Ethiopia’s Western Highlands

This region is known by its green forest area, more than any other part of the country, it is the lush western highlands, all rolling hills, neat cultivation and dense mountain forest, that subvert preconception about Ethiopia being known by a land of desert and famine. The ultimate goal for any traveler heading to the western part of the country is Jimma the largest settlement in this region and the birth place of coffee in Ethiopia and, indeed the first home of all coffee in the world and the steamy river port of Gambela, inhabited by the Anuak and the Nuers tribes both are the speaker of the Nilo Saharan language. Both towns will be reached via a dramatic and natural rain forest visiting remarkable landscapes and magnificent villages.

The Ethiopian Highlands is a rugged mass of mountains in Ethiopia, situated in the Horn region in Northeast Africa. It forms the largest continuous area of its altitude in the continent, with little of its surface falling below 1500 m (4,921 ft), while the summits reach heights of up to 4550 m (14,928 ft). It is sometimes called the Roof of Africa due to its height and large area. Most of the Ethiopian Highlands are part of central and northern Ethiopia, and its northernmost portion reaches into Eritrea.

The predominant climate type of the Ethiopian Highlands is tropical monsoon, and have a climate which is generally considerably cooler than other regions at similar proximity to the Equator.

The Ethiopian Highlands began to rise 75 million years ago, as magma from the Earth’s mantle uplifted a broad dome of the ancient rocks of the Arabian-Nubian Shield. The opening of the Great Rift Valley split the dome of the Ethiopian Highlands into three parts; the mountains of the southern Arabian Peninsula are geologically part of the ancient Ethiopian Highlands, separated by the rifting which created the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden and separated Africa from Arabia.

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