Palace of Abba Jiffar

Western Ethiopia

Looking more out of America’s Wild West than the Kafa kingdom, the increasingly fragile Palace of Abba Jiffar looks as if a strong wind could blow it away. It sits atop a hill 7km northeast of Jimma's town centre, near the village of Jiren, and has views back down over Jimma that are worth the price of admission alone. To get here either take a minibus (Birr8) from the marketplace in town or contract a taxi for the visit (Birr200, including waiting time).

King Jiffar (1852–1933), who was one of the most important Kafa kingdom rulers, held power at the end of the 19th century. The palace contains a private family mosque (still in use) and rooms that served as library, throne room, reception chamber, king’s guard room, sentry tower, courthouse and guesthouse. Almost 1.6km back down the hill lies the king's tomb.

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