Addis Ababa is by default a city to start trips to other regions in Ethiopia. It is because its central place/capital city nature forces you to cross via Addis Ababa weather you want to go North to South or East to west regions of the country.
Addis Ababa has five out lets to other regions of the country. There are many places for historical, trekking, bird life, spa resorts etc taking one of the five doors of Addis.
Menagesha Suba forest and Wenchi mountain crater lake projects of GIZ in west of Addis, the seedling trees and forests on Entoto Mountain are typical places for green lovers, bird life and panoramic view of Addis. The Entoto Women fire wood carriers association still needs your focus. Exploriada take part in water development project for farmers and residents of Ankorcha in east part of Addis attachment made to feed water for the oldest rock hewn church of Washa Mikael/Cave of Micheal.
Among the many sustainable development activities in the country, horticulture, woman empowerment and orphanage centers are available on the Southern outlet/ Butajira Road and south east gate of the country.
You can visit the above sites of development with /without the following list of refreshments close to Addis Ababa.
104 km, 2 hours
It was established by a 13th century Ethiopian Saint Tekle Haimanot. Hermits nuns, monks for all time prayer and locals for the pilgrim and holy water often went there. The saint played an important role to overthrow the Zagwe dynasy rule of 1137-1270 AD and restore the Solomonic dynasty that last until Majesty Haile Ssilasie who claim they have a blood of King Solomon of Israel based on Kings chapter 10 (Holybible history of 10 BC). In Debre Libanos stands an imposing beautiful church with magnificent murals. Nearby is a 16th century bridge built by a Portuguese engineer. Blue Nile Gorge (224Km,3 hrs) is 1 and half km wide, across the zigzag asphalt the bridge on the Blue Nile river connects Central Ethiopia to the northern historical route is first made by Italians. Ethiopians made their own detouring bridge and named Millennium because it was inaugurated in 2008 (I. e 2000 for the Ethiopians follows a Julian calendar 8 years & days back to the Gregorian). This majestic & enormous gorge is the most captivating gorge in Africa. It has a magnificent captivating physical feature & natural beauty.
130 km, 2½ hours
A town known for its sheep breeding, meat and wool products from the animals. Woolen hats and togas (Gabi) are worthy relics visible in the ancient Debre Birhan Silasie church made by hands to resist the 2840 altitude cold weather. Ankober, a 40 km far village south west of Debre Birhan (2 hrs from Addis), was the first old capital of Minelik II before he camp at Entoto hills near Addis. Menelik’s old palace remaining sections, Gelada baboons & endemic bird of the area Ankober Serin can be seen.
This the so called Butajira Road which has less traffic and green sides compared to the Debre Zeyit Road to the southern Ethiopia. Three places are enroute to be visited in one day trips from Addis. These are Melka Kunture archeological site (52 km), Adadi Maram church(68 Km) & Tiya steale fields (88 km). The findings of the Melka Kunture archealogical site fossils dating back to 2 million years are now exhibited at the national Museum in Addis. The tools of Homo Erectus dating 1.5million-200,000 years were discovered also here on the bank of the Awash river.
The astonishing fact why you have to visit Adadi Maryam is to see the marvelous church of St. Mary which is carved from single rock the fourth side of the church is attached to the ground unfinished. If you have not time to see such kind of rock hewn 11 churches of Lalibela town in north Ethiopia which are registered by UNESCO and Ethiopians claim the 8th world wonder!
Tiya stelae fields are also in the list of the world heritage sites. The 36 stelae which are remarking tomb stones are still standing since the 13th century on average. The 31 erected pillars have art work, the highest of them measures 3.7 meters.
50 km – 1½ hours
is the nearest & most urbanized one among the city surrounding Addis. It is encircled by 5 lakes namely Bishoftu, Babogaya, Hora, Kuriftu & Green. All harbor different kinds of birds. Babogaya is popular by the teenagers where as Hora Arsedi is for all kind of persons including ceremonial place of Ireacha: new year celebrations of the Oromo people traditionally is being held for three weeks in October.
50 km, 1 ½ hours & 30 km, gravel road 1 hour
It is recently extinct volcano raising 600 meter with a 60 meter deep and 2km wide crater lake on the top of the mountain encircled by Juniper trees. Basing at the Wembr Maryam church from the bottom to the 4th century established monastery of Ziquala Abo (Gebremenfes Kidus) takes a 2 hours trekking on foot but accessible also by land cruiser. The annual festivals on the 15th of October & 15th of March cover the mountain with colorful costumes of congregations.
160 km, 3 hours
The lake is an oval shaped basin and the largest of all the Rift Valley lakes covering surface area of 447 sq.meter. It is known for bird life such as kingfishers, pelicans, Marabou storks, herons, African eagles, cormorants etc. The Hippopotamus Bay empitied by Meki river is a 15 minute boat ride. The lake posses several dots of islands of which Tullu Gudu is the largest isle home to medieval history churches. The most famous Debre Tsion Church housed once the Ark of the Covenant.
180 km, 3 hours
The lake is famous resort for water sports since it is Bilharzia Schistosomiasis free lake. Covering a surface area of 230 Sq.mtr it is 8 km long and 16 km wide with maximum depth of 46 meters the surrounding is not in restriction of wildlife. It has a perfect multicolored beach. Mt. Kaka 4000 meter above sea level is among the Arsi mountain you face on the eastern side of the lake on swimming. Wenney Ecolodge & Bishangari lodge supply facilities for skiing, sailing & camping.
180 km, 3 hours
are neighboring lakes to Langano on the other side of the single asphalt road. Better to base accommodations first in Langano side hotels since no typical hotel in this side. Shala is the shallowest 260 meter lake in the Rift Valley region where Abyata’s birds breed and nest. The hot springs on the north east & southwest shore of the lake are crowded by locals bathing & cooking maize on the thermal waters. The two lakes are separated by a small escarpment covered by acacia trees. Alkaline waters of Abyata Lake are 14metr in depth. Abyata provides stunning view of colorful carpets of different birds which are constantly seen soaring on the thermals above along the shoreline.
240 km, 5 hours
For Ethiopians it is a transport hub linking 3 directions to Nations and nationalities of Southern Ethiopia, the northern single route links with Addis Ababa. For Jamaicans especially for Rastafarians it is a granted land from Ras Teferi His Majesty Haile Silasie in 1960s and hence first settled by 12 Jamaicans. The largest Rasta community in Africa with their beads, museums, paintings, temples is in the town. The Ethiopian emperor Haile Silasie is the only African leader believed to be a divine power by the followers of Marcus Gavey’s “return to Africa” movement inspired by the king who would come from Africa as a Messiah and would free his country from colonization.
* Please check prices for full list of inclusions and exclusions
Start city: Addis Ababa
Nearest airport: Addis Ababa Bole International Airport
Duration: 1 days
Available for: Adults
Guide speaks: English
* Other languages possible on request
This was out first visit to Addis Ababa. The city is very busy but with the great service from Meklit, we were given a great tour of the city.
In particular we asked for a food tour in Addis Ababa e she perfectly guided us into merkato and other many local restaurant!
She also hosted us in her home to make us tried the best injera in all the city!
( her mom's one).
We will never forget!