If you are planning to have your next holiday in Ethiopia and you are wondering about which tourist attractions to enjoy then consider visiting sof Omar Caves a must and you won’t regret in life. These remarkable caves are found not very far from Bale Mountains and they feature among the most stunning and expansive caverns in the world. The Weib River that derives its source from the Bale mountains National Park enters through these caves all year round providing the best views to the tourists.
They are the most unique natural wonders with incomparable beauty. With a length of about 15.1 kilometers, these caves feature among the longest caves in the country and biggest cave system in the continent in which River Weib flows through. It is believed that Allah showed an opening to this dramatic cave system to Sheikh Sof Omar around the 12th century. He and his followers made the best use of these natural wonders as a mosque, a purpose in which the caves were well suited as they had been eroded into columns, domes, buttresses, vaults, pillars and many more a natural architectural marvel that is still used as a meeting area by local Muslims.
The first religions in this area were significantly spirit worship and ghost cults in which most powerful supernatural beings were said believed to attach themselves to trees, rocks and most forcefully to caves, turned into shrines for worshipping and sacrifice. Today, tourists on safari to Sof Omar have opportunity to view various signs of the persistence of such pagan beliefs and practices, a section of men sacrificing a goal, tokens of leather and cloth hung from rocky projections in the cave.
These caves can be reached via a small village of Sof Omar, which lies along the cliffs above River Weib. To the rear of the village, gaping crevice down that a precipitous narrow footpath winds to the first cave floor. It is only some patches of sunlight filter into dimly lit kingdom that stretch throughout directions via a large subterranean passageways of polished white limestone carved by the River’s flood and recess over numerous years.
During the dry season, cool caves nature has shaped a marvel of architecture soaring pillars of stone at a height of about 20 meters, flying buttresses, fluted archways and tall airy vaults. Lastly, the river along is accessed, a sunless sea flowing via a deep gorge. If you stood at a balcony next to the roof, you will have the most stunning views of the river flowing.
The Sof Omar’s huge central hall, the Chamber of Columns where colossal limestone pillars derived their name which are also its dominant feature is one of the main features of these cave systems. In other side of the network, you will find a tiny gap in the rocks in which the River crosses at a width of approximately 2 and half meters where you will find a bridge which is made of driftwood for you to pass.
This is the direct path to these caves and several other amazing attractions and you will spend at least 1 hour while walking. When you get inside these caves, you will catch a glimpse at arc bats and fish. However, there are also crocodiles at the river as well as other wildlife species that this country holds especially the rock hyrax, serval cat, Dik-Dik, lizards, giant tortoise, snakes, kudus and several bird species.