Wenchi Crater Lake

Wenchi Crater Lake, Ambo: Address, Phone Number, Wenchi Crater Lake Reviews: 4/5

Wenchi Crater Lake
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4.0
46 reviews
Excellent
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Very good
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Average
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Terrible
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Maereg A
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia27 contributions
While in Wenchi Crater Lake
Dec. 2020 • Friends
Wenchi crater lake is one of the places to visit near Addis. Since the distance from Addis is 120km, this make it feasible for a day trip. The beautiful nature says about it, the feeling also stays for long.
Written 18 April 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Hazel F
Burgess Hill, UK44 contributions
Tranquil oasis with gorgeous scenery and friendly locals
Apr. 2019 • Couples
This was my fourth visit to Wenchi, with Quest Ethiopia Tours who consistently ensure I have an enjoyable and memorable time here. We camped again on the peaceful shores of the mirror-glass water, chatting to the locals who had come across the lake in ancient carved dugout boats.
As with most attractions, it is necessary to use the services of a local guide which helps the local community. Dagi negotiated this on our behalf so we did not need to get involved at all and it was easy for us. So don’t be put off by some of the negative comments in other reviews which mention money haggling. If you travel with a good tour company (Quest Ethiopia Tours) all the local charges will be included. Again, you will probably be approached by kids demanding pens near to the ticket office. Try and be patient and turn the situation around by teasing them or distracting them - they’ll soon lose interest and run off! As tourists, we fuel this by turning up with lots of flashy equipment, bags and bottles of water etc so they assume we’re all rich feranjis!
Once heading down past the neat huts and well-kept compounds surrounding the track, we found everyone to be very friendly. We were so lucky that Dagi (Quest Ethiopia Tours) had found out from the local guide that a cow had just been slaughtered and was being prepared for sharing amongst six local families. We were privileged to be invited in to watch this being skilfully done by a small group of men. They brought us local honey wine, araki and hunks of bread....amazing! I wish we had been able to stay longer so I could go swimming again as I did on a previous visit!
Yes, the road in is still under construction but a lot has been done since my last visit and I know how quickly areas like this recover to be lush and green again.It’s a great place to visit even if you only have a few hours as it’s relativley close to Addis and not far at all from Wolisso.
Written 3 May 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Bibi
6 contributions
Don’t trust anyone over here!
Nov. 2018 • Family
I visited Wenchi Crater with my parents. The only thing that is great is the view. We missed the ticket office and parked 1 km further on the parking lot. 10 men were around us immediately, offering tour guide service. They told us it is mandatory, entrance fee, parking and boat is all extra, which we can pay at the end at the tour office.
The guide we “had to take” did not understand a word of Englich. He was not able to answer any questionsor tell us anything about the history od this beautiful crater. The only good thing about him, was that he kept begging people away.
He charged us 200 Birr per person for the boat ride, no receipt was given! Later we learned it costs only 100 Birr each. He did not take us to the other side of the lake, which should be the correct tour. We went to the island with the closed church, went back to the same place and walked back the same path we came from! Boring! The “captain” also asked for a tip, how rude and disgraceful can someone be after charging too much money anyway?! I asked for a receipt again, but he did not give us one.
Back to the parking lot the guide was able to tell us we should pay him directly, not the tour office. I insisted on going to the office. There I learned that we we fooled.
Make sure you go to the ticket office first and let them explain the tour. Insist on a receipt and someone English speaking. And always keep in mind: don’t trust anyone over here!
Written 18 January 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Steve-Katie B
10 contributions
Great trip with our family
Oct. 2018 • Family
We took a day trip from where were staying at Negash Lodge in Wolisso. It took us 1 hour and 10 minutes to drive ourselves. We have a Landcruiser which was needed because the road is very rough and steep at points, though we never had to use 4x4. We followed maps.me and found it just fine. The office at the entrance was clearly marked and the pricing seemed fairly straight forward. 300 for mandatory guide, 100 per person, 50 for parking. Riding horses down to the shore is optional and we did it which was great fun for our kids. Horses were 100 each way and we also tipped 100 each way which seemed acceptable. The road down to the lake is a very pretty 5k journey with beautiful views and through a quaint village. At the shore we had a picnic and enjoyed the very peaceful setting. We chose not to take the optional trip out to the island. We were told we could swim, the water is clean, but it was very cool so we opted not to. The whole trip, from the office down and back was about three hours. we were glad we had the horses for the ride back up because it is quite steep. Our guide, Abinet, was friendly and great with our kids.Everyone else seemed fairly friendly and helpful as well, although there was the normal trying to get extra money out of you, but nothing too aggressive. There are a lot of other activities around the crater that you can do, but we were limited in our time and because we have young kids. Overall it was a great trip and we will definitely do it again. Highly recommend.
Written 21 October 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Jeff K
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia2 contributions
Beautiful place, contentious money haggling
Jul. 2018 • Family
We drove (July 10, 2018) from Woliso to Wenchi--about 1.5 hours. Current state of road very poor. 4wd vehicle certainly helpful. If not, at least vehicle with high clearance. (Addis to Woliso about 2.5 hours).

Nice trail (no guide needed actually--easy to follow trail. However, a guide is needed as I suspect the locals would not allow hikers alone). Beautiful views. Beautiful lake. Lots of kids waving and saluting (a few asking for money--though not many).

