Ethiopia has one of the most stunning natural environments in Africa. Because of the size of the country, and the great variety of its landscapes and climate, Ethiopia represents all that Africa has to offer. The favorable climate and the varied landscape made Ethiopia to be a home of 850 species of birds (over which 32 are endemics).
Tour Type : Bird Watching
Duration of stay : 10 days/9 nights
Means of Transportation : surface
Day 1: Addis Ababa-city tour of Addis Ababa.
Arrive at Bole Addis Ababa ,city tour in Addis: entoto Mountain, Ethnological Museum, saint George cathedral church. Accommodation: Ghion Hotel in Addis
Day 2: We will start early this morning and spend most of the day driving slowly to the Awash National Park, bird watching as we go. As we cross flat, dry farmlands there is little of scenic interest, but the roadside birds are in plenty: Augur Buzzards, Long-crested Eagles, Carmine Bee-eaters, Abyssinian and Rufous-crowned Rollers to name but a few. We will stop for lunch in the small farming town of Nazareth, and later at Lake Basaaka to look for Nile Crocodiles and water birds. We should reach Awash in late afternoon, in time to enjoy the beautiful sunset over the park and to see the first of this areas interesting birdlife. Overnight stay in Awash
Day 3: We will spend today exploring Awash National Park by a mix of bird watching drives and walks. It is situated on the Awash River, with its spectacular gorges, and is made up of acacia and scrub-bound plains, with hills and the volcano, Mount Fantalle, in its northern quarter. The birdlife is exceptional, however, and includes Ostriches, Buff-crested, White-bellied, Kori, and even Arabian Bustards, Lichtensteins and Chestnut-bellied Sand grouse, Rosy-patched and other shrikes, plus many species of hornbills, weavers, woodpeckers, vultures, doves, pigeons, guinea fowl, glossy starlings, parrots, bee-eaters, barbets, mouse birds and finches, to name but a few! This evening we may be able to head out on a night-drive along the tracks close to the campsite. This will provide us with the chance of an encounter with one or two of the nocturnal mammals, perhaps a Spotted Hyena, Bat-eared Fox, African Wild Cat, African Civet, Abyssinian Genet or Abyssinian Hare! Overnight stay in Awash
Day 4: We may have time early this morning for further bird watching in Awash before the long drive to Lake Langano in the Rift Valley. En route, we will make extended roadside stops at Lakes Koka and Ziway, where the arrays of water birds are quite exceptional. Lake Koka offers a great variety of waders, herons, spoonbills and egrets, patrolled by overhead harriers and vultures; Ethiopian and Wire-tailed swallows. At Lake Ziway, as well as the water birds, we will look for the endearing Tree Hyrax, which is generally uncommon in central Ethiopia. Arriving at Lake Langano at dusk for an overnight stay
Day 5: Full day birding in Lakes Langano, Abijata, and the acacia woodland around the lakes. Dark Chanting Goshawks, African Fish Eagles, Hemprichs and Von der Deckens Hornbills, Cardinal Woodpeckers, White-bellied Go-away Birds, Red-billed and White-headed Buffalo Weavers are one of the species we are looking for. White-crowned Shrikes, Blue-napped Mousebirds, Little Bee-eaters, Mariqua Sunbirds and a variety of colorful finches are all to be found in this dry and thorny habitat. Late afternoon continue to Wondo Genet for two nights stay.
Day 6: Wondo Genet provides abundant colorful birds’ and home for Sunbirds, Woodpeckers, Silvery-cheeked Hornbills, White-browed Robin Chats, Double-toothed Barbets, African Fire finches and a host of other species. In the forested valley close by, four endemics may found Black-headed Forest Oriole, Yellow-fronted Parrot, White-winged Cliff Chat and Golden-backed Woodpecker, whilst Half-collared Kingfishers, Spotted Creepers, African Hobbies, Crowned Eagles and Olive Pigeons are amongst other specialties of the region. Overnight stay Wondo Genet
Day 7: Drive to the magnificent Bale Mountains National Park. This is home to different endemic mammals and birds. The Mountain Nyala, Menelik’s Bushbuck, and Ethiopian Wolf are one of the Ethiopian endemic mammals that easily seen in Bale. The Spot-breasted Plover, Rouge’s Rail, Abyssinian catbird, Cinnamon bracken warbler and White backed Black Tit are one of the species that we are seeing on the highlands of Bale. Overnight Goba Wabe Shebelle Hotel
Day 8: Full day birding in the Afro-Alpine of the Sanattie Plateau. In most cases, we may see the Wattle Crane, the rare bird in Africa. Overnight Goba Wabe Shebelle Hotel
Day 9: Leave the Bale Mountains for Lake Awassa. Here, we will have a full afternoon birding expecting lot varieties of species. Allen’s Gallinule, Lesser moorhen, Blue-headed Coucal, Spotted creeper, Giant Kingfisher, Grey Kestrel, Painted Snipe, Grey headed Kingfisher and Double Toothed Barbet are some of the species we are looking for. Overnight stay in Awassa
Day 10. Making an early start, we will continue our drive up the Rift Valley northwards towards Addis Ababa, a journey of 273 kilometers. En route we will stop at Lake Ziway once again to take another look at the water bird spectacle and then onto Lake Hora, a forest-lined crater lake, and a wonderful place to break the long journey. Bird watching around the lake may be rewarded with such species as Red-knobbed Coot, Hottentot’s Teal, Ferruginous and other diving ducks, as well as Banded Barbets, White-winged Cliff Chats, and other interesting passerines. We will spend our final night in Ethiopia back in Addis Ababa. Evening fly back home.