Tour Code: WET - 001
1 Day short trip from Addis Ababa
1 Blue Nile Canyon and Debre Libanos Monastery
2 Melka Kunture, Abadi Maryam Rock-Hewn Church and UNESCO World Heritage Site Tiya
3 Birthplace of Emperor Menelik II Ankober and Debre Birhan
4 Ambo and Mount Wenchi
5 Menagesha Indigenous Forest
6 Crater Lake in Debre Zeyt (half day)
7 Hot-Spring Resort Sodore and Adama (Nazret)
Blue Nile Canyon and Debre Libanos Monastery
The Blue Nile Canyon is one of the most spectacular canyon in the world – larger than the Grand Canyon in USA! One mile wide and one mile deep taking about no less than 45 minutes drive to reach the riverbed. Before reaching the canyon, passing through green land plateau, visits Debre Libanos Monastery dated 13th century, founded by Ethiopia’s most respected saints Tekle Haimanot. The monastery sets beneath a cliff on the edge of a canyon and a significant pilgrimage site up to now. Not far lies the 16th-century “Portuguese” bridge, the legend says the bridge is made by egg shells. The endemic gelada baboons, lammergeyers, rappels vultures, bone breaker birds are all habitats of the area.
Melka Kunture, Abadi Maryam Rock-Hewn Church and Tiya
60 km South of Addis Ababa
Drive to Melka Kunture, an archeological site famous for the prehistoric stone-tool factory (1.5 million years old!) and then visit 13th century Adadi Maryam rock- hewn church. Then proceed to the 12th to 15th AD stelae of Tiya, the World Heritage site. En route, enjoy the farmland of the Gurage people and their thatched-roof circular houses. Also see the Hadiya and Kembata peoples.
Emperor Menelik II’s Birthplace Ankober and Debre Birhan
172 km North East of Addis Ababa
Passing through green agricultural land, visit the 15th-century church at the town of Debre Birhan. Then proceed to Ankober, a former capital city of Shoa Kingdom and the birth place of Emperor Menelik II. The palace remains situated with a spectacular view of the Great Rift Valley. Endemic birds Ankober serin and Gelada baboos are spotted.
Ambo and Mount Wenchi
125 km West of Addis Ababa
En route, passing through a fertile farmland and stop at Gefersa water reservoir where found black-headed siskin, pelicans, cormorants and Egyptian geese. If on Saturday, stop at local market with colorful baskets as well. Habitat of water birds, monkeys and baboons, Wench Crater Lake has a view of beautiful Mount Wench (3,386 m). Black honey sold by villagers will be the unique souvenir. Also visit Guder River Falls with some wine vineyards.
Menagesha Indigenous Forest
35 km West of Addis Ababa
At the base of Mount Wuchacha lies Managesha indigenous forest. This is the nearest state park from Addis Ababa covered with giant juniper trees up to 30m high and over 400 years. Colubus monkeys, endemic Menelik’s bushbuck, duikers and klipspringer are found. En route, pass a small potter’s village where local artisans sell potteries and ceramics. Also visit Gefersa water reservoir where found black-headed siskin, pelicans, cormorants and Egyptian geese. On the way back to Addis Ababa, optional to stop at Meta Beer Brewery for a draft of popular local beer.
Crater Lake in Debre Zeyt
45 Km South of Addis Ababa
After driving with a glimpse of beautiful Ethiopian countryside reaches the nearest resort for Addis Ababa weekenders with scenic and peaceful crater lakes. Lake Hora has a wide variety of water birds including storks, pelicans, shovellers, grebes, kingfishers and passerines. Optional to relax with a glass of Ethiopian beer or a cup of coffee with a lake view.
Hot-Spring Resort Sodore and Adama
100 km South of Addis Ababa
After driving through a bustling commercial town Adama (formerly Nazret), visit the hot-spring resort. Don’t forget to bring your swimming suite to enjoy warm mineral water of the swimming pool. At nearby Awash River, hippos, crocodiles, monkeys and various birds can be seen. Short hiking in the hill or strolling around the green garden of Wabe Shebele Resort Hotel is worthwhile.