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Birdwatching in Ethiopia

Due to its high diversity of eco-systems with different habitat, Ethiopia has some of the richest bird life in the horn of Africa with more than with 863 species registered so far, representing about 9.5% of the worlds and 39% of Africa's birds. Ethiopia has thirty one endemic birds plus many range-restricted, which only occur in neighboring Kenya and Somalia. Ethiopia's diverse habitats also serve as a wintering ground for large numbers of Asian and European migrants via the Red Sea loop. Although the migration of birds takes place from October to May, it reaches its peak from January to April.

"Sofomar Caves(lower Bale region) - Home to Bristle-crowned Starling and Salvadori's Seed-eater"



It is not a coincidence that Ethiopia is rich in birds, because many birds prefer and adapt to particular geographical features and subsequent unique flora and fauna. Thus, Ethiopia is a gifted land of diverse climate and landscape favoring habitat with unique bird species not found anywhere else.

"Debrebirhan Highland - Home to Ankober Serin."



Apart from the picturesque mountains and the Great Rift system, there are flat plateaus, crater lakes, river basins and arid land habitats offering plenty of wildlife. The Bale and Semein Mountains highland plateau and fantastic panoramas encompass a wide range of jagged ecological structures on both side of the Rift. Lake Tana in the northwestern part of the country, the origin of the Blue Nile River (largest river in the world that drains to Mediterranean Sea through Sudan and Egypt) has a 3600 Square Kilometer area containing isolated island habitats. The Great Rift Valley cutting the country in to the southeast and northwest is a prominent feature from space and traverses 2800 km through wetlands and lakes, including Chamo, Abaya, Awassa, Shalla, Abijata, Langano and Ziway fertile habitat with great birding. In the southern lowlands, the remote Omo Valley eco-system is important for its unspoiled cultural and natural asset, sometimes called the open-air museum.
The major habitats in Ethiopia including desert and semi-desert, bushland, grassland and savanna, woodland, forest (dry, moist, lowland), montane, wetlands, lakes and rivers and man-made habitats sheltering a unique wildlife.

Read a Birdingpal's Trip Reports from Ethiopia

Electronic map of Ethiopia

Year round birdwatching tours in Ethiopia

13 Days Birdwatching Tour to the Great Rift Valley - Lake Basaka, Ziway, Langano, Abiata, Awassa, Abaya, Chamo plus Awash Park, Nechsar Park and Mago Park.
14 Days birdwatching trip to Central Ethiopia Highlands, Southeastern Bale Mountains and Lowland, Neghele and Yabelo.
18 Days Birdwatching Tour to the Great Rift Valley Lakes, Central Ethiopia Highlands, Southeastern Bale Mountains and Lowlands, Neghele and Yabelo.
11 Days/10 Nights - Eastern Ethiopia - Culture and Nature tour Itinerary. Awash Park, Dengego Mountains, Dredawa and Harar Walled city, Babile Sanctuary, and Dakata Rock-hill Features.
14 Days/13 Nights - South Ethological Ethiopia - Culture and Nature tour Itinerary


Tour I
13 Days Birdwatching Tour to the Great Rift Valley - Lake Basaka, Ziway, Langano, Abiata, Awassa, Abaya, Chamo plus Awash Park, Nechsar Park and Mago Park.

Itinerary
Expect more than 350+ species of birds

Day 01.
Leaving Addis early morning we drive east towards the Great Rift Valley via Bushoftu Crate Lakes and Nazaret town to visit Awash Park with its volcano landscapes and savannah grassland habitat for a variety of bird species. On the way we detour to Lake Basaka's saline water which is good habitat for water birds such as Flamingoes, Pelicans, Storks, Herons, Plovers, Lapwings, Sandpipers and Stints.
Overnight Genet Hotel at Awash town.
Day 02.
Full day excursion in the park including Ilala Sala Plain (Oryx Plain), Awash River Waterfalls and acacia thickets for birds such as Grey Hornbill, Somali Fiscal, Helmeted Guineafowl, Blue-napped Mousebird, Kori Bustard, Yellow-necked Francolin, Drongo, Red-winged Lark, Woodland and Striped Kingfishers, Robins and birds of prey such as Tawny Eagle, Long-crested Eagle, Yellow-billed Kite and Dark Chanting Goshawk. Awash park is also home to mammals such as Oryx, Lesser Kudu, Hammadryas Baboon and Olive Baboon, Vervet Monkey, Salt’s Dick-dick and more.
Overnight Genet Hotel at Awash town.
Day 03.
To day we drive to Lake Langano and Abiata with stop at Koka/Awash Bridge and Ziway. Spectacular Rift scenery, stunning view of colorful birdlife such as Banded Barbet, Masked Weaver, Spur-winged Plover, Malachite and Pygmy Kingfishers, Little Bee-eater, Ruppell’s and Superb Starlings, Seed-eaters, Sunbirds and many birds of prey.
Overnight Bekele Mola Hotel at the bank of Langano.
Day 04.
Dawn birding and after breakfast proceed to ‘Bishangari’ meaning “Blessed water” located on the eastern bank of Lake Langano. Adjacent to the Chilalo chain of mountains on the southern edge of the Great Rift Valley with it's tropical rain forest. En route we search the secondary forest for Silvery-cheeked Hornbill, Nubian Woodpecker, Speckled Mousebird, Blue-breasted Bee-eater, African Mourning Dove and many more colorful forest birds.
Overnight Bishangari Eco-Lodge.

"Rosy-patched Bush-Shrike courting in Awash National Park" © Brendan Sloan.



