Welcome to Asham Africa, a boutique hotel on the cliffs of Lake Bishoftu, a lake that gave its name to the town where it is situated. There is a lot to see and discover in and around Bishoftu. Before venturing out, however, we strongly recommend that you check with hotel staff about the safety and security of where you plan to go. By and large, Bishoftu is a very safe town. But there have been occasional reports of robbery in isolate corners of the town especially targeting foreigners. We will be happy to provide escort if it is necessary.
Things You can Do in Asham Hotel and Resort
The Lake where the hotel is situated is one of the many crater lakes on the Rift Valley chain of lakes. It’s by far the deepest lake in the Valley and is thought to be volcanic; although no volcanic activity was observed for some time. The lake changes its color regularly (some times daily), which makes it a subject of many folkloric theories. Asham has direct access to the lake and it is possible to walk around part of the lake. You can also walk around the lake from above the cliff. This will take around an hour and half. There will be a boat trip on the lake to enjoy the beauty of the lake.
Bishoftu is a veritable resort town. There are seven lakes, each one with its own characteristics, and it is surrounded by a chain of mountains. It is fairly safe to walk in the town and discover the busy shopping areas, the many resort hotels, the flower and spice farms or just chill in one of the many local restaurants and bistros and mingle with the town population. Bishoftu is known for the famous annual celebration of the Irechaa festival. The hotel can arrange a guide (not member of the staff) if you so wish.
This lake, one of the hidden treasures of the town, is just beyond the mountains in front of the hotel. You can either walk (about an hour) or we can arrange transportation for you (less than fifteen minutes). Green Lake is a pristine lake with no modern structure of any kind around it. It probably got its name from the algae that covers the lake which may also be the reason why you don’t see people swimming in it. There are however plenty of cattle and accompanying shepherds who are always delighted to see visitors. Please check with hotel staff before venturing out to the lake.
A short twenty minutes drive from the hotel (you can also walk if you’re really adventures) is one of the most beautiful mountains in the country. You need to climb to the top to discover its beauty however and you should easily count two hours from the bottom of the mountain. Cars can’t go to the top of Zuqualla. Once you’re on the top, you will discover an amazing scene of a crater lake, tropical forest and one of the most famous churches – Zuqualla Abo. You can easily spend a full day walking around the lake, talking to the friendly monks and picnicking. You must have a guide to climb Zuqualla and the hotel can arrange one for you (not a staff of the hotel). Leave very early in the morning and plan to return by the end of the day.
Half way to Addis, this mountain is a trekkers favorite. It’s much easier than Zuqualla to climb, and, once on the top, you have a splendid view of the surrounding area. You need a car to go to Yerrer (its too far to walk).
If you are a fan of thermal water with popular reputation for curing all kinds of ailments, Sodere is your place. It is about an hour drive from the hotel and you can easily spend a full day there. Activities in and around Sodere include taking a bath in the thermal water fall, swimming, hiking around the beautiful hilly areas around the hotel and just having a cold beer and snack at the restaurant.
The capital city is a bustling city of 7 million and the economic, cultural and diplomatic center of the country. Addis is about an hour north west of Bishoftu. And if you want to visit the city, you will need a lot of time in your hands, most of it to be spent in traffic jams!!! Activities in Addis may include, museums, parks, merkato (the largest open market in the continent), shopping for souvenirs etc… Its difficult to exaggerate the beauty and diversity of Addis. The hotel can organize transportation for you but we are no experts in guiding you around the city!
This is probably the second largest city in the country. It’s definitely one of the top five. It’s situated about 45 kms south east of Bishoftu and you will be there in just 30 mins. Adama is known for its traditional restaurants (especially if you’re a fan of meat!!), and its myriads of cafes and tearooms. It also has some fine hotels. Adama is warmer, windier, and much noisier than Bishoftu. We recommend a short stopover on your way to or from Sodere.
Zewaye is further south on your way to Awassa. Zewaye has a beautiful lake with rich history associated with the Ethiopian Orthodox Church. It’s believed that the Ark of the Covenant was housed in one of the islands in the lake for over 800 years before it was moved to its current place in Axum. A boat ride is a must in Zeway to discover the beauty and rich history of this rather modest town. You must also try the fish from the lake in one of the many restaurants in the town. Zeway is about an hour and half drive from Bishoftu.
If you have a really long day to invest, you can get to Awassa in about two and half hours. Awassa is a beautifully planned, very pleasant town with Lake Awassa on the west and the beautiful Medhanealem Church in the east. It has a myriad of top rate hotels and resorts and the food (especially the fish) is quite famous. Promenade in the evening on one of the many pedestrian lane is quite an experience!!