Eco-Tourism Potentials of Abijata-Shalla Lakes National Park (ASLNP), Central Rift-Valley of Ethiopia

Zerubabel Worku


Abijata Shalla Lakes National Park is one of the thirteen federally administered protected areas in Ethiopia. Though it’s one of the most severely degraded protected area and the natural resources of the area are facing a high risk by anthropogenic activities, there are still potentials for ecotourism at the Park. As a result, the main intention of this research was assessing the Eco-tourism potentials of the Park, based on natural attractions, cultural features, and tourism activities; from the perspective of identifying conservation challenges hindering the management activity to endorse possible mitigation strategies. For the better success of the study both qualitative and quantitative research designs were applied. Primary and secondary information sources have also been used; the primarily data collection was made using direct observation (personal record) which is supported by a Digital camera (Nikon D3200) and Binocular (Nikon action 10X50). Secondary data has been collected from a wide range of sources within the current literature on the topic. Additionally, an Oral discussion was made with knowledgeable informants who were selected purposefully. Information gathered were then analysed qualitatively descriptive and explanatory methods of analysis to come up with results and discussions. The analyses of the study revealed that; The headquarter of the park (the ostrich farm), the Humo viewpoint, the three lakes (Abijata, Shalla and Chitu), Fike mountain, the pelican shore, the stratified landscapes, lava caves, numerous hot springs and spectacular Shalla and Abijata sunsets, different wild animals (mammals and birds) and cultural living style of the local community as some of the principal and unique features to attract Eco-tourists. On the other hand; illegal human settlement, farm/grazing land expansion, deforestation, overgrazing, mineral extraction, diversion of rivers the feed the Lakes for irrigation purposes and extraction of water from the lakes are detected as the major problem contributors to the degradations of natural resources of the area. Hence immediate intervention is highly recommended for instigation.

Keywords: Anthropogenic, Challenges, Ecotourism, Conservation, Tourism

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ISSN (Paper) 2312-5187   ISSN (Online) 2312-5179

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