Nov 222014


Sustainable Tourism

Guassa Community Conservation Area is managed by the Guassa Community Council. These Guassa-user and management communities live in nine kebeles (farmers associations) adjacent to the Guassa Area. The GCCA Tourism Association members also belong to the Guassa Community Conservation Council and have been selected to oversee the tourism development and share the benefits of the income generated by tourism with the wider community.

All money generated by tourism activities goes to supporting conservation in the Guassa Area, helping the development of tourism in the area and supporting the Community Development Fund.

Nov 222014

Responsible Travel Tips



Welcome to Guassa Community Conservation Area. We hope you enjoy your stay!

You can contribute to the conservation of this unique and living heritage and the beautiful surrounding environment by observing a few simple, responsible travel tips. These are designed to limit your impact on the area and neighboring communities, as well as enhancing your own safety and enjoyment.

Here are some responsible travel tips to observe while visiting:

  • Allow animals to behave naturally without disturbance. Many wild animals become distressed when approached too closely by people or vehicles. Keep noise to a minimum and never try to attract animals’ attention.
  • Do not leave litter in the park, and use biodegradable soaps or detergents in the natural water bodies.
  • Use toilets where provided or bury your waste at least 50m from water sources.
  • Enjoy your visit and interactions with local communities. Discover their way of life.
  • Do not hand out expensive gifts or money to individuals. This encourages begging and may cause local conflict. If you wish to donate money to the community, please ask the advice of guides, the GCCA tourism manager or village elders. It is also possible to contribute to the GCCA Community Development Fund.
  • Do not hand out unwanted water bottles or other items to individuals. This also encourages begging and negative interactions with future visitors.
  • Ask permission before you take photographs. Please do not pay for photographs as this encourages begging and creates unpleasantness between visitors and the community.
  • Be careful with fire. Please be very careful with cigarettes, matches, or when lighting fires. Accidental fires are a major threat to much of the Guassa vegetation. Campfires are only permitted at authorized campsites. Wood for fuel must be collected from a sustainable source.
  • Only buy everyday handicrafts such as baskets, mats, rugs and wools.
  • Take nothing but pictures; leave nothing but footprints!

Nov 092014
  • Menz guassa trekking for : 5 Days / 4 Nights
    Transport : Surface

  • Tour cod TA/BT/0025

    • ·  Day 01: Addis – Menz Guassa Community Conservation Area. A short trek the nearby mountain top to view the stunning Guassa plateau and have a chance of sighting the endemic Ethiopian wolf. The Ethiopian wolf is the only true wolf species in Africa, and is legally protected. With a total world population of less than 500 individuals surviving in relict mountain tops, it is one of the most endangered mammal species in the world. Overnight at Guassa Community Lodge
    • ·  Day 02: Guass Community Lodsge – Atse Wiha. It is a 6 hour trek through a spectacular landscape of moorland where one can experience the highland flora and an impressive array of bird species and wildlife, including the endemic Gelada baboon and the Ethiopian wolf. Overnight Camping at Atse Wiha
    • ·  Day 03: Atse Wiha – Cheguarit Meda. Today’s trek will take about 5 hours through untouched juniper forest of yegana; a visit to a Menz village called Tebab will give a chance to learn about the Menz People’s ways of constructing two-storey stone huts with thatched roofs and their woven wool rugs and traditional blankets. The people’s finest woven wool rugs and traditional blankets, and are considered to b some of Ethiopian finest weavers. Overnight Camping at Cheguarit
    • ·  Day 04: Cheguarit – Ankober. Have a short trek to the main road to meet the vehicle and drive to Ankober, the ancient capital of the Kingdom of Shoa to have a pleasant rest on the mountain top that overlooks the Great Ethiopian Rift Valley and its extensive escarpments and visit museum Overnight at Ankober Lodge
    • ·  Day 05: Ankober – visit one of interesting oromo village  on way to Addia Ababab   End of tour.

Oct 312014

Uses of the Ecosystem

Ecosystem service: Water, carbon, grazing (refuge), grass, fuel, medicinal plants

Guassa Grass

The Guassa Area is the source of 26 rivers and springs, which flow to the lower lying areas of Menz and Yifat, The lives of people and livestock as well as irrigation projects depend on these rivers. The Guassa plateau serves as the watershed catchment area for two major rivers: the Awash and the Abbye (Blue Nile).

The traditional management of the Guassa Area provides a highly prized natural resource – Festuca sp grass – to the community. The population of Menz considers the Guassa Area to be important for their livelihoods, and describe it as “Our cloth, bread and butter”. One of the main reasons for protecting the Guassa Area is for harvesting good quality Festuca grass, which is used for various purposes such as thatching, robes, farming and household implements. Another important use of the Festuca grass is its value as a marketable product that increases household income. The grass can be sold in distant markets in Debre Birhan and Addis Ababa. Festuca grass is also valuable as a marketable product for increasing household income. The grass can be sold in distant markets in Debre Birhan and Addis Ababa.

The Menz communities also depend on the Guassa Area as a source of fuel. The bushy vegetation occurring at high altitude is the only plant matter that can be used as fuel. Cherenfi (Euryops piniflius) is the most common shrub used as firewood in Menz. It is usually collected by uprooting it with using a small axe or by pulling it out of the ground by hand. Although it is not good at providing the required amount of energy and it produces lots of smoke, its abundance in the Guassa Area has made it the region’s most important firewood. Erica bush (Erica arboria) is an excellent firewood compared to Cherenfi, but little Erica is left in the Guassa area and those areas remaining are in constant use by the community. Erica is a usually collected in the rainy season as it burns quickly even when wet. Ameja (Hypericum revolutem) is another bush that can be used for fuel. Although it can grow to the height of a small tree, it never has the time to mature in the Guassa Area, so it is always found as a bushy thicket. Ameja is usually collected to make brooms or various household and construction materials, rather than firewood. All the firewood plant species collected in the Guassa area have a low calorific value and do not provide constant heat. Therefore a mixture of livestock dung (Kubet) and bushy vegetation is commonly used in Menz to generate longer lasting heat. This combination of fuels provides energy for cooking and, to a lesser extent, for heating houses in the cold months of the year.

In Menz, the Guassa Area is important grazing land, which provides a refuge for the livestock when private and cultivated fields become devoid of any grazing resource, particularly during drought. Most of the livestock that graze in the Guassa Area originates from the adjacent villages. During prolonged droughts, livestock from more distant villages also stays in the Guassa area in temporary pens to avoid long journeys from the homesteads on a daily basis.