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The Phantom Coniferous Sidamo Forest, Ethiopia

  • Forests

Discovering the Phantom Coniferous Sidamo Forest in Ethiopia

Straddling the southern region of Ethiopia, the Sidama Province is home to the country’s largest protected coniferous forest, renowned as one of Africa’s most ancient habitats of its kind. Aptly named “The Phantom Coniferous Sidamo Forest,” this expansive sanctuary is like no other found on the continent.

Naturally reserved for only the most serious outdoorsmen and explorers, the sheer beauty of Ethiopia’s Sidamo Province is enough to draw anyone in. But it’s the secrets of the Phantom Coniferous Sidamo Forest that keep adventurers coming back for more.

Navigating Ethiopia’s Sidamo Province

Making up the landmass of the Marka Genale and Weina Dee Springs watersheds, the Sidama province is home to some of Ethiopia’s most unique natural marvels. It houses the majority of the country’s larger water tunnel systems, caverns and artifacts which date back to as early as the 18th century.

The Sidamo Province is known for its bubbling creeks, cactus formations and volcanic rocks, which make up a portion of the African Great Rift Valley. Thick patches of coniferous forests traverse through the headwaters of the Marka Genale – a major waterway, and can be found scattered at an elevation of 2,500 to 3,500 metres.

Exploring Ethiopia’s Ancient Phantom Coniferous Sidamo Forest

The Phantom Coniferous Sidamo Forest inhabits an area no more than sixty kilometres across, yet it houses some of Ethiopia’s most exotic plants and trees. The dense growth of Ethiopia’s cedar and fir trees made up of rich shades of olive, sumac and mahogany that blanket the region are home to some of its rarest plant species.

Location amidst Ethiopia’s prime bird-watching destination of Bale Mountains National Park, travellers can expect to find a variety of bird species such as the Golden Eagle and African Palm Swift, as well as majestic creatures such as the Ethiopian Wolf, African Wild Dog and the mountain Nyala. Scholars and wild-life enthusiasts have reported sightings of the endangered mountain gorilla, an incredible feat for such a hard-to-track species.

The Phantom Coniferous Sidamo Forest, Ethiopia two

Status of the Phantom Coniferous Sidamo Forest

In 2005, severe land degradation due to deforestation and overgrazing threatened the security of the Phantom Coniferous Sidamo Forest. Following in the footsteps of major natural reserves, Ethiopia designated the Sidamo Province as a protected area to ensure the safety of its pristine nature.

Under Ethiopia’s expansive reforestation project, the government has subscribed billions in regional aid to help champion this and other areas of the Sidamo province. A local forestry department has been established to aid trekkers and encourage conservation projects that help preserve Ethiopia’s diverse flora and fauna.

Ethiopia’s Phantom Coniferous Sidamo Forest is an International Treasure

Home to some of Ethiopia’s most weird and wonderful creatures, no ethno-botanist or naturalist should miss the opportunity to explore the Phantom Coniferous Sidamo Forest. As one of Africa’s last remaining sacred forests, it is an international treasure.

Here, trekkers will find an untouched corner of Ethiopia, offering some of its most awe-inspiring sights. An unforgettable mix of pine, eucalyptus and cedar trees, this majestic jungle takes explorers deep into the secrets of nature in one of the continent’s oldest and wisest natural habitats.

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