Sodo-Jimma Road

Hi Phillip

Not sure if this is useful information for the upcoming edition, we recently spent some time in Ethiopia.

One thing we did was get the bus from Sodo to Jimma on the ‘new’ road that opened a few years ago.

There isn’t, as far as we could make out, a direct bus between the two towns as yet (August 08). You need to ‘hop’ on local buses as follows:

Get a local morning bus to Sodo to Wukka (89km, 4-5 hours, 26Birr) which is a small, high-altitude village at the end of the route with the National Hotel looking ok for an overnighter if needed.

From Wukka, you should be able to get another local bus through to Tulcha (17km, 30 mins, 5Birr), which is set in beautiful, verdant humid, valleys. It’s a pleasant enough place to spend a day and night and walk around, as the bus onwards won’t be until the next morning.

The options for accommodation are pretty good, with the newly built Engeda Hotel the pick of the bunch (40Birr double with ensuite, bar, restaurant) on the road up out of town, as well as the Kenean Hotel (yukul style rooms, great views) also looking good.

The through bus to Jimma leaves first thing in the morning, and takes about 5-6 hours, about 40Birr. Get’s to Jimma early afternoon all going well.

The trip is the usual visual feast, and very worthwhile. They are trying to build up tourism in the area, to capitalise on the Omo-onslaught, and it’s a great way to get to Jimma and beyond.

Cheers
Chris Sibree

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One thought on “Sodo-Jimma Road

  1. Scott Hunter says:

    Hello,
    I am an American living in Tercha (referred to above as Tulcha). I have a few updates for you:

    If you are traveling between Jimma and Sodo by public transportion, you will be required to spend the night in either Tercha or Waka (referred to above as Wukka.) I would highly reccommend Tercha over Waka. For a modern, very clean hotel room with hot showers, Kenean is your only option. It is now about 80 birr for farenji, 50 birr for habesha. You may be able to bargain. Ingidoch Hotel (referred to above as Engeda Hotel) has good food with a modern feel, but the rooms are 70 birr with no hot shower. A third option would be Taragaen Hotel. It also has decent food, the rooms are only 30 birr, and they are clean. However, you will have to deal with loud music at night.

    The total cost of travel by public transport between Sodo and Jimma is currently about 100 birr. The trip takes 10-13 hrs, split between two days. Tercha is about half-way between Jimma and Sodo. When you spend the night in Tercha, you should be at the bus station no later than 5:45am the next morning to ensure a seat.

    The scenery along the Sodo-Jimma road is beautiful. However, the road itself leaves something to be desired. It is un-paved, rough, windy, and it occasionaly floods out depending on the time of year. It is continuously being worked on so maybe it will improved in the future.

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