Day 05.
Today we explore the riverine forest and adjacent lake for birds such as Yellow-Fronted Parrot, White Cheeked Turaco, Orange-bellied Parrot, African Paradise Flycatcher, Bare-faced Go-Away Bird, African Fish-eagle, Cuckoo Shrikes, Kingfishers, Weavers and water birds including Egrets, Herons, Cormorants, Gulls, Geese, Ducks and Shanks.
Overnight Bishangari Eco-Lodge..
Day 06.
Today we drive to Lake Awassa and on arrival we search the grounds for Spotted Creeper, Senegal Coucal, Dusky Flycatcher, Grey-headed Kingfisher, Ruppell’s Starling and numbers of Marabous Storks and Pelicans.
Overnight Wabeshebele Hotel No1 at Awassa town
Day 07.
We walk around Lake Awassa's shoreline looking for African Pygmy Goose, Hottentot Teal, Black Crake, African Fish-eagle, Hadeda Ibis, Purple Heron, Common Sandpiper, White-backed Duck, Reed and Sedge Warblers, African Jacana ending at the traditional fish market, where many birds feed on fish left-over. Then we drive to Wendogenet with birding en route. On arrival we search the grounds for Bruce’s Green Pigeon, Slender-billed Starling, Abyssinian Woodpecker, Hooded Vulture and more.
Overnight Wendogenet Hotel.
Day 08.
Pre-breakfast walk along the hot springs thicket looking for Yellow Fronted Parrot, Half-collared Kingfisher, Mountain Wagtail, Double-toothed Barbet, White-cheeked Turaco, Narina Trogon, Grey Cuckoo Shrike, Red-shouldered Cuckoo Shrike, Hill Babbler, Tambourine Dove, African Harrierhawk, Steppe Buzzard, Great Sparrowhawk and Crowned Eagle.
After breakfast we drive south through savannah terrain towards Arbaminch, meaning ‘Forty Springs’ to Nechsar National Park which hold a diversity of fauna and flora.
Overnight Swaynes Hotel with it's spectacular view.
Day 09.
Excursion to Nechsar Park through Lake Chamo and Abaya's land of barrier called the ‘Bridge of God’. Interesting wild animals in the Park are the endemic Swayne’s Hartebeest, Burchell’s Zebra, Lesser and Greater Kudu, Grant’s and Thomson’s Gazelle and number of birds including Secretarybird, Abyssinian Ground Hornbill, Abyssinian Roller, African Fish-eagle, Lesser Kestrel, Kingfisher, Weavers, Seed-eaters and many more.
After lunch we take a boat trip on Lake Chamo to the "Crocodiles Market", where large numbers of Crocodile (some up to 6 meters long) gathers to sunbath and the Hippos pool.
Overnight Swaynes Hotel.
Day 10.
Today we continue driving south to Jinka via the Konso peoples land, renowned for their traditional terracing farming. En route we visit the Keyafer weekly market, where the Hamer, Bena, Tsemay and Arri tribes with their interesting ornamental beautified hide dressings and hair buntings.
Over night Jinka Resort at Jinka town.
Day 11.
Driving further south to Mago Park looking for Greater and Lesser Kudu, Difasa Water buck, Bushbuck, Gerenuk, Hartebeest and Oribi. Of course, Mago Park is also home to many birds such as Eastern Yellow-billed Hornbill, Giant Kingfisher, Northern Brownbul, Hartlaub’s Bustard, Abyssinian Scimitarbill, Woodpeckers, Shrikes and more.
Over night Jinka Resort.
Day 12.
Today we drive back to Arbaminch with many road side stops for natural scenery and the remote country side tribe’s lifestyle.
In the late afternoon we check in to Swaynes hotel for the night. From the spectacular view point of the hotel compounds we will enjoy the two lakes, the evergreen tropical forest and at night the blue African night with all its stars.
Overnight Swaynes Hotel.
Day 13.
Today we drive back to Addis via Sodo, Butajira and Tiya enjoying the beautiful landscape and rural peoples lifestyle with many photo stops, but of course not forgetting the birds along the roadside many habitats.
Arriving in Addis late afternoon we will have a farewell dinner before departing for the airport.


13 Day tour price is: 2 pax 47,600 BIRR per person. 4 pax 46,500BIRR per person. 6 pax 45,400 BIRR per person.
Single supplement: 4400 BIRR

Due to currency fluctuations and fuel cost we reserve the right to adjust any pricing prior to departure if necessary.
Bookings require a 50% deposit, balance due one month prior to tour departure.


Convert your tour cost into your currency of choice.

Included:
Vehicle (4wheel - A/C optional), English speaking guide, driver, all meals, water and lodging.
Excluded:
Alcoholic drinks, visas and items of purely personal nature.


Tour II
14 Days birdwatching trip to Central Ethiopia Highlands, Southeastern Bale Mountains and Lowland, Neghele and Yabelo.

Itinerary
Expect more than 350+ species of birds

Day 01.
Arrival and transfer to the Ghion or Extreme hotel in Addis Abba.
Day 02.
An early morning start we drive to the Mt. Entoto/Sululta Plain with short grassland habitat searching for unique birds such as White-backed Black Tit, Blue-winged Goose, Wattled Ibis, Ethiopian Siskin, Ethiopian Cisticola, White-collared Pigeon, Abyssinian Longclaw, Erlanger’s Lark, Tawny Eagle, Cattle Egret and Yellow-billed Duck. Jemmu Valley escarpment (upper Nile valley) is adjacent to Debrelibanos natural forest and thickets home to the endemic Banded Barbet, White-cheeked Turaco, Abyssinian Woodpecker, Ethiopian Black-headed Oriole, Lammergeyer, Egyptian Vulture, Vareaux’s Eagle, Lanner Falcon and Griffon Vultures. The nearby gorge attracts the endemic White-billed Starling, Ruppell's Black Chat, White-winged Cliff-chat and Mocking Cliff-chat. Scrub lures Erckel's Francolin, Stout Cisticola and Tacazze Sunbird
Overnight at the Ethio-German Lodge nearby the so called Portuguese Bridge.
Day 03.
Today we drive to Jemmu Valley to locate the rare Harwood's Francolin and Abyssinian Black-wheatear. The road climbs steeply through highland fields and traditional villages. The cliffs and boulder-strewn slopes of the Jemmu Valley may have flocks of White-billed Starlings, the extremely rare Salvadori's Serin, Singing Cisticola, Isabelline Shrike and Abyssinian Black Wheatear. In the afternoon, we drive to Debrebirhan town while enjoying another sector of plain grassland birds including Erlanger's Lark, Pectoral-patch Cisticola and Ortolan Bunting.
Overnight at Eva Hotel Ankober Lodge.
Day 04.
An early start exploring the road to Tarmaber scenic view outlook. Our main interest is to find the rarest endemic Ankober Serin feeding in the highland grass field. In the lower fields, we can expect Yellow-crowned Canary, Brown-rumped and Streaky Seed-eater. Overhead we may locate Saker Falcon, Lammergeyer, Augur Buzzard and Alpine Swifts.
After late breakfast we drive towards Bushoftut east of Addis towards fascinating Crater Lakes such as Lake Chalalaka, an important shallow lake for migratory waders and significant numbers of Cranes, Marabou storks and Cormorants. Hora a fresh water lake holding Little Grebe, Pelican, Malachite Kingfisher, Little Bee-eater, Black-billed Barbet, African Paradise Flycatcher, Masked weaver and Starlings. The area named after the crater lake Bushoftu, meaning “Smelling Water” support large numbers of Weavers, Seed-eaters, Thrushes, Doves, Sunbirds and Finches in the adjoining sedges and thickets
Overnight at Dreamland Hotel with an excellent view of Bushoftu.
Day 05.
Today we drive to Bale Mountains found on the other side of the Great Rift Valley looking for Rouget’s Rail, Thick-billed Raven, Abyssinian Catbird, Abyssinian Slaty-flycatcher, Chestnut-napped Francolin, Moorland Francolin, Abyssinian Ground Thrush to name a few. The remnant of Ruddy Shell-ducks and Wattled Cranes are also found here.
The northern dry forest around Dinsho is known for exceptional wild animals including Mountain Nyala, Menelik’s Bushbuck, Bohor Reedbuck, Warthog and Bush Duiker.
Overnight Goba Hotel at the edge of the Sanate Plateau.
Day 06.
Beyond Goba we enter typical timberline habitats of Juniper and Hagenia Abyssinica driving up Africa's highest all weather road to 4100 meters above sea level where we enter the 10,000 square kilometers Sanate plateau with its chain of tiny terrains. In this strange and fascinating afro-alpine climate we will find the rare Ethiopian Wolf, Starck’s Hare and Giant Mole-rat.
Then the road drops suddenly on the Harena leeside with its wet forest and fantastic view points, through a series of dizzying hairpin bends, as it zigzags down to the lowland town of Dolo-mena. In the afternoon we drive back to Goba looking for birds and animals we missed earlier on.
Overnight Goba Hotel.
Day 07.
Today we drive to the Sof Omar Caves on the eastern edge of Bale Mountains maybe the world’s most spectacular and extensive underground system carved by the Web River into the limestone that line it. Time has carved out ornate and immense pillars, domes and chambers, and the river flows through the caves year-round. During one’s passage through the caves, we have to cross the river seven times in the 1.5km underground caves. It is an interesting shrine and pilgrimage place for Muslims. The roof of the caves is home to thousands of Bats and the floor is covered with droppings accumulating over many years. Web River gorge and cliffs with its bushes support the endemic Salvadori’s Seedeater, Bristle-crowned Starling, Swifts and Swallows and many more.
Overnight Goba Hotel.
Day 08.
Today we continue through Sanate Plateau, undisturbed natural forest of Harena, Genale River basin towards the Borena diverse ecosystem looking for African White-winged Dove, Juba Weaver, Ruspoli’s Turaco, Sidamo Lark, Stresemann’s Bush-crow, White-tailed Swallow, Golden Breasted Starling, Vulturine Guineafowl, Red-napped Shrike, Rosy-patched Bush-shrike and Striped Swallows to name a few.
Overnight the Green Hotel at Neghele town.

