West of Langano lie the twin lakes of Abijjata Shalla, which form part of the 8872km lake Abijjata Shalla national park. Identical twins these lakes are not. Shalla’s 4102km surface sits within a collapsed volcanic caldera and depths exceed 260m in some areas, while Abijjata’s highly alkaline waters rest in a shallow pan no more than 14m in depth.
Despite their natural beauty, these lakes are best known for their bird life. At Abijjata, never more than 10meters deep greater and lesser Flamingos abound, along with white-necked Cormorants, several species of Herons, Storks, Spoonbills, Ibises, African Ducks, Gulls, and Terns.
During the northern winter thousands of Asiatic and European Ducks and Waders migrate to Abijjata’s shores. Lake Shalla is well known for its large colony of great White Pelicans (most important colony for this species in Africa).