If you happen to be in Addis by some chance and have some leisure time, there are many interesting places to be seen in Addis and in the surrounding.
Addis Ababa City tours – 1 day or half a day
National Museum, one of the most important sub- Saharan museums in all of Africa. The museum is home to the fossilized humanoid Lucy, as well as an amazing collection of artifacts, royal items and art.
Ethnographic Museum, which was the former palace of Haile Selassie and its collection, reflects the life styles of different ethnic groups of Ethiopia. In addition it hosts Ethiopian art and traditional music instruments.
Trinity Cathedral, famous for its stained glass paintings and its grandeur architecture. It is where Haile Silesia’s tomb is found.
St’ George Church, built in 1896 by Emperor Minilik II after the victory over the Italian colonizer. The museum inside houses spiritual items and royal relics.
Mercato, the largest open air market in Africa.
Entoto Mountain, 9,843 ft high and where the city was founded at first. The panoramic view from the peak is spectacular.
The Blue Nile Gorge found at 210 km North of Addis Ababa, is one of the most spectacular gorges in the world; bigger, wider and dipper than the Grand Canyon of US America. A right turn after 100 km drive will take us to the 13th Century Monastery of Debre-Libanos. One of the endemic mammals of our country, The Gelada Baboon is also found hear in the cliff. A few Kilometers from the monastery is the 16th century Portuguese Bridge also worth a visit. Continue to drive through the Selale or Shewan plain and farm lands till you reach the Gorge. After having picnic lunch on either side of the river; drive back to Addis Ababa.
After a 90km drive on a very good new asphalt from the capital Addis Ababa, and only 500m from the main road; Tiya stelae field consists about 40 obelisks which stand between one and two meters high. Recent excavations revealed that the stones mark mass graves of both males and females who died between the ages of 18 and 30 and were laid to rest in a foetal position. Tiya is one of the eighth UNESCO world heritage sites in Ethiopia.
On your return to Addis detour to Adadi Mariam Rock hewn church; the only southerly rock church in Ethiopia which dates back to 12th c. Short stops to visit the Oromo and Gurage people villages then drive back to Addis.
Morning, heading west on the new Ambo road. We will pass Menagesha Forest to the north of the road, the Holetta, the small town of Addis Alem where Minilik II once planned to make his capital, before reaching Ambo, some 120 km from the capital.We will stop for some refreshment in the town of Ambo, from where Ethiopia’s most famous mineral water is drawn, before driving up nearly 1000 meters in 27 km to the rim of the Wonchi crater, where visitors will see one of the most beautiful sites in Ethiopia – verdant forests, a lake with islands, all within the crater.
Wonchi Crater Lake is an ideal site, and has a good appeal to such tourist activities and recreations like hiking, boating, horseback riding relaxing forest exploring, spa bathing, picnic lunch in picturesque setting and many more. One can also observe natural offers like hot and cold mineral springs being used by local people for cure of illness. We will follow a different route that run through Woliso to drive back to Addis Ababa for late afternoon arrival.
Morning head northward to Debre Birhan, some 130 km from Addis Ababa. The great Emperor Zera Yaqob and Emperor Menelik also made it his capital for a period, and visitors should see the church of Selassie which he restored in 1906.
Here you might like to buy the woolen hats worn by shepherd boys, and carpets with the designs characteristic of the area.
Continue driving east ward on a gravel road to another former imperial capital – Ankober, 40 km from Debre Berhan. Founded by King Amaha Iyesus, Ankober as an important trade route for the surrounding plateaus.
It was also Abandoned by Menelik II in favour of Entoto (and later Addis Ababa), the old palace ruins can still be seen, and two of the original five churches (Mariam and Medhane Alem) are still used as places of worship.
Ankober, there are marvelous views over the escarpment, and for ornithologists there is the chance of seeing the very rare Ankober Serin, and other species such as Smith’s Francolin, Yellow Throated Serine and many Wildlife recorded in the area includes: Leopard (rarely seen), Colobus and Vervet Monkeys, Gelada Baboon,, Menelik’s Bushbuck, Klipspringer and many others .
One could return from Ankober back to Addis Ababa for a one day excursion but for an extended excursion there is now a lodge built at Ankober, Ankober Lodge with a traditional style. It was the best accommodation as a base for extended tours and hikes Ankober to Tarma ber.
Day 1: We set off early down the Rift Valley, passing through Debre Zeit, and by the lakes of Koka and Zwai – if there are birders in the party, we will stop at Lake Zway and head down to the lake shore where huge numbers of water birds are congregated
Lake Langano, on the eastern shores is more interesting and varied than the western, and there are more birds and wild life.
Lake Langano is bilharzia and crocodile free, and visitors can go for a swim, walk along the shores of the lake or go bird watching in the forests along the lake shores.
Later in the afternoon we could visit Shalla and Abijata National Park, very near to Bekele Molla, We can stop at a lookout point over the two lakes before heading down to the lake shore where there are a number of springs so hot that locals boil maize in them. We then head towards Abijata Lake, where by this time of day the shores of the lake will be pink from the thousands of both lesser and greater Flamingo’s which feed in the shallows. African Pochard, Avocet, Gull billed Tern and Pintail, Ruff and a variety of ducks are among other species to be seen.
Day 2: AM ,You will spend the morning relaxing by the lake, take our lunch in the hotel and leave for Addis Ababa mid afternoon, arriving early evening.
Contact us for more optional Addis Ababa City Tours and Short Excursions in and around.
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