City Profile of Hawassa

Hawassa city is located at a distance of 275 km away from Addis Ababa, the capital. It is bounded by Lake Hawassa on the west and north-west, Chelelaka swampy area on the east and south-east, Tikur Wuha River on the north, and Alamura Mountain on the south.  Hawassa city is established in 1952E.C during the period of Emperor Hailesilasie. The city served as the capital of a sub-administration of Yabella wereda, and it was designated the capital of the then Sidamo province in 1968.  Hawassa city began to be administered by a municipality in 1962. 

Hawassa city has got its name from “Hawassa Lake”, which in the Sidama language stands for “large or wide water body”.  Before the establishment of the city, the locality used to be known as ”Adare”, which in Sidama language means “field of cattle”.  The availability of large grazing pasture and abundant water resources throughout the year attracted the highland farmers and the low land pastoralists.

Perfectly poised at Lake Hawasa’s edge, the capital of the Sidama Regional State is large, modern, well organized, and a bit of a shock to the system for those who’ve been slogging it through the Omo valley for a long time.

The city lays on the Trans African High Way-4: an international road that stretched from Cairo (Egypt) to Cape Town (S. Africa). Geographically the City lays between 6055’0’’ to 706’0’’ latitude North and 3825’0’’ to 3834’0’’ longitudes east.

According to projections of the central statistics authority of Ethiopia, Hawassa’s population is estimated to be 436,992 in 2012E.C.  The City’s population gender breakdown will be relatively evenly split between male (224,907 /51.4 %/) and female (212,085 /48.6% /). Out of the total number of the Population of the city administration 292,525 people live in urban area, while the remaining 144,467 peoples live in the rural area of the administration.

Hawassa has a young population. Around 65% of the people are under 25 years of age, and only about 5.5% of the population is over 50 years of age. The annual population growth rate 4.02. 4.8% growth rate in urban and 2.8% growth rate in rural areas of the city.

Hawassa city is bounded by Lake Hawassa in the West, Oromia Region in the North, Wendogenet woreda in the East and Shebedino woreda in the south. The city of Hawassa is one of the fast-growing cities in the region. The city administration has an area of 157.2 (sq.kms), divided in to 8 sub-cities and 32 Kebeles.  Currently, the City is serving as the seat of Sidama Region & Hawassa City Administration.

The City of Hawassa enjoys favorable climatic conditions because of its geographic location on the shores of Lake Hawassa. The sky is generally clear, fog is uncommon, the temperature is mild, and the moderate winds often have a positive influence on the temperature.

Rainfall mostly occurs in the summer season. In 2012E.C the highest monthly rainfall is registered in April 2020 (215.3 mm).  Daily minimum and maximum temperature is almost moderate, the minimum monthly average temperature is 12.6◦c and monthly average maximum temperature is 30.1 ◦c

Ethiopia is one the premium trekking and hiking destinations in Africa. The chain of mountains across the major part of Ethiopia is scenic at the same time ideal for trekking and hiking. The picturesque mountains of the Sidama region are one of the most accomplished and mesmerizing mountains of this part of Ethiopia.

The Garamba Mountains, which measured 3368 meters above sea level in the region is a perfect and ideal spot for people who are zealot of hiking and trekking. Here hiking is coupled with watching many bird species and unique wildlife, including the elusive Ethiopian wolf. The top of wondogent area is also one of the best places to hike and catch birds with binocular in a mountainous place. Birds like Turaco, sterling, yellow fronted parrot and many endemic birds dominate the area. Wondogent is a place where a bird lovers can catch endemic Ethiopian birds easily with thier binoculars. The lush dense forest of wondogent is a perefct introduction of the green region of Sidama.


The Africa birding club nominates Ethiopia as one of the best destinations for birding. Here more than 972 bird species soar over the sky. Endemism is also astonishing. From some spotted areas in Ethiopia for birding, the wondogenet area in Sidama region is one of the perfect venues for bird watching. Here your binocular can catch up to 100 bird species and from this six of them are only found in Ethiopia. Apart from the wondogenet area, Lake Hawaasa, Lokka Abbaayya national park, Aregash Lodge, and the highlands of the Sidama region are superlative for birding.

Ethiopia is a country of coffee. This is the origin place of coffee and revered for its beans. Coffee trees have grown in the wild here for centuries. The environment is perfect to produce amazing coffee, without adding anything to it. More than a thousand different varieties of coffee grow in Ethiopia.

High elevations in the southern mountainous region make for excellent growing conditions. The sidama coffee is one of the trades marked and the best Arabica coffee of Ethiopia. The Aletawondo area in Sidama region is the main growing area of Sidama coffee. Here associations like Wetona-butane cultivate and process coffee. But they let visitors to visit their coffee farm and allow tourists to experience their day to day routines. Here you can test the organic Sidama coffee from its origins and at the same time the traditional sidama food.

Dubbed to be one of the welcoming nations in Africa for travelers, doing community tourism in Ethiopia is one of the best preferred if not a must undertake. The Sidama region of Ethiopia is one of the regions which have a tourism activity that based on community ownership.

A Hanafa cultural tourist village on the outskirt of Aregash lodge in Yirgalem showcase the culture and way of life of the sidama people. They prepare coffee for guests, prepare traditional Sidama food for visitors and demonstrate ways of life of the local people. Coupled with the stunning nature and landscape of the area, socializing with the community in this part of Ethiopia is a life time experience.



Translate »