Bird Watching

With 863 bird species, out of which 32 are endemic to Ethiopia while 14 of them are shared only with Eritrea. Cognizant of this Ethiopia is a must be visited country for every bird enthusiast.

Many of the National Parks provide areas less affected by human activities where a broader range of bird species can usually be seen. Nearby sites include Entoto, Gefersa, Debre Zeit, and Menagesha forest. The highland is called the land of endemism. Of the total endemic birds, over 60 percent of the species are found in the Bale Mountains National Park. Totally 161 bird species are recorded in this park.

Ethiopia's lakes are famous for the sheer numbers of birds they harbor. The Lakes Region (Rift valley lakes) covers Lakes Ziway, Langano, Abijatta, Shalla, Awassa, Abaya, and Chamo.

Over 50 percent of all bird species have been recorded in the Rift Valley because of the proximity of numerous aquatic and terrestrial habitats. Lake Abijatta is a feeding ground for numerous great white pelicans and greater and lesser flamingo as well as flocks of little grebes. An island in neighboring Lake Shalla is a regular breeding ground for great white pelicans and a nesting spot for the greater flamingo. Lowlands too offer a great opportunity for bird-watchers. These areas are rich in seed-eating and insectivorous birds.

Wetland birds or Aquatic birds,

Ethiopia is a very important country ornithologically. Numerous wetlands are important for birds including the lakes of the Rift Valley, montane marshes and bogs and particularly in the west, lowland swamps. A remarkable 69 Important Bird Areas (IBAs) were defined by the Ethiopian WildLife and Natural History Society in Important Bird Areas in Africa and Associated Islands (BirdLife International 2001). They cover 47,757 km2 equivalents to at least 4.3% of the land area of the country.