Back to Top

Birding and Trekking - Ethiopia

Cranes are ambassador of the wetland ecosystem, conserve them!

 

Bird Watching

Lake Tana Biosphere Reserve Birding route       

Lake Tana is the largest lake in Ethiopia, with a surface area of 3200 km2 and a watershed of 16500 km2 located at 1800 m a.s.l. Most of the wetlands situated along the rivers and Lake Tana shore support several thousands of birds. Taking previous work in the area into consideration, the Lake Tana sub-basin possesses six globally threatened species, 35 highland biome species, and four Sudan–Guinea Savanna biome species. The sub-basin area is particularly important for wetland and water birds. The total population of birds counted during the winter season exceeds 150,000 seasonally, in Lake Tana area alone. Shesher-Wallala area contributes to the largest winter population. The Lake Tana sub-basin consists of 78 families of 437 birds; the most dominant is Accipitridae with 39 species. The distribution of birds in the area is changeable. However, the Lake Tana area and associated wetlands hold the largest bird populations compared with forest, farmland and bushland habitats. The Fogera and Dembia flood plain provides suitable feeding and roosting sites for winter birds and is also known as a congregation site. Both Palearctic (112) and Afrotropical migrants (7) occur. In addition, the Lake Tana sub-basin holds 15 species of endemic birds, some of which are shared with Eritrea. The tree squirrel, hippos, grivet monkey, Anubis baboon are some mammals, which can be seen in peninsulas and islands. The yellow fronted parrot, the lovely barbet species (black-billed, double toothed, banded barbet), white-cheeked turaco, yellow and red-fronted tinker bird, red-billed Pytilia, the rarest Narina trogon, and the three crane species can be observed.

Simen Mountain NP Birding route

This a UNESCO World Heritage Site in terms of its magnificent landscape and presence of endangered mammals. Simien Mountains National Park is one of northern Ethiopia’s key birding sites, with a checklist of 180 species that includes five Ethiopian endemics and 12 near-endemics. However, many would say the true avian star of the Simien is the magnificent lammergeyer. The park is located in the Semien (North) Gondar Zone of the Amhara Region, its territory covers the Semien Mountains and includes Ras Dejen/ Ras Dashan, the highest point in Ethiopia. It is home to a number of endangered species, including the Ethiopian wolf and the Walia ibex, a wild goat found nowhere else in the world. The gelada baboon and the caracal, a cat, also occur within the Simien Mountains.

Central highlands Birding route

The Jemma valley, Sululta plain, and Ankober area, where the endemic birds like Harwood francolin and Ankober serine found are magnificent places in the central highlands area. The Debre Libanos area that looks like the “Grand Canyon” harbors the Bearded Vulture, Golden Eagles, Griffon and Rupell’s Vulture, White-winged Cliffchat and several other birds are located here. The scenic beauty is also eye-catching.

Rift Valley Birding routes

This includes the Awash National Park the greatest in birdlife; the Ziway Lake area, the Langano Lake and Abijjata Shala Lakes NP area and the central Rift valley Boyo wetland are where the largest non-breeding Wattled Crane population site are some of the focus areas.

Bale Mountain National Park Birding route

On the way to the NP we cross and pass through Debre Zeit, Koka Dam, Zeway, Langano, Abijjata Shall, Shashemenie, and the marvelous Wondogenet forest place where the endemic birds like Yellow-fronted Parrot, White Cheeked Turaco, and white-backed Tit and others endemics and near-endemic birds are located; then Dodola to BMNP headquarter, Seneti plateau, and Arena forest are main places.

Southern Ethiopia Birding route

The Jimma and The natural landscape and the cloud forest of Bonga Biosphere reserve and the Yabeloo Konso birding route including Arba Minch: Chamo Lake area, are included. Yirgalem, Hawasa lake area and the marvelous Wondogenet forest place where the endemic birds like Yellow fronted Parrot, White Cheeked Turaco, and white-backed Tit and others endemics and near endemic birds are located. area are also supper places for bird watchers and nature admires. Then drive through shashemenie to Abijjata-Shala, Langano, Zeway and Addis Ababa.

Special Endemic Birding tours

We can arrange special endemic birding routes where most of the endemic birds are located with a special order. However, in all birding routes there are endemic and near endemic birds that can be seen.

Research oriented birding tours

Any research regarding birds and other wildlife forms can be arranged.

Others

With a special request, we can still make a special arrangement in any corner of the country.

Nature Trekking

Simien Mountain National Park

Simien Mountains National Park is one of the national parks of Ethiopia. Located in the Semien (North) Gondar Zone of the Amhara Region, its territory covers the Semien Mountains and includes Ras Dejen/ Ras Dashan, the highest point in Ethiopia. It is home to a number of endangered species, including the Ethiopian wolf and the Walia ibex, a wild goat found nowhere else in the world. The gelada baboon and the caracal, a cat, also occur within the Simien Mountains. More than 50 species of birds inhabit the park, including the impressive bearded vulture, or lammergeier, with its 3 m (10 ft)) wingspan.