Current prices: 300 birr for guide, 100 birr per person for "transit fee." 50 birr for parking (guy watched it for 3 hours). Boat ride of 75 meters to island--200 birr (originally wanted to charged 400 birr, but I said that was too much. Asked for tip at end, gave him 10 birr--which is not much--was low on cash). Horse was 100 birr each way (I didn't have enough cash however, so we didn't do horses). We hiked down (myself, and three of our kids, ages 9, 14 and 15) and hiked back up, after the short boat ride. Church was closed. Looked like modern church. Nothing special. Guide did not speak good English. Said something like "14th century church." In all, he told us nothing of the lake or region (I had asked about the church).
Afterward, to pay, office was closed (as it was earlier). Eventually someone came, as I was not just going to hand over to the guide his fee plus the transit fees (which is what he was intimating). I told office worker that a tourist wants to "see" something for paying a "transit fee," (especially as I was looking at paying 400 birr), e.g., signs describing elevation, history, geography, etc., or a pamphlet describing such things, also, describing what the fee is used for... There was nothing like this. He claimed the fee was used to fight deforestation. Great--would love to help with that--however, no proof of this other than his words.
Rather contentious time discussing the money. We love to help out communities like this--provided it is not a scam. Seemed to lean towards a fleecing however. In the end, I paid about 90% of the fees asked. Bummer about the haggling however...
Written 11 July 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

אמיר א
29 contributions
Beautiful Lake, Untrustworthy people
Jan. 2018 • Friends
The lake and the area is amazing place to see. if you go deep enough into the area, a waterfall with hot water is nice to shower in.
however - the people are horrible.
First - getting to the village - they all say that the road is broken and ask for 2000 birr. the road is good. some of it has new asphalt even. you can drive yourself easily or take the local bus (50 birr per person).
We closed a deal to take us with a driver for 250 birr in Weliso. When he saw we are white he simply added a zero - 2500 birr.
One guide - Kifly / Cefly walked to us and offered his help. he said that we shouldnt worry about money, just 100 birr per night per person, and he will talk prices with us on the morning (then again - no money no problem policy)
at 2 pm he decided that there are no cars in town, so we will pay him for another night, and his friend will get money for taking us. we hitchhicked and he got mad, wanted to receive 30$, and when he counted that we had only 600 birr he went violence. Started yelling, chasing us.
Also - there are pickpockets there who tried to steal our phone in the mass.
Trust no one. Ask for everything written ahead.
Written 30 January 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Emily G
Durham, NC5 contributions
Pretty lake with a few hassles
Jan. 2018 • Couples
Pros: beautiful lake, worth seeing. Good for an active day.

Cons:
Ok, so, even after paying the tour company (BCD Travel Ethiopia) 150$USD/person for 2 people for tour of Wenchi from Addis, each person who encountered us at the location (additional local guide, one horse guide to walk down for each of us, a separate horse guide to walk up the crater, people who row the boat) expected 300-500 birr each as a 'tip'. The boy who walked my horse down the crater (~30min trip) said "the tip is 500 birr " when we got to the end. I'm all for supporting the local economy but this seems OUTRAGEOUS. We tipped as we would for similar services in the US (100-200 birr, generous when compared with expected tip in Addis) which caused an awkward moment with the local guides and kind of soured the experience for us. We confirmed with our tour guide that the charge had been appropriately paid and this was indeed a 'tip'. The driver and guides from BCD tours seemed to understand that this was making us uncomfortable. If doing would recommend skipping the horses, especially on the way down, not worth the awkward experience.
Written 20 January 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Hazel F
Burgess Hill, UK44 contributions
Gorgeous place to experience peace, tranquility, nature .....and an exhilarating swim!
Apr. 2017 • Couples
Lucky me, I got to visit beautiful Lake Wench again twice this year and this time I actually went in for a swim! Amazing! Both times, we were travelling as usual with Dagi of Quest Ethiopia Tours (licensed operator) who we highly recommend and once more we camped overnight so we could enjoy the sense of peace and the wonderful views. (I have to warn you that it does get very cold at night so take warm clothes if you are camping there.) Wenchi is a crater lake and is situated around 3000m above sea level which means that you may feel short of breath if you’re walking uphill! (It is possible to hire mules though so don’t let this put you off!) If you have the time you can walk right around the lake but it takes 5-6 hours which sadly we didn't have the time for on this visit either….so much else to see and do! However, we engaged with the locals during the afternoon and the next morning we visited one of their tukuls for a coffee ceremony, during which we learned more of their fascinating culture by way of Dagi translating. I found this experience particularly rewarding as rather than just seeing the local people from a distance, we got to interact with them which was a real privilege. As usual, it was thanks to Dagi that we could experience this. There are lots of other hiking options at Wenchi and the views from the top track are absolutely stunning. There are good bird watching opportunities here and the lake has several small islands, one of which has a Monastery. You will probably have to engage the service of a local guide but I’ve always found them to be very friendly and it is good to support the local people. It’s also possible to visit here as a day-trip from Addis as I did on my previous visit.
Briefly, we have traveled with Quest Ethiopia Tours to many parts of Ethiopia. Contact Dagi who will suggest various options to suit your preferences and will always manage to come up with an interesting and packed itinerary. He speaks excellent English, (and other languages), is respectful, very knowledgeable and enormous fun to travel with! What are you waiting for!
Written 7 November 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Michael K
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia173 contributions
Stunning landscape
Jan. 2017
If you travel to West part of Ethiopia you should have to stay at list one night at this crater lake area there are available lodges as well as camp site this place have got also a community tourism where you can hire a mule for your excursion, it is absolutely stunning view.
Written 24 August 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Asamenew Shimeles
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia49 contributions
Beautiful landscape and age old monastery
May 2016
We drove from Ambo to Wenchi, and the lake was amazing to be seen from the top of mountains. Horseback riding is also an option to reach the lake shore. Church priests has a lot to say about the monastery's establishment and its relics.
Written 6 February 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

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