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WONCHI CRATER LAKE 

Wonchi is a highland area located 155km west of the capital, Addis Ababa. The most prominent feature of the area is the Wonchi Creater Lake. Other major touristic appeals include the beautiful mountainous landscape, which is partly covered with forest, the islands on the lake and the hot mineral springs, waterfalls and dramatic valley around the lake. The area is the best site for trekking and boating. There are different routes for riding or walking and boating depending on the preference of visitors.

MELKA-QUNTTURE, ADADI MARIAM AND TIYA STELA

Melka Quntture, 52kms south west of Addis Ababa, is situated on the banks of the Awash River. It is an Archeological site (dating back to over 1.5 million years old) and is believed to be the home of Neolithic man. Adadi Maryam- about 90km south of Addis Ababa is the Adadi Maryam cave church, dating back to the Lalibella era in the 13th c. It is one of the holiest places in the region. Meanwhile, Tiya stale which dates back to 12-15th C (UNESCO world heritage) site is also worth to a visit.

DEBREZEIT, NAZARETH, SODORE

The small resort town Debrezeit (or Bishoftu) is only one hour’s drive south east of Addis Ababa, at an altitude of 1900m. It enjoys a warm climate. It is surrounded by a series of lovely crater lakes, full of birdlife, and is excellent for walking. Meanwhile, Sodore is situated 126kms south East of Addis. It is a very popular resort with new hotel complex, Olympic size swimming pools, spas and an enlivening climate. Sodore takes advantage of the volcanic mineral springs which bubble in several spots. The nearby Awash River lends its riverine forest in the form of giant shade trees.

MENAGESHA SUBA & ADDIS ALEM

The Menagesh Suba Park is known as the oldest park in Africa. The 14th c emperor Zera Yacob planted its first trees, and the forest’s rich biodiversity-leopard, giant African forest hog, yellow fronted parrot and giant juniper trees-is a living testimony to the foresight of Ethiopia’s “first conservationist.” It is situated some 35kms away from west of Addis Ababa and it is densely wooded with some 400 years old trees. It is also a sanctuary for several endemic birds and animals such as the Abyssinian Catbird and the Menelik Bush Buck. Addis Alem founded by Menelik II as it was his capital before he moved back to Addis Ababa, is famous town for the church of Debre Zion on the top of a small hill.

DEBRE LIBANOS MONASTERY AND THE PORTUGESE BRIDGE

Drive some 100kms across the eucalyptus wooded Entoto Mountain range to visit the 13th c monastery of Debre Libanos. The new church is perched on the rim of dizzying gorge of one of the Blue Nile tributaries. The endemic Gelada Baboons can also be seen. The nearby 17th c Portuguese bridge is quite a scene where one can have a quite picnic lunch.

DEBRE BERHAN & ANKOBER

Drive 140kms north east of Addis Ababa to visit Debre Berhan, the city founded by King Zera Yacob (1434-1468). It was important in the earlier days because of its proximity to Ankober and the trade route through the rift valley to the coast. There is a large wool factory and the teacher training institute in the town. Ankober, located a short distance of 43kms from Debre Berhan, is built on the edge of the great escarpment of the rift valley. It is also founded by King Zera Yacob in the 15th C. Ruins of the palace of King Sahle Selassie and his predecessors are worth visiting in the area.