"Red sandstone landscape."



Day 09.
Dawn excursion to Hara-kalo and Wadera dry river valleys to search for a remarkable bird called Prince Ruspoli’s Turaco. On the way expect different birds of prey including Pygmy Falcon, Ovambo Sparrowhawk, Eastern Chanting Goshawk, White-headed Vulture and the like.
In the afternoon we visit the large grassland of the Liben Plain looking for the birds of dry-open country such as Sidamo Lark, Tiny Cisticola, Rufous Short-Toed Lark, Kori Bustard, Sooty Falcon and Crowned Lapwing and many more.
After lunch we continue exploring for birds like Golden-breasted Starling, Shelley’s Starling, Magpie Starling, Chatterers and many more arid land birds.
Overnight at Green Hotel.
Day 10.
Today we proceed birding en route to the town of Yabelo an important junction town in the middle of the red sandstone landscape with many large termite mounds. This mosaic arid land is home to several spectacular birds notably the charismatic Stresemann's Bush-crow, White-tailed Swallow, Vulturine Guineafowl, Yellow-naked Spurfowl, White-crowned Starling and many more.
Overnight Yabello Motel.
Day 11.
Today we explore the road to Mega and Dubluk were mixed thicket attracts Pygmy Falcon, Slate-colored Boubou, Bare-eyed Thrush, Purple Grenadier, Black-capped Social and Grey-capped Social Weaver. Birds of prey are numerous including Gabar Goshawk, Amur Falcon, Lappet-faced Vulture on wings and many more.
In the afternoon we will bird Yabelo Forest Sanctuary for Northern Black Flycatcher, White-cheeked Turaco, Tawny Wagtail, Bare-faced Go-Away-Bird and many Seed-eaters.
Overnight Yabelo Motel.
Day 12.
Today we drive back to the Yirgalem area through typical southern highland forest. Arriving at the Aregash Lodge compound we search the grounds for Great Sparrowhawk, African Hawk-eagle, Tambourine Dove, Silvery-cheeked Hornbill, Mountain Thrush, Battis, Shrikes and more.
Overnight Aregash Eco-lodge.
Day 13.
After early morning birding and breakfast we drive to ‘Bishangari’ meaning “Blessed water” located on the eastern bank of Lake Langano adjacent to the Chilalo chain of mountains on the southern edge of the Great Rift Valley. Here we find the remnant of typical tropical rain forest and en route we search for Nubian Woodpecker, Speckled Mousebird, Blue-breasted Bee-eater, African Mourning Dove and many more colorful forest birds.
Overnight Bishangari Eco-Lodge.
Day 14.
Early morning we explore the tropical rain forest and adjacent bank of Lake Langano for birds including Yellow-Fronted Parrot, Orange-bellied Parrot, African Paradise Flycatcher, Bare-faced Go-Away Bird, African Fish-eagle, Cuckoo Shrikes and water birds including Greater Egrets, Squacco Herons, Greater and Long-tailed Cormorants, Gulls, Geese, Ducks, Shanks, Kingfishers and Weavers.
Leaving after a late breakfast we arrive in Addis late afternoon and we will have a farewell dinner before departing for the airport.


14 Day tour price is: 2 pax 52,000 BIRR per person. 4 pax 50,000 BIRR per person. 6 pax 48,8000 BIRR per person.
Single supplement: 4800 BIRR

Due to currency fluctuations and fuel cost we reserve the right to adjust any pricing prior to departure if necessary.
Bookings require a 50% deposit, balance due one month prior to tour departure.


Convert your tour cost into your currency of choice.

Tour III
18 Days Birdwatching Tour to the Great Rift Valley Lakes, Central Ethiopia Highlands, Southeastern Bale Mountains and Lowlands, Neghele and Yabelo.

