Welcome to Great Rift Valley
Ethiopian Rift Valley, which is part of the famous East African Rift Valley, comprises numerous beautiful lakes, hot springs and a variety of wildlife. Rift Valley lakes are famous for the different bird species.
Each of the seven lakes has its own unique characters, it provides ideal habitats for exuberant variety of flora and fauna, that make the region an exotic tourists destination.
The Great Rift Valley, formed about 20 million years ago, is the single largest geographical feature on the African continent. Ethiopian Rift Valley runs through Ethiopia from the Red Sea to the Kenyan border. Along with the historical circuit in the north, the southern Rift Valley is probably the most touristed part of Ethiopia, with easy access on public transport and fair tourist facilities.
Ethiopian Rift Valley is endowed with a pleasant climate and a variety of wildlife, the Rift is a site of numerous natural hot springs, the natural contents of the hot springs are highly valued for their therapeutic effects. Rift Valley is considered as one of the most ideal tourism area in Ethiopia.
Great Rift Valley lakes include some of the oldest and deepest lakes in the world,
apart from the hot springs and volcanoes, marvelous string of lakes attracts tourists from all over the world.
On a journey south of Addis Ababa, you will past Koka Lake which is home to many hippopotamuses, further along you will reach Ziway Lake abounds with fish, that attracts a many exotic water bids including the Marabou, knob billed geese, pelicans, african fish eagle and saddle bill stork. |
Lake Ziway is an ideal for first stop on a tour to the Rift Valley. The lake is notable for its scenic qualities, it is ringed by steep volcanic hills, the island of Tullo Guddo is clearly visible from the shore. Access to the lake is from Ziway town, which lies on the main Moyale Road about 160 km from Addis Ababa.
There is a direct bus to Ziway or to Shashemene, which will drop you at town Ziway, journey will take about four hours. Here you can stay in Bekele Mola Hotel, the hotel set on attractive spot.
Lakes Chamo and Abaya are close to the biggest and geography attractive town of Arba Minch, located at the at the shore pedestal of 4200 meters high Mount Gung.
Arba Minch town is located just outside Nech Sar National Park which is ideal for game drives in an open jeep, the best way to explore african wildlife.
Lake Abaya offers excellent boat safaris, with number of hiking routes.
This area has a great abundance of crocodiles, the crocodile market at the Kulfo River is an incredible sight to visit, as is the crocodile farm on the shores of Lake Abaya.
Due to the volcanic origin of the region, there are several natural hot springs and spa's in the Arba Minch area.
Lakes Abiata and Shalla are ideal for bird watchers, the Lake Abaya is the longest of the Ethiopian Rift Valley lakes, the site is the most picturesque in Ethiopia known as "Bridge of Heaven", division between lakes Abaya and Chamo by a hilly ridge with a scenic view from the top.
Most of the Rift Valley lakes are not exploited, except the Langano Lake located 200 km south of the Addis Ababa, where you can stay in tourist class hotels.
On the cliffs around Lake Langano, there is a colony of baboons. Langano Lake is more developed for tourism than any other lakes in the valley, accommodation in Bekele Mola hotel, which lies 3 km off the main Moyale Road.
The Bekele Mola Hotel offer bungalows and large rooms, vary in standard from comfortable to simple accommodation, avoid to drink tap water.
Sabana Resort is the ideal retreat if you’re in search of relaxation, Sabana is located on the shores of Lake Langano.
Abiata Shala National Park is set aside to protect the two Rift Valley lakes, Shala and Abiata, Shala southern lake lies in a sheer sided 260 meters deep volcano crater, its surface is broken by small volcanically formed islands. In contrast Lake Abiata is a large brackish pan more than 14 meters deep. The main point of interest is the Pelican Island, a major breeding ground for pelicans in Africa, also main point of interest are the hot springs on the northeastern corner of the Lake Shala.
Bus passing between Ziway and Shashemene will drop you to the main entrance of Abiata Shala Park, accommodation in Langano Bekele Molla Hotel.
For travellers coming from Addis trip south to Moyale is a two day journey, with an overnight stop at Dila, a small town that lies 80 km south of Awassa and 420 km north of Moyale.
You may want to spend a day or two at Awassa Lake, here there is a large numbers of monkeys and hippopotamus.
Pleasant Awassa Wabe Shebele is a decent hotel with wooded grounds, that dip right onto the shore of Lake Awassa.