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Eritrea is a poor but developing East African country, the capital of which is Asmara. Formerly a province of Ethiopia, Eritrea became an independent country on May 24, 1993, following a 30-year struggle that culminated in an overwhelming referendum vote for independence. Tourism facilities are very limited. Read the Department of State Background Notes on Eritrea for additional information.


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Image of Eritrea
Country Name: Eritrea
Continent: Africa
Capital City: Asmara
Boundary Countries:

Djibouti, Ethiopia, Sudan

Recommended Hospitals in Capital:

Asmara:   Excel Diagnostic Clinic, Kibret Eye & ENT Clinic, Ospedale Italiano Entre Morale, Sembel Hospital & Polyclinic, St. Mary Psychiatric Hospital, Tesfa Clinic & Diagnostic Lab, Universal Dental Clinic
Massawa: Massawa Hopsital

Main Cities:

Asmara, Tio, Assab, Keren, Kulul, Massawa, Akurdet, Nak’fa

Country Size: 121,320 sq km
Population: Djibouti, Ethiopea, Sudan



Afar, Arabic, tigre, And Kunama, Tigrinya, other Cushitic languages

Currency: nafka (ERN)
Predominant Religions:

Muslim, Coptic Christian, Roman Catholic, Protestant

National Holidays: Independance Day, 24 May (1993)
Economic Status:

Eritrea is a poor but developing East African country, the capital of which is Asmara. Formerly a province of Ethiopia, Eritrea became an independent country on May 24, 1993, following a 30-year struggle that culminated in an overwhelming referendum vote for independence.


Army, Navy,  Air Force

US Presence:

U.S. Embassy Asmara
U.S. Embassy Asmara
179 Alaa Street
Asmara, Eritrea
Phone: (+291)1-12-00-04
Fax: (+291)1-12-75-84


Document Requirements:

All travelers should have a passport and valid visa prior to arrival; visas are not available at the airport unless specifically pre-authorized by the Eritrean government.  Travelers visiting Eritrea using a foreign passport do not need an exit visa, provided they leave before their entrance visa expiration date.  Persons staying beyond their entrance visa expiration date may be subject to fines or imprisonment, or be required to remain in Eritrea for an extended period while their case is reviewed in court.  All long-term residents, regardless of citizenship, must obtain an exit visa 30 days prior to departure, unless they hold a difficult-to-obtain multiple entry visa.  Upon entry and exit, visitors must declare all foreign currency, and may be asked to declare electronic equipment such as cameras, computers and video equipment.  Visitors must save all receipts for foreign exchange and present these upon departure to account for all foreign currency spent in Eritrea.  Failure to report foreign currency or meet customs requirements usually results in both a fine and imprisonment.  There is also a $20 airport departure tax.  Information about the airport tax and entry/exit requirements is available from the Embassy of Eritrea, 1708 New Hampshire Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20009; telephone (202) 319-1991; fax (202) 319-1304.  Overseas, inquiries may be made at the nearest Eritrean embassy or consulate.

U.S. citizens born in Eritrea, to Eritrean parents, or who in any other way appear to have Eritrean origins, are required to register with the Immigration and Nationality office in Asmara within seven business days of their entry into the country.  The Eritrean government sometimes subjects U.S. citizens of Eritrean heritage to the same entry/exit requirements as Eritrean citizens.  See the “Special Circumstances” section below for more information about dual nationality. 

Information about dual nationality or the prevention of international child abduction can be found on our web site.  For further information about customs regulations, please read our Customs Information sheet.

