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Eritrea’s Dahlak Archipelago, Red Sea

May 3rd, 2009 Category: Snapshots

Eritrea - April 9th, 2009

Eritrea - April 9th, 2009

An intense sun glint highlights the shores of the Red Sea, particularly the coasts of Saudi Arabia (top right), Eritrea (bottom right) and Sudan (upper left).

The Dahlak Archipelago can be seen off the coast of Eritrea towards the lower right. It is an island group near Massawa which consists of two large and 124 small islands. The islands are a home for diverse marine life and sea-birds.

Only four of the islands are permanently inhabited, of which Dahlak Kebir is the largest and most populated. Other islands of this archipelago include Dhuladhiya, Dissei, Dohul, Erwa, Harat, Hermil, Isra-Tu, Nahaleg (Nahleg), Norah and Shumma.

Bab-el-Mandeb Strait Connecting Red Sea and Gulf of Aden

12.5N 43.3E

March 10th, 2011 Category: Snapshots

Ethiopia - February 10th, 2011

The Bab-el-Mandeb (sometimes called the Mandab Strait in English) is a strait connecting the Red Sea to the Gulf of Aden. It is located between Yemen (on the Arabian Peninsula, above), Djibouti and Eritrea (left), north of Somalia (in the Horn of Africa, below).

The Bab-el-Mandeb, meaning “Gate of Scars” in Arabic, derives its name from the dangers attending its navigation, or, according to an Arab legend, from the numbers who were drowned by the earthquake which separated Asia and Africa.

The distance across is about 20 miles (30 km) from Ras Menheli in Yemen to Ras Siyan in Djibouti. The island of Perim divides the strait into two channels. There is a surface current inwards in the eastern channel, but a strong undercurrent outwards in the western channel.

Red Sea Between Africa and Middle East

13.9N 42.3E

June 7th, 2010 Category: Snapshots

Red Sea - June 1st, 2010

Red Sea - June 1st, 2010

The Red Sea (left) extends southeast from Suez, Egypt, for about 1,200 mi (1,930 km) to the Strait of Mandeb, which connects with the Gulf of Aden (right) and then with the Arabian Sea.

The Red Sea separates the coasts of Egypt, Sudan, and Eritrea from those of Saudi Arabia and Yemen. It contains some of the world’s warmest and saltiest seawater. With its connection to the Mediterranean Sea via the Suez Canal, it is one of the most heavily traveled waterways in the world.

Somalia and Ethiopia on the Horn of Africa

8.1N 47.8E

November 22nd, 2009 Category: Snapshots

Somalia and Ethiopia - November 16th, 2009

Somalia and Ethiopia - November 16th, 2009

The Horn of Africa is the easternmost region in Africa, comprising the countries of Somalia, Ethiopia, Eritrea and Djibouti. This image includes most of Somalia and the eastern part of Ethiopia.

No distinct geographical feature clearly deliminates the border between the two countries in this image, although it is suggested by the more rusty colored Ethiopian land towards the center.

While Ethiopia is landlocked, Somalia has a long coastline of 3,025 kilometers that has been of importance for trade. Inland, Somalia’s terrain consists mainly of plateaus, plains, and highlands. However, there are some rugged mountain ranges in the north near the Gulf of Aden coast; these are the Karkaar Mountains, which appear dark green here.

While Ethiopia also has several important mountain ranges, the land area here is much lower and flatter than the western parts of the country.

Arid and Semi-Arid Landscape of Somalia

9.6N 48.5E

September 25th, 2009 Category: Snapshots

Somalia - September 1st, 2009

Somalia - September 1st, 2009

Africa’s easternmost country, Somalia has a land area of 637,540 square kilometers. Somalia occupies the tip of a region commonly referred to as the Horn of Africa that also includes Ethiopia, Eritrea and Djibouti. Somalia’s long coastline (3,025 kilometers) has been of importance chiefly in permitting trade with the Middle East and the rest of the Horn of Africa.

Somalia’s terrain consists mainly of plateaus, plains, and highlands. In the far north, however, the rugged east-west ranges of the Karkaar Mountains lie at varying distances from the Gulf of Aden coast. Parts of these ranges appear dark green here, just inland of the northern shores.

The weather in Somalia is hot throughout the year, except at the higher elevations in the north. Rainfall is sparse, and most of Somalia has a semiarid-to- arid environment, as can be inferred from the tan and orange color of the landscape, suitable only for nomadic pastoralism.

Only in limited areas of moderate rainfall in the northwest, and particularly in the southwest, where the country’s two perennial rivers are found, is agriculture practiced to any extent.

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