphur fumaroles and lunar-like landscape. Ethiopia is old; old beyond all imaginations Ethiopia known as cradle of human kind, it is almost certain that human beings and their hominid ancestors evolved in the eastern zone of the Rift Valley: Lucy, our most distant ancestor, who lived 3.2 million years ago, was found in the rift Valley region a place called Hadar. As Abyssinia, its culture and traditions date back over 3,000 years. The oldest independent nation in Africa has a heritage dating back to first century AD. Traders from Greece, Rome, Persia and Egypt knew of the riches of what is now Ethiopia, and by the first century AD, Axum was the capital of a great Empire. This realm became one of the first Christian lands of Africa.