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Sof Omar Cave

Sof Omar, a tiny Muslim village in Bale, is the site of an amazing complex of natural caves, cut by the Weyb River as it found its way into the nearby mountains. The settlement, which is a religious site, is named after a local Sheikh. Visitors make their way-armed with torches and official maps underground, far into the bowels of the earth, beside a subterranean stream. There one can see an extraordinary number of arched portals, high, eroded ceilings and deep, echoing chambers.


Some 35 per cent of the Ethiopian population is Muslim. Nearly half the population is Christian, belonging to the Ethiopian Orthodox Church, whose 4th Century beginnings came long before Europe accepted Christianity. A further small percentage of the population adheres to traditional and other beliefs, including Judaism. Sof Omar, a tiny Muslim village in Bale, is the site of an amazing complex of natural caves, cut by the Wab River as it found its way from the nearby mountains. The settlement, which is a religious site, is named after a local Sheikh. Armed with torches and official map, visitors to Sof Omar make their way underground, far into the bowels of the earth, beside a subterranean stream, and there can see an extraordinary number of arched portals, high eroded ceilings and deep echoing chambers.


With a population of more than two million people, Addis Ababa is not only the political capital but also the economic and social nerve-centre of Ethiopia. Founded by Emperor Menelik in 1887, this big, sprawling, hospitable city still bears the stamp of his exuberant personality. More than 21,000 hectares in area, Addis Ababa is situated in the foothills of the 3,000-metre Entoto Mountains and rambles pleasantly across many wooded hillsides and gullies cut with fast-flowing streams. Wide, tree-lined streets, fine architecture, glorious weather and the incongruity of donkey trains along the boulevards make Addis Ababa a city of surprises and a delightful place to explore. The clear mountain air gives the city the bracing atmosphere of a summer highland resort. It enjoys a mild climate, with an average temperature of 61 degrees Fahrenheit.

 

 
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