Around Addis Ababa
Debre Libanos Monastery, Ambo and Wonchi, Menagesha or Soba National Forest,Melka-Kunture,Adadi-Mariam,Tiya Stelae , Debre Berhan & Ankober,Wondo Genet wetland ecosystem
Debre Zeit, which is found 50 kms, south east of Addis Ababa is an attractive town surrounded by lovely crater lakes. The lakes within a radius of 5 kilometers are Hora, Babogaya, Kuriftu and Bishoftu. It is also an ideal place for bird watching and boat riding.
Mountain. Ziquala is an extinct volcano rising to 600 meters above sea level with a large crater and a monastery at its summit. It is on the right turn before entering DebreZeit town. It is 85 kms away from the capital. The view from the top includes many small hills and chains of mountains. The Crater Lake surrounded by Juniper trees and thick bushes with Columbus monkeys adds to its beauty.
Nazreit, situated some 100 kms south east of Addis Ababa, is simply a pleasant big town and an example of one of the country’s fastest growing commercial centers. The town lies on a warm valley adorned with bougainvillea flame and palm trees.
Sodere is situated 126 kms southeast of Addis Ababa. It is a very popular resort area with a new hotel complex. Numerous birds, and monkeys, can be seen. The hot spring Olympic size swimming pool and physiotherapy centers are frequented visited by visitors of all ages.
Debre Libanos Monastery
After 103 km to the north of Addis Ababa there is a side road, which leads to the ancient monastery of Debre Libanos. The monastery was established by a 13th century Ethiopian saint called Abuna Teklehaymanot. There stands an imposing beautiful church with magnificent murals. Nearby a 16th Century Bridge, which was said to be built by a Portuguese engineer, is spotted.
It is situated 225 kms north of Addis Ababa. The majestic and enormous gorge is the most captivating in Africa. It has a magnificent, alluring physical feature and natural beauty. At the bottom of the gorge the bridge spans over the Abay (the Blue Nile).
Ambo and Wonchi
Ambo is situated 125 kms west of Addis Ababa. It can be reached only after two and half hours drive. The magnificent landscapes, the volcanic Hot springs, surrounded by shady trees are enjoyable. Ambo yields the most popular mineral water in the country. Its hot springs have been turned in to modern spas. After half an hour drive (32 kms) south of Ambo on the left side to Wolliso, Lake Wonchi could be reached. The lake lies in unique and irregular shaped basin surrounded by chain of circular height covered by greenish Alpine vegetation. There is a small monastery church called Saint Cherkos on the island.
Menagesha or Soba National Forest
Menagesha National Forest (also called Suba National Forest) is found West of Addis Ababa, on Jima Road. Emperor Zara Yacob (1434-1468) planted Juniper trees when he noticed the degradation of the forest nearby him. The forest covers about 2,500ha of natural forest along with 1,300ha of exotic plantation forest, at altitudes ranging from 2,300m to 3000m on the southern and western slopes of Mount Wechecha. This forest is dominated by tall Juniper, hagenia and podocarpus trees. Mount Wechecha protects the most substantial remaining patch of indigenous forest. The forest hosts several species of original and very old trees, which can’t be found in most other places of Ethiopia. The forest is also a favorite place for birders. It is a spectacular oldest state owned forest place in Africa! It is so nice to walk & smell the forest, see Columbus Monkeys, Common Monkeys, bird aching & overview the Wechecha Mountain.
Situated 52 kms southwest of the capital is an archeological site that lies on the bank of Awash River. Here experts had excavated fossils, stone tools and related materials of the primitive man 1.5 million years old.
The church is situated 68 kms, south of the capital city. It is the southernmost rock-hewn church in Ethiopia. Traditions associate it with king Lalibela’s visit to nearby Mount Ziquala in 1106 A.D. The church differs from that found at Lalibela in two ways. Its round in shape and it is unfinished probably because the rock from which it is carved is too soft and pores.
Tiya is situated 88 kms south of Addis Ababa. It is particularly rich in anthropomorphic monoliths. The 36 stelae, which were probably believed to be tombstones, are still standing. Thirty-one of these steles have artwork. The highest of them measures 3.70 meters. UNESCO has declared Tiya as a world heritage.
Debre Berhan & Ankober
Debre Berhan is situated 130 Km Northeast of Addis Ababa. It is one of the oldest towns in the country. This town is the center of many institutions and factories. Above all, it is famous for its wool-processing factory. The city also has several historical sites in it. One such historic place is the Sellassie Monastery. Ankober is a small town 40 Km South of Debre Berhan, where Emperor MenelikII was born. It is situated on top of a great escarpment. There, the ruin of MenelikII’s palace still stands near St. Michael’s Church.
Wondo Genet wetland ecosystem
Wondo Genet is Located southeast of Shashemene, at an elevation of 1723 meters. The main attractions of the site includes: the hot spring water for bathing and swimming; the forested landscape, streams, birds and other wildlife in the surrounding; and the cafeteria, bar and bedroom services.