One of the prettiest stands of forest in Western Ethiopia, Menagesha National Forest is an easy day trip from Addis. Almost a dozen trails (up to 9km in length) meander through the forest, with one even heading above the treeline to Mt Wuchacha’s 3380m summit. On the crater’s western slopes, some of the giant juniper and wanza (Cordia africana) trees are said to be over 400 years old.
Watch out for black-and-white colobus (monkeys) along the trails, as well as bushbucks, while birders will love the chance to see Ethiopian specialities such as the yellow-fronted parrot, Abyssinian catbird, black-winged lovebird and banded barbet.
The forest is accessed via the small town of Sebeta, roughly 30km from Addis. Just before arriving in Sebeta (if travelling east toward Addis) turn left at the green sign reading ‘Dhaabbata Bosona Finfinetti’ and ‘Finfine Forest Enterprise’, and it’s a 17km drive to the park headquarters where the well-signed walking trails begin.