UTC+3 (8 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
The climate in the central highlands, including Asmara, is near perfection, usually in the 70â€™s or 80â€™s during the day, cooling off to the 50â€™s at night. There is little humidity and it seldom rains except during the July/August rainy season when daily afternoon showers are the norm. Asmara receives about 21 inches of rain each year. April, May and June are the warmest months on the plateau, with the cooler season stretching from November to March.
Temperatures in the lowlands can be scorchingly hot, typically ranging from 105°F to 120°F, sometimes more, in August. Along the coast, including in the port cities of Massawa and Assab, high humidity often accompanies the heat. Winter highs here are around 90, with evening temperatures in the 70s.
Eritrea has no official language. Tigrinya, Arabic and English are all government, working languages. Tigrinya is spoken by highlanders, and is related to Tigre, spoken by people in the western and eastern lowlands. They use an ancient Ge'ez script. Like Arabic, they are both Semitic tongues. Arabic is widely used in commerce.
Afar, Arabic, Tigre and Kunama, Tigrinya, other Cushitic languages
ethnic Tigrinya 50%, Tigre and Kunama 40%, Afar 4%, Saho (Red Sea coast dwellers) 3%, other 3%
Independence Day, 24 May (1991)
15 00 N, 39 00 E
Eastern Africa, bordering the Red Sea, between Djibouti and Sudan