Gibe River

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The Gibe River is a tributary of the Omo River. Located in southwest Ethiopia, it is not navigable, like almost all rivers in the country.


The Gibe rises west of the Chomen swamp (specifically, from Gudeyya Bila woreda, which is located in the East Wellega Zone,Oromia Region), flowing to the southeast to its confluence with the Omo at 8°19′N 37°28′E / 8.317°N 37.467°E / 8.317; 37.467Coordinates: 8°19′N 37°28′E / 8.317°N 37.467°E / 8.317; 37.467. Its tributaries include the Amara, Alanga and Gilgel Gibe rivers. The southern drainage area of the Gibe includes the historic Gibe region, where a number of the former kingdoms of the Oromo and Sidama peoples were located.

Although its banks and watershed have been inhabited since time immemorial, it is first mentioned in the Royal Chronicle of Emperor Sarsa Dengel, who campaigned to the north of it in 1566.[1] The first European to see the Gibe was the Portuguese António Fernandes, who crossed the Gibe in 1613 as he left Ennarea and entered Janjero, and later described it as carrying "more Water than the Nile".[2] No other European visited the Gibe until the 19th century, so his account remained the authoritative account over the next centuries and preferred to information obtained from native travellers.[3]


  1. ^ G.W.B. Huntingford, The historical geography of Ethiopia from the first century AD to 1704, (Oxford University Press: 1989), p. 143
  2. ^ Baltazar Téllez, The Travels of the Jesuits in Ethiopia, 1710 (LaVergue: Kessinger, 2010), p. 194
  3. ^ As Charles Johnston laments in his work, Travels in Southern Abyssinia through the Country of Adal to the Kingdom of Shoa (London, 1844), vol. 2 pp. 113-125