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Menagesha National Forest

Menagesha National Forest


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The closest tract of significant indigenous forest to Addis Ababa, 20km west of the capital, Menagesha incorporates 25 square kilometers of juniper, African redwood and yellowwood trees, as well as Mount Wechecha, an extinct volcano that rises to 3385m. The forest can be explored along a network of hiking and 4×4 trails (ranging from a few hundred meters to almost 10km in length) that fan out from the forestry headquarters 15km from the small town of Sebeta. Wildlife includes the striking guereza monkey, endemic Menelik’s bushbuck and bold Anubis baboon, all frequently seen by hikers, and predators include leopard and serval cat. Menagesha is also a particularly important site for endemic forest birds such as the yellow-fronted parrot, Abyssinian woodpecker and Abyssinian catbird, as well as the colorfulNarina-Trogon and white-cheeked turaco, which are also likely to be seen.

The forest has been accorded some sort of protection since the fifteenth century, initially by imperial decree, more recently through formal legislation. It was established by Emperor Zara Yaqob, who ordered seedlings to be planted on Wechecha’s denuded southwestern slopes.

Menagesha National Forest

The intention of this post is to guide you through your trip to Suba Menagesha, the oldest forest in Africa (at least that’s what they say at the entrance! Who knows?!)
Menagesha National Forest is a vast extension of green area, 40 km or one and a half hour away from Addis (depending on traffic), that offers a beautiful scape from the noisy capital and where, if lucky, you can enjoy many things at once: waterfalls, ancient trees, camping, sight of birds and other animals, a small exhibition center, hiking, among others. For me it was a good discovery and I plan to come back with more time during the rainy season, when I’m sure it will be even greener.

There are 2 ways to arrive to the forest: through Holleta (Ambo Road) or Sebeta (Jimma Road). We tried both to see which one is better and I recommend the second one, which, even being 2km longer, has a better road (both are not asphalted) and more life. Whatever way you choose, make sure to ask around once you reach the main towns (Sebeta or Holleta) not to miss the exit to the rural road that will lead you to the park.


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Trip Facts

Accommodation Not required
Transportation 4 wheel / bus
Group size Min 5 – Max 20
Altitude Max3366m.a.s.l
Fitness level Intermediate
Tour Destination The West
Tour Activity Mountain tour
Tour type Short day excursions
Meals Camping meal
Language You select
Total distance 100 km
Other Hiking 1 days ~ 20 km


  • Some places are Not accessible for wheelchair,
  • Not recommended for heart problems or other serious medical conditions,
  • Not recommended for pregnant travelers,
  • Not recommended for travelers with back problem,
  • Travelers should have an intermediate or above physical fitness level,
  • This travel requires good physical weather. If its cancelled due to poor weather, you’ll be offered a different date or a full refund.
  • This travel requires a minimum number of travelers. If it’s canceled because the minimum isn’t met, you’ll be offered a different date or a full refund.

When to Go

Travelling in Ethiopia is possible at any time of year, but each season will bring with it a different experience. Many tourists choose to go between September and November when the landscape is alive with green after the rainy season. December through April is also fine hiking weather, as the sun is often out and temperatures are higher, but views tend to be a little hazy, and the landscape turns from vivid green to yellow and dry. The least popular hiking months are June, July and August when rain falls daily. Temperatures during the day tend to be comfortably warm in all seasons but can fall below zero at night, so pack warms clothes and a good sleeping bag.

Keep In Mind

To make sure that your environmental impact is minimal, whenever you travel, don’t forget to take the following steps:
  • Do not collect or damage any vegetation and do not disturb or feed wild animals;
  • Remember to take all of your litter with you;
  • Camp only in designated areas;
  • Always use latrines where provided, or bury waste at least 100 meters away from water;
  • Do not use soaps in natural waterways.


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