Amhara National Regional State (ANRS)

Geography and Climate


The Amhara National Regional State extends from 9° to 13° 45' N and 36° to 40° 30'E. It is bounded by Tigray region in the north, Oromia region in the south, Benishangul-Gumuz region and Sudan in the west, and Afar region in the east. It covers approximately 161,828.4 in area and is moderately compact in shape.

The regional state is made up of 11 administrative zones namely Wag Himra, North Wollo, North Gondar and South Gondar, South Wollo, North Shewa, Oromia, East Gojjam, West Gojjam, Awi and Bahir Dar special zone. These zones are divided into a total of 113 woredas and 3,216 kebeles.


Location of Amhara region

Amhara region and 11 zones

The Amhara region covers approximately 161,828.4 in area. This is 11 % of Ethiopia's total area. This land consists of three major geographical zones. There are highlands (above 2,300 metres above sea level), semi-highlands (1,500 to 2,300 metres above sea level) and lowlands (below 1,500metres above sea level) accounting 20 percent, 44 percent, and 28 percent respectively.

The region's topography embraces plains, gorges, plateaus, hills and mountains. The altitude ranges from a low of 500metres to a high of 4,620 meters found at the peak of Ras Dashen. This is Ethiopia's highest point and Africa's fourth highest mountain.

Amhara's biggest rivers include inter alia, Abay(the Blue Nile), Belese, Tekezie, Anghereb, Athbara, Mile, Kessem,and Jema.

Tana, the biggest lake in Ethiopia and third largest lake in Africa, is located at the heart of the region. It has an area of 3,620square kilometers. The other lakes of the region namely, Ardibo and Logo cover 75 and 35 square kilometers


Climatic zones

The Amhara National Regional State, like the rest of the country, is located within the tropics where there is no significant variation in day length and the angle of the sun throughout the year. As a result, average annual temperatures in the region are high and variations low.

However, even though latitude mainly influence the overall temperatures, the great variations in altitude and slope aspects also have very significant effects on local microclimates and temperatures. The region therefore has climatic zones ranging from hot dry tropical (800-1830m above sea level), sub tropical (1830-2440m above sea level), temperate (2440-3000m above sea level), and alpine (over 3000m above sea level). Highlands above an altitude of 1500m experiences relatively cool temperature conditions in contrast to the lowlands.

Kolla, tropical zone is the zone of desert and thorn shrub vegetation,
flora include the tamarind giant sycamore, acacia, myrtle and zizygium, euphorbia. Also crops include cotton, tobacco, dura, and sugar cane.

Woina dega, sub-tropical zone is warm and moderate. Average temperature is 22°C. This is the zone where most cereals are grown, including soft grains, barley, teff, maize. Here coffee grows wild. Because of good living condition most Amhara live in this zone
Dega is cold. This area is adapted for raising livestock and sustainable growing barley, wheat, teff, beans, flax, temperate fruits. Trees include the wild olive (Olea chrysophylla), juniper (Juniperus procera), Kosso tree (Hegenia abyssinica).

Climatic zones and their temperature and rainfall range

Name of the climate zone


Average Temperature

Annual Rainfalls

Kolla (Tropical zone)

below 1830m



Woina dega(Subtropical zone)


22 °C

510mm-1530 mm.

Dega(Cool zone)

above 2440m


1530mm - 2000mm.

Rainy season

In most parts of the region, the hottest month come in May immediately before the main rainy season and the reduction of solar radiation by the heavy cloud cover.
Rainfall mainly comes from June to September when the Inter-tropical Front, the zone of convergence of winds, is located to the north of the country. During this time of the year moist winds from the middle part of the Atlantic Ocean, often referred to as Equatorial Westerlies , are down towards this area of low atmospheric pressure and providing rain. Thus, most of the western parts and the highlands that are situated on the direct path of the moist winds capture more rainfalls than the rest of the regions.

In general, the western side of the region enjoys annual rainfall in excess of 1200mm. The mean annual rainfall over the whole region varies from 300mm in the east to well over 2,000mm in Awi zone. The amount of rainfall, and also the length of the rainy season, decreases north and north-eastwards from the south-western corner of the region .

Ethipian four seasons

The Amhara region has four seasons; Kiremt (Summer), Belg (Autumn), Bega (Winter), Tseday (Spring).
Kiremt is from June to August in european calendar. Belg is September, October and November. Bega is December, January and February , which is dry sea s ons. Tseday is from March to May.