A hot spring is a spring that is produced by the emergence of geothermal heated groundwater from the Earth's crust. There is hot springs all over the earth, on every continent and even under the oceans and seas. In general, the temperature of rocks within the earth increases with depth. The rate of temperature increase with depth is known as the geothermal gradient. If water percolates deeply enough into the crust, it will be heated as it comes into contact with hot rocks. The water from hot springs in non volcanic areas is heated in this manner.In active volcanic zones water may be heated by coming into contact with magma (molten rock).
Even Norwegian territory contains two, the in Troll and Jotun hot springs in Northwest Spitsbergen National Park are the northernmost documented terrestrial hot springs on earth at almost 80 degrees north latitude.
But Ethiopia has more. The Great Rift Valley passes through the country, and there is a short distance from the crust of the earth to the actual ground, making many “hot-springs” available. Here are some of the “hot springs spots” in and close to Addis Abeba:
Hilton Hotel: The Swimming-pool is heated from hot springs. A small pond besides the pool is directly heated from the springs.
Filowha: Shower and bathtubs heated by hot water. A place “ordinary Ethiopians” go to relax, enjoy and clean up. Situated not far from Hilton.
Finfinne Resturant: A hotel and traditional Ethiopian restaurant with nice food, and naturally hot water flowing out from the taps when you wash your hands. No bathing, but definatly a “hot-spring experience”. Situated not far from the Hilton, opposite Filowha.
Wondo Genet: Outside of Addis, southeast of Shashamene. Has a hot swimming pool, and you can shower in the hot water being spurted down from the mountain side. The nearby hotel has a cottage that used to belong to Emperor Haile Selassie. Well worth spending a night in what used to be his bed!
Sodere: Drive to Adama, and the 25 km to the south, you will find the Sodere resort, with a large, 3 meters deep swimming-pool. You can also shower in naturally heated water. The area is lush and green, with an abundance of monkeys.
Weliso: 100 kilometers southwest of Addis on the Jimma Road. At Negash Resort, you will find a swimming pool fed by hot springs. A relaxing resort with relatively high-standard, not far from Addis on a road without much traffic and queues. For more info, see http://negashlodge.com/