Itinerary
Expect more than 400+ species of birds

Day 01.
Arrival and transfer to the Ghion or Extreme hotel in Addis Abba.
Day 02.
An early start and we drive across Mt. Entoto Forest to the Sululta plain with short grass and wetland habitat looking for unique birds such as Blue-winged Goose, Wattled Ibis, Ethiopian Black-headed Siskin, Ethiopian Cisticola, White-collared Pigeon and Yellow-billed Duck. Debrelibanos escarpment is adjacent to matured woodland holding Banded Barbet, White-cheeked Turaco and Ethiopian Oriole. Nearby Jemmu cliff edges attract Ruppell's Black Chat, White-winged Cliff-Chat and birds of prey including Lammergeyer, Vareaux's Eagle, Tawny Eagle, Egyptian Vulture and Fan-tailed Raven. Scrub lures Erckel's Francolin, Shrikes and Sunbirds. The endemic troop of the Ghelada Baboon can be spotted there.
Overnight at Etho-German Lodge.
Day 03.
Today we drive to the Jemmu Valley in search of the rare Harwood's Francolin and Abyssinian Black Wheatear. The road climbs steeply through highland fields and traditional villages. The cliffs and boulder-strewn slopes of the Jemmu Valley may have flocks of White-billed Starlings, the extremely rare Salvadori's Serin, Singing Cisticola, Isabelline Shrike and Abyssinian Black Wheatear. In the afternoon, we drive to Debrebirhan town while enjoying another sector of plain grassland birds including Erlanger's Lark, Pectoral-patch Cisticola and Ortolan Bunting.
Overnight at Eva Hotel.
Day 04.
An early start to explore the road to Debresina Escarpment. Our main interest is to find the rarest endemic Ankober Serin feeding in the highland tussock grass fields. In the lower fields, we can expect Yellow-crowned Canary, Brown-rumped and Streaky Seed-eater. Overhead we may locate Saker Falcon, Augur Buzzard and Alpine Swifts. We then continue driving to the Crater Lakes around Bushoftu/Debrezeit. With significant numbers of Cranes and Marabou storks Chalalaka is an important shallow fresh water seasonal lake and feeding ground for migratory and resident waders. Lake Hora is where you can spot Malachite Kingfisher, Paradise Flycatcher, Black-billed Barbet Little Bee-eater Little Grebe and Cormorants.
The area named after the crater lake Bushoftu, meaning “Smelling Water” support large numbers of Weavers, Seed-eaters, Thrushes, Doves, Sunbirds and Finches in the adjoining sedges and thickets
Overnight at Dream Land Hotel.
Day 05.
Today we drive east towards the Great Rift Valley via Bushoftu Crate Lakes and Nazaret town to visit Awash Park with its volcano landscapes and savannah grassland habitat for a variety of bird species. On the way we detour to Lake Basaka's saline water which is good habitat for water birds such as Flamingoes, Pelicans, Storks, Herons, Plovers, Lapwings, Sandpipers and Stints.
Overnight Genet Hotel at Awash Town.
Day 06.
Today we drive the Gotu HQs track running through acacia thickets looking for Buff-crested Bustard, Crowned Lapwing, White-browed Scrub-robin, Fork-tailed Drongo, Crested Francolin, Red-winged Lark, Rosy-patched Shrike, Weavers, Waxbills and more. The prominent Awash River water falls and riverine vegetation supports Woodland Kingfisher, Red-belied Parrot, Bruce’s Green Pigeon, Eastern Grey Plantain-eater, White-bellied Go-Away-Bird, Nubian Woodpecker and at dusk we may find Star-spotted Nightjar. Birds of Ilala Sala plain include Kori Bustard, Swallow-tailed Kite, Gillett’s Lark, Ashy Cisticola and Somali Fiscal. Awash Park is also shelter to Oryx, Soemmerring's Gazelle, Hammadryas and Olive Baboon, Dick-dick, Lesser Kudu and Warthog.
Overnight Genet Hotel.
Day 07.
Today we drive to Sodore famed for its spa with a detour to Sabober Plain looking for Superb Starling, Cyprus and Pied Wheatear and Black-headed Lapwing.
Mt. Fentale dominates the landscape and semi-dormant volcanoes created a habitat of lava flows and deep fissures. Typical birds here are Sombre Chat, Blackstart, Yellow-throated Serin, White-headed and Red-billed Buffalo Weavers. Open areas have Claperton's Francolin, Pygmy Kingfisher, Black-crowned Tchagra, Black-winged Lovebird and Red-billed Firefinches.
Overnight Sodore Resort or Rift Valley Hotel at Nazareth.
Day 08.
Passing through farmland used for cereal production and livestock grazing our destination is the town of Goba located in the highland of the Bale Mountains. The northern part of Bale Mountains is important for the endemic Mountain Nyala, Menelik’s Bushbuck, Bohor Reedbuck, Grey Duiker and Warthog. Birds of prey can be numerous including Eastern Imperial Eagle, Lanner Falcon, Kestrel and Golden Eagle. Grass verges attract White-collared Pigeon, Somali Crow, Erlanger’s Lark, Botta’s Wheatear and Alpine Chat.
Overnight Wabeshebele Hotel at Goba Town.
Day 09.
Beyond Goba are extensive stands of Juniper and Hagenia Abyssinica forest, home to Abyssinian Catbird, Abyssinian Slaty-flycatcher, Woodland Warbler and Olive Pigeon. Lammergeyer, Golden Eagle, Augur Buzzard and Peregrine Falcon occupy upper escarpment. The Bale Mountains plateau crater lakes attracts remnant population of Wattled Crane and Ruddy Shelduck.
The objective of today is to find and study the rare endemic Ethiopian Wolf hunting for Giant Molerat on the Sanatte Plateau, where Giant Lobelia perennial plants grows as tall as 8 meters during the flowering season.
Overnight Wabeshebel Hotel.
Day 10.
Sof Omar Caves on the eastern edge of Bale Mountains may be the worlds most spectacular and extensive underground system carved by the Weib River into the limestone that line it. Time has carved out ornate and immense pillars, domes and chambers. The river flows through the caves year-round, but lower in the dry season. During one’s passage through the caves, we have to cross the river seven times in the 1.5km underground system. It is an interesting shrine and pilgrimage place for Muslims. The roof of the caves is home to thousands of Bats and the floor is covered with droppings accumulating over many years. The Weib river gorge and cliffs habitat support the endemic Salvadori’s Seedeater, Bristle-crowned Starling, Swifts and Swallows.
Overnight at Wabeshebele Hotel.
Day 11.
Today we drive through Ethiopia’s moist tropical forest in the southern part of the Park, covered with clouds most of the year, and known as the Harena forest. Arriving in the remote town of Nehgele through Genale river basin, the woodland and thickets adjacent to it holds the spectacular African White-winged Dove, Juba Weaver, Somali Bunting, Pringle's Puffback and Pygmy Batis. Flowering shrubs attracts Hunter’s and Marico Sunbird.
Overnight Green Hotel at Neghele Town.
Day 12.
At dawn we drive to Hara-kalo and Wadera dry river valleys to explore the rare and striking birds called Ruspoli’s Turaco.
In the afternoon, excursion to the large grassland of Liben Plain, looking for birds of the dry-open country. The endemic Sidamo Lark, Tiny Cisticola, Themink’s Courser, Rufous Short-Toed Lark and Crowned Lapwing are some to mention.
Overnight Green Hotel.

