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The capital of a coffee producing area, Jimma is a large, lively city blessed with excellent tourist facilities and a warm location in the fertile western highlands.

The town is named after the 19th century Islamic kingdom of Jimma, which lay at the meeting point of several trade routes. The last autonomous ruler of Jimma was King Abba Jiffar, whose impressive palace at Jiren, on the outskirts of the modern city, has been restored with partial funding from UNESCO.

Other attractions include the daily central market, the ethnographic displays at the Jimma Museum, a nearby patch of forest inhabited by the spectacular colobus monkey, and out-of-town Lake Boye with its resident hippos.