Wenchi is a highland area, situated in Oromia Regional state, 155 km west Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa. The area is famed for its beautiful mountainous landscape, used partly as farmland and partly covered by natural forest.
The lake is situated at the base of an extinct volcano. 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 is situated on one of the lake islands.
An extinct volcano, Mount Wenchi rises to 3,386m and the Afro alpine moorland of its upper slopes, studded with relict patches of natural forest, can be accessed along a 4×4 road connecting the towns of Ambo and Woliso.
The densely cultivated caldera encloses a large and beautiful crater lake and the island Monastery of Wenchi Chirkos, founded in the 13th century by Tekle Haymanot, an Ethiopian saint recognized in foreign churches including in Egypt.
In addition to boating across to the monastery, a local ecotourism association offers a selection of guided day hikes and pony treks ranging from the 4km Fincha Trail to the 16km Bagoba-Abagalalcha Trail, which follows the lakeshore before heading to the Dawala hot springs and waterfall. Only 10km to the east, Lake Dendi is nestled in a pair of near-circular 2km wide craters connected by a gap of only 100m in their shared rim.