Wude CoffeeWade Coffee sits a few casual blocks from the town’s center on a lovely street lined with large, lush palm trees accented by an assortment of other vegetation. There may be a better one, but this is hands down the best coffee shop in Bahir dar. It’s owner– a young man of 33– left his family’s farm as a teenager and moved penniless to this university town. He knew he was too bright not to try. Here in Ethiopia, you have to pass a national test to enter University. He is a natural business man, so after he passed that test, he gave it a shot and became a homeless shoe shine boy who studied hard in the evenings and hustled during the day.

He made it. In a land where many have had their hopes crushed by poverty, Communism, 20141218_094404and the lack of opportunity, this guy found a way. He graduated from the prestigious Bahir Dar Polytechnic Institute with a degree in Business Management and rented out an old building that belonged an elementary school that sits back on the large, tree lined street. Gradually he began and designing its hip and tasteful style.

He’s bought a house and also a plot of land on the Lake Tana where he plans to build a 22 DSC00755room hotel. Truly an inspirational guy. Yes, he’s an extrovert who makes friends easily… but he’s not the only guy who does this. ETHIOPIA is full of friendly people who are crazy-easy to make friends with. Long lasting friends who will give you your space if you want it, or engage you fully.

The Wude Coffee is without a doubt a “must see” when in Bahir dar. You can space out and let the trees and casual pace lull you into a meditation of peacefulness, or have a second cup of “Konjo Buna” (beautiful coffee) and begin engaging the locals in a lively discussion of discovery. Here, you have a choice.