Nek’emtē, Ethiopia

Reading Time: 5 minutes

Nek’emtē, Ethiopia

Region: Oromia

Geographic Coordinates: 9.083300, 36.550000
Temperature Range: 15.0°C to 30.0°C (59°F to 86°F)
Climate: Seasonal.
Population: 148613
Language: Amharic

Nek’emtē, Also known as Nekemte, Is a city situated in the western part of Ethiopia. It serves as the capital city of the Oromia region and stands at an elevation of 1, 994 meters above sea level. The population in this city is approximately 130, 000 people making it one of the fastest-growing cities in Ethiopia. The history of Nek’emtē dates back to ancient times when it was a significant trading center for gold and ivory. During the Italian occupation from 1936 to 1941, It played a crucial role as one of the primary bases for Ethiopian resistance fighters.

Nowadays, Nek’emtē is renowned for its vibrant culture and diverse ethnic groups with Oromo being its largest ethnic group. The city hosts various cultural festivals throughout the year that celebrate traditional music, Dance, And food. Agriculture is one of the main sources of income in Nek’emtē with coffee being among its major exports. Other crops grown include maize, Teff (a type of grain), Sorghum (a type of grass), Potatoes and vegetables such as tomatoes and onions. Furthermore, Small-scale industries like textiles manufacturing support local employment.

Mount Bantu is an attraction worth visiting while in Nek’emté due to its breathtaking views over surrounding areas including Lake Wenchi located about 25 kilometers away from Nek’emeté’s center. Abay River which runs through this city before joining with Nile River downstream near Sudanese border town Aswan provides irrigation water for agricultural lands around it making agriculture possible throughout most seasons every year. Nek’emtē offers visitors an opportunity to experience Ethiopia’s rich history and vibrant culture through stunning natural scenery coupled with diverse ethnic groups alongside a thriving economy making it an increasingly popular destination for tourists.

Noteable History

  1. The Battle of Adwa: This battle was fought between Ethiopia and Italy in 1896, near the town of Adwa which is close to Nek’emte. The Ethiopian army, led by Emperor Menelik II, defeated the Italian forces and maintained their independence from European colonization.
  2. Emperor Haile Selassie: Haile Selassie was born in Ejersa Goro which is located near Nek’emte. He became emperor of Ethiopia in 1930 and ruled until he was overthrown in a coup in 1974.
  3. The Oromo Liberation Front: This political organization was founded in 1973 with the goal of promoting self-determination for the Oromo people who are one of the largest ethnic groups in Ethiopia and have a significant presence around Nek’emte.
  4. The Amhara Massacre: In October 2021, dozens of people were killed during an attack on civilians by armed groups believed to be affiliated with the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF). Many victims were reportedly from Amhara ethnic group living around Nek’emte area.
  5. Abiy Ahmed: Abiy Ahmed is an Ethiopian politician who served as prime minister from April 2018 to September 2021. He won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2019 for his efforts to resolve conflicts within Ethiopia and promote peace with neighboring Eritrea.
  6. Lake Tana: Lake Tana is located near Nek’emte area and it’s considered as one of Africa’s largest freshwater lakes that has great historical significance for Ethiopian Orthodox Christians as it’s believed that Christianity first arrived here more than a millennium ago.
  7. Wollega University: Located just outside Nek’emte town, Wollega University is one of the largest and most prestigious universities in Ethiopia. It was established in 2007 and has since become a center for academic excellence and research in the country.

Museums and Things To See

  1. Nekemte Museum is a museum that showcases the history and culture of the Oromo people, one of Ethiopia’s largest ethnic groups.
  2. Woliso Cultural Center promotes traditional Ethiopian dance, music, and art.
  3. Abay River Bridge is a historic bridge over the Abay River that connects Nekemte to other parts of Ethiopia.
  4. Bale Mountains National Park is a national park located about 100 km from Nekemte that is home to diverse wildlife and stunning landscapes.
  5. Jimma Palace Museum is a museum located in Jimma (about 70 km from Nekemte) showcasing the history of the Kaffa Kingdom and its royal family.
  6. Ambo Mineral Springs Resort is a popular resort located about 50 km from Nekemte known for its natural hot springs and scenic views.
  7. Gibe III Dam is one of Africa’s largest hydroelectric dams located on the Omo River, approximately 200 km from Nekemte.
  8. Bonga Forest Reserve is an important forest reserve located about 130 km from Nekemte known for its biodiversity and unique flora and fauna.
  9. Menagesha Suba Forest Reserve – A beautiful forest reserve with hiking trails, picnic areas, waterfalls etc., situated around 30km away from Addis Ababa
  10. Bedele Brewery- One can also visit Bedele Brewery which is just around an hour drive away from Neke’mtē town

