Addis Ababa, arrival and city tour
Welcome to Addis Ababa! After completing entry formalities, you’ll be transferred to your hotel. We’ll then embark on a city tour where we’ll visit museums, markets, churches, and the main historical monuments of the city.
If you’re interested, we can visit a local project at a wheelchair centre where people produce handicrafts. By buying handmade pottery, candle or doll, you can provide support for the people living here. In the evening, we have dinner together.
Day trip to Debre Libanos
Drive to Debre Libanos leads across the highlands north of Addis Ababa. It offers a glimpse into the lovely village landscape of Ethiopia until suddenly a more than 1,000m deep gorge opens at Debre Libanos.
We take a short rest at the top of the gorge, where various birds can be observed. On a short hike (1.5 to 2 hours) we cross an old bridge built for commercial purposes, to arrive at a terraced waterfall and caves inhabited by monkeys.
In the afternoon we visit the sanctuary, where the famous monastery of Debre Azbo (later Debre Libanos) was founded in the 13th century and destroyed in 1937 during the Italian occupation. We visit the octagonal church with the glass-paintings of the artist Afework Tekle, who also designed the windows of the Africa Hall in Addis Ababa, as well as the newly built museum in which art treasures of the monastery are shown. In the late afternoon, we return to Addis Ababa.
Addis Ababa – Menagesha – Weliso
Our journey to the west of Ethiopia begins. Our first stop is about 30 km from Addis Ababa. On a hike (2 to 3h), we will explore the Menagesha Forest with its typical plants such as the Giant juniper, Giant lobelia, heather and Giant ragweed.
Some of the oldest trees are over 400 years old. Also, wild animals such as Guereza monkeys and Menelik bushbucks can be observed. In the afternoon we reach Weliso. This place is known for its hot springs and the thermal bath.
Weliso – Wenchi Crater Lake – Weliso
Weliso – Debre Zeit
The first 110 km drive brings us to the southwestern outskirts of Addis Ababa. Before entering the capital city we drive 80 km further south to reach the archaeological site of Tiya, one of the country’s cultural heritages registered by UNESCO. There many of the erected stones are engraved with enigmatic symbols, representing a prehistoric burial complex.
Afterwards, we drive back on the same way and before entering Addis Ababa we take the Expressway, currently the only highway in Ethiopia, to reach the city of Debre Zeit. This town in the south of Addis Ababa was built around several crater lakes which not host green foods and a multitude of birds like the African Fish Eagle, the Pied Kingfisher, and many others.
Debre Zeit – Awash National Park
The road to the east of Debre Zeit gradually descends into the East African Rift Valley, which in this region is characterized mainly by volcanic mountains and lava fields. On the way, we meet dromedary caravans of the semi-nomadic Afar ethnic group.
In the afternoon we drive through the southern part of the national park to explore fauna and flora. For example, Oryx antelopes, crocodiles, kudus and dik-diks can be observed. With some luck, we can spot cheetahs. We stay at a lodge located directly at the Awash Water Falls.
Awash Falls Lodge – Sodere
Before breakfast, we undertake a small hike along the Awash River. During this walk, various bird and monkey species, as well as crocodiles can be observed.
After the breakfast at the lodge, we turn back to Nazret, the capital city of the Oromo region. Close to the city, on the shores of the Awash river, there are hot springs. The Sodere Resort is the best place to relax from the past days. Besides the hot springs, here we find a swimming pool, too.