Named Debre Zeit (Mount of Olives) by Emperor Haile Selassie in 1955, this scenic town reverted to its original Oromo name, Bishoftu, in 1990. The main attractions of Bishoftu, only a 40 Km drive from Addis, the small town of Debre Zeit is a great short drive away providing simple enjoyment. The town is built by the several volcanic crater lakes in and around the city, some of which are deep craters. Among others Lake Hora, Bishoftu and Kuriftu are the major ones. Lake Hora is a 1 Square Km crater which has a special cultural dimension. It is here that the Annual Irecha Festivity, which is basically a Thanksgiving Day in Oromo culture, takes place.
This tradition has been taking place for generations and includes activities such as sacramental dancing and animal sacrifice to the Waqa (their God ). The town also enjoys a beautiful environment full of birdlife and a calm atmosphere not far from the busy capital city. Here, there are very luxurious resorts and lodges on the lake shore as well as simpler hotels. Asham Africa Hotel and Resort having all its rooms with a view on Lake Bishoftu is an eco-friendly great hotel with a fabulous collection of African arts and artifacts. Dream Land Hotel and Resort is also another famous hotel with a view on Lake Bishoftu. Kuriftu Lake is also home to one of the best spa and wellness retreats which share the Lake’s name.