"Vulturine Guineafowl around Yabello areas" © Brendan Sloan



Day 13.
Birding en route we drive to the town of Yabello. It is an important junction town in the middle of a red sandstone landscape with many large termite mounds. This mosaic arid land is home to several spectacular birds notably the charismatic Stresemann's Bush-Crow, White-tailed Swallow, Golden-breasted Starling, Vulturine Guineafowl, and White-crowned Starlings.
Overnight at Yabello Motel.
Day 14.
Today we explore the road to Mega and Dubluk with its mixed vegetation that attracts Pygmy Falcon, Slate-colored Boubou, Bare-eyed Thrush, Purple Grenadier, Black-capped and Grey-capped Social Weaver. Birds of prey are numerous including Eastern Chanting Goshawk, Gabar Goshawk, Amur Falcon, Wahlberg’s Eagle and White-headed Vultures.
In the afternoon we will bird Yabello Forest Sanctuary looking for Northern Black Flycatcher, White-cheeked Turaco, Tawny Wagtail, Bare-faced Go-Away-Bird and many more.
Overnight at Yabello Motel.
Day 15.
Birding en route we drive to Lake Awassa important to water and shorebirds. On arrival we search for Spotted Creeper, Blue-headed Coucal, Dusky Flycatcher, Fiscal and numbers of Marabou Storks and White Pelicans.
Overnight Wabeshebele Hotel.
Day 16.
Early morning walk along the bank of Lake Awassa looking for African Pygmy Goose, Black Crake, Greater White and Intermediate Egret, Pelicans and Sedge Warblers. Our walk ends at the traditional fish market, where birds of prey feed on fish left-over.
After breakfast we drive to the Wendogenet spa with birding en route. On arrival we search the grounds for Silvery-cheeked Hornbill, Variable Sunbird and Abyssinian Woodpecker.
Overnight Wendogenet Hotel.
Day 17.
Before breakfast we walk along the springs and hillside to search for Half-Collared Kingfisher, Yellow Fronted Parrot, Mountain Wagtail, Double-toothed Barbet, Narinna Trogon, Black Saw-wing and birds of prey including African Harrier Hawk, Steppe Buzzard and Crowned Eagle.
After breakfast we drive to Lake Langano and Abiata breeding and roosting grounds for Pelicans and Flamingos. It is also excellent for migratory waders from Europe and Asia .
Overnight Bekele Mola Hotel at Langano beach.
Day 18.
Early in the morning walk along the bank of Lake Langano to search birds including Black-Winged Lovebird, Orange-bellied Parrot, Speckled Mousebird, Crombec, Masked Weavers and Cardinal Woodpecker. A steep escarpment attracts Abyssinian Wheatear and Little Rock-thrush. Scrub lures Singing Cisticola, Rufous Chatterer, Pin-tailed Whydah and Village Indigobird.
Driving back to Addis Ababa we bird on the way and detour to Lake Ziway looking for Giant Kingfisher, Black Heron, Spur-winged Goose, White-faced Duck and many water birds. Arriving in Addis Ababa late afternoon we have farewell dinner before transferring to Bole International Airport.


18 Day tour price is: 2 pax 65,800 BIRR per person. 4 pax 64,600 BIRR per person. 6 pax 63,000 BIRR per person.
Single supplement: 6200 BIRR

Due to currency fluctuations and fuel cost we reserve the right to adjust any pricing prior to departure if necessary.
Bookings require a 50% deposit, balance due one month prior to tour departure.


Convert your tour cost into your currency of choice.

Included:
Vehicle (4wheel - A/C optional), English speaking guide, driver, all meals, water and lodging.
Excluded:
Alcoholic drinks, visas and items of purely personal nature.


Tour IV
SOUTH ETHOLOGICAL ETHIOPIA - Nature and Culture Trip. Awash Park, Dengego Mountains, Dredawa and Harar Walled city, Babile Sanctuary, and Dakata Rock-hill Features.(10 nights/11 days).

Itinerary

The Great Rift Valley encompasses conservation areas including Awash Park, Abiat-Shala, Nech-Sar, Mago and Omo Park and wetlands support diversity of natural and cultural assets of the country.
The Southern remote Omo Valley is home for a variety of ethnic tribes including Wolayita, Dorze, Konso, Tsemay, Bena, Ari, Mursi, Hamer, Erbore, Karo and Surma. Elaborated hairstyle, many form of gleaming adornment, men carve deep incision on their arms and women in their body, paintings on face, chest, arms, legs and thighs using local made dyeing are their fascinating characteristic.
Day 01.
Arrival and transfer to the Ghion or Extreme Hotel in Addis Abba.
Day 02.
Addis Ababa means “New Flower” City Tour.
National Museum contains antiquities and Lucy the oldest hominid skeleton has both the anthropological and archaeological relics that date back to the ancestral, prehistoric, medial and modern history of Ethiopia.
The Ethnological Museum contains institute of Ethiopian studies, library and collections of different cultural heritage items reflecting the ethnic groups of Ethiopia.
Mt. Entoto and St. Mary Monastery Museum (3200 m.a.sl) have the best panoramic view of the capital, Addis Ababa. Entoto Mary church was built in 1892. Articles of historical significance donated by members of royal families, foreign diplomats and individuals are well displayed in the museum. The old wooden made palace of Emperor Menelik and architectural design as well as the inner wall paintings of St. Mary church are interesting.
The Sellasie Cathedral is the Trinity Cathedral Church in Addis Ababa, and also where the last ruler of Ethiopia, Emperor Haile-Slassie II and his wife Empress Menen are buried.
Africa's largest open-air market ‘Mercato’ is also worth seeing and should not to miss.
Overnight at the Ghion or Extreme Hotel
Day 03.
A traveling day to the Southern Rift Lakes of Chamo and Abaya adjacent to Nechisar National Park. We stop at the Melka Kunture archeological site and Adadimariam monolithic rock-hewn church. Detour to Tiya heritage site to admire the crudely fashioned stone monoliths, that some believe to be ancient grave marks. We stop for Guraghe, Kambata, Wolayita and Dorze peoples traditional weaving. Much important is Enset (false banana) plantation, used for Kocho (food), dominant multipurpose. In the evening enjoy the clear-blue stars of the African sky over fascinating Chamo and Abay Lake.
Overnight Paradise or Swaines Hotel at Arbaminch Town.
Day 04.
In the morning we drive across the barrier land, the so called 'BRIDGE OF GOD', which separate the Chamo and Abaya Lakes. In the park you will see the endemic Swayne’s Hartebeest, Burchell’s Zebras, Lesser and Greater Kudus, Grant’s and Thomson’s Gazelles and amongst birds; Abyssinian Ground Hornbill, Kori Bustard, Secretarybird and Lesser Kestrel. In the afternoon, boat trip to Lake Chamo to view the Crocodiles, Hippopotamus or we drive to Chencha a Dorze village to admire their cultural weaving and Bamboo and Enset-leaves made house style that can last for 80-90 years.
Overnight Paradise or Swaines Hotel at Arbaminch town.
Day 05.
Today we drive further south to the town of Jinka to visit the Konso villages, known for their traditional cluster house style, ritual sites and traditional terrace farming. Beyond Konso where the Tsemay, Benna and Ari ethnic tribes live, and are known for their local made showy decorative dressings and bunting hair style as well as dye striped bodies. Overnight Jinka Resort or Goh Hotel at Jinka town.
Day 06.
We drive further south to visit the Mursi Village in Mago Park, and may spot wild games such as Gerenuk, Oribi, Kudu, Hartebeest, Water-buck and many bird species (180 species have been recorded in this Park so far).
Overnight Jinka Resort or Goh Hotel at Jinka town.
Day 07.
Today we drive through the fascinating uninterrupted lifestyle of Bena and Hamer communities. The Keyafer, Dimeka and Turmi villages are at the heart of their homeland.
Overnight Evangadi Lodge at Turmi Campsite.
Day 08.
Today we will drive through isolated Erbore and Tsemy villages along the Weyto River valley between the Chain of Buskan Mountains to our destination the town of Konso/Karat town.
Overnight Edget Hotel at Karat Town.
Day 09.
After breakfast we drive east to Yabello enjoying the colorful northern Kenyan style dressing of Borena women. Yabelo is an important junction town in the middle of red sandstone landscape with many termite mounds, acacia tree thickets, housing several spectacular birds species, notably the charismatic Stresemann's Bush-crow, White-tailed Swallow, Yellow-necked Francolin, Vulturine Guineafowl and Red-napped Bush-Shrike.
Overnight Yabello Motel at Yabelo Town.
Day 10.
Today we drive to the town of Awassa enjoying the breathtaking landscape of organic coffee plantation along the highway. Many stops for Oromo, Gedio and Sidama countryside people’s traditional lifestyle. On arrival, the gorgeous Black and White Colobus Monkey and Vervet Monkeys welcoming you at the hotel of Wabeshebele grounds.
Overnight at Pina or Wabeshebele Hotel at Awassa town.
Day 11.
Early morning we explore Lake Awassa shoreline looking for a range of bird species including African Pygmy Goose, White-backed Duck, Black Crake, African Fish-eagle, African Jacana, Hamerkop and numbers of Marabou Storks and Pelicans, and we will visit the traditional open-air fish market with many birds of prey/scavengers are feeding on fish slaughters left-over. After breakfast we drive back to Addis Ababa via Rift Lakes Langano and Ziawy to see the breeding/roosting grounds of Pelicans and Flamingos. It is also an interesting habitat for migratory birds from Europe and Asia.
Arriving in Addis Abba you transfer to the airport for your evening departure.


