Travel to Arba Minch – The Land of the Forty Springs
Situated by lake Chamo and Abaya, the most southerly of Ethiopia’s Rift Valley lakes, Arba Minch constitutes the perfect base to explore Chencha and Nechisar National Park.
Arba Minch, which stands for “forty springs,” is located in the Semien Omo Zone of the Southern Nations, at the base of the western side of the Great Rift Valley. The city takes its name from the bubbling streams which spring up amid the undergrowth of the luxuriant groundwater forest that covers the flats beneath the town.
Arba Minch succeeded Chencha as the provincial capital of Gamu-Gofa, and held this honor until the reorganisation of provinces in 1995. The city retains some government importance as the administrative centre for its zone.
Nechisar National Park, Lake Abaya, and Lake Chamo are the main attractions in the region. While in Arba Minch, you can also visit the Chencha village, home to the Dorze people and famed for its bee hive shaped houses and weaving skills; the 1.5-1.8 million year old Neolithic site at Melka Konture; the 1000 year old rock hewn church of Adadi Mariam and the stelae field dating from between 14th 16th centuries AD at Tiya.
Arba Minch is host to the annual “Festival of 1000 Stars” locally known as shi kokeboch, a concert organized by British charitable organisation One Heart and Gughe Indigenous Art & Music Association, dedicated to helping the region’s indigenous people support themselves.
Shop in local craft shops and markets for traditional woven products and locally produced pottery. Or for a more active pursuit then why not go hiking in the Guge Mountains or take a tour in order to visit a traditional Dorze village with demonstrations of local cooking and the chance to see the famous bee hive shaped huts that the local people live in.
- Visit the Chencha village,famed for its bee hive shaped houses and weaving skills.
- Explore the city of the forty springs.
- Shop for locally woven products and traditional pottery.