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“Epitome of nature's beauty”
Review of Wenchi Crater Lake

Wenchi Crater Lake
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Wenchi Crater Lake Day Trip
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Reviewed November 27, 2013

We had been to Wonchi crater lake few times. From Addis Ababa the capital of Ethiopia one has to travel west about 120 km to reach a town Ambo. From Ambo one needs to travel south about 20 km to reach Wonchi crater lake. The road from Addis Ababa to Ambo is good. There is no well laid road from Ambo to Wonchi and with many difficult-to-navigate pits. Once reaching Wonchi, one has to buy entry ticket from a small tourist office. The entry fee is about ETB 50 and the payment for the guide is ETB 50. Then one has to trek down the hill or ride the horse for 4 km to reach the lake. The charge for the horse is about ETB 100. Trekking would take about an hour. Horse ride would take about 45 minutes. There are two paths to reach the lake. One of the paths has a hot water cascade (Don't expect water gushing, it would be like water flowing from 3 inch pipe). The site of lake and the geography would be scenic. Its a must-visit place. After a tiresome travel one would really enjoy the beauty. The place needs to be visited between August - September and February - June.

1  Thank Saravananpalanivel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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29 - 33 of 39 reviews

Reviewed June 13, 2013

Living in Addis it is nice to get out of the city and Wenchi is a great place to go. You can do it in one day but start early. The views are beautiful. HOWEVER, pay for a guide at the tourist bureau as we didn't want a guide but someone tagged along and at the end of the hike he got a bit violent towards us as he wanted money. So just save the hassle and get one from the bureau. Take water, and a 4W vehicle but GO.

2  Thank Africache
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 10, 2013

Wonchi Crater is located west of Addis Ababa. it is possible to visit it as a day trip from Addis - but we found it more convenient to overnight in Ambo town, and make the trip from there. The last part of the road (after Ambo) was not too good, and I would advice a 4W car.
They have organized it well for tourists, and you buy the packet from the office at the entrance. There are different tracks to choose between. You can go by mule or by foot. We went the long trip, and it was really beautiful riding through the green valley - and tasting Ambo directly from its spring. We then went by boat and visited the Island, with a church on, and took the short trip back. If you go for the long trip as us, it will take you almost the whole day. It is nice to have a picnic at the shore of the lake, before taking the boat to the island. Bring your own food. Beautiful setting, and unusual little people, so you can eat without disturbance.
I would advice to go for the long ride outside the big rainy season, I can imagine part of the road will become slippery and muddy. But the short trip is on a gravel road, so it should be OK all seasons. It is nice to give the horsemen some extra tip, even if you pay at the entrance.

6  Thank AddisPearl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 19, 2011

During a recent trip to Ethiopia, we were keen to do a couple of short trips out of Addis. We'd heard of the possibility of walking in the Wenchi Crater Lake and decided to give it a go - http://www.wenchi-crater-lake.com. Highly recommend it on two counts.

Firstly, it's an area of outstanding beauty. Depending on how much time you have, there are both shorter and longer walks. We did the longest one - about 16km/taking some 5 hours - and thoroughly enjoyed it, despite being in our late 50s and only somewhat fit!

Secondly, and more importantly, this is all part of a community-centered initiative that improves the livelihoods of local people through eco-tourism. Many benefit directly including the organisers, the guides, the boatmen, those in charge of the horses, the associations that sell honey and other goods, etc. However, to ensure that the community as a whole also benefits, some 10% of the profits are put into a common fund that then finance small projects in the area.

Bottom line - it's a great experience and you feel good about it at the same time!

A few practical considerations:

a) It takes about 2.5-3 hours to travel from Addis to Wenchi. While it's possible to do the return journey and the long walk in one day, another more relaxing option would be to stay overnight in Wolliso or Ambo. Although the roads from Addis to Wolliso and Ambo are tarmac, the 30km or so from those towns to Wenchi itself are not - so 4 wheel drive is advisable.

b) When climbing back from the lake to the top of the crater, there's the possibility to do part of the journey on horseback. Unless you are really keen on walking up steep hills, I'd recommend you take up this option. For those who, like me, have little experience of horses, be reassured - they're relatively small and you have very capable young men holding onto/guiding them at all times.

c) Take a packed lunch and plenty of water with you. There's nothing available in Wenchi itself - at least as far as I could see.

d) The sun is deceptively strong - not always obvious because of the light breeze. So, if you're inclined to burn, put on plenty of sunscreen, wear a hat, etc

e) In case I've given the impression that it's all rather costly, the fee for two of us including guide, boatmen and horses was around Birr500 or some 25 US dollars. While tipping is not expected, we took along some smaller notes to give as an extra thank you - just a thought...


16  Thank Alison1123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed October 24, 2017
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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