This non-descript town is a junction town and is best known for the Rastafarian community called Jamaica and not much else. The land given to the Rastafarian community by Emperor Haille Selassie has been developed and is now home to the Twelve Tribes of Israel who follow the teachings of Jah. The community is not open to unexpected guests just passing through but do welcome anyone with an introduction or with the true intent of studying with them.
Sharyem Tours is connected with the Bingi Tribe and is able to arrange formal house-stays for those wishing to truly communicate and experience these deep roots of the peaceful Rastafarian way of life. The elders of the churches are gentle, chosen individuals who are the keepers of the church. For those who are merely interested, the Black Lion Museum is a good place to gain some knowledge about the community and its beginnings. Shashemene is not the best town to overnight in and it is worth taking the opportunity to stay in the nearby hot springs resort of Wendo Genet or to overnight at Lake Awasa.
Geographically Ethiopia is stunning. The landscape is dominated by the dramatic Ethiopian Highlands with peaks of 4000m or higher. The country is bisected by the Rift Valley, which starts at the Red Sea, to the North East, and continues south to Mozambique in southern Africa.