Visiting Eritrea? You have found my personal notes and travel tips, such as the best time to visit Eritrea and miscellaneous facts which I obtain from a variety of sources such as first hand observations, personal conversations, magazines, newspapers, websites, books and so forth.
Eritrea is a narrow strip of a country in northeast Africa. There are tensions with Ethiopia over bordertowns and skirmishes with other neighboring countries at times so pay attention to current events. Generally the country has gone backwards over the last decade with many fleeing and infrastructure faltering. Tourist numbers are very low these days.
Eritrea is proudly independent following Italian withdrawal after WW2 and a long war against Ethiopia which was essentially given the land by the British following the Italian withdrawal.
Great architecture. Great diving. Comfortable at higher elevations. Hot otherwise.
Best Time to Visit Eritrea
Short Answer: December to February.
Longer Answer: The best time to visit Eritrea would be dependent on where you are heading.
In general, June through September is the rainy season.
If you are based on the coast, then you will want to visit December through February when the temperatures aren’t so oppressive. Expect humidity and warm water temperatures year around.
If you are inland in the higher elevations, for instance visiting Asmara (1.5mi/2.3km above sea level), then anytime in the mid-September to mid-June period is a good time to visit this region. If you like cooler weather (highs 70F/21C), then December to February are great as they see the least rain and temperatures are quite nice. Beware of cool/cold nights, with November through March having nightly temperatures below 50F/10C. Year around, this region stays mild due to elevation. So, in general, outside of the rainy July and August, this region is good all year.
Further inland, back at lower elevations, the temperatures are mostly above 90F(32C) peaking around April. For this area, the best time to visit would be mid-September through January.
Miscellaneous Travel Tips for Eritrea
Asmara is the capital city and is known for its Art Deco architecture built by the Italians. In general its an architectural wonderland preserved by the dry dessert air.
Ride the steam train out from the mountains, through tunnels and bridges, between Asmara and the coastal town of Massawa. Might have to explain to officials why you are leaving Asmara and for how long. Old coal-fired steam trains utilized on line.
Massawa and the Dahlak Archipelago are great jumping off points for excellent diving although royal families have built private palaces that makes some areas off limits now. The waters are shallow, warm and littered with submerged military equipment which have become havens for sealife.