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Short Tours & Excursions in Ethiopia
Program: Debre Zeit
Duration: Half day
Debre Zeit, just 50km from Addis Ababa, is surrounded by five crater lakes. Among them, Lake Hora, the largest, is rich in birds and a pleasant view. It's an ideal place for bird watchers. Lake Bishoftu is also equally scenic. You can see few bird species here.

Program: Sodere Hot Spring
Duration: Full day
Passing the towns Debre Zeit and Mojo, the road takes you to Nazreth, 103km, one of the growing towns in Ethiopia. The beautiful resort area of Sodere is about 18km south of Nazreth. There's natural hot spring water and an international standard swimming pool filled with clear and warm water. The Awash River flows by the side of the hotel fences and you may spot crocodiles and hippos. You can also spot many birds and the funniest monkeys in the compound.

Program: Melka Kunture, Adadi Mariam, Tiya
Duration: Full day
On the main road to Butajira, just after crossing Awash River, you drive off to the right to find Melka Kunture, an archeological site. In 1960s archeologists and geologists found stone tools, aged 2-3 million years old, that early man were using.
Further driving for about 5km on the main road, and then 13km to the right off the main road, you will reach the southerly most Ethiopia’s rock-hewn churches, Adadi Maryam. This church was excavated in the 13th Century at about the same time that Lalibela's rock hewn churches have been hewn, probably by King Lalibela himself.
The town of Tiya is found at 89km south west of Addis Ababa. The stele field, world heritage site, consists of 36 obelisks where most of them are decorated. They have symbols of circles, swords, and podgy leaves rising on a stem from a rectangular base. The highest stone is 3.7meter high. It's thought that they were carved sometime between 12th to 15th centuries. Recent excavations revealed that the stones mark mass graves of both males and females who died between the ages of 18 and 30.

Program: Menagesha Forest and Addis Alem
Duration: Full day
Passing through Asko and Gefersa reservoir, you reach at the famous Menagehsa-Suba forest, 30km from Addis Ababa. At the reservoir, which is one of the city's major water supplies, you can spot different bird species. In the forest, you may spot colubus monkey, klipspringer, and Menelik's bush buck. Further driving for about 25km, you'll arrive at Addis Alem, where Emperor Menelik II was trying to build his palace in 1900 after the foundation of Addis Ababa.

Program: Wonchi Crater Lake
Duration: Full day
The town Ambo is reached at about 125km North West of Addis Ababa. Further driving for about 30km south west of Ambo, you will reach the breath taking scenery, Wonchi Crater Lake. You will see colorful aquatic birds, Colubus monkeys, and the small monastery on the island, St. Kirkos church, which was built in the 15th century by Emperor Zara Yakob.

Program: Debre Libanos Monastery and Blue Nile Gorge
Duration: Full day
Driving 103km north of Addis Ababa is the 13th century monastery, Debre Libanos. The monastery is dedicated to the Ethiopian saint Abuna Tekle Haimanot, who was preaching the gospel all over the country for about 42 years. The monastery has mural paintings on the windows from the Old and New Testaments. Just at the junction to the monastery, it is worth a visit to the Portuguese Bridge, considered as the first bridge in Ethiopia done by the Portuguese in the 16th century. Here you can spot different birds including the endemic cliff chat; Gelada Baboons, endemic to Ethiopia and the spectacular view with the water fall.
Further driving for about 110km, you will reach the Blue Nile Gorge, similar with the Grand Canyons of America. The bridge is about one mile width and depth, where the Blue Nile River flows underneath. This gorge is one of the most spectacular gorges in the world.

Program: Abiyata-Shala National Park, Lake Langano
Duration: Two days
Lake Abiyata and Shala are among the rift valley lakes in Ethiopia, found at 198km from Addis Ababa. Lake Shala is the deepest lake of all lakes in Ethiopia. Here, in addition to the scenic beauty, you can see birds such as greater and lesser Flamingos, great white pelicans, ostrich, Hamer kob, Marabou stork, sacred Ibis, and others. You can also see gazelles in the park.
Lake Langano is just 3km from the Parks entrance. It's the only lake that's free from bilharzias. At Lake Langano, you can swim and ride a boat. The area is rich in birds and spending a night there, at the resort hotel, is worthy.

Program: Awash National Park
Duration: Two days
Awash National park is the first park legally established in Ethiopia. In the park, after driving 225km, you can spot the Beisa Oryx, lesser kudu, warthogs, Dik Dik, Soemering's Gazelle, Crocodile, and the funniest monkeys. The park is also inhabited by the big five including Lion and Leopards though it's rare to see them. You can also spot many species of birds such as, go away bird, Abyssinian roller, kori and Arabian bustard and many others. The Awash River fall is one of the most important sites in the park. You will enjoy the water mist at the bottom of the water fall. N.B. the best time to spot birds and animals is in the morning or late afternoon. Thus, it's advisable to spend a night there; camping or a nearby hotel.

Program: Lake Awassa, and Wondo Genet
Duration: Two days
Passing through the rift valley lakes region you reach at Shashemene (250km) south of Addis Ababa. Shashemene is a main junction to the different parts of southern Ethiopia. Driving for about 25km, you will reach Awassa town, the most developed town in the south. Here you can spot many bird species at the "fish market" at Lake Awassa. Then drive back to Wondo-Genet resort hotel, 39km from Awassa, where you can enjoy the natural hot spring and different species of birds such as Silvery cheeked hornbill, Malachite King Fisher, Turaco, and many others. The area is covered by a forest and walking through it has something interesting to feel. You need to spend a night here.

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