Bale Mountain National Park

The BMNP covers the largest area higher than 3000m above sea level (asl) in Africa. The highest peak in the BMNP, Tullu Dimtuu, at an altitude of 4377m asl, is the second-highest peak in Ethiopia. The park includes an Afroalpine plateau over 3500m asl, which is the largest area of Afro-alpine habitat on the African continent, as well as a major section of moist tropical forest, the second-largest in Ethiopia. The Bale Mountains possess many habitats rich in fauna and flora. More than 170 birds are known from the Park area. Since the Bale Mountains are isolated from other similar habitats in Africa by low and dry areas, many endemic species are found.

Abune Yosef Mountain Conservation area

Abune Yoseph Mountain offers visitors stunning views and wildlife viewing opportunities. During the 2-5 day treks in Abune Yoseph /Zigit and Abohay Gariya Community Conservation Area (AZACCA), visitors can see an impressive array of flora and fauna including giant lobelia, troops of gelada baboons, and the rare Ethiopia wolf. Located north of Lalibela, the afro-montane environment offers a perfect complement to the cultural and historical experience of the Lalibela rock-hewn churches. 

Borena-Sayint National Park

Formerly known as Denkoro Chaka state reserve) is found in the central Amhara development corridor of Ethiopia, which is about 600km from Addis Ababa through Debre Birhan, 300km from Bahir-Dar through Merto Lemariam and 200km southwest of Dessie. The Park, apart from its marvelous scenery and diversified flora, it is the home of different mammals, amphibians, and birds. More than 23 mammals and over 77 different birds have been identified. Four large mammals, namely Ethiopian wolf or Keyie Kebero Canis simensis, Gelada baboon Theropithecus gelada, Stark’s Hare Lepus starckii and Menelik’s bushbuck Tragelaphus Scriptus Menelik are found in the park.

Tiss Issat, Guna Mountain and Choke Mountain

The Tiss Issat is one of the incredible waterfall originated from the Lake Tana area 30 km away, however, the water decreases during the dry season. And the undiscovered Choke Mountain tower of the Blue Nile River source is one of the trekking sites. The two sites were the historic route for the Ethiopian Wolf Canis simensis.

Menz-Guassa Community Conservation Area

Community-based conserved area the Guassa Community Conservation area is located in the Amhara Regional State of North Shoa Zone, in the Gera-Keya Woreda popularly known as Menz. It is 277 km north east of Addis Ababa by road. Its total area is estimated at 78000 hectares, and its altitude ranges from 3200 to 3700 m above sea level. The area derives its name from the so-called "Guassa grass,”. Trek on foot or on travel by mule to experience Ethiopia’s unique natural and cultural heritage and traditional village life in the Ethiopian highlands. Discover breathtaking views bursting with endemic birds and mammals such as the iconic Ethiopian wolf and the charismatic gelada. The stunning scenery …https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guassa_Community_Conservation_Area

Altash National Park

ANP which was established legally in 20,  February 2006 published in regional legal issues publication newsletter ‘Zekere Heg’ by the regional council with Regulation act No 38/2005, is located northwestern part of Ethiopia between bordered with Dinder National Park, Sudan. Almost 97% of the area is flat plain from top view interrupted by various streams hills. Altash has a variety of fauna and flora that requires conservation. Altaish has unique biotypes that are not included in any of the protected areas of the country that consist of Sudan Guinea Biome. Permanent rivers bordering the park, like Ayima and Galegu provide fishery resources to the local communities besides being the main water sources of people and animals. It is one of the best birding and trekking areas.

Research oriented guiding

There are tremendous opportunities to conduct research on wildlife and biodiversity in general. This company focuses on wild animals, especially birds and mammals. However, we have professionals on primates, ornithology, herpetology and fishery and aquatic sciences. And hence a research-based tour can be arranged upon client request.

      

Historical attractions

Gondar

The castle of Gondar and the surrounding churches are known as ‘the Camelot of Africa’. Several churches and church paints like Debre Berhan Silassie (the trinity) and the Fasil bath constructed in the 16th century are main attraction places.

Lalibela

Lalibela is a town in the Amhara region of northern Ethiopia. It's known for its distinctive rock-cut churches dating from the 12th and 13th centuries, which are pilgrimage sites for Coptic Christians. Thought to be the replica of the “Heaven Jerusalem “that more than 10 rock churches could be the main focus of the attractions.

Axum

Aksum is a city in northern Ethiopia. It's known for its tall, carved obelisks, relics of the ancient Kingdom of Aksum in 4th century. Most are in the northern Stelae Park, including a huge fallen pillar, now in pieces. Centuries-old St. Mary of Zion is a Christian church and pilgrimage site believed to have housed the biblical Ark of the Covenant.

Lake Tana Monasteries

The monasteries of Lake Tana have remained hidden for centuries, guarding their treasures against intruders from foreign lands and the passage of time. For those who know where to find them, however, a short boat trip across the lake is all that is needed to discover these hidden gems of antiquity. Step on board and your local guide will take you on a travel back in time. More on https://www.laketana-biosphere.com/visit/monasteries/

Others

National Musium Addis Ababa and Entoto area, Harar Jegol, Sof Omor Cave (Not far from Bale Mountains is one of the world's most spectacular and extensive underground caverns: the Sof Omar cave system), Konso cultural landscape World Heritage site etc can be arranged by order