Listed among UNESCO’s registered biosphere reserves, the unique landscape of Sheka Forest covers 238,750 hectares of forest. This southwest highland forest portrays spectacular natural phenomena being the only remaining tropical forest in Ethiopia. Jovago.com Africa’s leading online hotel booking company visited the place highlighting magnificent features of this refreshing destination. The experiences taken from this extraordinary escaped and the community life style will leave you with life time treasured memory.
As you step foot into the greener forest, the rush of fresh air fills your lungs. Your senses perk up and you become aware of the surrounding giant trees. Sheka has extensive forests, rolling hills and ridges. The land is covered by thick forests and terrain. The Sheka Forest found inside a unique biogeographic unit bordering Illubabor, Kafa Gambella and the Bench-Maji zone. It is the source of major rivers such as Baro and Akobo Rivers, the main tributaries of the White Nile, Gojeb and Omo. The place is admired for conservation of biodiversity, flood and erosion control, and carbon sequestration to mitigate the effects of carbon dioxide on the climate.
Over 300 plants, 50 mammals, 200 birds, and 20 amphibian species are registered within the biosphere reserve. Out of which 55 plants, and 10 birds are endemic species of the place. The local’s life depends on the forest using nature to produce organic honey and spices. Supplying to local and international markets. Non-timber forest products collected from the forest include medicinal plants, organic coffee and spices and fruits. The medicine plants are mixed by traditional medicine practitioners to treat patients using the jungle leaves.
The people of Sheka have a deep-rooted culture of conserving species, ecosystems and pristine natural habitats. The spectacular landscape possesses 209 sacred sites, 67 waterfalls, 74 mineral water springs as well as 13 historical and archaeological sites. The lakes, rivers and steep slope areas are culturally protected by the residents themselves. Forests and other natural landscapes have special cultural values among this traditional people.
Much of the forest is still untouched dotted with hot springs and rivers. The destination is known as a green paradise offering a lot more to visitors. Locals always pour their hospitality to welcome guest to their hometown and to their artisan markets. Sheka is a true jungle with lush foliage, taking a refreshing hike to this breathtaking landscape creates a unique experience. It offers beautiful waterfalls as well as loads of comfortable accommodation and restaurants. From here you can explore the dreamland of natural extravaganza.
By Eden Sahle