Look too closely at Eritrea and it will break your heart. What was once a prime travel destination with lovely weather, beautiful beaches and easy access to wilderness is now an inhospitable place for travelers as Eritrea battles with Ethiopia over where the border between their two countries actually lies.

You should be aware of local problems with landmines, travel permits and violence before traveling to Eritrea and keep up to date with local political and military developments.

What to do

The beaches of Eritrea are among the most picturesque of its tourist attractions but they are not the whole package. The volcanic southern coast is as geologically interesting as it gets in Africa with varied, dramatic terrain full of pits and pools and cliffs.

On the northern end, an archipelago extends into the sea. Sailing expeditions depart daily, however certain permits are required.

Getting there

There are intermittent flights to Eritrea from London and Cairo into the international airport in Asmara. All travelers to Eritrea need a visa and a passport to get in and getting a visa to Eritrea, like to most violent countries, can be a hassle.

Where to stay

Eritrea has the remnants of a thriving tourism industry and so has many options for accommodation in the cities. The Intercontinental chain is the most luxurious and also the most expensive hotel chain, setting travelers back over $100 a night. Budget hostels and backpacker lodges can be found in most cities, although the rooms will not be as luxurious as some travelers are used to.

Looking for more information before you get on the flight to Africa? Check out the message boards for up to date information from travelers just like you who have already been to Eritrea and Africa.