2.Duration: Excursion out of Addis Ababa
Tour code: HLETT 02
Drive to visit MelkaKunture,which lies near the Awash River Gorge 50 km south of the capital and is one of the most important Neolithic sites in Ethiopia. Hand axes and various other implements have been found here. About 5 km further on the Butajira Road, is the rock hewn church of Adadi Mariam, contemporaneous with those of Lalibela. In fact local tradition ascribes it to King Lalibela who is said to have had it built on his visit to Mount Zuqwala in 1106. Damaged during the wars with Ahmed Gragn in the 16th century, it fell into disuse and was only reopened in the time of Menelik II. It is today in regular use.
Next stop is Tiya, where we can see the northernmost example of a peculiar type of engraved, standing stelae which stretch across parts of southern Ethiopia. These stelae are believed to have been erected between the 12th and 14th centuries and are almost certainly grave markers. Recent excavations at Tiya have revealed the remains of young people of both sexes, aged between 18 -30 and buried in fetal positions. Tiya is designated as a World Heritage Site.We are driving south through the Rift Valley.
Stop for lunch at Lake Ziway. Also visit Lake Ziway, one of the Rift Valley lakes with a surface area of 430 km square. On your way back to Addis visit DebreZiet. You will view the lovely crater lakes of Hora, Bishoftu and others, these are Best place for birds, plant life and scenery as you make a drive around the DebreZeit crater lake region.