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Eritrea’s Upcoming Travel Season

Dahlak Resort 

Eritrea’s Upcoming Travel Season

By Bereket Kidane,

If you are like me, you have struggled through this year’s tough North American winter. You are probably already thinking about your upcoming trip to Eritrea.  Anytime is a good time to be in Eritrea visiting family, but the month of May is the best time to visit Eritrea and take part in its national holiday season. Quite simply, it is the best time to be in Eritrea to enjoy Asmara’s perfect 70 to 75 degree weather or the warm Red Sea waters of Massawa while rubbing shoulders with Independence Week revelers and partiers in the third week of May.  If you go in June instead, there is the Sawa Youth Festival, which draws musical talents from inside and outside of Eritrea. Depending on how you score on the patriotic meter, you may want to make the trip down to Sawa in June to see your youngest relatives graduate from high school and become Eritrea’s brand new citizen soldiers, a rite of passage in Eritrea.

For Eritreans in the diaspora, traveling to Eritrea to celebrate Independence Day “Mealti Netsanet” has always been a way to express solidarity with the State of Eritrea and to renew our commitment to it.  Independence Day is one of the few occasions that bring Eritreans from all walks of life together in a common celebration of a sovereign Eritrea. For kids born in the diaspora, joining with Eritreans at home in celebration of the national holiday season has become a concrete link in forming a connection to the land of their ancestors. The shops and entertainment centers in Asmara can be a little crowded during the busy tourist season but that’s why there are cities like Massawa and Keren. Most municipalities in Eritrea hold public celebrations during Independence Week, with loudspeakers broadcasting popular music and multitudes joining parties to partake in the holiday spirit. But if you ask me, Asmara is where you want to be for the Independence Week carnivals and festivities. During your stay in Eritrea, you may also want to get to know the countryside by travelling to battlefields of the Armed Struggle For Independence and pay your tribute to Eritrea’s fallen heroes who made it all possible.

So start planning your trip.

Happy Travels!

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Eritrea’s Upcoming Travel Season Reviewed by Admin on 11:57 AM Rating: 5


  1. Since most of my family live in Europe and in North America, we decided to have our family reunion in Asmara in early June. Some of us, like my father and aunt, haven't even seen one another in over 20 years. So I'm really excited about my trip to Eritrea.

    My last trip to Eritrea was in 2004 and it was memorable one for me. I made some lifelong friends when I went there and really enjoyed my time. It was a shock at first for me to be around people that looked like me. I guess I was accustomed to being a minority in a white man's world.

  2. Since most of my family live in Europe and in North America, we decided to have our family reunion in Asmara in early June. Some of us, like my father and aunt, haven't even seen one another in over 20 years. So I'm really excited about my trip to Eritrea.

    My last trip to Eritrea was in 2004 and it was memorable one for me. I made some lifelong friends when I went there and really enjoyed my time. It was a shock at first for me to be around people that looked like me. I guess I was accustomed to being a minority in a white man's world..

  3. I can't wait to go back to adi! :D

  4. I agree with Bereket, the east coast winter weather was brutal this year. It makes going home that much desirable.

    I leave for Eritrea in early May. I intend to visit Sawa, Keren, Nakfa, Massawa, Teseney, and of course, Asmara.

    But after I'm done with the cities, I will spend a lot of time in the villages. To be honest, I prefer the countryside over the cities. Something about the tranquility of the remote villages that brings a lot of comfort to me.

  5. Eritrea hagerey, i can't wait to go!! I'll be there in June!

  6. Architect / EngineerApril 14, 2014 at 9:03 PM

    It would nice if they renovate those old Art-Deco buildings with the help of Gulf investors such as the Quatari Diar which seems to be involving on restoring the relics of Massawa and converting them into world class hotels. They can turn Asmera's high-rises and old factories into five star hotels and luxury rental apartments. Art-Deco antiquities are some of the most sought after commodities in the planet and Eritrea has plenty of them crumbling and crying for attention.

    Restoration is the way to go. It worked in Miami and makes a clear economical sense, thus it should work in Asmera as well. The City of Miami turned old abandoned buildings into iconic tourist destinations. Keep in mind, Asmera has more concentrated Art-Deco buildings than any city in the world, including Miami.

    I say this with all the love but why is Shaebia wasting money on tacky if not expensive projects on the tourism sector rather than investing on its Unisco recognized architectural marvels? This could have been one way to put the country on the map and allure world's curiosity to generate revenue.

    Looking at the photos below at South Miami Beach, one can only imagine. All it took was an imagination, good planning, an investor and a little fresh paint and attention to the original glory days details with outdoor atmosphere.

    Imagine what could have been, just imagine Asmera. What a shame. What a shame.

