Welcome to Shashamane, a town located in the Oromia Region of southern Ethiopia. With a population of over 208,000 inhabitants, Shashamane is known for its vibrant Rastafarian community and its proximity to the Wondo Genet resort and Senkele Wildlife Sanctuary. But there’s much more to discover in this fascinating destination.
Shashamane has a unique history that dates back to the 1940s when Emperor Haile Selassie granted 500 acres of fertile land to black refugees in response to racism in the United States. The Land Grants were specifically intended for African Americans in return for intervening in favor of the royal family during the second world war. Once information about the possibility of immigration to Ethiopia spread, many made plans to immigrate, and the Rastafarian community in Jamaica was growing. The first Rastafarian that settled in Ethiopia, Gladstone Robinson, was also an official delegate of a division of the Ethiopian World Federation that went to Shashamane on behalf of the organization in June 1964, followed by Papa Noel Dyer, who hitchhiked from England to Ethiopia, eventually arriving in September 1965. Mr. Robinson would later be appointed as the Land Grant administrator by a Division of The Federation executive council in 1967 thus replacing Mr. Piper and his wife in Ethiopia. It was within a couple of years that Rastafari immigration began, with the population swelling past 2,000 at one point. It was reported in 2004 that their numbers had dwindled from more than 2,000 to fewer than 300 according to a recent CNN interview with Robinson and other Rastafari settlers.
Shashamane is a destination that offers a unique blend of culture, history, and nature. Visitors can explore the town’s Rastafarian community and learn about their way of life, beliefs, and traditions. The Wondo Genet resort is a popular destination for those seeking relaxation and rejuvenation. The resort features natural hot springs, hiking trails, and stunning views of the surrounding mountains. The Senkele Wildlife Sanctuary is home to a variety of wildlife, including the endangered Swayne’s hartebeest, and offers visitors the opportunity to go on a safari and see these magnificent animals up close.
Culture and Cuisine:
Shashamane is a melting pot of cultures, and visitors can experience a unique blend of Ethiopian and Rastafarian culture. The town is known for its vibrant music scene, and visitors can enjoy live performances of reggae and traditional Ethiopian music. The local cuisine is a fusion of Ethiopian and Rastafarian dishes, with a focus on vegetarian and vegan options. Visitors can try traditional Ethiopian dishes such as injera, a sourdough flatbread, and wat, a spicy stew made with meat or vegetables.
In conclusion, Shashamane is a destination that offers a unique blend of culture, history, and nature. Visitors can explore the town’s Rastafarian community, relax at the Wondo Genet resort, go on a safari at the Senkele Wildlife Sanctuary, and experience a fusion of Ethiopian and Rastafarian culture and cuisine. Come and discover the many treasures of Shashamane, a destination that should be on every traveler’s bucket list.