Western Ethiopia


When we look at West Ethiopia we are mainly interested in Jimma and Gambella where the highlands of Ethiopia give way to the Western low lands. This part of Ethiopia is very rich in natural beauty such as green rolling hills with dense forests teeming with wild animals and birds, the Omo river Canyon, waterfalls, coffee and tea plantations and fertile soil where fruits, crops and vegetables abundantly grow. In the far west the climate and landscape changes abruptly when you go down to the swampy lowlands with their hot, humid atmosphere near the Sudanese border.

Ethiopia produces one of the best highland coffees in the world. The country, known to be original home of coffee Arabica, mainly produces sun-dried unwashed coffee types known in the world market for their flavor, good body, acidity and diversity of taste. 

The word "coffee" comes from the name of the former region "Kaffa" where coffee first was discovered by a herd’s boy as a stimulant and later was used as the black liquid which is so well known now all over the world. For ages the secret of coffee remained in Ethiopia. In the 16th century coffee was brought to Arabia by traders and cultivated there and in the 17th century it was introduced in EuropeCoffee grows in almost all regions of Ethiopia, but more than 80 per cent of the marketable production comes from what is known as forest coffee, mostly from the regions of Keffa, Wellega, Gamo Gofa, Sidamo and Illubabor zones. The rest comes from coffee gardens found in Shoa and Hararge

West Ethiopia is also inhabited by the Oromo, Majangor, Nuer and Anuak people and different smaller tribes. In Jimma and in Nekemte are interesting museums where you can learn more about the culture of these tribes.