A land with diverse opportunities. The majestic natural beauties and wonders of the land, the range of fauna and flora, the wild animals, the multifarious cultural colors and the history of the Oromo people, their wisdom, tolerance and hospitality that made the Oromia breathtakingly beautiful. Moreover, one of the world’s biggest and marvelous caves Sof Umar, the biggest and wonderful alpine park of Africa – Bale’Mountains National Park, the paradise of birds and of their watchers-the Rift Valley lakes region, Malka Qunturre’-one of the spots of the cradle of mankind, several churches, monasteries, holy shrines, mosques, palaces, cultural and spiritual sites and above all the famous democratic Gada system of the Oromo culture,…these and many other attractions make Oromia one of the most preferred tourist destination in Ethiopia.
Explore for all you need to know about the history, culture, climate, investment opportunities, tourist attractions and resorts in Oromia
Oromia is a remnant part of the high and extensive Afro-Arabian plateau formed from continued uplift, rifting and subsequent volcanic piles. High relief of over 1500m is dominant. The climatic types prevailing in the region may be grouped into 3 major categories: the dry climate, tropical rainy climate and temperate rainy climate. The dry climate is characterized by poor sparse vegetation with annual mean temperature of 27°C to 39°C, and mean annual rainfall of less than 450 mm. The hot semi-arid climate mean annual temperature varies between 18°C and 27°C. It has a mean annual rainfall of 410-820 mm with noticeable variability from year to year. Highlands of Oromiya experience temperate climate of moderate temperature, (mean temperature of the coolest month is less than 180c) and ample precipitation (1200-2000mm).
RIVERS AND LAKES
Awash, Wabe-Shebele, Genale, Gibe, Baro, Dedessa and Guder are major rivers in the region. River Awash, which is the longest river inside Ethiopia is a source of great agro-industrial and hydroelectric power.
The crater lakes Green lake (true to its name), Bishoftu, Kuriftu, Bishoftu-Gudo, Hora-Kilole, Horsa Arsedi, and the rift-valley lakes Ziway, Abiyata, Shala, and Langano are found in this region. They have immense potential for recreation and fishery development.
There are around 800 bird species and more than 100 wild animals in the region. Endemic wild animals such as the mountain Nyala, the Semien Red Fox and Menelik Bushbuck inhabit the Bale mountains national park.
The Awash National Park, the oldest and most developed game reserve of its kind in Ethiopia, consists mostly of the east African plain games except Giraffe and Buffalo. It is home to the Oryx, Kudu, Caracal, Aardavark, Colobus Monkey, Green Monkeys, Baboons, Leopard, Klipspringer, Hippo, Seemering’s Gazelle, Grevy’s Zebra and Cheetah.
The Awash National Park is also a natural sanctuary of numerous bird-species, some of which include Limburger, Wattle Crane, Angur Buzzard, Verreaux Eagle and long eared owls. Water Fowls, Shore Birds and the colorful Ruddy Shelled Duck as well as the endemic Blue-winged Goose are common in the marshy areas of the park.
The explored mineral deposits of the region include: gold, platinum, nickel, iron-ore, soda ash, diatomite, limestone, feldspar, silica sand, dolomite, kaolin, granite and other non-metallic construction materials.
Gold mines at Adola and Laga Dambi (Borena zone) Nejo and Birbir river Valley (Wollega), and platinum at Yubdo (Wellega) are being exploited. Mining activities that are already underway include:gold (Borena and West Wellega), soda ash in the Rift Valley, limestone, gypsum and clay soil (Muger), tantalum (at Kenticha) ornamental and construction minerals (in Hararghe and Wellega) and ceramic in Borena.
Oromia has high potential for hydropower development. Untouched energy in geothermal, natural coal, and solar are found in the region. At present, the greatest percentage of the hydroelectric power of Ethiopia comes form Koka, Fincha, Melka-Wakena and Sor power stations of the region.
The total installed capacity of Integrated Circial System hydro electricity generating stations in the region amounts to 367,120 kW of which 360,200 (98.1%) and 6920 (1.9%) are hydro and thermal respectively. On the other hand, the total installed capacity of self contained system (SCS) in 1993/94 is 12,759 kw of which 5,510 (43.2%) and 7,249 (56.8%) are hydro and thermal respectively. Gilgel Gibe another hydroelectric power source is under construction. Generally, most of the rivers in the state have immense hydroelectric power potential.
TOURISM AND HERITAGE
Besides the large and endemic varieties of fauna and bird species of the Awash and the Bale Mountains National Park, the Rift-Valley lakes of the region are places where sports, sunbathing and bird watching tours could be accomplished.
The hot springs in Walliso and Sodere (about 114 km south west and east of the capital respectively) are popular attraction sites for their medicinal and recreational value.
The Sof-Omar caves in central Bale, with their galleries of polished white cone and chamber of columns are the incredible natural phenomena of great interest and beauty. The palace of Aba Jifar in Jimma is another historical attraction. Moreover, topographical spectacles of the region add up to make Oromiya a perfect tourist destination.
Source: Oromo Country Oromia