Ambo & Wonchi
The Ambo Road takes to West of Addis Ababa which is well known for its central and natural beauty, where the different species of birds attract travelers. Some regular birds like Black headed siskin (endemic), Abyssinian longclaw (endemic), Blue Winged goose (endemic ), Egyptian goose, ducks, etc. are found. Along this road, the 14th century protected Menegasha forest is seen. In the forest there are some species of mammals like Colobus monkey, Menelik’s bushbuck, common baboons, leopard, serval, and duiker. Black headed forest oriole (endemic), black winged love bird (endemic), banded barbet (endemic), Abyssinian cat bird (endemic), ground trush, trogon, eagles, vultures, etc. can be seen.
The road brings the visitors to Ambo, the administrative town of West Shoa Zone. Ambo has natural hot springs and the nearby Guder waterfalls are the most remarkable natural gift in the area. Ambo town is also the source of Ambo mineral water.
The Wenchi Crater Lake covers an area 5.6 square km. It’s fascinating calderas are surrounded by Mount Wenchi (3386m).
Lake Zeway – it is the shallowest lake in Ethiopia: 4 ms in depth. Lake Zeway has 5 islands. Among these islands Tullu Gudo is the biggest and notable for the history of hiding the Ark of the Covenant. It is said that when Queen Yodit in 10th century B.C. destroyed the Axum Dynasty the Ark of the Covenant was taken to this island. After 40 years it was taken back to Axum. The lake consists of plenty of Tilapia nilotica fish, hippos, and large number of different species of birds.
Langano is the only lake in Ethiopia which is free of bilharzia. Visitors can enjoy water sports, swim and boating.
Abijata –Sshala National Park – this park was primarily created to protect its spectacular aquatic birds. Over 300 species of birds are registered in this park. Lakes Abijata and Shalla are part of the park.
Lake Abijata – is a sanctuary for flamingoes. Both Greater and Lesser Flamingoes are found here.
Lake Shalla – it is the deepest lake in Ethiopia. Since it has many small islands, it is a breeding lake for many species of birds. From the east part of the lake the hot spring can be visited. Local people believe that hot spring water has healing power.
Wendo Genet – is the site of natural hot spring water. It is 17 km from Shashemene, which is also the home of Rastafarians. Rastafarians were granted the land here in Shashemene by Emperor Haile Selassie.
This town is junction point to go to Arba Minch and the Lower Omo Valley, to Borena and Moyale and to Bale Mountains National park.
Wendo Genet in addition to its hot spring water is known for its thick forest and forest birds like trogon, yellow fronted parrot (endemic), silvery –cheeked horn bill, white cheeked turacko, (endemic) , black headed forest oriole (endemic)and golden backed wood pecker (endemic). Animals like colobus monkey and vervet monkeys are also found in the forest.
Debre Birhan & Ankober
Debre Birhan is situated 130 kms. north east of Addis. It is one of the oldest cities in the country and it renowned for its wool production. South east of Debre Birhan is the small town of Ankober on top of a great escarpment. There we find the ruins of Menelik’s palace, and at its foot there are churches yielding interesting murals.
Menagesha & Addis Alem
The Menagesha park which lies about 35 kms. West of Addis is a mountain densely wooded with more than 350 years old trees. It is a sanctuary for seven species of birds and animals including the Menelik Bush – Buck. Addis Alem town is located 50 kms. West of Addis. It is founded by Menelik II as his capital city. However, the plan was abandoned. Therefore, before shifting to Addis, he built the church of Debre Zion at the top of a small hill.
Debre Zeit town, 45 kms from Addis Ababa is renowned for its marvelous lakes. There are more than five crater lakes in the surrounding areas.