11 Day tour price is: 2 pax 40,300 BIRR per person. 4 pax 39,300 BIRR per person. 6 pax 38,500 BIRR per person.
Single supplement: 3800 BIRR

Due to currency fluctuations and fuel cost we reserve the right to adjust any pricing prior to departure if necessary.
Bookings require a 50% deposit, balance due one month prior to tour departure.


Convert your tour cost into your currency of choice.

Included:
Vehicle (4wheel - A/C optional), English speaking guide, driver, all meals, water and lodging.
Excluded:
Alcoholic drinks, visas and items of purely personal nature.


Tour V
NORTH HISTORIC CERCUIT: - Culture and Nature Tour Itinerary (13 nights/14 days).

Itinerary

Confined in small area like Ethiopia there is nowhere else in the world one can see such scenic beauty, exceptional wildlife and heritage assets dating back to a time of ancient civilization with their treasures and manuscripts.
This voyage leads to extensive historic sites of the country traveling through fantastic panoramas including the Semein Mountains with a wide range of jagged ecological structures.
The 13th century Monasteries of Lake Tana Islands and monolithic Rock-Hewn Churches of King Lalibela (1181-1221). Fassiledas Castles in Gonder city with a unique imperial compound containing a number of castle-like palaces built in 1632-1769 by various emperors, who reigned during this period. The Stelae and the Tombs of the Axumite Kings as well as the Rock-Hewn Churches dating from the 4-15 century. Travelling at the right time colorful Ethiopian churches festivities is also available. Yeha is Ethiopia's most ancient city of the Sabean’s and dates back to the 5th century BC. It is located at the mountainous range of Tigray state. The famous inscription, bronze and crafts have been excavated since the beginning of the 20th century.
Due to religious believe protection to the surroundings in most monastery and historical sites, shelters numbers of bird species for those who are interested in birding on the north Ethiopian historic circuit trip.
Day 01.
Arrival and transfer to the Ghion or Extreme Hotel in Addis Abba.
Day 02.
Today, we start your trip to northern Ethiopia's natural and cultural sites, crossing the panorama of the’ Blue Nile River’ who drain into the Mediterranean Sea through Sudan and Egypt. Leaving early, we drive up to the Sululta Plain, an important short grassland with seasonal wetland and home to unique birds such as Blue-winged Goose, Wattled Ibis, Ethiopian Black-headed Siskin, and White-collared Pigeon.
We stop at the Jemmu valley escarpment and pilgrimage center established in the 13th century with magnificent artistic murals and apostils. Nearby gorge attracts such birds as Lammergeyer, Egyptian Vulture, Thick-billed Raven, Little Rock Thrush, Banded Barbet and Vareaux's Eagle.
We will stop at the so called “Portuguese Bridge” similar to an old fortified stone bridge and next to Blue Nile Waterfalls. We will look for White-winged Cliff-chat, Ruppell’s Black-chat, Erckel’s Francolin and more. Overnight Shebel Hotel at Debremarkos Town.
Day 03.
Driving to the town of Bahr-Dar one of the main tourist destination in the northwestern part of the country, and situated on the southern bank of Lake Tana (3600 Sq. Km. area) and famous for its islands holding ancient churches with their treasures and manuscripts dating back to the thirteenth century.
Lake Tana itself is home to water birds such as Pelicans, Darters, Egrets, Herons, Kingfishers and Grebes.
Tis-issat Waterfalls on the Blue Nile and islands supports Ethiopian Oriole, White-billed Starling, Bruce’s Green Pigeon and many woodland birds.
Overnight Tana Hotel or Dib Anbesa Hotel.
Day 04.
Today we will take a boat excursion to the famous Kibran Gabreal and Ura Kidanemihret island monasteries, and in the afternoon we will drive to the Blue Nile Waterfalls with its scenery and bird in route.
Overnight at Tana or Dib-Anbesa Hotel.
Day 05.
Driving further north to Gondar we visit the Fassiladas Castles and Debre-Birhan Sillasie(Light of the Trinity) church built during King Fassiledas reign with its painted angels and frescoes on the ceiling and walls.
Overnight Goha Hotel at Gondar top view point.
Day 06.
Today we drive to the jagged panorama of the Semein Mountains Park, famed for its exclusive landscape, afro-alpine vegetation and unique wildlife, where you may spot the endemic Walya Ibex, Ghwelada Baboon troops, Bushbuck, Klipspringer. Chestnut-napped Francolin, Mountain Thrush, Thick-billed Raven, Lammergeyer, White-collared Pigeon and Ankober Serin just to name a few.
Overnight Semein Park Hotel.
Day 07.
Continuing on to Axum the capital of the Axumite Kingdom, who accepted Christianity at the beginning of 4th century and where the 'Moses' Ark of covenant is found.
Driving the zigzag roads to Adaarkay village leading into the Tacazze Valley with its Baobab trees, birds such as Hunter’s Sunbird, Nile Valley Sunbird, Rock Buntings, Superb Starling and more can be found.
Overnight Yeha or Ark Hotel at Axum Town.
Day 08.
You will have a whole day for excursion to the Axum Stelae sites, Church of Saint Mary of Tsion, Queen Sheba's ruined palaces, underground cavern burials of the kings of the Axumite dynasty with its inscription, bronze and crafts displayed.
Overnight Yeha or Ark Hotel
Day 09.
Today we drive to Mekele the capital of the province of Tigray, stopping on the way at Adwa historic mountains, Debredamo Monastery, Adigrat, Abreha-Woatsibaha Rock Hewn church and the Negashi Mosque, oldest and considered the first in Ethiopia.
At Myshinkurti it may be possible to spot the endemic Harwood’s Francolin, Erlanger’s Lark, Cisticolas, Fiscals and more.
Overnight Abreha Castles Hotel.
Day 10.
Today we visit the famous Rock-Hewn Churches of Lallibela via the towns of Korem and Alamat. Lalibela churches are among the "Eight wanders of the World" and one can add other equally important monasteries including Asheten Mariam, Yimrahane Christos and Na'akutole'ab churches if you are prepared to add an extra day to this tour.
Overnight Roha or Tukul Village Hotel.
Day 11.
We will start the morning with visits to the first part of the Lalibela rock-hewn churches including Bet Medihane Alem, Bet Mariam, Bet Meskal, Bet Michael, Bet Denagle and Bet Golgolta. We will also visit the remarkable church of Bet Giyorgis, possibly the most elegant of all the Lallibela structures. In the afternoon we visit the remaining second part including Bet Emanuel, Bet Mercurios, Bet Abba Libanos and Bet Gabriel-Rufael.
Overnight Roha or Tukul Village Hotel at Lallibela Town.
Day 12.
Driving southwards to Kombolcha town via the Weldia and Dessie scenic mountainous countryside, while birding along the route. We will stop at the Hike Estifanos Monastery earlier used by scholars of the other monasteries and religious leaders in the country.
Overnight Tekle Hotel at Kombolcha town.
Day 13.
Returning to Addis through Kemise and Senbete the local towns where Ammhara, Oromo and Afar people get together on market days.
We will also explore the underground tunnels of the Debresina Mountains and stop at Tarmaber view point to locate the endemic Ankober Serin, Brown-rumped Seedeater, Stripe-breasted Seedeater and Yellow-crowned Canary. Overnight at Ghion Hotel in Addis Abba.
Day 14.
City Tour in Addis Ababa, meaning "New Flower".
We will visit the National Museum to view antiquities, “Lucy” the oldest hominid skeleton and anthropological and archaeological relics that date back to the ancestral, prehistoric, mediaeval and modern history of Ethiopia.
The Ethnological Museum contains the institute of Ethiopian studies, a library and collections of different cultural heritage items reflecting the ethnic groups of Ethiopia.
Mt. Entoto and St. Mary Museum(3200m) have the best panoramic view of the capital, Addis Ababa. The church built in 1892 in the Emperor Menelik the II’s reign with articles of historical significance donated by members of royal families, foreign diplomats and individuals are well displayed in this museum. Emperor Menelik’s old wooden palace and the inner wall paintings of St. Mary Church are fascinating.
The Sellasie Cathedral is the Trinity Cathedral Church in Addis Ababa, where the last ruler of Ethiopia, Emperor Haile Selassie II and his wife Empress Menen are buried.
Africa's largest open-air market ‘Mercato’ is also worth seeing and should not to missed.
Transfer to the airport for your evening departure.
Note: This tour can be reverse without change to the tour duration.


