BY STAFF REPORTER

With green mountainous landscape, blue waters, lush valleys, natural hot springs, pleasant weather and other marvelous attributes, Wenchi Crater Lake is one of the eminent places that have significant ecological, recreational, and aesthetical values for both local communities and visitors.

This beautiful volcanic crater and lake is situated in Oromia State, South West Showa Zone 155 km west of Addis Ababa, between Ambo and Woliso towns. At 3,450 meters above sea level, the Lake is also the highest volcano in Ethiopia.

As it is revealed in different studies, Wenchi Crater Lake, situated at the base of an extinct volcano, is the beautiful legacy of a once powerful volcano erupting in the Tertiary period of the Cenozoic Era. The volcano erupted about 1000 years ago left asymmetric caldera of rock which is now covered in lush green vegetation. The whole crater contains a large lake with small islands, hot mineral springs, waterfalls and beautiful valleys and farmland. An old monastery with a church that is positioned on one of the lake islands also make the spot more enticing and mesmerizing.

Due to its unique topography, the Lake is also a habitat for varieties of animal and plant species, some aquatic birds and it is a splendid area for a number of indigenous forest reserves, including Egynia Abyssinica (Kosso- plant used in traditional medicine as a vermifuge) and Erica Arborea (Hasta).

The site, because it is located in the closest destination to the capital and the construction of Ambo-Woliso gravel road, Wenchi Lake is becoming a favorable weekend destination for residents of nearby cities including Addis Ababa.

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Without exaggeration, Wenchi Crater Lake and its surrounding is a paradise for trekkers; and visitors unquestionably would be satisfied with the natural attributes that this site has.

Recently, the Office of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed with its newest development project, (‘Dine for Ethiopia’) has given due attention to develop the destination and increase visitors’ number.

As Prime Minister Abiy pronounced in relation to the scheme, Wenchi Crater Lake is a piece of paradise on earth owing to its breathtaking landscape and beautiful scenic areas. The place that had the most powerful volcanoes once has blessed it now with a lot of natural endowments, hot springs and waterfalls among others.

“To enhance the already endowed tourist attractions of the site, make it a place of interest where visitors aspire to see it and in so doing create sustainable job opportunities and gain the expected economic benefit for the surrounding communities, we have planned to develop the area. Take part at the ‘Dine for Ethiopia’ project and let us together realize Ethiopia’s prosperity.”

Truly, the site is enriched with a number of attractions. However, to attract large segment of visitors across the globe, and to be able generate considerable returns, the destination needs to be developed in a manner it can offer attractions and quality services.

To this end, protection and enhancement of the asset is vital- to boost up the number of visitors to the site, extend their length of stay, prolong their spending per day, as well as let others know about their experiences and to ensure that they come back again.

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In fact, developing such attractions cannot execute by funds allocated by the government alone. Rather they demand everyone’s active participation. Thus, we all are expected to stamp our fingerprint in the initiative in every possible way and crystalize the idea into reality.

The Ethiopian Herald August 26/2020

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