BIRDING BLISS IN ETHIOPIA
Ethiopia offers incredible and diverse birdlife, with up to nearly 900 species, 23 of these endemic. This tour covers stunning landscapes from the Great Rift Valley Lakes to mountain forests. Birding tours are guided by members of Ethiopia’s Wildlife and Natural History Society, the designated Birdlife partner in Ethiopia. Bird populations swell between the months of November and February when some 200 species of Palaearctic migrants arrive from Europe and Asia. This tour covers the Southern area of Ethiopia and as many crucial bird sites as possible given the time allocation.
3 to 4 star hotel twin bed shared accommodation – breakfast, lunch and dinner included.
Camping for two nights – all gear and a professional cook provided.
Meet & greet at airport and hotel transfer; ground transportation in a Land Cruiser; accommodation twin bed sharing; camping gear; all meals incl. bottled water & soft drinks; English bird guide; all entry fees where required; Govt. taxes; farewell dinner in Addis Ababa.
- Abijatta Shala National Park
- Lake Awasa & Lake Ziway
- Bale Mountain National Park
- The incredible Senette Plateau
- Awash National Park
- Koka Dam
- Explore Addis Ababa
On arrival in Addis Ababa and after check in to your hotel, you will have the opportunity to either explore the city or we will drive to Gefersa Reservoir where Blue-winged Goose, Abysssian or Black-headed Siskin, Abyssinian Longclaw and Wattled Ibis can be seen. Overnight Monarch Hotel.
Today we will drive to Ziway with a stopover at Koka Dam. Lake Ziway is one of the bird paradises of the Ethiopian Rift Valley. It accommodates a great number of aquatic birds: a variety of gulls, the Lesser Jacana, African Skimmer, Common Redshank, Black Heron, African Pygmy Goose, Temminck’s and Little Stints, Common Snipe, Woodland Kingfisher and Black-tailed Godwit. The night is spent in Ziway at Bethlehem Hotel.
After morning bird watching around Ziway, we drive to Lake Abijatta and Shala, part of the Abijatta Shala National Park. En route we have a short stop at an acacia woodland for a few species like Black-billed Woodhoopoes, Yellow-vented Eremomela, Grey Tit-Flycatcher, Buff bellied Warblers, Red-faced Crombec, White-headed Buffalo Weavers and Ring Necked Doves. We then proceed to the two Lakes which are a haven for a large number of resident and migratory bird species making it perfect place for bird watching. Lake Abijatta is shallow, with myriads of water birds, predominantly flamingos, while Lake Shala sits at the bottom of a 250m (820tf) deep creator, where flamingos breed. We drive to Langano for overnight at Sabana Lodge.
Pre breakfast birding in the acacia Woodland nearby the Langano .This acacia Woodland is the home of many birds like the Black-checked and common Waxbills, Abyssinian Black Wheatear, Dederic and Klaas’s Cuckoos, Rattling Cisticolas, Red-billed and Von der Decken’s Hornbills. Then in the afternoon we drive to Awasa. Overnight at Haile Resort.
In the morning we visit the fish market around Lake Awasa. Around the lake we could encounter birds like Hamerkop, Marabou Stork, Sacred Ibis, Yellow Billed Stork and Egyptian geese. Then you will drive to Wondo Genet for overnight at Wabeshebele Hotel.
Today we will drive to Bale Mountains, part of the Bale Mountains National Park. It is the best place in Ethiopia to see endemics associated with grassland as well as a number of other notable species. You will stop around Dinsho to see the endemic Wattled Ibis, Rouget’s Rail and many more species. Overnight camping.
Drive to Senati. The Senette Plateau with its Afro-alpine vegetation is one of the highlights of the tour. The majority of the vegetation is low which ensures good views of our target species: the endemic Spot-breasted Plover and Simien Red Wolf, with almost guaranteed sightings. We will also look for Yellow-billed and Ruddy Shelduck, Chestnut-naped and Moorland Francolin, Rufous-chested Sparrow Hawk, Wattled Crane, Slender-billed Starling and the endemic Starck’s Hare. We drive down the escarpment to the Harrena Forest in search for: Mountain Buzzard, Cinnamon Bracken Warbler and endemic Abyssinian Woodpecker, Brown Swaing and near endemic White-cheeked Turaco. Then descend further to the area where Prince Ruspoli’s Turaco’s can be found. A variety of raptors, plovers, weavers and many more can be seen on the way. Overnight camping.
Today we drive to Awash National Park. Many species of birds and mammals live here. African Orange-Bellied Parrots, Bustards, Weavers, European Hoopoe, Sombre Rock-chat, Yellow-throated Serine, Red-fronted Barbet, Pygmy Baits, Lesser striped Swallow, Martins….Just to name a few. Also mammals like the Anubis Baboon, Colobus Monkey, Black-Backed Jackal, Bat-eared Fox, Warthog, Beisa Oryx, Soemmering’s Gazelles, Lesser kudu and Dik-dik live in the park. Overnight Awash Falls Lodge.
Depart Awash National park and drive back to Addis, We stop in Nazareth for lunch and then drive to the crater lakes of Debre Zayit, which is a good place for birding. Later on we stop at Lake Beseka for more sightings. Then we continue to the capital city of Addis. Overnight Monarch Hotel.
Today you will start the sightseeing tour of Addis from the Ethnological Museum, an ideal place to start learning about Ethiopia’s rich ethnic diversity, with its two main sections covering local crafts and regions and people. We then proceed to the National museum before driving up north to Mount Entoto. The panorama from the peak (3200) meters above sea level is breathtaking. It is also a historical Place where Menelik II resided and built his palace. Later proceed to Merkato, which is located in western Addis Ababa and is the largest open-air market in Africa. In the evening you will enjoy a traditional dinner & coffee ceremony before transfer for your return flights.
*$159 single room supplement
International and domestic flights; visas and travel insurance; personal expenses incl. laundry, phone calls, tips, alcoholic drinks, filming and photographic fees.
Note: Malaria precautions should be taken; Yellow Fever vaccination required if transferring through a South African border.
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