A project of immense tourism potential
Located 155 kilometers west of Finfinne, halfway between the cities of Ambo and Woliso, Wenchi Crater Lake is arguably the most beautiful lake in the highlands of Oromia, so it makes perfect sense why Wenchi was selected to be one of three projects implemented under the “Dine for the Nation” initiative. Launched by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed in March 2021, the Wenchi Dandi Eco-Tourism Development Project and the many services it will provide are not only expected to attract loads of international tourists but will play a pivotal role in the development and enhancement of the tourism sector in Ethiopia.
A volcanic wonderland of immense beauty
You see, even now, while the vision has yet to be fully realized, Wenchi is much more than meets the eye. Although famed for being Ethiopia’s highest volcano, Wenchi does not adhere to the lava-spewing stigma that is generally attached to the word but would be more accurately described as a pristine and undiscovered volcanic wonderland. As you descend into its crater, you enter a world of mountain streams, hot, bubbling mud pools, sheer rock walls, narrow passes, and vibrant alpine flora, and cupped here, in these vibrant folds of bountiful nature, lies Wenchi’s Crater Lake. Changing color throughout the day, Wenchi’s clear waters shimmer like the faceted surface of an aquamarine jewel; in the morning, they’re a mesmerizing lagoon blue, and in the afternoon, they’re a stunning green. But though the lake might be the star of the show, it hardly stands alone on the podium of the magical and incredible attractions this place has to offer.
An unforgettable experience
Only a three-and-a-half-hour drive from the capital, Wenchi really is the ultimate destination for a weekend getaway and the perfect place to go when you want to escape the din and stress of big city living and simply recharge and reconnect with nature. Enveloped in the serene world of Wenchi’s nature, you can pamper yourself and recreate the spa experience by taking a long, rejuvenating soak in the bubbly, mineral-rich mud of Wenchi’s hot spring pools. You can step inside a secluded cliffside hollow and melt your worries away in the pounding rain and billowing steam of the hot springs gushing out of the mountainside. If you are a hiking enthusiast and you love the idea of feeling like some ancient explorer on an adventurous quest, then you can strap your hiking boots on tight and set out across the craggy hills, through the woods and lush meadows that snake between the flanking mountain escarpments of Wenchi’s stunning crater landscape. Or if you are more of an equestrian, you can perpetuate ancient traditions and give yourself the unique opportunity to see the land as the people did in erstwhile times by getting on the back of one of the adorable local horses and letting your trusty four-legged companion carry you through woods, networks of frigid streams, and along the narrow trails that hug the cliffside. Another fantastic activity waiting for you in Wenchi is the joy of getting in a rowboat and setting out across the lake itself. This is when you realize that while beholding Lake Wenchi from above is breathtaking, it pales in comparison to gliding across the smooth, glassy waters and watching the full scope of Wenchi’s beauty unfold before your eyes. It is that boat ride that finally convinces you of what you’ve suspected all along: Wenchi truly is a magical place. And before you leave this enchanted and secluded lake behind, make sure you take the time to enjoy a swim or just some plain old water-soaked fun, because you’ll be forever remiss if you don’t. So, whether you choose to take a mud bath or a dip in the cool, sapphire-blue lake, explore the area on horseback or go on a group hike, enjoy a picnic, or a weekend camping trip, Lake Wenchi is just the place for you.