The hot springs resort of Sodere , situated at an altitude of 1,700m stretches for about 1km on the banks of the Awash River about 25km south of Adama. The large, 3m-deep swimming pool, usually dry during the week, is a popular draw for Addis weekenders. For most tourists, however, the Awash River and fringing riparian forest will probably be of greater interest. Vervet monkeys and crocodiles are often encountered in the grounds, and the odd hippo still makes an appearance. The reverie forest also offers excellent birding. The resort is riddled with footpaths and makes for a diverting day or overnight trip from Adama.
Koka Dam and Hippo Pool-
Damming the Awash River about 15km west o Adama as the crow flies, Koka was constructed in the late 1950s, with war reparation payments from Italy. Since opening in 1960, it has been one of Ethiopia’s most important sources of hydro-electric power. The lake formed behind the Dam-called Koka or Gelilas – is to the best of my acknowledge the most expensive artificial body of water in Ethiopia with a surface area of 180km situated cloth to the Dam wall is the plush Gelila place, which Hailesilasie donated to charity in the 1960. For several years after that, the Gelila Hotel had the reputation of being one of the plushest Hotels in Ethiopia , managed by the Ghion group with all profits diverted to charity Sadly it is no longer functional
Although it is an important sight for water birds Koka is of interest to tourists primarily for a hippo pool in the Awash River a short distance downstream from the dam at the confluence with the river that rises from the nearby Garagadi Hotel spring. The pools here a reliable place to see hippos, various birds and – with increasing frequency –crocodiles. The turn-off south towards the dam lies on the main Addis Ababa Follow this road for 12km to a construction sight where you can park. A guide is bound to offer his services but it’s easy enough to make your own way to the river. The birds and animals are most active. It’s an easy side trip in a private vehicle, but public transport is limited. road about 15kmwest of Adama and 10km east of Mojo at a big blue sign.
Garagadi Hot Springs-
This collection of 16 hot springs bubbles from a large field about 15km from Adma near the village of Wenji and the eponymous sugar plantation. The steaming pools formed by the hot springs are bathed in by local villagers, as well as by pilgrims from elsewhere in the country. Further away from the springs crocodiles are still resident in the river-which eventually leads to the hippo pool at the confluence with the Awash described above.
In theory, Garagadi could be visited in conjunction with Koka Dam, as the two sites are only 6km apart along rough 4*4 tracks, but this would require crossing the dam wall (which doubles as a bridge) and this is not permitted without written permission! As a result, it’s debatable whether the springs are worth the effort of vesting. But if you want to, you need to backtrack almost 30km from Koka to Adama, and then turn right immediately before the Awash Hotel as you enter town. Follow this gravel road for 10km, then turn right as you enter Wenji village, following the signpost for Wenji Feeding Lot. The track is rather indistinct from here, so keep asking directions, and you should reach the river and you will get to the springs after another 2km. Occasional public transport connects Adama to Wenji, where you can walk or take a “gari” to the springs.