Major Airports:

Airports:  17, Airports w/paved runways:  4

Asmara Int’l Airport (ASM/HHAS)
Asmara Airport, Eritrea, PO Box 252, Asmara Int’l Airport, Asmara, ERITREA
Asmara Airport, Eritrea, Asmara, ERITREA
Tel: +291 (0)1 181822, +291 (0)1 182899

Servicing Airlines:
Risks and Precautions:

February 18, 2009
US Department of State continues to warn US citizens of the risks of travel to Eritrea and recommends that US citizens defer travel at this time. This replaces the Travel Warning dated November 15, 2008, and informs US citizens that the consular section of the US Embassy in Asmara has re-opened for all American Citizen Services. 
The Department of State recommends that US citizens defer travel to Eritrea because of Eritrean government restrictions on travel outside the capital city of Asmara and heightened tensions along Eritrea's borders with Ethiopia and Djibouti.
American citizens considering travel within Eritrea should be aware of the presence of large numbers of Eritrean and Ethiopian troops along the Eritrean-Ethiopian border, and acute political tensions between the two countries. In March 2008, the Eritrean restrictions on diesel fuel supplies caused the United Nations Mission in Ethiopia and Eritrea's detachments to withdraw from the Temporary Security Zone, leaving no international observers monitoring the border.
Since April 2008, Djiboutian and Eritrean troops have been deployed along the northeastern border of Djibouti. The Djiboutian government claims Eritrean troops have crossed into its territory and on June 10, 2008, Djiboutian and Eritrean troops exchanged fire along their shared border.
US citizens are strongly advised to avoid travel near the Eritrean-Ethiopian border and to the Southern Red Sea region, including the port of Assab.
The Eritrean government continues to restrict the travel of all foreign nationals, including resident diplomats. These restrictions require all visitors and residents to apply ten days in advance for permission to travel outside the Asmara city limits. As a result, the US Embassy cannot provide emergency consular assistance outside of Asmara. The Eritrean government does not inform the US Embassy when American citizens have been arrested or detained.
Americans currently living or traveling in Eritrea are strongly encouraged to register with the US Embassy in Asmara in person or through the State Department's travel registration web site, https://travelregistration.state.gov, and to obtain updated information on travel and security within Eritrea. By registering, American citizens make it easier for the Embassy to contact them in case of an emergency and provide updates on the security situation. The US Embassy is located at 179 Alaa Street, P.O. Box 211, Asmara; telephone (291-1) 12-00-04, available 24 hours in case of emergency; fax (291-1) 124-255 and (291-1) 127-584; web site http://asmara.usembassy.gov/.
For additional information, consult the Department of State's Country Specific Information sheet for Eritrea and the Worldwide Caution at http://travel.state.gov. American citizens may also obtain up-to-date information on security conditions by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada, or 1-202-501-4444 from overseas.

Mortality Statistics:

Infant MR total:  45.24 deaths/1,000 live births

Life expectancy at birth:  TOTAL 59.55 years  (male 57.88/female 61.28)

Immunization Indicators:

Required: None
Recommended: Hep A & B, Malaria, Yellow Fever, Rabies, Typhoid, Meningococcal
Boosters: MMR, DPT, polio

Infectious Disease Concerns:

Food and water-borne ilnesses are very common. Maleria is a serious risk to travelers in Eritrea. Polio has also resurfaced in Etheopia since 2003. Other infections that tend to occur more often in longer -term travelers include tuberculosis, HIV and Hepatitis B.

Overall Quality of Medical Services:

Medical facilities in Eritrea are extremely limited. Travelers must carry their own supplies of prescription drugs and preventative medicines because pharmaceuticals are in short supply.

Providers in Network:
Direct Payment: 0
Referrals: 8
View Network Providers
Recent Medical Threats/ Concerns/Warnings:

Many countries in this region have high incidence rates of tuberculosis and high HIV prevalence rates.

Highly pathogenic avian influenza (H5N1) has been found in poultry populations in several countries in Africa. Avoid all direct contact with birds, including domestic poultry (such as chickens and ducks) and wild birds, and avoid places such as poultry farms and bird markets where live birds are raised or kept.  For a current list of countries reporting outbreaks of H5N1 among poultry and/or wild birds, view updates from the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE), and for total numbers of confirmed human cases of H5N1 virus by country see the World Health Organization (WHO) Avian Influenza website.

Communications Info:

Country calling code: + 291
Internet Country Code:er


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