More than 30 years ago a rural farmer by the name of Gammada Wayiso dreamed for five nights in a row about digging a cave in his backyard. When the dreams stopped, he started digging stairs into the ground. So far, he has carved 26 subterranean rooms underneath his home near Shashamane. And he is still digging.
Gammada began charging 2 birr to visitors who came to his cave for picnics, to get married or just wander through the 26 unfurnished rooms. And he sold soft drinks to those who entered his underground world.
“This one is for the presidents,” Gammada told a visitor, “and these are for members of parliament.”He imagines other rooms will be restaurants and hotel rooms.
Local promoters and the Shasmene Zone Culture and Tourism Bureau have decided that others should follow Gammada’s vision and visit the cave he created.The officials from the tourism bureau suggested he raise the price of admission.
Now he charges 5 birr, and the visitors still come.
Listen in Afan Oromo.