Ethiopia's Rift Valley Lakes
Stretching from the crater lakes at Debre Zeit an hour south of Addis to the Abiata Shale National Park (4 hours from Addis), this region hosts a string of attractive lakes, fantastic birdlife and a several good lodges. The region is perfect for a 2 to three night stay at the end of a trip, or combines well a stopping point for Bale Mountains National Park for wildlife lovers.
As with most National Parks in Ethiopia, the Abiete Shale NP is woefully underinvested, but still offers the opportunity to spot pelicans and flamingos in large numbers. The diminutive Lake Chito in the North of the park hosts thousands of pink flamingos in a tiny crater lake.
There are a number of leisure lodges in the area that cater primarily to the Addis weekend market, but the stand out for the region (and primary reason for visiting), is the Bishangari Lodge. Bishangari is set in an isolated position to the South-East of Lake Langano. A true eco-lodge in every sense of the word. Simple but spacious and comfortable cabins are set deep within the forest. Warthogs and baboons run free around the premises, hippos are often spotted in the lake and behind the lodge lies the ancient Kimthe Bishangari Forest which hosts several 600 year old fig trees and over 400 species of bird (including 12 of the 13 endemic species to Ethiopia). It is a perfect base to relax and enjoy the wildlife.
Abiete Shale NP
Bishangari Lodge at Lake Langano