14 Day tour price is: 2 pax 53,600 BIRR per person. 4 pax 51,200 BIRR per person. 6 pax 50,000 BIRR per person.
Single supplement: 4800 BIRR

Due to currency fluctuations and fuel cost we reserve the right to adjust any pricing prior to departure if necessary.
Bookings require a 50% deposit, balance due one month prior to tour departure.


Convert your tour cost into your currency of choice.

Included:
Vehicle (4wheel - A/C optional), English speaking guide, driver, all meals, water and lodging.
Excluded:
Alcoholic drinks, visas and items of purely personal nature.

Notes.
The above birding itineraries are based on what are essentially popular routes for birders. It can be shortened or extended.
All the date of itineraries include arrival and departure dates.
All trips are available year round, but prices may be adjusted around special holidays.
For booking allow minimum six(6) weeks prior to departure.
To check availability for tours on short notice, fill out “Request for Quote” form with desirable dates.
Fitness:
The tour does not require a high level of fitness but participants should be in good general health. Should you have any physical limitations please contact us. Please note we will be traveling in high altitudes (above 4000m) part of the tour.


Should you only need a guide for a day please send a message to Meseret.   

Birding guide

Meseret Mekuria, your local Birdingpal guide

Meseret formerly worked for the national park service in Ethiopia studying birds and mammals (habitats, observation, identification and census). He trained at the College Of African Wildlife Management, Tanzania and has written papers on diversity and abundance of bird species in different habitats in Tanzanian National parks. Today, he is one of the country's top guides with a passion for Ethiopia's endemic birds and mammals in this relatively unknown country for birdwatchers. From his experiences as a former wildlife manager he is very familiar with all the best places for birds and wildlife and has lived in many of them. He is working with international birdwatching companies and professionals from Europe, Australia, Canada and United States.
Meseret speaks English and several local tribal languages and is personally known to many village people throughout Ethiopia. This is important for successful guiding not only to find birds but also for safety, when traveling in the remote tribal areas. He has a keen interest in sport, particularly soccer.
Meseret has his "Tour Operation Business License and Principal Registration and Certificate” from The Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, Ministry of Trade and Industry.



Testimonial.

We would recommend Meseret Mekuria as your preferred guide in Ethiopia. His professionalism is outstanding. Beyond being simply reliable and punctual Meseret truly listens to the wants and needs of his clients and remains flexible and responsive in ensuring that their experience is a valuable one. His broad network across Ethiopia coupled with his sound knowledge of local culture and wildlife is fantastic. He is also a very personable individual who makes you feel very welcome in this beautiful country. It is obvious that he is well regarded locally in his field and that he has a particular talent when it comes to ornithology. I feel well qualified to make such statements given that I have travelled with Meseret extensively on 2 occasions - most recently in 2007 with my wife Sarah - and I have also recommended him to my 70 year old parents whom Meseret led a memorable cultural trip for in 2006.
Shaun Bacon, Australia. sbacon(AT)wildframes.com
During my March 07 Ethiopia trip, Meseret not only managed to show us 419 species of birds (incl. 23 endemics), but I also enjoyed his company very much, and he became a good friend. From his experiences as a former wildlife manager, Meseret is very familiar with all the best places for birds and wildlife and has lived in many of them. He speaks several tribal languages and is personally known to many village people throughout Ethiopia. This is important for successful guiding not only for finding birds but also for safety, when travelling the tribal areas.
Doing my stay in Addis Abba I also had the pleasure of meeting Yilma, who impressed me with his knowledge of Ethiopia's wildlife.
Knud Rasmussen, Toronto, Canada - krkr(AT)sympatico.ca


Birding guide

Yilma Dellelegn Abebe, your local Birdingpal guide

Yilma is a conservation biologist with avid interest in birds and bird watching. He has worked as Park Warden and conservation education officer for several years with Government before starting to work as a free-lance bird guide back in the 1980s. He works as a volunteer with an indigenous conservation NGO known as Ethiopian Wildlife and Natural History Society. Yilma acted as a project officer when the Important Bird Areas directory for Ethiopia was first produced in 1996. This was the first IBA book produced for Africa. He has trained several individuals and groups on topics of birds and birdwatching and continues to work with school nature clubs. He is a well-travelled person in the country and knows the best birding places. At the moment he is producing a local language field guide of birds of Ethiopia in two main dialects of the country. He has written articles on endemic bird species including the Ethiopian Bushcrow and Ruspoli’s Turaco. He is also interested in wetlands, drylands and indigenous knowledge. Yilma encourages local communities to take up ecotourism because this may be the only viable way of conserving valuable bird habitat in the long-run. To this end, he is setting up a project to work with local communities where funds generated goes back to the poor communities that usually have to pay the costs of site conservation. Yilma will not only help you identify birds on your trips but will give you an all rounded information educational tour about conservation, environment and culture in his country.



