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BUNO KAFFA, from its birth place

Explore Kaffa

Impressive natural scenery characterizes Kafa Biosphere Reserve. Kafa harbors lush ancient forests, thriving wetlands, steep valleys alongside towering mountains, and gentle rolling plains. Fertile valleys link the forested mountains creating an appeasing but exciting landscape.
As the largest continuous area of mountains in Africa, many people consider the Ethiopian Highlands as the Roof of Africa. In Kafa, these mountains range from 500 to 3300 meters. Volcanic activity started forming the mountains over 75 million years ago making it a truly historical landscape. A process related to this volcanic activity, called Continental Rifting, causes the earth’s crust in Ethiopia to fracture.
In the Highlands, a range of altitudes creates a transition of vegetation and colors on Kafa's mountainsides. At the highest altitudes, a complex vegetation structure of evergreen mountain forests and grasslands covers a greater part of Kafa. Further down the mountain slopes, the Afromontane moist evergreen broadleaf forest, or cloud forest, supports wild Coffea arabica. Before reaching the lowlands, one will encounter woodlands and moderate hills.
Rising dramatically above lowland terrain, the Highlands make up an isolated mountain environment where many species have evolved separately from their lowland counterparts creating a wide array of plants and animals. This type of environment fosters a wealth of endemic species. An endemic species lives only in a certain region of the world and nowhere else. Scientists consider this region an important Biodiversity Hotspot owing to its high species richness and impending habitat loss.

The abundant forests and fracturing of the Highlands allows ample water resources to form. Unlike the arid eastern Lowlands, this region's water resources together with its abundant rainfall establish a foundation for an especially large number of wetlands, floodplains, swamps, marshes, and peatlands.


Kafa Biosphere Reserve has an extraordinary mosaic of wildlife. From large majestic lions to tiny spotted frogs, Kafa supports a range of mammals, amphibians, reptiles, and invertebrates. Visitors in Kafa awake in the morning to the symphonies of birds and the croaks of the Ibis.
Scientists have recorded sixty mammal species in Kafa Biosphere Reserve and are keen on further research and exploration. These species include: four types of mongoose, antelopes such as the Reedbuck and Duiker, seven types of bats, the small Rock Hyrax who survives as the closest living relative of the elephant, Spotted Hyena, bushpig, Honey Badger, jackal, and the occasional riverine hippo or African Buffalo.