Welcome to Kafa Biosphere Reserve


Ethiopia is a highly diverse country in terms of culture, climate and nature. In fact, Ethiopia is part of one of the world’s 35 biodiversity hotspots and is therefore one of the most biodiverse countries of this planet. The few remaining old-growth forests are considered to be particularly valuable because of their natural and cultural treasures. One of these havens is the Kafa Biosphere Reserve in southwest Ethiopia, which is known to be the birthplace of wild Arabica coffee (Coffea arabica). The afromontane cloud forest of Kafa is also home to numerous rare and endangered animal and plant species, which make it a unique place to visit off the usual tourist routes in Ethiopia. Visitors to this region can therefore look forward to experiencing authentic cultures, colourful coffee ceremonies as well as striking landscapes and exciting wildlife.

Read on the following pages about the distinctive aspects of the Kafa region and find information for your visit to Kafa. Come and discover the beauty of one of the last natural and cultural treasures of Ethiopia!




March 2016 - From 9 to 13 March 2016, the world’s leading travel trade show, called ITB, takes place in Berlin, Germany. This year, NABU is participating to promote the tourism offers of the Kafa Biosphere Reserve. Ecotourism is an important tool to locally conserve nature while generating income for local people and support sustainable regional development. read more

November 2015: Promotion Trip to the Kafa Biosphere Reserve
From 27th until 30th November 2015, representatives from travel agencies as well as from the Ethiopian Tourism Organisation (ETO) visited the Kafa Biosphere Reserve in order to discover the tourism potential of this beautiful region. read more

November 2015: “Bread. Wine. Chocolate" – a book by Simran Sethi takes a look at Kafa’s wild coffee forests
Globalisation on our plates: In her book “Bread. Wine. Chocolate", award-winning journalist Simran Sethi investigates the loss of diversity in our food and travels the world to meet scientists, farmers, chefs, wine makers, beer brewers, coffee roasters and chocolate connoisseurs. read more

August 2015: UNESCO acknowledges NABU’s Youth Manual that is implemented in the Kafa BR
The Nature and Biodiversity Conservation Union (NABU) is very proud about the recognition of its Youth Manual by the UNESCO Man and the Biosphere (MAB) Programme, which is being implemented in the Kafa Biosphere Reserve. read more

December 2014: International Biodiversity Assessment in the Kafa Biosphere Reserve
The Kafa Biosphere Reserve is known for its beautiful nature as well as unique flora and fauna. Past studies of the region's biodiversity document a large number of species: 300 species of mammals including 14 carnivore as well as 8 monkey, 300 bird, 244 plant species and more than 110 tree species. read more

August 2012: Africa lions documented in montane rain forest for the very first time
Addis Ababa/Berlin –NABU – The German Nature and Biodiversity Conservation Union provided the first evidence of lions in montane rain and cloud forest. Up to now, the African lion, which is classified as vulnerable by the IUCN had only been documented and photographed outside of rainforests. read more

March 2011: Heimat des Wildkaffees endlich unter Schutz
Bonga/Äthiopien - Gemeinsam mit Staatspräsident Girma Wolde Giorgis, äthiopischen Ministern und weiteren hochrangigen Vertretern aus Politik und Wirtschaft hat der NABU heute in Bonga eines der ersten UNESCO-Biosphärenreservate Äthiopiens eingeweiht. read more

June 2010: Groundbreaking success - Kafa Biosphere Reserve recognized as UNESCO Biosphere Reserv
It is a groundbreaking success for nature conservation in Africa: As one of the first two Biosphere Reserves in Ethiopia the Wild Coffee Forests in the former kingdom of Kafa have been recognized as UNESCO Biosphere Reserve in the beginning of June 2010. NABU is campaigning since 2006 for the integration of the region into UNESCO’s World network of Biosphere Reserves. read more

March 2010: Breaking news for inhabitants, friends and supporters of the proposed Kafa Biosphere Reserve
UNESCO’s International Advisory Committee for Biosphere Reserves recommended at its 16th Meeting to approve Kafa Biosphere Reserve as UNESCO Biosphere Reserve! The official recognition by UNESCO is to be expected mid of 2010. 

25-12-2009: Management plan for the proposed Kafa Biosphere Reserve to be presented
Relevant authorities at the federal, regional and local level have developed a management plan for Kafa Biosphere Reserve. read more

19-11-2009: New project on conservation of primary forests and climate change in Kafa Biosphere Reserve
The proposed Kafa Biosphere Reserve is situated in one of the last remaining forest areas of Ethiopia, therefore it is time to act and to interlink the protection of the natural forests to the reduction of CO2 emissions from deforestation and forest degradation. read more

10-11-2009: Kafa Biosphere Reserve launches project website

The website aims to promote tourism in the region.  Sustainable development, including ecotourism, in Kafa accentuates the goals of the Biosphere Reserve and brings more opportunities for the people of Kafa.

01-10-2009: Why should you visit Kafa? A study on tourism opportunities accentuates tourist options

A landscape planner from Berlin TU University in Germany is studying the potential for tourism in Kafa.  This Masters thesis will provide the Biosphere Reserve with a detailed map showing tourist sites and further recommendations for management of tourism. read more

30-09-2009: Official application submitted to UNESCO MAB Programme

The Kafa Biosphere Initiative submitted the official application to UNESCO's Man and Biosphere Programme.  The application proposes over 760,000 hectares to be included in the Reserve.  Over 44% of the total reserve area will support sustainable development and over 50% of the area, which is still forested, will be protected.

09-2009:  Ethiopia's Ministry of Science and Technology supports the Biosphere Reserve
The Ministry of Science and Technology supports the establishment of a network of biosphere reserves in Ethiopia including Kafa Biosphere Reserve as one of the first.  An agreement has been signed between the Ministry, NABU, and the UNESCO Cluster office in Addis Ababa.

01-01-2009:  Coffee museum in Kafa to be built
The Federal Ethiopian Government in collaboration with the Kafa Zone is constructing the National Coffee Museum in Bonga town.  It will also include an Information Centre about the Biosphere Reserve. read more