The Lakes Region
Abyatta – Shalla/ Langano/Wondo Genet
The Great Rift Valley that stretches all the way from the Red Sea to Mozambique bisects Ethiopia in to two. This geographical feature is best expressed in the chains of lakes, hot springs, flora as well as a huge variety of birds and wildlife.
One of the earth's hottest and with many points at little more than 100 metres below sea level, is also located in this geographical area. It is called the Dallol Depression. With noon-time temperatures of up to 50º c, Dallol is a site to observe an active volcano at Ertale.
The chains of lakes in the lakes region are Lakes Ziway, Langano, Abyatta, Shalla, Awassa, Abaya and Chamo.
Lake Ziway is the first of the lakes in the lakes region, about 160 kms South of Addis Ababa. With an area of 400 square kms, Lake Ziway is the largest within the northern circuit of the Rift Valley Lakes. It has five islands, of which the largest is Tullu Gudo. The island of Tullu Gudo is home to the ancient monastery with manuscripts that are of immense historical significance.
Abyata & Shala are the twin lakes that form the Abyata-Shala National Park. The Park has a total area of 887 square kilometers (550 square miles) in size, of which 482 square kilometer (300 square miles) is water. Both lakes are terminal lakes but very different in nature. The park was created for the many aquatic bird species that use the lakes, particularly Great White Pelicans and Greater and Lesser Flamingos. The surrounding area is mainly acacia woodland, some of which is very degraded by man.
Lake Abyata is a shallow pan, only 14 meters (46 feet) deep and its level fluctuates periodically. The lake provides the main source of food for the colonies of great while pelicans on the nearby Lake Shala.
Lake Shala by contrast, is 260 meters (853 feet) deep; hence its Ethiopia’s deepest rift valley lake. Shalla’s islands are used as breeding sites by many birds, and are home to the continent’s most important breeding colony of Great White Pelicans.
Lake Langano is one of the Rift Valley lakes geared for sporting activities. Despite its brown colour, it is safe to swim, water-ski and windsurf as well.
Accommodation facilities are available in every direction of the lake. As a result, Langano could be used as a base to explore Lakes Abyatta and Shala that are known for their birdlife.
Lake Awassa is enclosed by chain of mountains and is an ideal spot for fishing and boating. It is also convenient for walking, bird watching and sightseeing.
Separated by land known as the “Bridge of God”, lakes Abaya and Chamo are the Southern lakes of the Great Rift Valley. Abaya is the longest and largest Rift Valley Lake while Chamo is the smaller, but marvelous and beautiful too. The latter is known for crocodiles and hippos. Both lakes are part of the Nech Sar National Park.
Wendo Genet is located 267Kms South of Addis Ababa. Wondo Genet is a hot springs resort with the remains of the original Ethiopian forest. Papaya, mango, bananas are found beside the Hotel. We can take a short walk in the afternoon or just relax in the natural hot spring swimming pool.
Tour Code: AATT 031
Duration: 4 days/ 3 nights
Day 1. Drive Addis - Langano. Overnight Langano.
Day 2. Drive Langano - Awassa Wondo Genet. Overnight Wondo Genet.
Day 3. Drive Wondo Genet - Langano. Overnight lodge in Langano.
Day 4. Drive Langano - Addis.