Coffee is nature’s gift to Ethiopia in particular and the world in general, which requires special care and proper utilization. One out standing characteristics of Ethiopian coffee is that the fertility of soil is maintained by organic recycling. Farmers do not use chemical fertilizers but falling leaves, dead plants and manures. In fact one of the secrets of producing high quality coffee is that the farmers have developed an environment friendly coffee growing culture.
Visitors with an interest in observing pre-materialist cultures or in anthropology will find much to fascinate them in the different ethnic groups situated along the Omo River, with marvelous scenery, wild life and bird life as an added bonus. Before reaching the Omo, just before Arba Minch, boat trip at Lake Chamo, a visit can be to Chencha, the home of the Dorze people, famed for their bamboo bee-hive shaped houses and their weaving skills. Further south are the Konso, noted for their intricately terraced hillsides and the wooden totems with which they adorn their cemeteries. Along the Omo River a variety of different ethnic groups are found, such as the Tsemay, Arbore, Hamer, Galeb(Dasenech), Karo, Benna, Ari, and Mursi, Bume(Nyangatom), Bodi, Surma, Yabello, Yirgalem(Sidama), whose contact with the modern world has come only within the last two to three decades. (The Omo, flowing for nearly 1000 km from the highlands south west of Addis Ababa to Lake Turkana in Kenya, provides excellent opportunities for white water rafting.)
Ethiopia has its own script, notational system and calendar. The Ethiopian Orthodox Church is the oldest in Africa – Christianity was made the state religion in the Axumite Empire in 330 AD, before Rome. Muslim communities were established in Ethiopia before the triumph of Islam in its birth place, the Arabian Peninsula. Ethiopia’s wealth of historic sites and an identity is defined by its own history and diverse cultures.