Sof Umar (Sof Omar) Cave

Posted: March 31, 2015 in Ethiopia - the Secret of Africa

The cave is one of the world’s biggest and Africa’s largest cave. This marvellous underground world is located in Dawe Qachan District of Bale Zone at a distance of 110m from the Zone’s capital Robe and 40 kilo meters from the nearest town Goro.

Sof Omar Cave Bale Ethiopia at FANOS Ethiopia Tours

The caves major attraction features include:

  • The cave area which is typically characterized by flat topography and a deep gorge cut by river Web which forms the cave, and in particular the Ayyo-Mako (by the local Oromiffa language) cliff gate of river entrance is the right spot where visitors start cave expedition while the Hulluqa is the resurgence of both visitors and the river from the cave;
  • The beauty of the cave comes from the untouched and savage aspects of the huge main passages, the very special shape of the sections of the galleries, the white colour of the lime stones and basalt that form the walls, the great number of entrances, the bewitching noise of the river, labyrinthine morphology of the galleries network and the presence of the many bats, etc;
  • The 42 internal entrances and its total passages distance of 15.6 kilo metres its 1.2 kilo metres tourist route, which crosses the river seven times and takes visitors about two hour’s walking.

Sof-Omar-cave FANOS Ethiopia Tours

Sof Umar cave is a reputed historical Islamic heritage dedicated to the Sufist Sheikh Safiy Ullah Umar (abbreviated as “Sof Umar”) from whom the name of the cave is originated. The Sheikh is said to be the nephew as well as the disciple of Sheikh Husein. He lived and worshiped Allah in the cave and taught Islam to his followers many centuries ago.

The cave thus is one of the venerated monuments of religious history that predate the arrival of Islam in Bale. The present cultural practice of offering prayers and sacrifices by the pilgrim twice a year to celebrate events of religious ceremony gives opportunity to experience history and culture.

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