Jimma, located at 335 kilo meters south west of Addis Ababa, is one of the famous coffee growing areas of South-west Ethiopia. As one of the world’s coffee exporter Ethiopia owes much to Jimma along with other areas.
Apart from its coffee yield and vegetation, Jimma is also apparent for its history. It was the line of the 19th century long distance trade route whereby 30,000 people used to attend the ancient great Thursday market at Hirmata, the current site of the Jimma town.
Historical palace of Sultan Abba Jifar (1853-1925) and Jimma museum antiquities are also among the major historical heritage that makes Jimma one of the major tourist destinations of south west Ethiopia.
Abba Jifar Palace (1853 – 1925):
Before being incorporated into the central Christian Empire of Ethiopia, Jimma was one and the strongest of the five autonomous Gibe kingdoms of the Oromo people under the leadership of Abba Jifar Abba Gomal, best known as king Abba Jifar also known by his Islamic name (Sultan Muhammad Dawud Ibn Ibrahim) of Jimma.
Towards the end of 1860’s king Abba Jifar built his palace at Jiren which costed him 400 kg.of gold and 65,000 Maria Theresa and still stands with colourful architectural beauty. In the compound of the palace still stand other four buildings: the public mosquareue, the mosquareue of Abba Jifar, residential palace of Abba Jifar and residential building of Abba Jobir Abba Dula (the grandson of Abba Jifar).
Displays most of historic materials of king Abba Jifar, his kingdom and cultural objects of local Oromo people and other ethnic groups around Kafa. The first set of collection in this museum is the personal household furniture of the king which include beds of Abba Jifar, tables, arm chairs, utensils, religious manuscripts and others.
Other attractions around Jimma which catch the eyes of tourists are pitches of dense tropical jungles of different size where in many rivers and streams flow and different species of wildlife inhabiting the area. One of these forests Ballaté Géra, is located south east of Jimma with an area of 1048 square.kilometress in which major rivers like Gojab Nuso, and Mettu flow. Another jungle, Babbiya Folla, is located in Qarsa, Limmu, Kosa Manna, and Tiro Afata districts of Jimma Zone with an area of 740 square. Kilo metress. The forest is accessible via Jimma-Sarbo with 22 kilo metres asphalt and 3 kilo metres dry weather road.