Idyllically situated on the eastern shore of lake Hawassa, the smallest of the Great Rift Valley crater lakes, lies the city of the same name. While the city of Hawassa boasts no major sights of its own, the city attracts city dwellers keen to swap concrete jungles for scenic lake views, lush hilly backdrops and modern resorts.
Visitors enjoy strolling or cycling along the lakeshore paths, visiting the lively fish market or sampling the daily catch of tilapia from the many rustic restaurants along the lake. The lake is easily accessible by boat and bird watching excursions can be arrange as well as trips out to see the hippos at Black Water (Tikur Wuha).
The gold domed St Gabriel Church is especially interesting to explore during one of the festivals; Timkat (January 19), Meskel (September 27) or the Feast of Gabriel (July 27 and December 27) when the space is dominated by lively processions.