Frequently Asked Questions

How much experience in horse riding is necessary?

The less experience you have the more exciting you will find it. Most of our visitors have never sat on a horse before and all were highly satisfied with their new skills. It takes only minutes to learn the essentials for riding a horse. Trotting and galloping can be avoided to make you feel safe

Can trekking be done without horses?

The distance to the lake and the return trip can be walked. However, due to the high altitude and frequent slopes, walking may become quite exhausting. It is safe to ride even if you do so for the first time. It is possible to take horses along to have the option of riding when and if you feel tired.

Can elderly people stand such a trip?

If you can stand moderate hikes of some 10 kilometers your age should not prevent you from trekking in Wenchi. The speed can be adapted to your needs. The time required for boating and hiking through the main trails is half a day of continuous walking at most. Thus, there is time for as many breaks as necessary.

Can we bring children?

ur youngest visitors are toddlers! Children of 3 to 4 years of age or more find trekking real fun. If they are too big to be carried by their parents, or if they are not keen walkers, they can be put on a horse led by an assistant.

For how many days should we stay?

Two days are recommended to explore the lake and hike on different trials. One full day is enough to make one of the round trips. The minimum should be half a day to walk or to ride along one of the shorter distances.

Is there a season when you close?

We are on stand-by throughout the year. The rainy season (June to September) may deter you, but it should not. Chances are that you will have to make use of your rainwear, but the flowering vegetation, misty forests and cloudy sky will offset the inconvenience

How much will it cost us?

You will find the hiking and boating are extremely affordable. The price is around 12 US$ or 100 birr per day. including guide, horse and boat trip but excluding food and beverages. The exact amount you can find in the price list of WETA.

Who receives the visitors' payments?

Wenchi Eco-Tourism Association (WETA) is a local, community-centred initiative and operates the scheme to support and coordinate interaction between the different independent service providers. Everything will be paid to the association office. However, in case you need to rent a boat after you reach to the harbor then the guide will receive your payment and provide you with a receipt.

How long does it take to get to Wenchi?

Assuming that your starting point is Addis Ababa getting to Wenchi through Ambo will take roughly 4 hours and through Weliso 3 hours. Driving continuously in a strong 4-wheel drive car may reduce the time depending on the condition of the roads. The road between Addis and Ambo is under maintenance and is quite rough. Coming by public transport takes much longer. It is hard to get public transport to Wenchi from Ambo or Weliso.

Do the guides speak foreign languages?

The guides speak good English and certainly enough to communicate and give explanations on common questions regarding Wenchi.

Can we go for a boat and mountain trip on our own without a guide?

Even if you buy our trekking map and have a GPS-set with you for navigation we would not recommend you go hiking or boating on your own. Security is not a problem; there is no risk at all. However, we have to maintain our good relationship with the local community. The presence of a guide is necessary for you to communicate with the locals and for them to know who is roaming around in their area.

What types of boats are there?

You can have a trip in traditional boats, carved from the trunks of juniper trees, or in an aluminum boat, which can accommodate big groups.

What is the point of hiring assistants if there is already a guide?

In addition to the guide one or several assistants might be needed if you take horses. One assistant can handle up to 4 horses on his way back. Therefore, depending on the number of horses taken for the trek, you might be asked to hire more than one assistant.

Where can we leave our car while we are boating and hiking?

Your car can be parked in front of the restaurant tukl (round building). Future plans for the area include a proper parking place and visitor center.

Is it possible to see wild animals?

Do not expect too much in terms of wildlife. Although there are wild animals – including bushbuck, colobus monkeys and others – they are normally hidden between the trees and bushes. There are plenty of opportunities to see aquatic birds.

Where can we get food in Wenchi?

There are modern and local restaurants and hotels in both Ambo and Weliso towns, but only local restaurants in Wenchi.

How does the community benefit from the scheme?

The contribution of tourism to conservation is known to be quite limited. Although it generates some additional income for local people very few benefit from it directly. Transferring part of the turnover to the community attains some degree of communal benefit. For this purpose a sort of tourist tax is levied. It consists of 8% of the service providers’ income and 50 % of the entrance fee, which goes to the community fund .The proceeds contribute to improvements of the social infrastructure, such as village schools.

How about security?

Security is excellent because of mutual control. All our visitors are and feel perfectly safe at Wenchi.

See also:

Hiking and Horse Riding in the Bale Mountains (GTZ in Ethiopia)
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