The Wolayta zone of the SNNPR (Southern Nations and Nationalities People’s Region) is so named after the Welayta people (also spelled Wolayita or Welayta). With Mount Damota at its center, here mildly undulating hills and dark red soil are characteristic. While the soil—an average of 30 meters deep and virtually free of rocks—has a sandy, light texture when wet, it is brick-hard when it dries, making plowing impossible except after a rain.
The highland area of Wolayita (Geziyaa)is blessed by incredible beauty and resources: precipices, waterfalls, streams and rivers, thermal hot springs. Besides coffee, this zone grows all manner of grains as well as cotton in the lowlands (Garaa), and there is an abundant variety of shade and fruit trees as well.