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The lakes of Ethiopia

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The lakes of Ethiopia fall into two groups: Rift Valley lakes and highland lakes. Most of them are located in the rift valley where there are eight lakes varying in size and depth.

The largest of these is Abaya and the smallest is Awasa. All these lakes are habitats for a great variety of fish and birds.

Lake Abijata has flamingoes and lakes Ziway and Abaya have hippopotamus and crocodiles. Lake Langano, which is only about 210km away from Addis Abeba, is the most used of all the lakes, and has developed into a weekend resort.

In addition to the lakes in the Rift Valley, there are also lakes in the highlands. The largest lake in the country, lake Tana, is located in the north central highlands and is a flooded river basin dammed by a lava flow which now forms the spectacular Blue Nile Falls.

Other lakes are of volcanic origin, large examples being lakes Ashangi and Haik in Welo Region. Smaller examples are found near Debre Zeit including the classical crater lake in the summit of Mt. Zuquala.

The much visited lake Wonchi fills a multiple crater in a mountainous setting west of Addis Abeba.

(Source: National Atlas of Ethiopia)

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