EQST 008 Ambo and Wonchi Crater Lake
We set off at 7.00, heading west on the new Ambo road. We will pass Menagesha Forest to the north of the road, the Holetta River (a tributary of the Awash), the small town of Addis Alem where Menelik II once planned to make his capital, before reaching Ambo, some 120 km from the capital.
The area between Addis Alem and Ambo contains the intersections of three of Ethiopia’s major river basins: those of the Awash, Omo and Guder.
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.
We can leave our vehicles here and descend either on foot or on horse, or drive down all the way to the crater. We will have a picnic lunch here and spend some hours walking or horse riding through the forest, visiting the hot springs, and taking a dug-out boat over to the island to visit the church. Mid afternoon we will start our journey back to Addis Ababa.
The formerly state owned Ethiopia Hotel in Ambo has been privatized is being refurbished and has great grounds. Across the road from the hotel is the swimming pool, fed by springs. This one day tour can easily be extended to 2 days, with an overnight at the Ethiopia Hotel.