Ethiopia Country Profile

The national flag of EthiopiaEthiopia is a country in Eastern Africa located on the Horn of Africa, covering an area of 1,104,300 sq. km. It is landlocked and shares borders with Djibouti, Eritrea, Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan and Sudan. With a population of over 116 million, the official language is Amharic, but at least 12 other languages are spoken in the country with many Regional States having their own official working language.

Geography & Wildlife

The climate of Ethiopia is generally tropical monsoon but with topographic-induced variation. Within Ethiopia is a vast highland complex of mountains and dissected plateaus divided by the Great Rift Valley, which runs generally southwest to northeast and is surrounded by lowlands, steppes, or semi-desert.

There is a great diversity of terrain with wide variations in climate, soils, natural vegetation and settlement patterns.

Ethiopia is an ecologically diverse country, ranging from the deserts along the eastern border to the tropical forests in the south to extensive Afromontane in the northern and southwestern parts.

It also has 31 endemic species, notably the gelada, the walia ibex and the Ethiopian wolf. The wide range of altitude has given the country a variety of ecologically distinct areas, and this has helped to encourage the evolution of endemic species in ecological isolation.

Main Conservation Challenges

Deforestation; overgrazing; soil erosion; desertification; loss of biodiversity; water shortages in some areas from water-intensive farming and poor management; industrial pollution and pesticides contribute to air, water, and soil pollution.

Our work in Ethiopia

Close up of a cheetah lying down looking aheadBORN FREE ETHIOPIA

Wildlife: a diverse range including big cats & primates

Established: 2008

Work: welfare & captivity / conservation / education / policy

Managed by: Born Free

Working closely with the Ethiopian Wildlife Conservation Authority to provide assistance in many areas of wildlife protection, especially the illegal wildlife trade. Born Free Ethiopia also runs Ensessa Kotteh, its wildlife rescue, conservation & education centre which takes in wild animals confiscated from the illegal wildlife trade or found orphaned or injured within Ethiopia.

The front of a building with multiple staircases and a sign saying The Tree House Welcome to Visitor and Education Centre


Animals: lions / cheetah / primates / lynxes / servals / hyenas / leopards

Established: 2015

Work: rescue/ conservation / education / policy

Managed by: Born Free

Working to care for wild animals originating within Ethiopia which have been orphaned, confiscated from the illegal trade or rescued from captivity. The centre also conducts conservation activity, provides outreach and environmental education and helps the Ethiopian government build capacity in wildlife management.