Arba Minch

Bordered by verdant mountains and home to two of Ethiopia’s largest Rift Valley lakes, this city is more than a convenient overnight stop on the southern circuit. With Nechisar National Park and the highland Dorze villages on its doorstep, it deserves to be a destination on its own.

Arba Minch (አርባ ምንጭ) is actually two cities in one. Its dual settlements of Shecha and Sikela, separated by 3km of virtual no-man’s land, have distinct personalities. Larger Sikela is more commercial and chaotic than her slightly more refined sibling up the hill. Shecha also offers fantastic views over the lakes.