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Wenchi Crater Lake is 155 km west of Addis Ababa, between Ambo and Welliso.   An extinct volcano (the top of which is 3380 metres above sea level) the crater contains a large lake, hot mineralsprings, waterfalls and beautiful valleys and farmland There is an old monastery with a church is situated on one of the lake islands.  Our guide told us that about 4000 people live within the crater.

You can drive to Wenchi on either the Ambo road (105km from Addis to Ambo on tarmac, turn left onto gravel road for 25km to Wenchi)  or the Jima road (125km on tarmac to Welliso, turn right onto gravel road for 38km).    There are hotels in Ambo (Abebech Metaferia hotel); or stay at the Negash Lodge in Welliso.  There are three or four campsites within the crater itself. There and back in a day is too much driving.

At the top of the rim, there is an ecotourism office, from where you hire a guide and pay your admission permit.  Drive with the guide a further kilometer to a parking spot at a cafe, or down into the crater (a difficult road even in the dry season – we parked at the top and walked).

You can do a two hour walk to hot springs and back, or a four hour loop involving two short hops across the lake in boats – to the island with the monastry, and then on to the headland.   You can also do it all on horseback if you prefer.

Bring a picnic to eat in the valley or on the lakeshore.


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Day 1

Drive to Wenchi Crater Lake (160km)

Drive to Wenchi Crater Lake through the beautiful Oromo villages and beautiful views of the Muger Valley. The Wenchi area is famous for its beautiful mountainous landscape partly covered by natural forest. You will also have the chance to visit an old island monastery, do some horse riding and walks before you drive to Weliso (34km) and transfer to the Negash lodge where you find some of the indigenous trees that have been destroyed in most parts of the country and mammals and birds such as the Colobus Monkey, Vervet Monkey, Orioles, Weavers and flycatchers. It has also a swimming pool with hot water from the natural hot springs. Dinner and overnight Negash lodge.

Day 2

Drive back to Addis

Morning relax in the lodge and after having lunch, drive back back to Addis. End of service.

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