Testimonial.

I have known and worked with Yilma for over fifteen years. You could not ask for a more knowledgeable and companionable guide. Yilma's understanding of Ethiopia's landscapes, cultures and wildlife stems from extensive fieldwork and a deep commitment to conservation, as well as a passion for birds and birding, while his training as an ornithologist and ecologist brings an extra dimension to his work.
Dr. Leon Bennun, BirdLife International
Yilma is an outstanding individual and I am pleased to consider him as a colleague, student, advisor, and friend. I first met Yilma in 1992 at a meeting for the conservation of Black Crowned Cranes in Kano, Nigeria, and was immediately impressed with Yilma's professional and personal qualities. Yilma is a serious, hardworking individual who strives for intellectual and spiritual depth in all his life and work. At the same time, he also has a wonderful sense of humor and endless enthusiasm for the natural world. Over the years, Yilma and I have met together on many occasions. Yilma attended several training courses I was teaching related to crane and wetland monitoring in southern Africa, and also participated in the Pan-African Ornithological Congress. In 2003 and 2004, I had the pleasure to work directly with Yilma in Ethiopia. During my first trip (with two colleagues from the German Crane Working Group) Yilma lead us to discover the most important breeding ground for endangered Wattled Cranes in Ethiopia (the Boyo Wetlands). We also observed the endangered Ethiopian Wolf up in the Bale Mountains, observed many thousands of European Cranes on wetlands and agricultural fields, and visited a number of wetland and waterbird sites in the Rift Valley that included the Vulnerable Black Crowned Crane and many other species. The following year, Yilma and I lead a "VIP" tour of eight trustees and donors of the International Crane Foundation. We had a spectacular trip, traveling all over the country from the Bale Mountains to beautiful Lake Tana and up north to Axum to Lalibella. Although our group was not composed of die-hard birders we nonetheless logged more than 250 bird species including many endemics, while experiencing the remarkable people and landscapes of Ethiopia. Yilma is deeply proud of his country, and enjoys showing off the rich cultural heritage of Ethiopia as much as he does Ethiopia's rich wildlife. Yilma is an excellent birder with a good working knowledge of the birds of Ethiopia. He knows his birds very well and knows the key birding haunts in Ethiopia for specialty birds and endemics. I recommend Yilma highly and without hesitation as a guide to the birdlife, landscapes, and diverse cultures of Ethiopia.
Richard Beilfuss, Ph.D., Lic Prof Hydrologist, CEO of International Crane Foundation

Some facts about Ethiopia.

History: - Ethiopia is a North-eastern African country, between 30N and 150N latitudes and 350 E and 480 E longitudes with an area of 1,112,000 sq. km. It is one of the GMT +3 time zone countries in the Horn of Africa. Ethiopia contains the largest part of the Great Rift Valley, and is also a majestic mountainous country. Ethiopia is unique among African countries, due to its diversity of attractions, including a large number of species of flora and fauna with high endemics; water catchments site for North-East African countries; landscapes with remote wilderness areas; Archaeological findings, and a long history that dates back to early human civilizations. Ethiopia is truly a collection of inspiring uniqueness and culture.
Topography: - Ethiopia is a country of great geographical diversity. Altitude ranges from 120 meters below sea level at Dallol Depression or to the highest peaks of 4,620 meters at Mt. Ras Dashen. The central and Western plateaus reach considerable elevations of heights varying from between 2000-3000 meters. The Great Rift Valley of Africa runs through Ethiopia, cutting the country into South-Eastern and Northern-Western ranges of mountains.
Climate: - Despite its proximity to the equator, Ethiopia's lowland is hot and dry. On the other hand, its high altitude ensures a temperate, moderate, and sometimes even chilly climate. There are two rainy seasons: irregular short rains from late January to early March and the long rains from June until mid-September.
Vegetation: - Due to its extraordinarily varied altitude, Ethiopia has different ecological environments or micro-climate, including forests, woodlands, savannahs, bush land and thickets, plain lands and wetlands, afro-alpine, shrub, scrub, plains, moors, arid and semi-arid habitats. Each habitat has got its own adapted wildlife.
Population: - The population of the country today is estimated at more than 70 million with 83 distinctive tribes, 56 of these are found in the Southern People's Nation and Nationalities Regional State, which is sometimes called the unspoiled people's lifestyle life museum.
Capital: - The principal city of Ethiopia is Addis Ababa; it means 'New Flower' and is located in the central part of the country, with more than four million inhabitants. It is the third highest capital in the world at an altitude above 2400 m. Addis Ababa is also a seat for government and African diplomatic missions including United Nations (UN), European Economic Commission (EEC), and Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) with 103 Embassies and consular representatives.
Government: - Ethiopia is an independent republic operating under the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia. The president is the head of the state, while the prime minister is the head of the Government.
Religion: - The major religions in Ethiopia are Christianity, Islam, and traditional believes, all of which harmoniously live together.
Language: - Amharic is the official language of the government of Ethiopia. Oromiffa and Tigrigna are also widely spoken. In general, eighty-three different languages with two hundred dialects are spoken.
Health requirements: - Visitors should be in possession of a valid health certificate for yellow fever and vaccination against cholera if you have visited or transited infected areas within six days prior to arrival.
Calendar: - Ethiopia follows the Julian calendar, which consists of twelve months of thirty days each and a thirteenth month of five days(six days in a leap year). The calendar is seven years and eight months behind the western (Gregorian) calendar.
Time: - Ethiopia is three hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time.
Currency Regulation: - There is no limit to the amount of foreign currency that can be brought into Ethiopia. Foreign currency is changed only at authorized banks and hotels. Visitors may change back any excess local currency before departure. The local currency is the Ethiopian birr, made up of 100 cents. Notes are issued in denominations of 1, 5, 10, 50 and 100 birr. There are five different coins of: 1, 5, 10, 25 and 50, cents.
Visa requirement: - Visas are required for all foreign visitors to Ethiopia. This can be secured from Ethiopia's Diplomatic and Consular Missions abroad or obtained upon arrival.

More facts about Ethiopia.

Guide books and CD’s recommended:

Ian Sinclair and Peter Ryan’s "Birds of Africa, South of the Sahara". A big book but properly the best guide available. It is user-friendly, but for many species only one illustration is used making it difficult to identify some birds.
Lonely Planet. Ethiopia and Eritrea. Discover Africa’s hidden jewels.
Cartographia world map experts. Map of Ethiopia, Eritrea and Djibouti.

Find lowest prices here

Bird Recordings

Bird Recordings from Ethiopia by Steve Smith. 72 announced species. Home-made quality.
It is available from WildSounds, UK. e-mail address isales@wildsounds.com

www.wildsounds.com

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Last update 20/02/2014