Lake Ziway and Lephis Forest

EQST 17 Lake Ziway and Lephis Forest

Day 1: Pick up from the hotel is at 7.30, and we then head south down the Rift Valley, passing through Debre Zeit and Koka lake and reach Ziway after around 3 hours drive. Experience some of the Ethiopia’s most unique culture and nature in one trip on Lake Ziway, the northern Rift Valley Lake. See basking hippos and rare birds while learning about the area’s history. Boat trips take you to the uninhabited Bird Island, both with millennium –old relics dating back to the period that the Ark of the Covenant was hidden there. Tulu Gudo Island also has a delicious grilled fish and scenic hiking trails that lead to the original monastery where the Ark was held.
Bethlehem Hotel is located nearby the shore of Lake Ziway with good food and room facilities. Moreover, as the popularity of Ziway grows, hotels and resorts are popping up along the shore of Lake Ziway. Haile Gebresellasie is near completion of his most recent resort hotel located directly in front of the Hara Dembel Boat Owners Association Ticket Office. Also, the new Green Valley Lodge has opened recently just a short walk from the ticket office. Additionally, a water front natural walkway is being planned by the Ziway city administration and the Horn of Africa Regional Environment Center, and construction will begin in the first half of 2014.

Day 2: Proceed south to Lephis Forest – A Sanctuary of the Senses – 2 to 3 hours drive from the town of Ziway. Tucked away in Ethiopia’s Central Rift Valley, Lephis Forest is situated just south of Lake Langano-far enough for the bustle of urban life to fade into the slower pace of the traditional village. The forest is amongst the region’s most pristine and secluded natural wonders, with breathtaking views, endemic bird and wildlife species, and a natural waterfall.

The area’s diverse topography includes mountain chains, valleys, and glades with unspoiled highland forest bursting with unique with unique flora and fauna. Known for its birds, Lephis is home to the near endemic white – cheeked turaco and thick billed raven, the endemic Abyssinian catbird, and the rare blue- breasted bee – eater as well as other endemic and near endemic birds. The resident wildlife includes rare leopards, bushback, mountain Nyala, and Colobus monkey. More than 2,000 households call the forest home and rely on its natural resources and are currently seeking ways to use the forest sustainably while preserving it for future generation.
In the waterfall hike, visitors can enjoy a guided hike or horseback ride through the stunning Lephis forest which culminates at the breathtaking Lephis waterfall. The duration is 2 – 3 hours. For those with more time, the Dungago Trail offers a full forest adventure with wildlife viewing, a trip to waterfall and bird watching. Duration: 4 -6 hours.
For overnight, you have potions: drive to resorts on the shore of Lake Langano like Bishangari Lodge. Visitors wishing to spend more time in the forest can stay overnight at the fully quipped Lephis Campsite and enjoy an early morning hike. A great choice for bird watchers!!

Day 3: Drive back to Addis Ababa via Butajira and en route you can visit Adadi Mariam rock churches, Tiya stele and Melka Kunture archeological site.

PS. We just want to inform you that there will be more to see and do under this tour and please let us know you interest.