Hiking To Lake Wenchi


Wenchi crater lake is a volcano lake located 98 km west of Addis Ababa, Oromia, Ethiopia. At 13,450 m above sea level, it is the highest volcano in Ethiopia, 13.5 km  from Mount Dendi, Ethiopia’s second highest volcano. Wonchi is located at equal distance between the towns of Ambo and Woliso.

The volcano has a 4 by 4.8 km (2.5 by 3.0 mi) wide caldera, and a single crater lake, Wenchi lake, about 450 m below the rim of the volcano. Study of Wonchi’s caldera is incomplete; initial findings show it could be as much as 900 m deep, and the lake itself could be as deep as 400 m.

Besides Wenchi lake, the caldera also contains hot springs, waterfalls, valleys, and other scenery. There are two islands in the lake. On one of the islands there is an ancient church called Cherkos monastery. One can reach the islands and the monastery by ferry. Due to its unique topography, Wenchi is blessed with varieties of animal and plant species. For these reasons, Wenchi has become a popular tourist destination in Ethiopia. This has been the case even though there was no dry weather road. Since the construction of Ambo-Waliso gravel road, tourism has emerged as one of the rapidly growing economic sectors in the district, Wanchi lake becoming a favored weekend destination for residents of nearby cities including Addis Ababa. The tourist can hire horses to take down the mountain to the lake. It takes about one hour from the volcano rim to reach the lake side.

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