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Western Ethiopia

Western Ethiopia is undisturbed and seldom visited, and while its towns are nothing special, it’s one of the most beautiful regions in Ethiopia. Rainforests and coffee plantations share the landscape with savannah grasslands, wildlife-rich swamps and high plateaus carpeted in fields of tef (an indigenous grass cultivated as a cereal, the base for making injera).

As impressive as the scenery is, it’s the ethnic diversity that's the real attraction: white-robed highlanders flock to churches while, on the South Sudan border, ritually scarred Nuer people stride across the grasslands with their long-horned cattle. The Anuak people of the Gambela region believe that to continue travelling west is to fall off the edge of the world – they are wrong on this score: the world doesn’t end in western Ethiopia, it just feels that way.

Top attractions

These are our favorite local haunts, touristy spots, and hidden gems throughout Western Ethiopia.