    Architect / Engineer

  7. As a person who lived in Miami for several years, I'd like to clarify a few things. When most tourists visit Miami, most of them do not do so for the Art-Deco buildings. People who visit Miami do so for the sun, beaches and nightlife. That's a point we need to distinguish, as the Art Deco buildings itself isn't the main attraction to Miami.

    In regards to Asmara, I agree the city-center buildings should be renovated (they're working on it --it's just the free social services eat away at much of the GoE's budget). In addition to renovating the art deco buildings, I think the city center needs new side walks and more Jacaranda and palm trees to beautify it.

    But that's where it needs to stop. I'm sick and tired of Asmara being characterized by these Art Deco buildings. This is a city that was founded nearly a 1,000 years ago, yet architecture from the 1930s dominates the city's character. Let that part of Asmara's chapter end. My fear is the GoE will listen to people like you and attempt to introduce more dated infrastructure to continue with this Art-Deco Legacy.

    Let's be honest, if the GoE announces it will renovate a building, the excitment factor is basically minenimal from Eritreans. But when the Government announces it will construct something new and modern, people are very much excited and feel the government is making progress. There's a good reason for that. All the empires and kingoms were known by the monuments/buildings they left behind (Ancient Egypt, Greeks, Persia, etc). It's time for the GoE to modernize Eritrea and stop clinging to the past. That Art-Deco chapter shouldn't characterize a city as anicent as Asmara.

    If you recall, the last time the government tried to build an art deco-ish building (the Nakfa Building), it was a disaster, at least to me. It looks tacky, didn't harmonize with the city and most tourist looking at it today assume the Italians built it because there's nothing that says "Eritrean" than a knock off immitation of the 1930s Italian architecture. Let's move on from this dated architecture. If Art-Deco was as beautiful as some try to make it appear it is today, then most countries would be building it today, but they aren't.

    To the GoE: Please focus on modernizing Asmara with modern buildings (the Asmara pilot project is a good START). Do not take short cuts like what we are seeing in Ethiopia (lots of tacky buildings). Focus on quality and lets find a new character for Asmara that doesn't involve buildings from the 1930s.

  8. Btw, I don't mean any disrespect. Don't take this as an attack on your expertise. This is just an opinion of mines.

  9. Thank you, I enjoyed the video.

  10. Art Deco EnthusiastApril 14, 2014 at 10:10 PM

    I agree with your writing. Asmara could be an art deco destination. And most of those buildings are in good shape structurally. They can easily be renovated. Much of the city would look like Miami Beach. It will happen someday.
    It's unfortunate we have a cursed neighbor south of our border that has complicated things for us. It's affected all of our nation's plans but it hasn't derailed them.

  11. What if i say go to Sahel, see the trenches of Denden, Harena. Vollyball, fernelo...... etc. In those places history was made and eritrean national identity grew up, i recommend any one who visit Eritrea to visit those places and not only Asmara and Massawa.

  12. Rora,
    I so agree with you. The trenches of Nakfa are still there. It should be on every Ertirean's bucket list.

  13. Of course going home any time is blessing. My dream is to see accelerated the national housing scheme that would give a big relief to many families lives in difficult situation. A bit of patience again. we'll see by one side the old fashion and by the other the modern. Taking care to spouse both in harmony.

  14. Architect/Engineer

    I know two Eritreans (one of them is a friend of mine, with PHD in architect) went to Eritrea for the same purpose you are talking about. They came back with a disappointing attitude. When I asked my friend what happen, he said "mis iziom kisirah aykealin iu". I still don't know the details but he has no intention to go back there. For such kind of project, you need a good organization with knowledgable people. Above all you need leadership. If you go to municipality of Asmara today, you would cry how far behind we are left. Asmara doesn't even have a mayor. What does this tells you??
    Mis zeysemaka debri aytmahlel

  15. Where Is The CruiseApril 15, 2014 at 6:49 AM

    I guess you didn't read carefully what Architect wrote. He was talking on the renovation of the Art Deco, not creating a new Art Deco buildings. I am not in architect field so my comments on this subject is very limited, but I will suggest my friend who has PHD in architect in one of the most prestigious University in the world to come to this forum and put his comment. But as a person who have visted many cities around the world, I would say to modernize Asmara and makes it tourist attractive, the city administration (if it existed) should start to renovate the historical buildings or restore it to its original look, the city would target tourists that likes to visite historical cities. As for Massawa, it should, investing resorts, scuba diving, boat/mini cruise tours to islands.....

  16. According bereket kidane's article in
    Africa Tourism: Eritrea – 5th fastest-growing with 27.4 % growth from the previous year... But this doesn't mean Eritrea is top 5 tourist destination in Africa

    27.4 % growth from previous year it just percentage ..... It should be in terms of number of people visited Eritrea. compare to other nations in Africa Eritrea is one of the least visited country. 80 % of Eritrean tourists are Eritreans from diaspora and 75% of them they visit to Eritrea just to see their family back home. The other 20% they can be divided into two, 8-10% are Sudanese couples and the other 10% are mining worker, business owners or business travellers. So the ministry of Africa tourism in Eritrea is dead.

