First Published June 2018
Lake Langano has been a favorite Rest and Relaxation destination choice for residents and visitors to Ethiopia for many decades. Ethiopia may be landlocked but Lake Langano is the easy choice for those seeking a beach vacation and offers the visitor a range of activities from just soaking up the sun and sunbathing whilst gazing at the serene lake, hiking up the cliffs around the landscape of the lake (possibly encountering monkeys baboons and warthogs) plus boating (canoeing or paddle boating) and water safaris (going in search of hippos). The area is also a unique paradise for Bird Watchers with a wonderful selection of colourful birds – beautiful to look at and to listen to (no need for any alarm clock as the delightful and melodic sounds of the birds will do the job!)
Langano is 200 kilometres from Addis and the new freeway gets you to Mojo in record time. The drive from Mojo to Langano is a long straight drive (the road is being expanded in parts) but can be busy with vehicles as well as people and animals depending on the time of travel but offers the driver a colourful drive nonetheless. Lake Langano is 18 kilometers long and 16 km wide, with a surface area of 230 square kilometers and a maximum depth of 46 meters. The lake is drained by the Hora Kallo River, which empties into the adjacent Lake Abijatta. A huge appeal for Langano is that unlike all other freshwater lakes in Ethiopia, Lake Langano is free of Bilharzia (schistosomiasis). The lake is brown in colour and certainly looks muddy and uninviting! However, the reason for the colour is due to the richness of minerals including high sulphur levels, which have led many to believe that the lake water has healing properties and the lake is often pleasantly warm.
There are a number of resorts around the lake. Currently the main resorts are Sabanna Beach Resort www.sabanalangano.com which remains a favorite for both couples and families with cosy chalets offering cliff top views of the lake and even some chalets with your own “private” beach. For a more off the beaten track deep in the country location there is eco lodge Hara Lodge www.haralangano.com. For years the Bekele Molla was the first and only hotel, which many of us recall with great fondness. For a time, the BM was relaunched as Simbo Beach Resort but has now been taken over and is currently being transformed into a new Kuriftu resort location – the restaurant is currently open on week ends (check before you go though) and shortly will reopen as a resort: www.kurifturesorts.com/reserve/ Work on other new resorts including either side of Sabanna is also (slowly) underway.
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