Sports Teams

  1. Football (soccer) is the most popular sport in Ethiopia, with the national team participating in international competitions like the African Cup of Nations and FIFA World Cup qualifiers. Notable football clubs in Ethiopia include Saint George SA, Defense Force SC, Coffee SC, and Hawassa City FC.
  2. Athletics is another popular sport with world-renowned athletes such as Haile Gebrselassie and Kenenisa Bekele hailing from Ethiopia. The Great Ethiopian Run attracts thousands of participants from all over the world annually.
  3. Basketball is also gaining popularity with several local leagues emerging over recent years. The Ethiopian Basketball Federation organizes national championships for both men’s and women’s teams.
  4. In conclusion, while there may be local sports teams based out of Nek’emtē or other regions within Ethiopia, specific information on them requires further research or current updates on their activities.

Cultural Events

  1. Irreecha Festival: This is a thanksgiving festival celebrated by the Oromo people every year in September or October.
  2. Ethiopian New Year: The Ethiopian New Year is celebrated on September 11th each year.
  3. Meskel Festival: This is a religious festival that commemorates the discovery of the True Cross by Queen Helena in the 4th century.
  4. Timket Festival: Timket is a colorful festival that celebrates Epiphany and takes place on January 19th or 20th each year.
  5. Gena (Christmas) Festival: Christmas is celebrated on January 7th every year according to the Ethiopian Orthodox Church calendar.
  6. Easter (Fasika) Festival: Fasika marks Jesus’ resurrection from death after three days and is one of Ethiopia’s most important religious festivals.
  7. Adwa Victory Day Celebration: Adwa Victory Day Celebration occurs annually on March 2nd to celebrate Ethiopia’s victory over Italian colonialism in 1896 at Adwa battlefields near Aksum town.

These are just some of many cultural events and festivals taking place throughout Nek’emtē, Ethiopia during different times of the year depending upon their respective calendars and traditions followed by various communities residing there.


  • Kitfo: This is a traditional Ethiopian dish made of raw minced beef seasoned with spices and served with injera or bread.
  • Tibs: Another popular Ethiopian dish made of sautéed meat (usually beef or lamb) with onions, tomatoes, and spices.
  • Shiro: A vegetarian dish made of ground chickpeas or lentils mixed with spices and served as a thick stew.
  • Buna Bet: A coffee house where you can sample some of the best Ethiopian coffee in town while enjoying the cozy ambiance.
  • Yeshi Buna: Another popular coffee house that serves delicious snacks along with their coffee.
  • Sishu Restaurant: This restaurant serves traditional Ethiopian dishes such as tibs, kitfo, and shiro along with international cuisine like pizza and burgers.
  • Kaldi’s Coffee House: A cozy café that offers excellent coffee along with sandwiches, pastries, and other light bites to eat.

  • Parks and Recreation

    1. Nekemte Stadium Park is a popular destination for sports enthusiasts, offering a range of activities including football, running, and basketball.
    2. The Aba Jifar Palace Museum is a historical site that provides visitors with insight into the rich culture and history of the Oromo people.
    3. Bantu Mountain offers breathtaking views and opportunities for hiking and trekking.
    4. Guder Falls is a stunning waterfall located near Nekemte where visitors can enjoy picnics and swimming in the refreshing waters.
    5. Lake Shala National Park is home to Ethiopia’s deepest lake, providing visitors with opportunities for boating, fishing, camping, and wildlife viewing.
    6. Birbirsa Forest Reserve is a protected area ideal for birdwatching and nature walks amidst lush greenery.
    7. Menagesha Suba Forest Reserve offers hiking trails through its protected forest area where one can spot various wildlife species in their natural habitat.
    8. Jibat Forest Reserve provides natural habitat to various wild animals like baboons, colobus monkeys, bushbuck etc making it an ideal destination for nature lovers who want to explore Ethiopia’s diverse flora & fauna.


    Go Where The Road Takes You.

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