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The West – Lush Nature and Coffee Route

Western Ethiopia is an underpublicized wildlife lover’s paradise, where colobus monkeys swing through roadside trees, elephants and buffalos lurk in forest glades, and an alluring bird checklist includes many forest endemics along with the spectacular shoebill and Egyptian plover. Nourished by a plentiful rainfall throughout the year, the loamy fertile soils of its lushly forested slopes are the natural home of the Arabica coffee bean and the origin of the world’s favorite hot brew – which still remains the region’s main export crop.

Thousands of plant species including many varieties of wild coffee, which still grow profusely in the forest understory, have been identified in the biosphere reserves of Keffa, Yayu, Sheka, and Majang biosphere reserves.

Africa’s second-largest antelope migration occurs from March to June when around a million white-tailed kob crosses from South Sudan into Gambella National Park, which is also home to rare birds such as the shoebill and Egyptian plover. The river port of Gambella is set on a wide, fig-lined tributary of the Nile inhabited by traditional Anuwak fishermen and Nuer pastoralists.

The ebullient national park of chebera churchura keeps one of the spellbound varieties of wildlife endemism.

Day hikes, mule excursions, and boat trips are offered by community tourism at the gorgeous Crater Lakes of Wonchi and Dendi .

Bebeka Coffee Estate, Ethiopia’s largest, 45 minutes from Mizan Teferi, is of interest to birdwatchers, and a population of small red-brown buffaloes can be spotted in the surrounding hills.

Kibish is the springboard for excursions into Southwest Omo, home to the culturally fascinating pastoralist Surma people.

What to see?

The Historic City of South western Ethiopia
An extinct volcano, Mount Wenchi rises to 3,386m and the Afroalpine moorland of its upper slopes, studded with relict patches of natural forest, can be …