Surrounding Addis

An Excursion to each Destinations/A day/ two days trip
DEBREZEIT | NAZRETH/ SODORE | SUB-SABATA/MENAGESHA FOREST | AMBO/ WONCHI | MELKA KUNTURE/ADDADI MIRIAM/ TIYA | DEBRELIBANOS & BLUE NILE GORGE | DEBRE BIRHAN/ ANKOBER | LANGANO/WONDOGENET/AWASSA | AWASHNATIONAL PARK

DEBREZEIT

Bishoftu is 45 km. South of Addis Ababa and less than one hour's drive. The birds of crater lakes around Bishoftu/Debrezeit are homes of varied bird and fish species. The nearest and most developed recreation center is Hora lake. Its most spectacular and scenic beauty can be observed from the terrace of Hora Ras Hotel while enjoying courtesy refreshment.

NAZRETH/ SODORE

Sodere is a recreation area 126 km, south of Addis Ababa. Sodore is only 15 minutes’ drive after Adamaa/Nazerth town and swimming in the warm mineral water of the Olympic sized pole is very tempting before lunch.
The majestic Awash River passes near by the swimming pool and strolling Hippos and Crocodiles can be observed from time to time.
After lunch visiting the garden of the hotel is worthwhile. Late afternoon, drive back to Addis Ababa.

SUB-SABATA/MENAGESHA FOREST

Menagesha indigenous forest is about 35 km. West of Addis Ababa and the nearest National park. The road passes through some villages where local artisans make and sell pottery and ceramic objects. Gefersa, on the way is the reservoir from where Addis Ababa gets its water and where the Black - Headed Siskin and the Rougets's Rail abound. After 25 km. Drive turn left to get to Suba Sabata /Menagesha forest covered with Juniper trees as old as 400 years. Picnic lunch by the guesthouse. Early afternoon, drive back to Addis via Sebeta town with an option stopover at the Meta Beer Brewery.

AMBO/ WONCHI

Ambo (also called Hagere - Hiwot) is 125 km. West of Addis. The road passes through Gefersa, the Addis Ababa water supply reservoir, and fertile farmland.
Ambo is a weekend resort for swimmers and hikers. The main attractions of this area are, Wonchi Crater Lake, Guder River Falls and the Vineyard.
After lunch drive up to enjoy the view around the lake with rich vegetation and a wide variety of bird species. Late afternoon, drive back to Addis to arrive before dusk.

MELKA KUNTURE/ADDADI MIRIAM/ TIYA

Melka Kuntere is the nearest archeological site where fossils of per-historic age (nearly 2 million years old) have been discovered. Stone tools dating 1 - 5 million years back are other discoveries of this area.
Few km. drives from this point, Addadi Mariam church can be reached. This church is believed to date back to the times of Lalibella and gives a good indication of the Lalibella Rock churches of the 12th century.

Tiya is among the most important of the roughly 160 archaeological sites discovered so far in the Soddo region, south of Addis Ababa. The site contains 36 monuments, including 32 carved stelae covered with symbols, most of which are difficult to decipher. They are the remains of an ancient Ethiopian culture whose age has not yet been precisely determined.

The stelae from the Soddo region, with their enigmatic configuration, are highly representative of an expression of the Ethiopian megalithic period. Soddo lies to the south of Addis Ababa, beyond the Aouache river. It is remarkable because of the numerous archaeological sites of the megalithic period, comprising hundreds of sculptured stelae that have been discovered there. The carved monoliths vary in size from 1 m to 5 m. Their forms fall into several distinct categories: figurative composition; anthropomorphic; hemispherical or conical; simple monoliths. In the northern area are to be found stelae with depictions of swords, associated with enigmatic symbols and schematic human figures.
Among the most important of the roughly 160 archaeological sites discovered so far in the Soddo region is Tiya, lying 38 km south of the river, which is also one of the most representatives. Roughly aligned over an axis of 45 m there is a group of 33 stelae, with another group of three stelae a short distance from them. Of the 36 stelae at Tiya, 32 are sculpted with vaguely representational configurations (including the sword designs), which are for the most part difficult to decipher. One depicts the outline of a human figure in low relief.
They are the remains of an ancient Ethiopian culture the age of which has not yet been precisely determined. However, they have been interpreted as having a funerary significance, as there are tombs scattered around the stelae.

DEBRELIBANOS & BLUE NILE GORGE

The Blue Nile Gorge is one of the most spectacular gorges in the world, bigger than the Grand Canyon in USA. To reach the Blue Nile Gorge the road passes through Greenland plateau and after one hundred km. Drive to Debre Libanos Monastery which dates back to the 13th century. The endemic mammal Gelada Baboon and the Lammegeir as well as Rappels Vultures are all habitats of the area. The Portuguese bridge of the 16th century is also in the vicinity and worth a visit. Continue to drive through villages and farm lands till you reach the gorge, which is about one mile wide and one mile deep taking about no less than a 45 minutes drive to reach the riverbed. Picnic lunch on either side of the river. Early afternoon, drive back to Addis to arrive before dusk.

DEBRE BIRHAN/ ANKOBER

The road to Debre Birhan/ Ankober passes through green agricultural land on the eastern part of the capital city. After 130 kms. Drive, Debre Birhan can be reached, from where, 43 kms. South -east of Ankober, capital city of Ethiopia in the fifteenth century and founded by Atse Zera Yacob. In this place important international affairs were accomplished by King Sahle Sellassie and Menelik II is the 18th and 19th centuries. Remains of the palace buildings are of great interest to visitors. Picnic lunch enroute. Late afternoon, drive back to Addis Ababa.

LANGANO/WONDOGENET/AWASSA

Day 1. Drive southward of Addis until you reach Lake Zuway, at a distance of 160 km. This lake shelters different types of water birds and fishes. Strolling Hippos also can be observed at a distance. After lunch continue driving and after 30 km. Arrive at Lake Abayata, which is home to varied bird life and fishes. Lake Abyata, with its alkaline and shallow water exceptionally attracts Flamingos in thousands. Other birds like wild Geese, Cormorants, Marabou Storks and Sacred Ibis are also observed in great numbers.

Ten km. Drive from Lake Abiyata is Lake Langano, which has been developed as a resort area over the years and is well equipped for water sports. The wide, sandy beaches are of great attraction for holiday makers. Dinner and overnight at your hotel.

Day 2. After breakfast, visit Lake Shala, 260 Mt. deep and is the breeding center of great white pelicans in Africa. Continue driving south to visit lake Awassa, which is 275 km. From Addis Ababa. Lake Awassa supports the community with fish farming also worth visiting is the fish market. Like the other lakes in the rift valley it hosts many species of birds like Storks, Herons, King Fisher, Darts, Plovers, Wild Ducks, Egyptian Geese, Cranes, Cormorants and others. After lunch, easy drive to Addis Ababa to arrive before dusk.

AWASHNATIONAL PARK

Day 1. Awash National park is 255 km. East of Addis Ababa. The change of altitude is so fast descending form 3000 Mts. to 800 Mts. from Addis to Awash, and so is the change of vegetation on the same route. Awash National park gives shelter to several species of wildlife including Beisa Oryx, Grevy Zebrs, Lione, Bushbuck, Hartebeest, Dikdik, Sommering Gazelle and over 400 species of birds. Hippos and Crocodiles are also observed strolling in the Awash River. Overnight in your hotel.


Day 2. Next morning more game view and the Awash Waterfalls. After lunch easy drive back to Addis Ababa.