Too little is known really about Ethiopia, even though Ethiopian Airlines is Africa’s leading international carrier, flying to North and South America, Europe, the Middle East and Asia, and of course, being the erstwhile Pan African airline, across the continent. Yet, most of their passengers fly THROUGH Addis Ababa and too few, by any standards, are actually coming to Ethiopia to tour the country. It is therefore always a pleasure to tell a bit of good news about tourism developments in that country, where history, culture and even national parks offer aplenty to those keen to learn more about one of Africa’s hidden gems.
The Viewpoint Lodge, located just under 50 kilometres or about an hour’s drive outside Addis Ababa, on Lake Babagoya, is set on the rim of a crater lake, overlooking the clear waters and offering a vista of the Yerer volcano and the Zequala mountain in the distance. Some 360 species of bird have been identified around the crater lake and at least 50 are found with ease when just walking within the grounds of the lodge, which has 8 rooms available for visitors. The lodge has for the second year running now received the coveted TripAdvisor recognition ‘Certificate of Excellence’ and will hopefully get a further boost in popularity by telling the story about it. Details on TA reviews are found here for added information: http://www.tripadvisor.com/Hotel_Review-g1510664-d2042872-Reviews-The_Viewpoint_Lodge-Debre_Zeyit_Oromiya_Region.html
Owned and operated by a Belgian / Ethiopian couple the lodge offers kayaking on the lake, bicycle tours around the crater, visits to the six other lakes found in the vicinity of the lodge, namely Hora, Bishoftu, Kilole, Green Lake and the Cuban Lakes. Just two and a half hours away is the Awash National Park with its waterfalls and a little further away is the Ethiopian Rift Valley, to where the lodge owners are happy to arrange 3 day / 2 night trips.
Find out more about the lodge via https://sites.google.com/site/viewpointlodge/welcome or visit the bird watching site giving an overview of Ethiopia’s rich aviary finds via http://www.birdwatchingethiopia.com/
So if you are flying with Ethiopian Airlines (www.ethiopianairlines.com) to somewhere in Africa, perhaps this would be the time to consider and plan for a stopover in the country to explore a bit, but at least to spend a few nights at the Viewpoint Lodge.