  17. I agree with you Russom. In your next visit I would like to advice you to visit the new road built in Zoba Debub, Demhina road kohaito, and Assab. I visited it in 2011. I went three times to Assab once by flight and two times by car. But it is much better by car, although it is a long journey you will not fill it coz of the fresh sea breeze.
    I also visited Gerset and Fanko dam, if you have time you can do it while you visit Teseney. When you visit Nakfa there is a river called ruba Moga please pass by. You will be surprised how fast the community lifestyle is changing from Nomads to settlers.
    Zura Nehagreka Temet Teazeba Habtam Betfetro.....

  18. Massawa pearl of the red sea is our Sevastopol in historic significance and Miami in its business potential all in one. Think about having a good time in eritrea just open your eyes and imagine the possibility. Wind surfing ,jet ski, kayaking And board the cruse ship in massawa harbor. parasailing, beach volleyball, swimming and wind surfing, camel safari at ghergesum beach. Fishing,sailing,diving and snorkeling at dahlak island. Margarita or nice cold asmera beer at the out-door restaurants and cafes overlooking the beautiful Pristine red sea-coast...this is not south beach or southern california or va beach...its the red sea-coast the fun never ends year around....think about camping at felfel selemuna eritreas Yosemite park and stay overnight at sabur hotel and lodge.then go to.mai wei our hot spring and stay at the fine hotel and lodge. imagine driving over the top of the.Mountains of igla demhina eritrea Appalachian mountains and touch the sky on your way to foro red sea on red sea-coast highway from massawa to asab and enjoy the magnificent pristine red sea. Or enjoy your cappuccino and stoned cooked Pisa at nice mountain top restaurant or cafe at arbe robe derfo watching the cable car go up and down the mountains..eritrea is beautifull....unlike our enemy's and the nay sayers have us belive er is in the right trajectory for sustainable developement. Think about the tourism industry bring to the country employment and tax beside fun and joy is enormous to say the list..think positive and dream the possibility it can be done let us do our part and make eritrea the peaceful turist destination it deserve.

  19. Architect / EngineerApril 15, 2014 at 8:07 PM

    Greetings Eyob,

    You seem to be missing the point or perhaps you have limited knowledge in architecture and urban planning.

    However, the bottom line is to repair what we have and exploit its potential, in this case the Art-Deco era buildings. This would be a way to jumpstart the international attention the city needs. Keep in mind, all this can only be done with qualified architects/scholars and most of all investors.

    Sure, you mentioned "...this is a city that was founded nearly a 1,000 years ago" but yet there are no significant buildings surviving from that time in Asmera. Thus, what is there to see?

    However, we can start an architectural renascence, Sabean/Habesha renascence if you will. To study our ancient architectural heritage that is collecting gratify at Metera, Kohayto, Adulis, if not Merib and elsewhere, to incorporate those classic orders into modern architecture. Unfortunately, we have architecturally illiterate leadership and society.

    Off-course, as you pointed it out on your argument... "if the GoE announces it will renovate a building, the excitement factor is basically minimal from Eritreans. But when the Government announces it will construct something new and modern, people are very much excited and feel the government is making progress". Sure, people have a mind set of "new is good and old is bad", because they do not understand the value of antiquities, they will dispose an old Rolex for the latest digital watch.

    As for the "Nakfa Building", it is not "Art Deco-ish" at all and it was not well planned. Rather it dwarfed the scenic architecture of the city. Apparently, no site analysis was conducted during the design process, if there was a design process at all.

    Anyways, I have to interrupt our discussion and I would highly advise you to check-out books on historical building preservation and urban planning, visit your local AIA office if you live in the states in regards to this subject.

    Best wishes !

  20. Massawa - Pearl of the Red Sea

  21. Asmara is a part of Zoba maekel, the person in charge is Wedi Kahsai. If you go there with an intention to make money forget it, you wan't get time of the day. The country is on stand still re- construction,so what is the use for any one to speak to your friend Architect,besides when time comes to renovate the art deco they don't need PHD to tell the authority what to do, they have expertise in hand to do the job.

  22. Dear Architect,
    if you really want to contribute to your country, you always find a way. You have to stand up for any challanges that you may encounterd. That's what they have done many Eritreans for over 50 years and continue to do it.

  23. Preserving Art Deco is not the priority at this time,Agriculture, water preservation and Infrastructure is.

  24. Why can't we do both?

  25. Relax! There is noting more annoying than wannabes...

  26. Lol, it's funny how Africans are easily impressed with titles, names, status... Sorry to bust your babble buddy but a PhD doesn't guarantee someone a good taste. Eyob is absolutely correct in his assessment.


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