The Kafa Biosphere Reserve is characterized by impressive natural scenery. Kafa harbours lush ancient forests, thriving wetlands, steep valleys alongside towering mountains, and gentle rolling plains. Fertile valleys link the forested mountains, creating an appeasing, yet exciting landscape. Kafa is part of the Eastern Afromontane Biodiversity Hotspot, which is one of the 35 most biodiverse regions of the world.

As the largest continuous mountain range in Africa, many people call the Ethiopian Highlands the ‘Roof of Africa’. In Kafa, these mountains reach between 500 to 3,300 meters above sea level. In the highest elevations, a complex vegetation structure of evergreen mountain forests and grasslands covers the area. Altitude levels below are dominated by Afromontane moist evergreen broadleaf forest, often refered to as ‘cloud forest’. In Kafa, this is the place where the wild coffee (Coffea arabica) grows with an incredible variety of as many as 5,000 genetic varieties. In the lowlands of Kafa, one encounters wood-lands and moderate hills.


The abundant forests and mountains allow ample water resources. Unlike the arid eastern Lowlands, this region’s water resources result in a large number of wetlands, floodplains, swamps, marshes and peatlands.