The name of this sprawling capital city means “New Flower.” Founded by Emperor Menelik II in 1887 and situated at between 2300 - 2500 meters. Addis Ababa is the third highest capital in the world. Today it's one of African's largest cities with a population of about 4 million and the continent's premier diplomatic center as the headquarters for African Union located here. Impressive monuments of colonial architecture are scattered among stretches of sun-bleached shacks. Addis Ababa, besides its many attractive sites, lies at the centre of an area rich in places of interest, most of which can be visited either as a half or full day trips.
Wonchi Crator Lake
The beautiful wonchi crater-lake located 32km south west of Ambo the most spectacular natural scenery near to the nation’s capital. Evergreen chains of mountain peaks surround the lake. The hot spring at the foot of the mountain, THE PENINSULA and the islands in the lake are some of the striking features.
It is an archeological site 52 km south west of Addis Ababa on the bank of Awash River, on the way to Butajira. Fossils and prehistoric tools dating back to more than one million years are found in this place.
Adadi Mariam is a church believed to have been found between 12th –15th century an underground church curved out of the surrounding soft rock .It is found 16 km away from Melka Kunture on the way to Butajira. Numerous gates, windows and trenches are found around the church.
These stalae are located twenty km further from Adadi Mariam. The 36 stalae, which are probably tomb stones are listed as world heritage by UNESCO.
Debre Zeit Lakes
The lakes of Debereziet have been the most popular recreation and resort centers for residents of Addis Ababa and the surrounding areas. These lakes offer water sports (boat riding, surfing etc..) bird watching, fishing and sightseeing opportunities.
Sodere spa resort
This resort place is found 127 km from the capital and 27 km from the town of Nazareth. Sodore spa resort is the most popular destination for weekend visitors and the only well developed hot spring resort center located near the capital. The site offers therapeutic hot springs bath, Olympic size swimming pool, fishing, trekking and good accommodation and related services.
Awash National Park
Awash National park which is located about 225 km East of Addis Ababa is the oldest, most popular and relatively better developed national park in the country. The wildlife consists mainly of East African plain animals like greater and lesser kudus. Oryx, bush buck, dik-dik, gazelle, fox, and klipspringer e.t.c. The park is also a habitat for about 453 species of birds among which some are endemic to Ethiopia The Awash River is one of the main features of the park, particularly the water –falls, at the point where the river drops into a gorge. The other beautiful scenic area in the park is the palm spring, which is a hot spring site some 32km west of the main entrance.
Lake Langano Resort
Lake Langano located in the central rift valley, about 200 km south east of Addis, is the most popular water sports, boat riding and bathing ground.
There are scattered accommodation and resort facilities along the lake, among which Wabe shebelle, Bekele Mola and Bishangari, could be mentioned.
These two rift valley lakes are very near to Lake Langano and are noted for their abundance of bird life, described by experts as the most important breeding colony of birds in East Africa. The two lakes are separated by a small strip of land (about 3km) and could be seen from “view Point” just a few meters from the park head quarter.