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Tour Overview

Bird watching

Ethiopia to be a home of 850 species of birds over which 16 are endemics and 16 are shared endemics with Eritrea. This Ethiopia bird watching itinerary takes you to most of the bird watching sites in the country. It will enable you in search of all of Ethiopia’s endemic birds and east African endemic birds. It takes you to Debre Libanos, north of Addis Ababa, Awash National park, the rift valley lakes, Wondo Genet, Bale and the south through the Harenna forest to Negele, the area near the border with Somalia near Bogal Manyo, west from there to Yabello, the Jemma River valley the escarpment north west of Addis Ababa, around Debre Berhan and Ankober. This would take a minimum of 3 weeks, but shorter tour of about 10-15 days which would guarantee seeing most of the endemics and several hundred other species could be set up covering Awash National park, the rift-valley lakes and Bale Mountains.

Duration: 16days/ 15nights

Transport: road

Tour type: Ornithological

Tour Itinerary

Day1: Arrival Addis Ababa

On arrival at Bole international airport, you meet our staff and will be transferred to the hotel (if night arrival in Addis Ababa).
Day 2: Excursion trip to Sululta plain and Debre Libanos from Addis Ababa
Drive north through the Sululta plain to Debre Libanos and the Jemma River Gorge, about 105 km. from the capital, where we will see Black winged plovers, Wattled ibis, Blue winged geese, common cranes and wheatears. Here at the gorge, and in the forest around the church we can expect to see the Banded Barbet, the Black headed forest oriole, the White billed starling, the Red Billed starling, the White winged cliff chat, the White backed black tit, white cheeked Turaco and Hemp Rich’s hornbill. We will also see one of Ethiopia’s endemic mammals, the Gelada or bleeding heart baboon. (In the gorge, we will see a variety of vultures – Lammergeyer’s Rupell’s and Lappet faced vultures.) We will leave Debre Libanos around 5.00 pm, returning to Addis Ababa early evening. Overnight hotel.

Day 3: Addis to Awash National Park
After breakfast Awash National Park through the awe-inspiring crater lakes of Debrezeit for birding. Stop at Lake Beseka for birding. Then we continue to Awash National Park. Overnight odge/hotel.

Day 4: Awash National Park
Birding in Awash National Park, located in the rift valley. It is enriched with many species of birds and mammals; African orange-bellied parrots, bustards, weavers, European Hoope somber rock-chat, yellow-throated serine, Red-fronted barbet, pygmy baits, Lesser striped swallow, House martin and Anubis Baboon, Colobus Monkey, Black-backed Jackal, Bat-eared Fox, Egyptian Mongoose, Warthog, Beisa Oryx, Soemmering’s Gazelle, Lesser Kudu, Salt’s Dik-dik, etc. Overnight lodge/hotel.

Day 5: Awash to Langano

Early morning leave Awash for Langano. En route, birding at Lake Ziway and Koka dam. Among some bird species, you will see; African pygmy goose, Black-billed wood hoopoe, Abyssinian ground hornbill, Northern black tit, little weaver, etc. The same day birding at Abiyata Shalla National Park. Particularly, Lake Abiyata is the best place to bird many species, walking along the muddy and partly sandy lakeshore. For instance, yellow wagtails, Ibis, Cormorant, Pelicans, hammer cop, waders, ducks, egrets, herons, flamingos, storks, swallows, chestnut-bellied sand grouse, Abyssinian ground-hornbill, rollers, wheatears, African Marsh Harrier, etc. Overnight hotel.

Day 6: Langano to Bale Mountains National Park
After breakfast, continue driving to Bale mountains National Park and it is here you will visit many of the endemics like Blue-winged goose, Spot-breasted lapwing, Abyssinian long claw, Wattled ibis, Black-headed siskin, Rouget’s rail, Banded barbet and of course other species. Overnight camping/hotel.
Day 7: A day excursion to Sof Omer

After an early breakfast start driving to Sof Omar, about 120 km from Goba. Along the route, you will have some stops for birding. For instance, White-ramped babbler, Nightingale, Dodson’s bulbul, Somali golden-breasted bunting, sunbird, warbler, Northern gray tit, Brown-tailed chats, Pygmy batis, Salvador’s serine. Overnight hotel.

Day 8: Goba, excursion to Senete
Leave Goba early in the morning towards Sanete Plateau. While crossing a lush green forest, you will enjoy the Semien Wolves, endemic mammals. Then you will take another hike to the right hand side of the road to reach the highest peak, 4377 meters above sea level. It is here where you will highly experience the chilly wind. Then you will walk slightly down and down across a moorland landscape dotted with white and yellow cushions of flowers, colorful lichen-covered rocks and sparse Giant Lobelias. You will visit many water birds in the small lakes. Overnight camping/hotel.

Day 9: Bale to Wondo Genet
After an early morning birding drive to Wondo Genet. Wondo Genet is a green and lush area, inhabited with lots of Grivet Monkeys, Colobus Monkeys and many species of birds. On the other hand, Wondo Genet is an excellent place for fresh tropical fruits and hot spring for which you find an Olympic size swimming pool. Overnight hotel.

Day 10: Wondo Genet to Awassa
After an early breakfast, drive to Awassa. See Marabou storks, Silvery-cheeked hornbill, Abyssinian ground hornbill, Rouget’s Rail, Black & white egrets, African pygmy goose, Spur-winged goose, thousands of swallows, Ibis, African fish eagle, Woodland kingfisher, Malachite kingfisher, and many more species. Overnight hotel.

Day 11:Awasa to Yabello

Head south to Yabello, birding en route. In the late afternoon, we head into woodland west of Yabello, in search of the endemic Stresemann’s Bush Crow. Overnight hotel.

Day 12: Yabello
Full day birding (picnic lunch) in Yabello Wildlife Sanctuary, where we expect to see the white tailed swallow, Abyssinian Bush Crow and if luckily, Prince Raspoli’s Turaco. Overnight hotel.

Day 13: Mega to Negele
Morning birding around Mega, then we drive east to Negele, birding en route. Overnight hotel.

Day 14: Negele
The habitat around Negele is similar to mega, and you will spend the day exploring different localities for birding. Overnight hotel.

Day 15: Negele to Addis Ababa
Drive to Addis Ababa through the Great Rift Valley lakes and scenic beauty. Evening farewell dinner party/with Traditional music. Depart depending on your flight schedule.

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